A MURDERER trying to clear his name for the brutal killing of pensioner Judith Richardson has seen his bid for freedom knocked back at the first stage.
Graeme Jarman’s horrific crime shocked people living in Hexham in 2011 and he is currently serving a minimum of 35 years behind bars for murder.
Despite denying the crime and maintaining his innocence throughout the three-week trial, Jarman, 48, was found guilty last July at Newcastle Crown Court and jailed for life.
Within weeks of the verdict he appealed against the conviction and from his cell at HMP Frankland in Durham he wrote to fellow inmates detailing problems that internet coverage can play in defendants getting a fair trial.
But that fight has already stalled after a judge sitting at the Court of Appeal in London this month refused the application for his appeal to go before a panel of three judges.
A spokesman for the Court of Appeal’s criminal division, said: “The application to appeal has been refused by the single judge. It could still go before the three judges if the applicant renews his appeal application.”
Among Jarman’s gripes were internet hits which included his “previous convictions dating back to the 1980s” with “salacious facts and non-facts about me trending on Twitter”.
Guidelines set out by the Judicial Studies Board 2010 highlight how jurors can be directed to “take care to ensure that they do not allow such second- hand reporting or comment to influence their approach to the evidence.”
The badly-beaten body of 77-year-old Miss Richardson, a spinster living in St Wilfrid’s Road, Hexham, was discovered when police called at her home wanting to return her handbag found dumped in a bin in Newcastle city centre.
Jarman, from Consett in County Durham, had attacked her with a hammer after tricking his way into her home in August 2011.
Within days detectives named him as their prime suspect in the investigation. Having gone on the run he was caught after a two-week manhunt when he was spotted in a library in North Yorkshire.
At the end of last year, Jarman – who has spent more than half of his life behind bars for a string of robberies and violent sex attacks – wrote to prisoners’ magazine insidetime saying that his defence team were “greatly concerned to find over 500,000 hits on the search website against my name and the trial”.
He went on: “Even the most diligent juror will be unable to resist using their phones for a variety of reasons and a month-long stint in a jury box hearing a great deal of allegations about the defendant is bound to raise their curious nature.
“The future looks dark, my friends, if you are hoping to get impartial justice.”