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Fight for Bow pub landlord’s innocence gathers pace - 10 years after his murder conviction

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 May 2013

Tony Shepherd, who was convicted of murder 10 years ago

Tony Shepherd, who was convicted of murder 10 years ago

Archant

Miscarriage of justice campaigners are planning an appeal against the conviction of a pub landlord – 10 years after he was jailed for the murder of a teenager.

Tony Shepherd ran the Prince of Wales pub in Grove Road, Bow, but was given a 14-year prison sentence after being found guilty of shooting 19-year-old Lee Chesaites dead.

Fears over the safety of the conviction were raised after an hour of crucial CCTV footage went missing.

And Mr Shepherd’s friends insist he was not even at the scene where Mr Chesaites was killed in 2002.

Now miscarriage of justice campaign group Inside Justice has taken up the case, and is working with lawyers to appeal the sentence, passed 10 years ago on Sunday.

Eminent criminal lawyer James Saunders has been involved in the case for the past four years – and said elements of it are being looked at in a “new light”.

“I am committed to taking this case forward winning it”, he said.

“Inside Justice have become interested in the case and I am working with them to see if what’s effectively a cold case review can move things forward.”

Inside Justice got involved after their attention was drawn to the missing CCTV footage, and question marks over the accuracy of witness statements relied on by the prosecution.

The organisation now needs to gather enough evidence for grounds of appeal to be given.

Mr Shepherd has a partner and three children, with the eldest waiting for her dad’s release before marrying her fiancé.

Friend Tom Wakeling said: “It’s very sad seeing him because I have to walk away knowing my friend’s in there for something he didn’t do.”

“I will always keep fighting - even if I have to wait till the last week he is in there.”

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