NORMAN MOULD - THE MAN WHO FITTED STEEL UP.
Norman Mould was chosen to head the
investigation against Steel, though he was not really a murder detective – he specialised in drugs and fraud. But in 1978 the
Within ten years of joining
the police, Mould had risen to the rank of Inspector - serving as the Head of
the Bradford City Police Drug squad. His big chance came when the
He was still in charge of this team when the Carol Wilkinson murder occurred in the Pudsey police district. Such was the pressure on police at the time that Mould was assigned to it.
One of his duties on the first investigation in 1977 was to write up the official police report on the murder. This was placed in the files when the investigation stalled. Such reports are written for the Coroner – but are also used by any later team that might be assigned should a case be re-opened.
When the case was re-opened in 1979, the original detective in charge, Superintendent Denis Hoban, had died. Mould headed the new team. He knew more about the original investigation than anyone else available. The official police summary of the 1977 evidence was given to the new team. This was where the case began to go wrong.
Norman Mould's major mistake on the Steel case was in simply looking for evidence to incriminate Steel because he had been named as a suspect by Vera Smith. Little seems to have been taken of the evidence of the investigation in 1977 to see if the entire scenario, as put together then, fitted and incriminated Steel.
Worse, key evidence from the original detectives – concerning the route via the railway – was edited from the earlier report. Most of the detectives on the case cannot have known about this scenario because of this editing of Mould’s 1977 report. Amongst the “lost” pages of the report was the evidence of the victim’s mother. She had thought it highly unlikely that her daughter would have taken the route that the police now claimed was the truth.
Norman Mould had written that original report. Two years later, the railway route evidence contradicted his view of how Steel had followed the victim.
The evidence Mould and his team used against Steel as reason to arrest and interrogate him was the key ring - yet there had been no mention of a key ring in the 1977 investigation. Because Mould had written the report on the 1977 investigation, he must have known this.
Steel’s lawyers did not know anything about Mould’s 1977 report of course. If they had, they could have questioned whether or not the police had any "just cause" to arrest Steel. A lengthy list of the possessions of the victim on the day she died had been drawn up in 1977 – no one mentioned that a key ring was missing. The victim’s keys, left in the door of her house, had been seen as an important piece of evidence. Two years later the police suddenly claimed that she had owned a key ring.
Mould was promoted in late 1980 - not long after the conviction of Tony Steel. He retired in the mid-nineties and took a plum job as Head of Security for the National Lottery.
It has never been discovered how the evidence of the route via the railway came to be edited out of the 1977 official police report. Norman Mould had written it, but the copy in his files on the Steel investigation, which he conducted, had several pages removed – and substituted with similar pages. Whoever did it not only broke police regulations, but also duped the trial lawyers, and the Court of Appeal.