Apology casts new doubt over Eddie Gilfoyle’s conviction for wife murder


Eddie Gilfoyle
Eddie Gilfoyle

originally published by: Times Online
12th June 2010

Dominic Grieve, the Attorney-General, has apologised after Parliament was given wrong information about a prisoner who has spent 18 years denying that he murdered his wife and faked her suicide.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has also given an apology to Vera Baird, the former Solicitor-General, for drafting a deficient answer when she told MPs about Eddie Gilfoyle.

Gilfoyle is serving a life sentence for the murder of his pregnant wife, Paula, who died in Upton, Wirral, in June 1992. At his trial the prosecution said that he hanged her after dictating a suicide note.

Doubts about his conviction were raised when a long investigation by The Times revealed:

• police notes that were not disclosed at the trial showed that the estimated time of death gave him a potential alibi — he was at work.

• new research had contradicted advice at the time of the trial that pregnant women rarely committed suicide. In fact, the research showed that suicide was the main cause of maternal death in pregnancy and after childbirth, hanging was the main method chosen and late pregnancy was a peak time for suicides.

• international suicide experts who examined Mrs Gilfoyle’s suicide note concluded that it was genuine although prosecutors told the jury that it had been dictated by her husband.

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