28/01/2013 Inside Out Yorkshire and Lincolnshire


Has the man convicted of murdering Molly Wright suffered a miscarriage of justice? The financial state of the region's rugby league clubs. And remembering the Lincolnshire floods.

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Good evening. Welcome to the programme. Tonight we are in


Castleford. Here is what is on the show. The family torn apart by


murder. We investigate whether new evidence could point to a


miscarriage of justice. There is new evidence, things that the


defence were not aware of at the doubt -- at the time, that cast


serious doubt on this conviction. As fans get ready for the start of


the Rugby league season we look at a financial health check. The seas


swamped community after community wreaking devastation right along


the North Sea coast. And we remember the dramatic east coast


floods, 60 years on. Four years ago a trader from this market was


jailed for the murder of his mother-in-law. The family are still


fighting to clear his name. A private investigator hired by the


family believes he has uncovered important new evidence. This is


Castleford, at the heart of what used to be mining country. It is a


busy and bustling kind of place but a story unfolded here that turned


into a terrible tragedy. Seven years ago, Maxine Hill had plenty


of reasons to enjoy life. She had a close family, and a good job as a


teacher. Then, out of the blue, everything changed. Maxine's mother,


Molly Wright, was found murdered at her home. She'd been battered to


death. I felt as though I could not speak, I could not respond. It was


just a huge, huge shock. Maxine had lost her mother in terrible


circumstances. But then things got even worse - her husband David was


arrested and unanimously convicted of Molly's murder. There were gasps


from the public gallery and his wife and family were left in tears.


It was devastating. To lose my mother in those circumstances and


then have that. I cannot describe how awful it was. She does not


think her husband is guilty and it is not just her, it is her sister


and her in-laws as well. I could not have wished for a better


brother-in-law. He is very, very gentle. He is not that person who


could do such a thing to my mum. The legal team still have strong


doubts. The doubts have not been allayed as far as I personally am


concerned. What we now no need to be taken into account. The family


turned to a private detective - Andrew Brown, who used to be head


of West Yorkshire Police CID. He's done his own investigation, and


he's found new evidence suggesting the wrong man could have been


convicted of Molly's murder. more you look at it, things that


the defence were not aware of at the time, the cast serious doubts


on the conviction. Maxine and David Hill have been married for twenty


years. They always saw a lot of Maxine's mother, Molly, who lived


nearby. They went on holiday together. David became a partner in


his mother-in-law's greeting cards and gifts business at Castleford


Market. Non-one ever saw any problems between David and his


mother-in-law. He could never do enough for people. He was always


very kind and helpful. Then in September 2006, Molly was found


murdered at her home. David said that he came to the house on the


Wednesday afternoon and found Molly on the kitchen floor. She had been


battered around the head. He immediately called the emergency


services and when the ambulance and police arrived that was the


discovery of Molly's murder. David Hill was convicted largely on the


basis of forensic evidence. At his trial, it was stated by the


prosecution that the type of blood spots on his clothes could only


have been caused if he'd been Molly's attacker. David did have a


motive. He owed around �20,000 on credit cards and his mother-in-law


was a wealthy woman. The family said there was nothing unusual at


the time of Molly's murder and about David's finances. Before he


knew he was a suspect, Hill gave false information about where he'd


been earlier that afternoon, and there were suggestions he'd been


taking money out of the business without Molly knowing, all evidence


which appeared to go against him at his trial One mystery was never


solved. How did Hill get rid of the murder weapon, which must have been


a blunt object? Despite extensive police searches, it was never found.


Since Hill's trial, the interpretation of the forensic


evidence has been called into question. His legal team claim it's


been seriously undermined. The jury was told that the kind of blood


spotting on Hill's clothes meant he had to be the killer. But now, a


leading expert on blood stains disagrees. The defendant explained


to the police that he had got very bloody hands and on and number of


occasions shook his hands vigorously up and down his body to


try and get the blood off. The blood spots that one sees are


certainly not inconsistent with what might be called innocent


action. Forensic evidence was central to the prosecution case. If


they had heard contrary evidence at that time and it had been available


to be considered there is a real prospect they might have made a


different decision. Hill's legal team believe this new evidence


could have led the jury to a different verdict. And now Andrew


Brown has uncovered new evidence which places an alternative suspect


near the scene of the crime, someone whose motive could have


been robbery. New witnesses have come forward who have said there


were people collecting drugs at all times of the day outside Molly's


house. One of these new witnesses, who doesn't want to be identified,


says drug dealing happened all the time. There were always people


stood waiting, cars parked opposite. I did actually see people going


across with cash and paying it to people sat in the car. And there's


another new witness, who wasn't interviewed by police. She saw an


alternative suspect near Molly's home just after she was murdered.


She saw a man standing just round the corner on the afternoon of the


murder. He was holding a plastic bag, which seemed to contain a


heavy object. It could solve the mystery of what happened to the


murder weapon. This witness asked as to disguise her appearance and


voice. "He was just stood there. The thing that struck me as odd was


the way he was holding the carrier bag. It looked like it was wrapped


around an object. I've never seen him again. There's no doubt in my


mind that he wasn't David Hill." The sighting was at 3 o'clock and


the Sun and Lobbe did not arrive until half past belief. -- the son-


in-law of. This sighting backs up information from another witness


given to the police during their initial investigation that a man


with a bag had been seen near the scene of the crime. The family say


cash and rings belonging to Molly have never been found. West


Yorkshire Police have looked at the issues raised by Andrew Brown, but


say they've found nothing significant, and there's nothing to


warrant re-opening the case. Up until now it David Hill has been


refused leave to appeal. The CCRC has refused to take up his case.


Maxine says she'll never give up. Now, a new attempt will be made to


get the case referred to the Appeal Court. For Molly and David's


relatives, life has to go on but, at family celebrations, two people


are missing. Sadly, they know Molly's gone forever, but they're


still hoping that David will return. Of course we will let you know what


happens and whether the family succeed in getting D Case looked at


again. Still to come tonight: Six years after the floods that


devastated the east coast we ask if it could happen again. When it


comes to sport there is only one game in town here and it is not


football. It is the Rugby league. This is a vital and here as the


World Cup comes to the UK. There are fears however over the finances


of our clubs. We asked our reporter For me Rugby league sums up


everything that is great about sport. It is fast, furious and


physical. It can be physical. When I came off of the court -- the


pitch it was in a bit of a mess. There are three or four teams doing


particularly well, three or four doing poorly and some that struggle


to wash their face financially. With as many headlines being made


off the field as on it, 2012 was not necessarily a season to write


home about. Will this one be any better. The last few months have


seen two teams almost caught out of business so I am going to test the


mood and health of the game in this vital World Cup year. Starting at


Craven Park where only 12 months ago the Rovers chair man issued a


dire warning for the sport. This man does not mince his words, last


spring he said the game was We live be on our means and did for


a variety of reasons. We have people who have a position in the


community, the club as important to In Super League, the teams have a


three-year franchise giving stability within the top flight of


the game. There's no promotion or relegation and the TV money is


divided equally between the 14 Unlike football, and to avoid a


financial arms race, there's a salary cap on players wages, but


rather than encouraging prudency, we've seen problems at Bradford,


Salford and Wakefield If some clubs are spending more money than they


make, should the salary cap be reduced from its current level of


�1.65 million? There are growing attendances at grounds. There were


strong viewing figures on television, but fundamental


problems remain. Some even suggest a cull of Super League teams from


14 down to 12 or 10. Enter town might Castleford, fancy you have


every right to wonder what the future might bring. It is the small


town clubs which should be most vulnerable in a slimmed-down Super


League. 20 miles down the M62, the Leeds Rhinos have much to feel


positive about - Super League champions and a club that's well


run both on and off the turf, so what do they make of the problems


facing the game? The prop up on the field has never been better, that


struck -- the crowd to a strong. The game was as good as it has ever


been. We do want that overshadowed by incompetence at club level and


that is what we have seen. We need to bigger selves of that poor


management. All clubs have a responsibility under Boult to play.


The majority of clubs are working very hard and making a contribution.


Some of the others have let the For those who watch the game


closely, the ups and downs of 2012 have been alarming to watch. Rugby


league has had its difficulties. What we have experienced in the


last 12 months, is that any worse than what we have seen before?


People have been predicting the death of rugby league from the word


go. Time after time digging has proved them wrong. It is a very


resilient sport. Now is slightly different to how the game was in


the past. Not only are the other sports are much stronger, but the


demands and other people's time is greater as well. And people's


houses are like home entertainment centres nowadays and it is


difficult to get people out into Rugby league's support base is


legendary and in this BBC documentary from 1969 you can feel


the passion. Come on! Get hold of him! The game's come a long way


since the days of Eddie Waring and mud-baths in winter, but finance


within the sport has always been a worry. So, to try and understand


the state of the modern game, Inside Out has asked a sports


finance expert to look at the books of the current set of Super League


teams. A detailed look at the balances sheets of 11 of the


league's 14 clubs reveals debts in excess of �60 million. There are


too many clubs in the league generating insufficient turnover


and debt. That alarms me as somebody who looks at finance and


researchers these things. Using a term like rugby league is staring


at a financial abyss I don't think is too harsh to say. A I disagree


with that. The game is in good health. Like every sport we have


our challenges, but the governing body is working very hard to meet


them. We have an regulatory regime that allows clubs to be profitable.


The work as close as you possibly can put those that aren't. Rugby


league's problems are, of course, dwarfed by those in football, but


later this week the Super League will kick-off without a main


sponsor in place. Other revenues may boost Super League's finances,


but at the moment new cash is coming from some unlikely sources.


Salford could find themselves being one of the wealthiest clubs with a


takeover by a millionaire racehorse owner. It will be a positive note


after a wretched last few months, which has seen the club facing


winding-up orders after the taxman and two former players chased


unpaid debts. It's the players' viewpoint that I've sought at the


end of my journey. With its shiny new stadium, St Helens is a


testament to rugby league in the 21st century. Built for �30 million,


it can hold 18,000 fans and here they feel the game still has a


distinct and robust future. But for the players these are uncertain


times, with the average playing career lasting just four years and


an average salary of �60,000. fear for youth -- you fear for the


financial security of your family. This is not sure investment


portfolio, this is your mortgage being paid, the basics of day-to-


day life. That positive message is echoed by the Rugby Football League,


who say they are working hard to combat debt in the sport. With the


spotlight on the game in its World Cup year, all within rugby league


would agree that the problems of Later this week a special memorial


service takes place in miniature German go one of the worst natural


disasters ever seen in the country. 60 years ago the East Coast floods


devastated the local community. Paul Hutton has been to meet some


people who can remember those events and asks whether could ever


happen again. Time might heal the scars, but the


pain of what happened on the East Coast 60 years ago goes far beyond


the damage to brick and mortar. It was a storm so savage, it's deadly


impact still reverberates around the community today. Back in those


days the a authorities were can place to be able to respond. People


didn't know what to do, where to go. Those of us who came out of it were


grateful that we did. It's a sharp winter's day in


Sutton-on-Sea and 81-year-old Bud Shields is in a hurry to get back


into the warm. More than most, he's aware of the lethal dangers of the


biting North Sea wind. Over the next few hours, the harrowing


experiences he is about to recount to the towns schoolchildren might


chill one or two to the bone. Hello! 31st January, 1953, a long


time ago, before you were born. I was there. I actually saw it happen.


I can tell you what it is like to be in a flood. Bud was one of lucky


ones surviving the most devastating floods this country has ever


experienced. He wants to make sure his story and those of some of the


victims are never forgotten. I saw all parts of the town just collapse.


I just saw a massive foam of white water. No-one realised how


disastrous it was going to be. people died here in Lincolnshire


and 307 elsewhere along the coast as a terrifying combination of high


seas, fierce winds and inadequate coastal defences swamped community


after community, wreaking devastation along the North Sea.


Elsie Birkett was another for whom that night's horrible memories will


never be erased. What happened to us was not as bad as what happened


to a lot of other people. Elsie was in Sandilands, close to where worst


breaches happened. The flood waters tore through the bottom of her


house and, after spending a night shivering in her bedroom, dawn


broke to reveal some of her neighbours had perished. We find Mr


Asher. He got his hands stuck in the branch of the tree, that had


kept him above the water. We found his daughter, Thelma. Thelma died


in our house. The other sister was the one who had panicked. She, her


husband at the baby had gone right, and to a baby and her husband were


lost. To understand how the storm happened I've come to Leeds


University, where climatologist Professor Stephen Mobbs has been


analysing the 1953 data. What were at the unique events? Three things


came together. We had a relatively deep area of low pressure that


developed over the North Sea. The low pressure over the sea sucks the


water upwards. The second thing was that there was going to be an


exceptionally high tide. This happens from time to time. The


third effect, associated with the low pressure we had a strong


northerly winds, exceptionally strong down the North Sea. That


pushes a wall of water ahead of it. This piles up at the sudden end of


the North Sea which has no were to go. That is when you get the


largest storm surge. All three of those effects came together to


create this event. Today, the heroism of how the East Coast


communities came together and organised their own evacuations


during the terrible deluge is setting the template for how people


will need to react if such a catastrophe ever strikes again.


experiences from the people from 1953 that they have shared that we


have been extremely useful in terms of being able to develop


educational programmes for schoolchildren, plants for the


voluntary sector. The new generations have no way did that


this happened. It is very important that we took some of that spoken-


word history and brought it into the present. I didn't feel


frightened to start what underlies all parts of the beach hotel


collapse. I saw people swept away and masses of water. People care


its, and helped. The Red Cross what they're handing out hot soup and


cloves and accommodation. Weather forecasting and communications have


improved beyond recognition in the past half-century. The systems


simply weren't sophisticated enough to predict exactly what would


happen in 1953. But the power of nature can never be truly predicted


and when a catastrophe occurs the emergency services can't be


everywhere at once. Where we are now would have been four feet deep


in water. Imagine trying to reach higher ground in those stormy


conditions. At night time you have no landmarks. It would have been


terrifying. You can see the height of the beach compared to the


community. We just didn't up the sea defences here. Looking out


across the Community, where we are standing is at the height of the


houses, or even higher than the bungalows. That poses a lot of


risks if the sea was to come over, the need to evacuate out. Since


1953 we have invested millions of pounds and sea defences. We use a


soft engineering approach. That serves a very shallow gradient,


which reduces the energy of the waves. It produces do reset the


people in the communities. survivors of 1953 are hoping they


are right. Elsie's family were so traumatised by their experience


they never returned to live in their house again. There wasn't a


lot of physical damage inside, but it was very dirty. My mother didn't


want to go back, it frightened her. She couldn't see her she could ever


be happy in there again. Back at the school, Bud's words of wisdom


are hitting home. Summoned coming in he has experienced it, it makes


you realise what it is like. It was fascinating, but para of the sea


was so strong. I was a bit shocked at how the seat could damage that


much. Storm surges as powerful as the 1953 example have occurred


since that fateful day and new the defences have held them back, but


the attacks will keep coming and predictions are that they are


likely to get worse. Sea levels are rising. It is rising quite quickly.


If you start with the see them much higher to begin with, then put a


storm surge and top of that and you'll get a bigger effect. We are


asking communities to develop simple steps of safeguarding the


Rhone communities in the short period of time but it would be from


incident to the emergency services respondent. He could be anything up


to three days. Anybody living in that area has to be aware that it


could happen one day. They have got to look after themselves.


That is it from us for tonight. If you eat -- watching in East


Three stories from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Toby Foster examines the murder of Molly Wright and finds out how her family believe there has been a potential miscarriage of justice. Her son-in-law was convicted but they still believe he is innocent and have hired their own detective to investigate. Ahead of the start of the rugby league season, George Riley gives our clubs a financial health check. And Paul Hudson looks back to the devastating Lincolnshire floods of 1953 and asks could it happen again?

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