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.