Canning Town murder conviction to stand

A man jailed for stabbing a father-of-three to death in a pub car park has failed to convince judges fresh evidence means he was wrongly convicted.

Terry O’Neil, 53, was given a life sentence at the Old Bailey in October 2007 after being convicted of murdering Peter Jones.

Mr Jones, 38, died from his injuries after he and his nephew, Adrian Rowe, then 20, were stabbed outside the Victoria pub, Canning Town, in August 2006.

O’Neil, of Dockland Street, North Woolwich, was also convicted of wounding Mr Rowe with intent and ordered to serve at least 17 years behind bars.

He challenged his convictions at the Criminal Appeal Court with his lawyers arguing they were “unsafe” because of “fresh evidence”.

But the appeal was dismissed by three senior judges. They said it was “not in the interests of justice” to admit the new evidence, and the convictions were “safe”.

The Appeal Court heard Mr Jones and Mr Rowe confronted O’Neil outside the pub as they believed he was responsible for the earlier shooting of Mr Jones’ nephew.

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After they were knifed, the pair ran to safety, and Mr Jones was treated in hospital, but he died later.

The prosecution at the trial said O’Neil deliberately stabbed both men, but he claimed Mr Rowe tried to attack him with the knife, and he accidentally stabbed the men in a struggle.

This was rejected by the jury.

O’Neil fled to Amsterdam after the incident, but was extradited and arrested in January 2007.

His lawyers said a witness had come forward in the past year and given a statement which cast doubt on the convictions.

The witness, who said he was in the pub on the night, had not come forward at the time because he did not believe his evidence was relevant.

Dismissing the appeal, Lord Justice Pill said it was “not credible” that the witness would not have realised the potential significance of his evidence at the time.

The judge, sitting with Mr Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker, added: “We do not consider it is in the interests of justice to admit this evidence.”

He concluded: “In our judgment, the verdicts of the jury were safe.”