Kerry Macgill is a Bradford-based solicitor who legally
represented Peter Sutcliffe after his arrest. He brokered a deal with
detective Chief Superintendent Dick Holland which was designed to get the
best possible treatment for his client. In this he was hugely successful.
Sutcliffe had murdered Jacqueline Hill only six weeks earlier in Headingly
Leeds and this murder was still fresh in peoples minds. Sutcliffe was well
described as a suspect and his car was equally well-described.
He had driven the wrong way up a one-way street and made no
attempt to hide when he attacked Jacqueline ,allowing another student Andree Proctor to get a good look at him. The student reported the assault
and the police came but didn't make a thorough search.
Jacqueline died of exposure on a frosty November night and had she been
found when the police searched the area shortly after the attack she would
have survived ,as did two of his earlier victims only weeks before, one of
whom, Maureen Lea was also a student in Leeds university. The details of this
attack were never revealed to the press by the police for "operational"
Sutcliffe, the seriously disturbed madman who had told his friend Trevor
Birdsall that he was the Ripper, who had told a private detective Jim
Lyness that he was the Ripper, who phoned Olive Smelt in the vain hope
that the police would trace the call to him, whose workmates openly called
him "the Ripper" because the police had been checking so much on him, who
had been in touch with clairvoyants telling them he was the Ripper, who
had brought Leeds to a standstill when he phoned the police to say the
Ripper would strike in Leeds on a certain night, who had attracted so much
police attention that they were certain he did not fit the Ripper frame
was finally being taken seriously.
Forensic science and solid evidence
were being discarded in favour of confessions with the backing of four
eminent psychiatrists who would certify his insanity.
Dr Hugo Milne
The police needed to bury the Ripper to cover up all the
glaring blunders they had been exposed to by him. They had much to hide, not the least of which was their failure to hold Sutcliffe since January
1980 when they knew he was the copy-cat killer. This resulted in three
more murders and at least three more assaults by him which could have been
avoided. They were much more interested in getting their hands on Billy
Tracey and couldn't risk alerting him to the arrest of his copy-cat. The
public paid the price.
Kerry Macgill brokered a deal which included no trial, a place reserved in
a mental hospital with room service and choice of meals and a good
likelihood of parole within seven years, for his client who was willing to
confess to anything, to a receptive policeman, Dick Holland.
Holland was able to relay to Sutcliffe his story about the arrest ,the
subsequent trial and conviction of Mark Rowntree, another disturbed maniac
who had stabbed two people in Leeds in 1975 and was at large and knew the
police were looking for him. Rowntree phoned Holland who was then based
in Bradford, to arrange to give himself up and Holland subsequently
Coincidentally two brutal murders were committed in Leeds
the day before his arrest and by the time Holland was finished with
Rowntree he had admitted to these also, a coup for Dick Holland who was
clearing up unsolved crimes in record time. The Leeds police hadn't had
time to get their forensic results back from the laboratory before the
crimes were solved with Rowntree's confessions. He was ordered to be held
without limit of time but was freed on parole seven years later. Sutcliffe
was given all these details and went along with the deal.
Newspaper article dated 9/5/81
Newspaper article dated 10/5/81
Holland also secured the confession and subsequent
conviction in Court of Stefan Kiszko for the murder of eleven year-old Leslie Moleseed. Forensic evidence which could clear Kiszko was never
revealed at the trial and Holland basked in the glory of a successful
conviction stemming largely from the confession he had extracted out of
the terrified Kiszko who admitted the crime under the duress of many hours
of repeated threatening behaviour by the bulky Holland.
successful cases led to his promotion to Detective Chief Superintendent of
police and this was the policeman who headed up the Yorkshire Ripper
investigation and brokered the deal with Sutcliffe's legal team.
record of fitting up fall guys for murder was something that Billy Tracey
was all too well aware of.
Semen was found on Miss
Browne's clothing indicating her assailant had masturbated on her. Miss
Moleseed received the same treatment four months later in the same general
vicinity. Because the semen was not B secretor blood group Miss Brown's
assault was never in the Ripper frame. Even when her photofit description
of her assailant closely matched those of Sutcliffe's later victims in the
investigation, her attack was never in the frame.
Marcella Claxton saw and
accurately described Sutcliffe who masturbated over her after battering
her over the head. He wiped himself with tissues and threw a fiver on the
ground beside her, telling her not to go to the police. She also described
his white car with red upholstery. A similarly described car was sought
after the Moleseed murder.
It would be conclusive now, to compare
Sutcliffe's semen with the evidence which cleared Stefan Kiszko in 1992
but was withheld at his trial. The Claxton assault was never in the Ripper
frame until after Sutcliffe's arrest when they wanted to clear everything
associated with him including the Ripper murders.
Needless to say when he
was confessing to all his crimes the Moleseed murder would not be of
interest to Dick Holland because Kiszko was convicted for that.
Sutcliffe, after his arrest was very anxious to conceal his perverse
sexual motive in his crimes preferring to portray that he was on a mission
from God. The sexual evidence in these early assaults is clear. Perhaps
when he realised that the Ripper was manipulating him later in the game,
he committed attacks in his efforts to be arrested and this was his
After Sutcliffe's trial I put most of these facts to Kerry Macgill in a
letter. He never replied.
Nine years later he was assisting Sonia Sutcliffe to pursue a magazine,
Private Eye, in a libel action in the High Court in London for alleged
damages to her. I traveled there and when I approached him he rebuffed me
and refused to talk. She was awarded massive damages by a sympathetic jury
even though she perjured herself. Kerry Macgill succeeded again.
When Dick Holland faced criminal charges for the wrongful conviction of
Stefan Kiszko, who better to turn to for legal advice than Kerry Macgill,
the Bradford solicitor who had negotiated the sweet deal for Sutcliffe
Macgill's handling of this case got Holland off the charges on the
technicalities of time and memory lapse.
All in all Kerry Macgill has played a major role in this debacle by his
blinkered vision of wanting to win the best possible deal for his client
without consideration for the victims who were treated like pawns in his
Sir Michael Havers, the Attorney General (left) and Mr
James Chadwin QC, for the defence
Evidence has been ignored, justice has been perverted, the
real Yorkshire Ripper, Billy Tracey has been facilitated to remain free to
commit crimes against other innocent victims unaware of the implications
of Macgill's deals.