Monday, December 04, 2006

The jockey who strangled a guy twice his size -- what a nonsense!

There is no truth in the suggestion that jailed Carrick-on-Suir man Christy McGrath will have to formally admit to a murder he denies if he wants to be transferred home from Britain, his family and supporters stated this week. Some media reports claimed earlier this week that the 29 year-old jockey from Sean Treacy Park, Carrick would be forced to formally admit to the murder and promise not to launch any further appeals, if his request for a transfer from Gartree Prison in Leicestershire to an Irish prison was to be granted. But his family has denied this. His sister, Caroline told The Nationalist that Christy had already been granted repatriation and both the Irish and British governments had already agreed to the transfer.

The family had been hoping that he would be home for Christmas but it now appears as if the transfer will be delayed until early in the New Year. Caroline McGrath said that he didn't have to plead guilty, and was still entitled to apply for a re-trial or appeal in the British courts. That appeal wouldn't be allowed in an Irish court.

The son of Christy (senior) and Ann McGrath, Christy McGrath has been at the centre of a high-profile alleged miscarriage of justice case since being convicted in January 2001 of the murder of Gary Walton in Coundon, Durham the previous July. Christy McGrath and his many supporters on both sides of the Irish Sea, who include 130 TDs [Members of the lower house of the Irish parliament] and Senators and more than 50 British MPs, have always maintained his innocence.

More here


On leaving a Co. Durham pub on the night of the 16th of July 2001, Christy McGrath was accosted, racially abused and assaulted by Gary Walton. Attempting to regain entrance to the pub, Christy was again attacked by Walton with a brick and forced to defend himself. Walton was alive when Christy left the scene.

Other men, two wearing balaclavas, are known to have approached Walton on the night after Christy left. One returned to the scene more than once. The body was found by police the following morning

The day before his trial for murder, Christy's lawyer put pressure on him to change his plea to guilty. He was told that if he did not, he would serve 25 - 30 years in prison. Christy's family were not involved in the discussion. Isolated, confused and fearful, Christy submitted to the advice, and admitted, as he thought, manslaughter. The next day he was convicted of murder and sentenced. None of the witnesses scheduled to testify on his behalf were ever heard

Walton died of strangulation; he was strangled with such force that neck vertebrae were broken.

Walton was over 6 feet tall and heavily built, while Christy, a jockey, is a more lightly built, shorter man.

Throughout the course of their investigations police referred to him as "the Irish lad."

He had no motive to kill Gary Walton.

Christy tried to avoid the fight by running back to the pub.

Witnesses in Christy's favour were never heard. One admitted washing bloodstained clothes, another stated seeing "a murder by men in balaclavas."

Police claim they are unable to state the time of Gary Walton's death

Christy only learned that the victim had died of strangulation after he had pleaded guilty in court.

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what happened with this guy??