TV show raises murder trial doubts
An episode of The Jeremy Kyle Show is at the centre of a miscarriage of justice claim after a guest appeared to contradict evidence she gave at a murder trial.
The woman, named only as Bev, told the ITV show she saw the killer plunge a knife into female student Jong Ok Shin - contrary to evidence she gave under oath before Omar Benguit was convicted. He was found guilty in 2005 after two hung juries and three murder trials.
The Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) confirmed it had looked at the footage as part of appeals by Benguit's legal team. The watchdog was already examining the case amid allegations that the murder of Ms Jong, 26, was linked to hair fetishist killer Danilo Restivo.
Despite previously testifying that she had only heard a struggle and saw Benguit's clothes covered in blood, the guest, named only as Bev, told Jeremy Kyle in 2008 that she "saw Omar plunge a knife into her".
She told the programme how she was a heroin addict at the time of the 2002 killing in Bournemouth. She gave a lift to three men, including Benguit, another drug user. "They told me to pull over," she told the show. "They were talking about taking her back to this crack house. I pulled over."
She added: "Then I got out of the car myself to see what was going on and as I looked round all I saw was the shadows of them, not clearly, but I could see her, and I saw Omar plunge a knife into her. She dropped down. I think he did it more than once."
A CCRC spokesman said the footage came to light following an application from Benguit's legal team last year.
He added: "We are aware of the issue and the appearance on Jeremy Kyle, and we will be considering what, if any, implications this will have on the case."
Jerome Lynch QC, representing Benguit, told The Times newspaper there was overwhelming evidence to justify the Court of Appeal examining the safety of the conviction.
Restivo was convicted in June of the ritualistic murder of 48-year-old Heather Barnett in Bournemouth in 2002 and was linked to the murder of a teenager in Italy who was killed in a similar way.