On Thursday 1st November 2007 – nearly four years ago, Miss Meredith Kercher, an attractive Surrey lass from Coulsdon was brutally murdered in Perugia in Italy. Meredith was just 21 when her life was viciously cut short.
Meredith had been reading for a degree in European Studies at the University of Leeds. At the time of her murder, she was studying for one year at the University of Perugia as part of the Erasmus student exchange programme. Based in Leeds in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the British Gazette is pleased to inform its readers that Meredith was awarded a posthumous degree by the University of Leeds.
Yesterday we saw two of the three people convicted of her murder released following a successful appeal which overturned these convictions. Throughout this process the attention of the media (both TV and newspapers) has tended to concentrate on one person, Miss Amanda Knox from Seattle, Washington state, USA.
As Meredith’s family return home to the UK, and Miss Knox returns to the USA, Holywood movie makers and US TV companies are forming an (orderly?) queue outside Miss Knox’s US Agents for the rights to make films and TV dramas from these events. It is now generally assumed that Miss Knox will soon become a multi-millionairess, her financial security secured for the rest of her life. She need not now worry about finding employment – a common worry for anyone leaving prison.
At this point British Gazette readers may feel that Miss Knox has been an innocent victim in all of this and that any money she receives will help her, in the words of a former executive of BP, “get her life back.”
However, the British Gazette would point out that far from being wholly innocent, Miss Knox returns to her home a convicted criminal as she was handed down a sentence of three years imprisonment (she being released on a “time served” basis) and ordered to pay €22,000 compensation to one Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, a barman Miss Knox falsely accused of the murder. Whilst this offence in Italy is known as criminal defamation, under English and Scottish law this is akin to perverting the course of justice. We therefore have in Miss Knox a woman who has been convicted of a serious imprisonable criminal offence in line to receive millions of US $ for “selling her story.”
British Gazette comment: the British Gazette is firmly of the opinion that those convicted of criminal offences should not be allowed to profit in any way from their crimes. It is clear that if there is any money to be made it should be paid to the victims and the families of their victims, these being Mr. Lumumba and the Kercher family.