Yes, It Must Be Terrible For You. But What’s The Alternative?

Every morning, one of the first things Caroline Longley sees is her daughter Emily’s fake fur coat hanging in the hallway. It was one of her most beloved possessions, and something of a trademark, but 17-year-old Emily left it behind on her last visit home, telling her sister Hannah she could wear it and return it in the summer.

Hannah never got the opportunity to hand it back. Weeks later, Emily was brutally murdered by her jealous boyfriend, leaving a family still bewildered by grief nearly two years later.

‘There are times when I miss Emily so much that I hug that coat, imagining she is wearing it,’ says Caroline. ‘I can still smell her scent on it. It makes me cry.’

A horribly sad story. The jealous boyfriend was caught and jailed. His parents faced trial (unusually) for providing him with a false alibi and were similarly jailed.

So why the ‘Mail’ article?

For Caroline, Emily’s father Mark, and 17-year-old Hannah, grief is never far from the surface. Recently, however, their wounds have been ripped open once more.

Just before Christmas, they learned that Elliot Turner, the wealthy and pampered 21-year-old who, in May, was found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of Emily’s murder, had lodged an appeal against his conviction and life sentence.

As he’s entitled to do, surely?

‘Turner’s appeal is opening up old wounds which we are trying so hard to heal,’ says Caroline. ‘We are trying to put the trial, with all its horrors, behind us, but now we are being forced to relive it.’

Yes, that’s horrible for you, no doubt. But why this article, why the lengthy details of how ‘arrogant’ and ‘lacking in remorse’ the killer is, and how ‘upsetting’ the appeal is for you?

At the end of the day, he’s entitled to appeal if he has grounds to do so. To suggest that this not be so is, frankly, dangerous ground.

The Longleys don’t actually say that this is what they want, but I’m struggling to see the purpose of this ‘Mail’ article other than to somehow plant the suggestion with readers that appeals by convicted murderers cause grief and are ‘unwelcome’…

8 comments for “Yes, It Must Be Terrible For You. But What’s The Alternative?

  1. January 19, 2013 at 9:13 am

    One of the cornerstones of our system is the right to appeal on several grounds. As this is the guys first appeal the family sadly will just have to accept this. If it was one of a succession of frivolous appeals then it would be a completely different story…

  2. David
    January 19, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Mystery? if he is appealing against conviction, what are his parents doing?

  3. January 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Remember John Clough, the father of the nurse who was killed by a man out on bail? He managed to get the bail laws changed to make it easier for bail to be denied?
    Well now he’s in the papers again saying he supports Sharia Law.

    People don’t realise the necessary checks and balances they are trying to destroy. They can’t conceive of the possibility that an innocent person, even themselves, may suffer at the hands of the law as a result.

    • John Clough
      January 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Bucko, contrary to this rogue press article, I do not now or never have supported sharia law, this is a response I have sent to the editor of the paper that printed the article.
      Firstly I would like to say I DO NOT SUPPORT THE INTRODUCTION OF SHARIA LAW IN THE UK, indeed there are many aspects of it that are repugnant, what I have said is that there are aspects of it that could be discussed and considered as an additional victim protection within UK law, a bit like cherry picking some aspects that could work in the UK during the recording of the program I stated several time that I do not or did not support sharia, as my wife will back me up. I am not ashamed to want retribution as the current justice system is a farce, I want the UK justice system to be as robust as it can be, and if that involves looking around the world at other systems of law and learning from them I welcome that.

      I would also add the only aspect I agree with is the involvement of victims families in sentencing decisions, and that is what I wanted to be conveyed in the program.

      There are no circumstances whatsoever that would lead me to want an Islamist state in the UK.

      Also I was not interviewed or spoken to regarding the article by the journalist involved, I find the content of the article offensive and inaccurate.

      • Greg Tingey
        January 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

        Get a lwayer to sue the paper, “pro bono” as this IS in the public interest.

  4. January 19, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    What’s opening the wounds more. An appeal which they don’t attend and have no involvement in or a story in a national newspaper which is read by all their friends and family and any other acquaintances who will then ask them “how do you feel?”.

    Bucko, the problem is people are too emotional now a days. None of this stiff upper lip anymore, instead everything has to be seen as being in the other person’s shoes. So when something bad happens to someone, we put ourselves in their shoes and think that we couldn’t live with their problem and therefore we will join them in trying to stop it ever happening again. Instead we should be more detached and understand their problem, but look at the big picture, and realise that such events are rare and we shouldn’t change the whole society just because of them.

    • nisakiman
      January 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Yes, I’d agree with that SBML. I find public outpourings of emotion quite bizarre. Grief is a personal and private thing, and has no place in the public domain. It’s the “Diana Effect”. It’s taken over the nation, and it has an unhealthy influence on policy. These days, we are hostage to “knee-jerk legislation” as the incumbents in Westminster respond (vote addicts that they are) to the likes of The Sun and The Mail.

      I remember years ago when I suffered a personal tragedy, a good friend said to me: “But life goes on”.

      And it does.

  5. Daedalus
    January 20, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    We will really have gone to hell in a handcart if you cannot appeal a sentence.


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