Jailed killer tried to overturn murder conviction at Court of Appeal with audacious fake alibi plot


A MURDERER who shot a man dead tried to overturn his conviction with an audacious behind bars five-year-long plot to create fake alibis.

Peter Jones, 53, (above) was jailed for life in 2008, for his involvement with others in the 2006 murder of John Ward, 22, receiving a minimum term of 25 years.

It was a botched attack, in which the wrong man was killed, and Jones told the jury Mr Ward only died because the sawn-off shotgun went off accidentally in his hands.

But, Basildon Crown Court heard on Friday that while languishing in his cell Jones cooked up a sophisticated plan in 2013 to appeal the conviction by claiming he lied during the trial and was somewhere else at the time of the murder.

His appeal, which made it before three judges in 2018, claimed he lied at trial under duress as his family was being threatened by co-defendants.

Jones enlisted brother Matthew Jones, 39, former lover Lisa Bradfield, 55, (below) and wife Carmen Anghel, 38, originally from Romania, to produce false witness statements claiming he was eating at a restaurant in Hadleigh, near Southend, Essex, at the time of the murder which was nearly 50 miles away in St Osyth.

He also got Anghel, the mother of his child, to shoot a family vehicle in 2016 to make it look like they were still under threat in connection with the appeal, which prompted a full-scale police probe, including the family being given panic alarms.

In July 2018, the Court of Appeal judges rejected the bid saying the alibis were "completely devoid of credibility," which prompted a police investigation.

All four defendants were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Matthew Jones and Anghel, both from Chelmsford, and Bradfield from Ongar, all pleaded guilty to making false statements.

Despite this, and phone calls and prison visits to Jones during the plot being recorded, he continued to protest his innocence until changing his plea to guilty midway through trial in March.

Jailing Jones for an additional seven years and six months on top of his minimum term, Judge Andrew Hurst said the plot tried to "strike at the heart of the justice system."

He said: "The conspiracy was particularly serious as it was to exploit the criminal justice system and its appeal process. It's vital in our criminal justice system, to ensure that no conviction that is unsafe should continue.

"It's there for the defendants who may be subject to a miscarriage of justice. He sought to turn this inside out. This was not a hot-headed spur-of-the-moment act. It was breathtaking in its scope and artifice."

Matthew Jones got 16 months in prison, Bradfield 27 months, and Anghel received two years suspended for two years with 150 hours' community service, as Judge Hurst accepted she was vulnerable and under duress.