(“I’ll have that technicality served with a nice chianti and some fava beans.”)
According to a report from London’s UK Mirror, Lee Murray and his co-accused in the 2006 Securitas depot heist could be headed back to court for a retrial and there’s a good chance that they could win this time around.
The reason for the latest development is that a forensics investigator in the case who allegedly collected DNA belonging to the accused from latex masks made for them by a local studio to wear as disguises in the robbery, has been found guilty of disposing of key evidence in another case. If the defendants’ lawyers can argue that there’s a reasonable doubt as to whether or not she could have done the same while collecting evidence for their cases, the charges against them could be dropped.
By law, the Kent Police were required to inform the lawyers of the gang jailed for the record-breaking estimated $85 million (USD) heist about their officer’s mistake and guilty finding.
“The thought that these men could get their convictions quashed because of the actions of one officer is too horrendous to contemplate. This officer’s competence has been brought into question because of another case and that left us with no choice but to write to the gang’s lawyers,” an unnamed source from the Kent Police told The Mirror. “This whole affair is a massive embarrassment.”
Less than half of the stolen money was ever recovered.
Lee’s UK-based lawyer, Derek Parker confirmed he he has received the letter from Kent Police.
“This has implications for all of those serving sentences for the robbery,” he said today. “We are seeking guidance from counsel on this.”
It’s alleged that Murray was the mastermind behind the robbery and that he wore a prosthetic nose and chin as a disguise while he kidnapped the Securitas depot manager and his family at gunpoint to gain access to the storage station and set the robbery in motion. According to police he was the individual seen on surveillance footage holding a stopwatch and barking orders to the henchmen as they ransacked the trucks and vaults at the depot.
Stuart Royle, Jetmir Bucpapa, Roger Coutts and Lea Rusha were all jailed for life in 2008 while Emir Hysenaj got 20 years. In June 2007 Murray was jailed in Morocco and was later sentenced to ten years in June 2010 for his role in the robbery. After a near-escape attempt and a bit of reconsideration, the British court upped his sentence to 25 years last November. He has served four years thus far.
MiddleEasy is reporting that they received a tip from someone close to “Lightning” who informed them that if he is released, Murray plans to return to the cage to compete. Although it’s unlikely, given the criminal allegations against him that he’ll ever fight in the UFC again, the 33-year-old who holds wins over Jorge Rivera and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons and whose last fight against Anderson Silva ended in a hard-fought decision loss, could carve out a decent career in the UK or Japan if his travel is restricted as a result of his past.
On an unrelated note, the shamed investigator recently bought a palace in Morocco where she moved the day after her trial. Not really, but that would make for an awesome scene in the inevitable movie.