If you havenít heard the name Omar Benguit, you should have, certainly if you follow miscarriages of justice. Since 2003 he has been tried three times for the same murder. In 2005 he was convicted, and has been waiting for justice ever since.
Still waiting for justice, Omar Benguit, who was convicted of a murder that was almost certainly committed by Italian psychopath Danilo Restivo.
In July 2002, a young Korean woman was stabbed to death in an apparently motiveless attack on a Bournemouth Street. At that time, Benguit was a drug addict, and doing the sort of things drug addicts at the bottom of society do. It is certainly conceivable that he would have attacked and robbed a woman in the street. It is conceivable that such a robbery may have gone wrong. Conceivable but improbable, especially as a man with a track record for the kind of murderous attack carried out on Oki-Shin was living nearby, and as this was clearly not a robbery gone wrong but a murder for the sake of it.
The man who was almost certainly responsible for this crime was Danilo Restivo, who murdered a woman in Italy and later another in Bournemouth where he had relocated. Restivo is currently serving a life sentence for the second murder, of mother of two Heather Barnett.
In spite of this, and of the striking similarities of the cases, the Court of Appeal dismissed Benguitís appeal on April 9. The evidence against Benguit, such as it is, came principally from a woman who has lied repeatedly about material issues. Among other things she claimed he raped her.
A dedicated website about the Omar Benguit case was set up some time ago by John Aidiniantz, who also runs one of the Michael Stone websites. You can find some more background to the case there. It will not surprise seasoned watchers that the senior judge in Benguitís recent failed appeal was Lady Justice Rafferty, who not only prosecuted Michael Stone for the Chillenden Murders (as Anne Rafferty QC) but as a judge presided over the trial of Christopher Sherwood, the police officer who shot a naked man dead in his own home. She instructed the jury to acquit Ė the privilege money canít buy strikes again.
What now for Omar Benguit? Short of a miracle, it is the end of the road, another sad tale of justice being well and truly done.
[The above article was published originally on April 11, 2014.]
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