Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The Lynn Siddons Murder

This brutal murder took place in 1978 near Derby but the person who was put on trial was present at the killing but not responsible.  It took eighteen years for the family of Lynn Siddons to finally get justice, in the face of Police indifference and legal wrangles.  The person put on trial was fifteen year old Roy Brookes, a small, thin and weak boy.  The real killer was his evil step-father , Michael Brookes.  Lynn was led to a quiet spot by Roy Brookes, after being forced to by his step-father.

    Michael Brookes had a long and sick obsession with stabbing women.  In particular blondes.  Lynn was blonde.  He hid and waited then grabbed his victim and started stabbing her multiple times.  It was a frenzied attack.  When she did not show up later, her family searched for her but were told lies by the Brookes family.  The Police displayed total indifference to her being missing, citing that teenage runaways always return at some point.  After a number of days, she still had not returned home, but again the Police were indifferent.  Her family and friends were frantically searching all over, and putting up missing posters all over Derby.  Then the horrifying discovery was made.  Enquiries were made and Roy Brookes was arrested and charged, even before the post mortem report was made.  Police incredibly allowed Michael Brookes to speak privately to his son during questioning.  After Brookes left, Roy said that he alone did it alone.  How a tiny scrawny weak boy totally overpowered a taller, heavier and stronger girl was not questioned by Police.

    The family realised that Michael Brookes was responsible and had obviously persuaded his son to take the blame.  Brookes` alibi was totally destroyed in the trial and everybody in the courtroom realised just who the real killer was.  Roy Brookes was cleared but, astonishingly, the Police would not arrest Michael Brookes, as he was not the person charged.  They did nothing in regards to the case afterwards.  The Siddons family knew that the only way to get Brookes into court was they would have to do it themselves.  They started a campaign of harrassment to the Brookes` and wherever they moved, they tracked them down.  Local MPs actually turned detective in order to get justice.  Much information was gathered but every time the DPP would not prosecute.  Eventually, they took Brookes to court with a private prosecution for damages, which they won.  With damning evidence presented, still the Police and DPP would not budge.  Brookes was even going about boasting about what he had actually done, but still the Police did not want to know.  Years on, and a new Chief Constable brought action and in 1996, Brookes went on trial.  Finally, he was convicted and sentenced to life.  This all would not have happened without the dogged determination of Flo, Gail and Cynthia Siddons.  At one point, one of the Siddons women drove a car to frighten Michael Brookes.  He had to scramble out of the way.  He went crying to the Police, who not surprisingly, put more effort into arresting and charging her than they did with Michael Brookes.

    It is a sad and sick reflection on right and wrong that Police can turn a blind eye to a man boasting about committing a truly savage murder, and not display any commitment to solving the case.  With Roy Brookes, it was a rush to judgement.  Eighteen years to get justice with a man that all of Derby regarded as a ruthless killer.  Except the Police, that is.