Appeal upholds murder conviction

PUBLISHED: 15:02 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 15:38 11 May 2010

‘The case against 
him is a 
compelling one’ – Lady Justice Hallett

‘The case against him is a compelling one’ – Lady Justice Hallett

A MAN jailed for the murder of a traveller has had his conviction upheld. Christopher Nudds, 28, was jailed for life in February 2006 after he was convicted of murdering Fred Moss. The body of 21-year-old Mr Moss has never been found. Police launched an i

A MAN jailed for the murder of a traveller has had his conviction upheld.

Christopher Nudds, 28, was jailed for life in February 2006 after he was convicted of murdering Fred Moss.

The body of 21-year-old Mr Moss has never been found.

Police launched an intensive search around south Cambridgeshire when Mr Moss went missing.

They concentrated part of the operation on the Newton and Harston area; around Thriplow, Steeple Morden and Litlington.

Police discovered Mr Moss's distinctive yellow van parked on a recreation ground in Steeple Morden.

Part of the prosecution's case during the trial of Nudds, 28, a pest controller, of Mapleside, Stocking Pelham, was that he had confessed to the murder while being held in Bedford prison on remand and had given graphic details of killing Mr Moss and disposing of his remains.

Nudds had "vehemently denied" making the confessions and the man making the claim was described by the defence as an "inherently unreliable witness".

Lady Justice Hallett dismissed Nudds's conviction challenge after a hearing at the Criminal Appeal Court in central London.

The prisoner who had shared his cell said over the course of several days Nudds had revealed that he shot Mr Moss in the side of the head before using a saw to dispose of the corpse which was then set alight.

Mr Moss was last seen alive on November 30, 2004 when he left his aunt's home in Stansted Mountfitchet to go hare coursing.

The prosecution claimed Nudds murdered Mr Moss on farmland near Royston and later disposed of his corpse on land at Highfield Farm.

Nudds insisted that he had nothing to do with the murder and claimed that he was a close friend of Mr Moss.

Edward Fitzgerald QC, for Nudds, told the appeal hearing that part of his client's prison confessions should have been excluded from the evidence at the murder trial.

He submitted that when police learned of Nudds's confession, which came out of the blue, they should have stepped in to charge him with murder.

At the time he was on remand facing a charge of perverting the course of justice in relation to Mr Moss's disappearance.

Instead, said Mr Fitzgerald the man sharing the cell was sent back to see whether Nudds would reveal any other details.

But Lady Justice Hallett - sitting with Mr Justice Wilkie and Mr Justice Scott-Gall - said police had throughout acted in good faith, while it would have made little sense to have charged Nudds with murder at that early stage of the investigation.

She added that Nudds in any event faced a "compelling" case, given forensic evidence liking Mr Moss's blood traces with Nudds's car.

She said there was a question, too, of "sightings of him with Mr Moss on the day he went missing".

She said: "We're not persuaded that his conviction is in any way unsafe.

"On the contrary, the case against him is a compelling one and we therefore refuse his application.

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