With humanitarian Terry Waite questioning the safety of the conviction of the law student Mark Alexander for murdering his conman father Samuel in Buckinghamshire in 2009, is it time that this curious case was reviewed?
“Locking people up should be our last resort when all else has failed, not a knee-jerk reaction” concludes prisoner Mark Alexander in his two-and-a-half page contribution to The Monument Fellowship’s Crime and Consequence: What should happen to people who commit criminal offences? in September 2019.
In another paper, published by the University of Ottawa in December 2018 and titled A Phenomenology of Freedom: finding transcendence in captivity, the University of London law graduate added: “Prisons, like Jurassic Park, are anachronistic institutions. When ‘the owl of Minerva takes flight,’ our descendants will look upon the use of imprisonment with the same horror and shame with which we view slavery, torture, and the death penalty today.” One would expect such virtue signalling from someone who believes they’ve been wrongly imprisoned, but now, with new evidence available, we join those asking: “Could Mark Alexander have actually been wrongly convicted of the murder of his father Samuel Alexander?”
Mark Alexander was found guilty of the murder of his “controlling” father on a date unknown between September 2009 and February 2010 “by a majority verdict and on the basis of circumstantial evidence only.” He was imprisoned for life at the age of 22 in September 2010 and after refusing to take a manslaughter plea at trial, thus lost the chance for release for at least sixteen years.
In spite of no forensic evidence being found that linked him to his 70-year-old father’s killing and burial underneath a 29-centimetre thick slab of concrete in the garden of their Drayton Parslow, Buckinghamshire home, Mark Alexander was convicted on the basis of the evidence of “suspicious neighbours” and his strange behaviour after his father “disappeared.”
Without doubt, amongst other actions, sending Christmas cards with his father’s name on when he did not know his actual whereabouts made investigating officers suspicious of Mark Alexander, but now, ten years after his jailing, new evidence has come to light that raises issues about the safety of his conviction.
On the homepage of the ‘Justice for Mark Alexander’ campaign website, the issues with the verdict are surmised as follows: “Mark has always maintained his innocence… Mark was found guilty on the basis of doubt created about his version of events rather than any evidence of his involvement in a murder. No such evidence exists. There is no known cause, or date, of death – and there were no traces of DNA, blood, or even fingerprints linking Mark to the crime.”
This month, however, the Mirror’s Tom Pettifor and Robin Eveleigh highlighted other issues that have been discovered since sentencing, amongst them that “secretive” Samuel Alexander was in fact a conman operating with “at least eleven aliases.” Aside from a caution for shoplifting in 1995, however, the Egypt born pensioner was not convicted of crimes that numbered mortgage fraud involving a number of properties. The “confidence trickster” and “fraudster” undoubtedly had enemies and as his son told the paper: “Dad always seemed to be running or hiding from something.”
Using human rights laws, Mark Alexander was, in March this year, able to finally obtain files documenting his father’s multiple identities from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. He became supposedly the first person in Britain to achieve such access and now also, according to the Daily Mail’s Alice Cachia and Robin Eveleigh: “[The Justice for Mark Alexander’ campaign] are also developing new mobile phone cell site evidence which they hope will provide proof of Alexander’s movements around the time of his father’s death.” They hint that this will show he could not possibly have been present at the time of the murder and burial.
Further highlighting the plainly deviant lifestyle of Samuel Alexander – a man described by Judge Reddihough at sentencing as someone who operated by “control” and “fear” – it has been revealed the pensioner spent “long hours on the computer surfing teenage chat rooms and sex websites, sometimes posing as a man in his late teens or early 20.” Could it be that he upset someone in the process and could they be his true killer?
Samuel Alexander lied also to his son about what had happened to his mother also and told him she had died of cancer. The pair were only reunited after Mark Alexander’s arrest and it can now be revealed he cheated her as part of a property scam also and of the case, the greatly respected humanitarian Terry Waite CBE has examined it also. He turned specifically to the way in which Samuel Alexander had been buried and remarked:
“I am disturbed by the conviction of Mark as I find it difficult to believe that a complete forensic examination was conducted before the jury found him guilty by a majority verdict. It was pointed out by the judge in his summing-up that the evidence was circumstantial, but even so he was convicted and sentenced.”
“A forensic investigation of the site was conducted by a chartered engineer and chartered geologist in 2017. This examination ought to have been conducted before the trial, but for reasons unknown to me it was not. Given that the site had been excavated by the police when searching for the body and afterwards refilled it was not possible for the expert to be totally certain about the dates when the different levels of concrete were laid. However, his conclusions, which are fully recorded in his report, suggest that the top level of concrete could not have been laid by Mark Alexander as he was not in that location at that time and can prove this. The report raises in my mind a reasonable doubt as to the safety of this conviction.”
Pictured top: Mark Alexander at his graduation ceremony with Terry Waite CBE.
Images: © freeMarkAlexander.org (CC BY-ND 4.0).
Further information about this case can be found at the ‘Justice for Mark Alexander’ Facebook group and in threads on the UK Justice Forum pages about the matter.
Something does not add up here. Convicted on the basis of no forensic evidence and the father was plainly a criminal. It does not take Cluedo to work out someone else did it and the boy was just a convenient scapegoat.
It seems the supporters are clutching at straws here. I remember this case. I would believe Mark Alexander snapper after years of abuse and just could not take anymore. He did not do a good job of covering his tracks and behaved very weirdly. Cannot see anyone from a chat room or mortgage company wanting to kill him – or a shop owner he’d done a Richard and Judy on either. Sorry, you are wrong – I think he is guilty.
How can some one be convicted for murder without forensic evidence?
I really hope that this case is looked at properly, it would be criminal if this
young man took the rap for this if proven innocent.
The police just wanted to close the case plainly and the son was plainly their easiest option for a conviction. Happens all to often and has been caused by the budget cuts implemented by Theresa May as Home Secretary. Justice denied by lack of resources.
This is crazy, I new nothing of this case, but any moron can see, Beyond all reasonable doubt never entered the jurors heads. At the absolute minimum there needs to be a re trial.
I do believe at the very least the case should be reopened. Lack of forensics especially on jeans worn by Mark Alexander (I saw in website gallery) important. Why was there no evidence of murder in the house or garage? Would suggest to me that he was killed elsewhere. There would have been something if he were killed there. Looks like a frame job to me.
Seems like more than a ‘reasonable doubt’ here, why is this guy still in jail? Get him out!
I’ve been reading up on this. I’m not sure Roger (above) gets what seems to have gone on here. This isn’t about the mortgage companies or the creditors. If Samuel was meeting young girls online and conning them out of their money, then it only takes swindling the wrong family for him to get in hot water pretty quickly. Isn’t this what happened to Alexander’s mum? She was 19 when she met a 48 year old Samuel. Now she’s blacklisted and penniless. History has a way of repeating itself.
I know Mark and I have read through the weighty tome of reports from the crime scene. It has been a long and arduous journey to reach the stage of having access to his father’s files. It has been equally arduous to achieve this current moment where press attention is growing. Can we imagine, frankly and honestly, what it is like being in prison for that length of time and with that psychological pressure faced on a daily basis? We cannot. That Mark has achieved his BA and MA, progressing to his doctoral studies now, is quite beyond me. Mark composes and performs on several instruments and is exceptionally talented. He is at the very least entitled to a re-trial and I hope and pray, on the basis of my personal knowledge of Mark, that he is released and heavily compensated for this gross miscarriage of justice. Pray for him.