Sunday, 17 January 2010
"I see his life come shining....He shall be released"
In 1980 a young punk rocker Gary Critchley was found on the pavement outside a place called the Campbell Buildings in Waterloo, London. In one of the squatted flats upstairs another young man lay dead. Gary suffered a broken back, ankle and wrist and was left brain damaged by a hammer blow to the head. In the flat Edward Mcneill had been beaten to death with a hammer. Gary was charged with his murder. Evidence was flimsy and scant in an age before DNA but in a time of dodgy policing. In 1981 Gary was convicted of Edward McNeill’s murder. Nearly 30 years later he is still residing at Her Majesties Pleasure. If the above sounds like the basis of a work of fiction, it’s not; it’s fact. The only fiction is that there is any Just in the British Justice system. The appeal court have upheld his conviction and at present the Criminal Case Review Commission are refusing to send his case back for further consideration. Unlike other miscarriages of justice Gary hasn’t been afforded any high profile campaigns; his case has gone unnoticed until now. A more detailed account of the case in an article from Private Eye Magazine can be found here . Recollections of life at The Campbell Buildings, and an extract from the book Trash Can by Bob Short (former Guitarist in post-punk and pronto gothsters Blood and Roses) which is an account of the time he spent living at the Campbell Buildings can be found here on the Kill Your Pet Puppy site. To find out more about Gary’s life and to see more of his artwork, and writings go here to The Life (Sentence) and Art Of Gary Critchley. The rest is up to you. You decide!