Peter Williams QC: Time for police to show remorse

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Arthur Allan Thomas.
Arthur Allan Thomas.

I acted for Arthur Allan Thomas at the Royal Commission of Inquiry, which not only vindicated Arthur completely, but finally held that the late Mr Hutton and Mr Johnson, planted the shell case which had caused Arthur to being wrongly convicted of the Crewes' murders. He wrongly served nine years in prison as a consequence. I was shocked to read in the Weekend Herald that the police have recently told members of Arthur's family that they still believe his rifle was used to shoot the Crewes.

The late Dr Nelson, soon after the homicide, compared the lead from the bodies with test fired lead from Arthur's rifle and found inconsistency. Thomas' rifle was returned to him by the police. A few days before the police planted a shell case outside the Crewe homestead, Hutton had retrieved the rifle from Arthur's home and obviously fired it to obtain the discredited shell case.

The conduct of the police in regard to the Crewes' homicide has not only been severely discredited, but now epitomises the most shocking act of fabricated evidence ever committed by the New Zealand Police.

The fact that Hutton and Johnson were never prosecuted and that it took ten years for Arthur to prove his innocence, again are indicative of the bloody-mindedness of the police towards Arthur.

In the absence of a confession by the true murderer or murderers, it is impossible now to say who killed the Crewes, but the time is now well overdue for the police to stop their false allegations against Arthur and show appropriate remorse for their misdeeds of the past.


Peter Williams, QC, Defence lawyer

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- NZ Herald

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