Published: 00:01, 09 July 2016
Hammer murderer Michael Stone’s defence lawyer is still waiting for a police response after calling on them to release a 66cm shoelace found at the crime scene and feared lost.
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the notorious double-killing which repulsed the nation.
Lin Russell and daughter Megan, six, were bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument on a remote country lane in Chillenden near Canterbury.
Lin’s elder daughter Josie, nine, miraculously survived the frenzied attack, which also saw the family dog slaughtered.
Detectives at the scene found a length of lace thought to have been tied around Megan’s neck.
While forensic specialists carried out “exhaustive tests” on the lace over a decade ago, solicitor Paul Bacon believes it may yield clues that could cast doubt on his client’s conviction.
But a letter of May 25 requesting access to the lace has not received a response from the chief constable, it's claimed.
Mr Bacon said: “The shoelace was used in the murders. It was tied around one of the victims and left at the scene.
“On it were items of DNA, some of which were identified at the time. Others we think might now come to the surface using modern techniques.”
Stone, a drug addict from Gillingham with convictions for violence, was arrested a year after the attack and charged with the murders.
He was convicted by a jury and remains behind bars but has always claimed he was not responsible.
Mr Bacon says confusion surrounds whether or not police had lost the lace and that he has written to the Chief Constable of Kent Police requesting access to it.
A police spokesman said: “The shoelace seized as part of the original investigation has not been lost, it has been subject to exhaustive examinations.
“All evidence from those examinations has been recorded and disclosed.”
He added police were “not looking for anyone else in connection with the case in which Stone was convicted”.
Stone had his original conviction quashed in 2001 but was found guilty for a second time at retrial.
Mr Bacon believes evidence contained on the shoelace could support his client’s claims of innocence.
“‘Exhaustive’ testing in 1998 is a very different proposition to exhaustive testing in 2016,” he said.
“If they have the lace, then why not allow modern testing?”
More by this authorChris Pragnell