Sunday Times Letter

The letter below was sent by the campaign steering group to the Sunday Times, following its publication early in February 2003 of an article written by by Lois Jenkins. The letter was not published.

February 2003

Dear Sir,

In the interests of balance, may we ask you to print this response to Remembering Billie-Jo by Lois Jenkins on page 3 of the 9 February ‘Review’ section.

Despite its title the purpose of the piece is unclear. It is a lengthy exploration of a personal agenda, from which a flawed and tortuous argument emerges.

You say that Lois Jenkins speaks out about ‘the day that shattered her family’. In fact she speaks out about a great deal more, using the opportunity to make a number of hostile insinuations about Siôn Jenkins, her ex-husband, and openly attacking the work of the CCRC. Her motives, as well as her timing, invite scrutiny.

She deliberately seeks publicity while claiming revulsion at intrusive media attention. Six years after the murder her name has largely faded from public memory. She is free to get on with the new and better life she describes. Why has she chosen now to rake the embers of the past?

Billie has never been forgotten. Those who knew and loved her remember her daily. Their memories can only be sharpened by the sixth anniversary of her death.

Lois Jenkins offers no evidence to support her bitter comments about her former life; instead she dangles dark hints to bait her readers’ imagination. Her attack on what she calls the ‘justice industry’ is also perplexing. She implies that because Siôn Jenkins has lost one appeal it is perverse and time-wasting for him to pursue the matter. The case of Sally Clark, who also lost a first appeal, suggests otherwise.

Siôn Jenkins has always maintained his innocence; the safety of his conviction remains in doubt. His own family and friends have always stood by him, and support him without reservation. They are joined by a wide variety of legal and scientific experts as well as hundreds of members of the public, united by a deep concern that a miscarriage of justice has taken place.

Like any other appellant, Siôn Jenkins is entitled to the impartial process of the legal system.

Billie is missed and remembered by many. When her life was brutally ended six years ago, a number of other lives were irreparably damaged. It should be remembered, with respect, that no one involved in this tragic situation has a monopoly on suffering.

Yours faithfully , etc.

We believe that the content of that letter remains valid, and the questions it raises are as pertinent today as they were three years ago, and we present it for consideration.

February 2006