Lord Widgery said, in his judgement for the 1973 appeal, that the Mark X came to an involuntary halt prior to Pesspool Bridge because the engine seized up with a hole in the radiator caused by a collision with the E-Type Jaguar, which happened during the murder of Angus on the A182 road at Burnips Farm between 11:30pm and midnight.
The Mark X was in the Police Compound from Jan. 5th onwards.
On Jan. 6th, PC 1349 McQueen (qualified Motor Car Engineer
under the Road Traffic Act) carried out his inspection in the Peterlee Police Station yard and put the inspection notes in his Police
Notebook. His notes read:
ENGINE STARTED – GOOD MECHANICAL ORDER.
On January 11th, PC 1349 McQueen (5 days later) carried out
another inspection. No explanation was given as to why he had to make a further inspection. The inspection notes were recorded in his
police notebook. He stated:
MARK X JAGUAR CAR RADIATOR PUNCTURED AND LEAKING BADLY – ENGINE KNOCKING.
His police notebook was suppressed by the police from the
Magistrates Court at the committal hearing, from the jury and the Judge at the Trial in March 1967, as well as the Appeal in 1968.
In fact, it was only discovered in November 1972 but still not
mentioned in the Judgements of Lord Chief Justice Widgery in January 1973 and the Law Lords in October 1973.
There was nothing at all on the front of the Mark X Jaguar or the back of the E-Type that could possibly cause a hole in the Mark X
An expert mechanical car engineer gave his opinion that he thought a screwdriver being rammed deliberately into the front of the
radiator could cause the hole and if the engine was left running this would make the engine seize up. The torsion bar of the E-Type measures 3/8 inch in diameter. The hole in the Mark X radiator measured 1/8 inch in diameter.
Police photos of the Mark X in the Peterlee Police Station Yard show the windscreen wipers of the Mark X in 3 different positions and in 3 different areas of the police compound. This would certainly
indicate that the car had been driven around the police yard and that the engine had NOT seized up.
Click below to see the DC McQueen’s pocket book entry and also an anonymous letter received by the Registrar of the Criminal Appeal Court in 1973.
(click to enlarge):