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Call for Ruth Ellis pardon
10:00am Friday 24th August 2007 in News
THE LAST WOMAN to be hanged in Britain was innocent of murder and should be given a pardon following new evidence, it has been claimed.
Author Monica Weller says her new findings cast serious doubts over the guilt of Ruth Ellis, who was hanged in July 1955 for the murder of her lover David Blakely.
Mrs Weller, 57, who ghost wrote a book with Ellis' sister in 2005, is now petitioning the prime minister urging him to grant her a pardon.
The new revelations include the account of a policewoman who guarded Ellis after her arrest and documents which overshadow claims she was domestically abused by Blakely - provoking her to murder.
Blakely, a racing driver, lived in Penn and he and Ellis became regulars at the Crown Inn and Red Lion pubs. Ellis was later buried at St Mary's Parish Church, Amersham.
Mrs Weller, of Bookham, Surrey, believes Ellis admitted her crime to cover for her other boyfriend, Desmond Cussen.
She said: "Ruth Ellis lied from beginning to end in her testimony - everything was one big lie."
Mrs Weller believes her investigations have been endorsed by Scotland Yard, who attended her book signing in 2005 at the Magdala pub in Hampstead, north London. Blakely had been shot five times as he emerged from the pub on April 10.
She said representatives told her "Monica you have done the Met a favour - we never believed she did it in the first place".
Since the book, Ruth Ellis, My Sister's Secret Life, was published, Mrs Weller made contact with the policewoman who guarded Ellis in her cell at Hampstead Police Station.
The officer said Ellis' clothes were "spotless" despite the blood spattered at the scene, and her unwashed hands were perfectly clean with no trace of material from the gun. It was alleged that Ellis had delivered the final shot at point blank range.
Mrs Weller said: "She was wearing a light coloured costume which she had apparently been wearing to shoot David Blakely in, and there wasn't one blood spot on her at all."
Mrs Weller said the officer was told that Ellis, 28, couldn't plead not guilty to murder as it wouldn't have made enough of a show'.
Ellis, a nightclub hostess, pleaded not guilty, but at the trial admitted firing the gun.
Medical reports also appear to contradict Ellis' claim that she had a miscarriage after being punched in the stomach by Blakely ten days before the murder. At Holloway prison a day after the shooting, she said she had had an abortion.
Mrs Weller added that authorities knew Ellis had suffered from rheumatic fever as a young girl which affected her left hand - showing she would have had difficulty using the gun. However, the jury was not told this.
In another revelation, she says Cussen visited Ellis in prison every day before the trial despite agreeing to give evidence against her.
Mrs Weller said: "They allowed him to visit her. It is absolutely out of order."
Most of the findings come from newly released documents at the National Archives which were not due to be opened until 2031. This includes a list of Ellis' possessions following her arrest.
Mrs Weller is set to work on a TV docu-mentary regarding the case and says she has acquired the backing of a top solicitor and senior police officer who will support the view that there should be a new investigation.
The solicitor is John Batt, a member of the late Sally Clark's defence team.
If you wish to sign the online petition visit http://petitions.pm.