Tragic Life, And Death Of Timothy Evans, The [Radio Wales]


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20200327 (RW)

25 year old Timothy Evans from Merthyr Tydfil was hanged in March 1950 after being falsely convicted of the murder of his daughter at their flat in Rillington Place in London's Notting Hill district.

During his trial, he accused his downstairs neighbour John Christie, the chief prosecutor's witness, of committing the murder - and three years after his execution, John Christie was found to be a serial killer who had killed six women in the same house.

Criminologist Harriet Pierepoint looks back at the life, trial and execution of Timothy Evans and its subsequent impact. The case generated much controversy and debate and along with that of Derek Bentley and Ruth Ellis, played a major role in the abolition of capital punishment in the United Kingdom for murder in 1965.

The documentary includes the dramatic reconstruction of elements of the trial and hears from historians, crime writers and Harold Evans, the former Sunday Times editor who raised the Evans case and campaigned for his conviction to be overturned alongside broadcaster and human rights campaigner Ludovic Kennedy.

A Royal pardon was eventually granted in 1966 and in 2003 the Home Office awarded Timothy Evans' half sister Mary Westlake and sister Eileen Ashby, ex-gratia payments as compensation for the miscarriage of justice.

This programme assesses the case's significance, its role in the abolition of the death penalty and Timothy Evans' place in history.

The actors are Dyfan Rees (Timothy Evans), David McClelland (John Christie), Stephanie Turner (Ethel Christie), Christopher Strauli (Mr Justice Lewis), David Benson (Christmas Humphreys KC) and Jonathan Kydd (Malcolm Morris KC)

The programme is produced by Ashley Byrne and Iain Mackness and is an MIM Production for BBC Radio Wales.

The story of Welshman Timothy Evans, who was wrongfully hanged for murder in 1950.