The Case of the Confused Chemicals


This programme is copyright BBC. It is posted here in qualified breach of copyright for the use of historians
and researchers into miscarriage of justice. If the BBC requires it, the film will be taken off the internet.

Ernie Clarke, the only black man in South Shields at the time, was convicted of murdering a young white woman and hiding her body in a large tank at the industrial site where he worked. The evidence hung on a sighting of Clarke using a particular rag to clean his hands. This programme proved that the sighting must have taken place years after the murder.
The appeal hearing in 1986 was one of the most outrageous judgements of that dark era in English Judicial history.
The appeal judgement can be found elsewhere on this site. Click here to download a copy.
The original trial summing up is also available. Click here to download a copy.
There is also an account of this case in the book "More Rough Justice". Click here to download a copy.

Clarke was later set free on parole. He has never received compensation for the terrible and discriminatory acts done to him by the State.

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