Marks on the partially stripped body of a 14-year-old boy found dumped behind an empty shop in Comet Road, Deptford, south-east London, on Wednesday, November 22nd, 1978, revealed that he had been horribly beaten, mutilated with broken glass, raped and strangled.
Five months later, in 1979, a 20-year-old unemployed man was charged at the Old Bailey with murdering the boy, Gary Wilson. The man had confessed to the police, but withdrew his statement on the advice of a solicitor. Despite the lack of evidence against him, he was convicted.
Sixteen years later he was freed by the appeal court. Medical records showed him to be mentally ill, a fantasist who was prone to lying to those in authority if he thought it would help them. This medical evidence had not been shown to the defence, nor had the record of his interviews with the police, which revealed that under questioning at the police station he was led into details that only the killer could have known.