Alleged police failings prompt Hampstead murder case to be re-examined

The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal

The case will be heard at the Court of Appeal - Credit: PA WIRE

A man convicted of murdering a reclusive author in his Hampstead home will have his case heard at the Court of Appeal because of alleged police failings.

Wang Yam was convicted for the murder of Allen Chappelow, but has always maintained his innocence.

Mr Chappelow, who was 87 when he died in 2006, was found dead in his Downshire Hill home.

Yam also denied related charges of burglary, handling stolen property and obtaining a money transfer by deception at a trial in 2008.

Yam was convicted of handling stolen property, obtaining a money transfer by deception and theft, but the jury were unable to reach a verdict on charges of murder and burglary.

Following a retrial Mr Yam was convicted of murder and burglary and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum prison term of 20 years.

Yam appealed in 2010.

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The handling stolen goods conviction was quashed, but all other appeals were dismissed.

Yam applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for a review of his conviction in July 2012.

Having conducted a comprehensive investigation of the case, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Yam’s murder conviction to the Court of Appeal.

A statment from the Criminal Cases Review Commission said: “The referral is based on new evidence relating to the failure by police to reveal to the Crown Prosecution Service, and consequently to deprive Mr Yam’s defence of, material which might have assisted the defence and /or undermined the prosecution case.

“The material in question relates to police records about an incident which took place near to, and within months of, Mr Chappelow’s murder in which someone was threatened in circumstances with features relevant to the case against Mr Yam.

“The incident arguably could have formed the basis for the defence to propose the existence of alternative suspect.”