ANOTHER ARGUMENT WHY THIS MATTER NEEDS TO GO TO A CORONER:
In 1991 the police held the view Graham Stafford had helped dye Leanne’s hair in the bathroom and things became sexual, he got carried away and he killed her.
This is what was said by the defence at the 1999 Appeal ( I have not added the explanatory notes)
30. An issue arose in the original investigation of the case regarding the deceased’s hair being dyed. The original Police hypothesis seems to have been that the killing was sexually motivated and was precipitated by the Petitioner dyeing the deceased’s hair in the bathroom
31. When the body of the deceased was found her hair was a burgundy or titian colour. It was originally posited by the Police that the deceased’s hair was dyed. The Police case lacked a motive for the murder and the hypothesis of the hair dye provided a link to a sexual motive. This hypothesis was supported by Dr Ashby in her autopsy report and in her evidence at trial. It was raised by Police in their interviews with the Petitioner [Disc 1- 36:50mins, 40:00-40:25mins 28/09/91, Disc 2- 7:00-7:40 mins & 20:18-22:00, 28/09/91].
32. There was no evidence found by Police to support their hypothesis and subsequent scientific tests showed that the hair of the deceased was not dyed. In fact, despite Dr Ashby’s evidence at trial, the Police had abandoned this theory as early as the Committal hearing. The evidence quite clearly indicated that the deceased’s hair had not been dyed. The Crown did not otherwise suggest a motive for the murder.
33. Unfortunately the hair dyeing hypothesis went before the jury in the Police interviews and was unwisely raised by Defence Counsel with a number of witnesses at trial. Further, the issue of the deceased’s hair being dyed was mistakenly revived by later courts. This misconception added an extra element to an already complicated case. The Prosecution had a responsibility to make it clear at trial that their case did not suggest the deceased’s hair had been dyed and that they were not relying on it. Unfortunately the confusion remained and was exacerbated by the evidence the Crown led regarding the wheelie bin.
Fast forward 21 years to 2012 and the police now hold the view Graham Stafford had helped Leanne put peroxide in her hair in the bathroom and things became sexual, he got carried away and he killed her.
The Commissioner of Police wrote, in part, to the DPP on 23 August 2012: ” Leanne Holland had applied peroxide bleach to her hair but had not been able to fully spread the bleach through the hair before the process inexplicably ceased. This has been confirmed by microscopic and chemical examination of Leanne Holland’s hair. It was Leanne Holland’s stated desire to bleach her hair on 23 September 1991 with the assistance of Graham Stafford”.
What the chemical analysis would not show is the date and time the peroxide was placed in the hair and whether this occurred in the bathroom at 70A Alice St Goodna. A rather quantum leap, in my humble opinion, for the Commissioner to make that connection.
And of course that theory only has legs if it can be proven the murder occurred in the bathroom of 70A Alice St Goodna; and that claim is seriously questioned.
I wonder whether the scientists and the police considered the chemical reaction between peroxide and blood. (see youtube video below). I am not a scientist so help me out here. Would this be evident in the hair? Would it would make a lot more mess to clean up? In addition to the blood from the bashing to the head?