Stone makes new appeal over hammer murders

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LONDON, Sep 30 (Reuters) Convicted killer Michael Stone has made a new request to have his conviction for the murder of Lin and Megan Russell referred to the Court of Appeal, the Criminal Cases Review Commission said today.

Stone, 46, was given three life sentences in 2001 for the hammer murder of Dr Lin Russell, 45, her daughter Megan, six, and the attempted murder of Megan's nine-year old sister, Josie.

The Russells had been walking down a Kent country lane in 1996.

''He has made an application to the CCRC to review his case and that is now under active review,'' said a CCRC spokeswoman.

''A case reviewer will look at whether there is any new evidence or legal argument that raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal might not uphold the conviction.'' The spokeswoman added that each year the CCRC received about 1,000 applications to have their cases reviewed and usually about four per cent of those were referred to the Court of Appeal.

Stone has fought a protracted legal battle claiming his innocence.

His first conviction in 1998 for the killings was quashed by the Court of Appeal in February 2001, before he was convicted for a second time at a retrial in October the same year.

In 2005 a new appeal on the basis that this conviction was also unsafe was dismissed and in December 2006 Stone was told he must serve at least 25 years.


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