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Friday, 02 June 2017
Many messages and calls lately asking about that letter I got in Belmarsh prison after my first wrongful conviction 16 years ago. I’ve written about it in my books but here’s a more detailed description. My mailbag was enormous. If you weren’t around then you won’t know how much publicity my case got; simply massive coverage; predominantly negative, as expected.

The governor at Belmarsh told me, one day, my mailbag that day was equal to the entire prison’s mail in a week. It was split 50-50, much as my letters had been in the 80s when I had dared to criticise Band Aid as well intended but stupid, predicting it would lead to more deaths not fewer. As it did - with most of the money ending up in the pockets of corrupt officials and the better run charities suffering enormously.

That time I got over 18,000 letters in a day to me at The Sun; poor David, the sub editor in charge of answering them, found it split almost exactly 50-50 - I think that is the way of the world, no matter what the topic.

Most of my prison letters were anonymous and I decided to chuck away all those not signed, but I’ve always regretted not keeping one of them.

It was on vellum, parchment; beautifully hand written - looking almost like by a quill pen and ink. For no reason I felt it was by a woman.

She told me not to worry; I was a good man and would find this incident had very little negative effect on me (she was right). But she said the Karma would affect others involved in negative ways.

Three jurors had already died, she said. A quarter of my jury? I found that unbelievable and impossible to check. She detailed horrendous problems for my false accusers; divorces, tragedies, strokes, bad health.

She said “someone not directly involved but who had encouraged others would suffer badly with a close relative becoming seriously ill”. A few weeks later it was announced that Max Clifford, who had encouraged my first false accuser, had found his wife diagnosed with terminal cancer. That made me remember the letter, which I’d by then thrown away.

But the oddest thing was that she said two of the the judges involved in my case, one of whom I’d known for years, would die prematurely. Now I had only one Judge at my trial - Paget, who I had not known previously. But, a couple of years later, the Recorder of London, Michael Hyam, who had allocated my trial to Paget during legal hearings (which I’d forgotten about) died of a surprise heart attack - aged only 66; and then the lead Judge from my appeal, John Kay, died aged 60 and, reading his obituary, I realised I’d known him intimately at Cambridge University when we were both young undergraduates.


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