James Golden

On 5th January at 11:50pm, 18 hours after the discovery of the
murder, Mr. Golden gave a statement to police in South Hetton that on the 4th January at 11:50pm he was overtaken by an E-Type and an old Jaguar car as he was cycling past Burnips Farm.
At this point the police had not established their theory for the
timing or location of the murder.

On 8th January the police received a phonecall call from Mrs. Burnip, who said she’d heard two sharp cracks in the night outside her farm. The police assumed these were gunshots and starting to build their case.
So at 4:30pm, the Regional Crime Squad visited Mr. Golden again and this time he changed his statement completely. He moved his position where he was overtaken by Jaguar cars from Burnips Farm to about a mile further down the road to Hutchinson’s Farm and he altered what he originally said about the Jaguars.

On Jan. 9th at 3:30pm, the police found 5 shell cases spread over 135 feet on the kerbside of the road opposite Burnips Farm along with spectacle frames and pieces of perspex in a neat heap.
The police now were certain this was the murder site and they also came up with a time.
After examining the statements of the witnesses who had seen two Jaguar cars at Four Lane Ends, looking into the alibis of Stafford and Luvaglio and working out the timings that they did not have an alibi the police decided that the murder had to have been committed at 11.50pm.

This presented a huge problem though.
As this was the exact time Mr. Golden was cycling past the murder scene at Burnip’s farm and he hadn’t heard any shots or witnessed any collision.
It was time for Mr. Golden to make another statement.

On Jan 8th Mr. Golden was summoned to Peterlee Police station, where he was pursuaded to change his statement for a third time by a Detective Inspector.
His position, where he said he had been passed by the two Jaguar cars remained at Hutchinson’s Farm, as per the second statement but the time was changed to 11:45 pm.
Problem solved.

This third statement made no mention that there were any
preceding statements, giving the jury the impression that Mr. Golden had only made one statement.
The defence were not made aware that two previous statements had been taken.

As further debris had been found neatly deposited in Pesspool Lane it was the prosecution’s case that after the murder the two vehicles turned right into this small winding road.
At trial Mr. Golden was asked “Did you see the cars’ rear lights turn right into Pesspool Lane?”.
He answered “No, I could not see it.”

The junction of the A182 and Pesspool Lane could be seen from Hutchinson’s Farm, but it could not be seen from Burnips Farm,
where he was in his original statement taken on the 5th January.
The Defence pointed out that Mr. Golden would have seen the cars turning right into Pesspool Lane, which was very close to
Hutchinson’s Farm, if he had in fact been there.

Superintendent Kell also gave evidence in Court that from
Hutchinson’s Farm you could not see the turning off to Pesspool Lane.
Extensive experiments carried out by defence solicitors using five cyclists and also an independent report by a civil engineer proved this was not the case and Kell had either been mistaken or
deliberately not told the truth.

View the three statements below
(click to enlarge):