Protesters outside the Royal Courts of Justice called for Jason Moore to be released after Newsquest's Investigations Unit revealed the star witness in his murder trial now claims he was drunk at the time.

Jason, from Canary Wharf, is nine years into a life sentence for the murder of Robert Darby, from the Isle of Dogs, who was stabbed in the heart outside the Valentine pub in Gants Hill on August 24, 2005.

Jason and Robert's families protested together on Wednesday (March 29), as they intend to use Newsquest's new evidence to try to overturn his conviction.

Jason was charged with murder in 2012, the day after witness Abdul Ahmed picked him out of a photo ID parade and said he was the killer.

But when Newsquest tracked him down to to talk about discrepancies in his evidence, Mr Ahmed said: “It was the blink of the eye! I was passing by! How could you remember things like that? And I was drunk!”

Ahmed said he told the police he was drinking that morning – however, this was never mentioned in court or in any evidence disclosed to the defence.

Romford Recorder: Thomas Skinner, Lord Monson and Bobbie Cummines OBE were among the protestersThomas Skinner, Lord Monson and Bobbie Cummines OBE were among the protesters (Image: Newsquest)

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Jason's sister Kirstie said: "From the very start this chief prosecution witness' evidence never added up. So to hear that he was drunk makes a lot of sense."

She added: "It's also incredible that the fact he was drunk was withheld from us."


Part 1 - East End Killing: Is an innocent man doing life for a murder he didn't commit?

Part 2 - East End Killing: 'My brother is doing life thanks to an ID parade which should never have happened'

Part 3 - East End Killing: Witness and CCTV evidence never presented in court casts doubt on the case against Jason Moore

Part 4 - East End Killing: Star witness says he was drunk

Hornchurch resident Tim Darby, Robert's brother, said: "It's all down to principles. The wrong man is in prison for my brother's death and there's so much evidence of that. This isn't justice for anyone."

While encouraged by the momentum the campaign is gaining, Tim added: "It's all down to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Let's wait and see how that goes."

The commission has the power to send cases back to the Court of Appeal.

Romford Recorder: Jason Moore (top right) is serving a life sentence for murdering Robert Darby (bottom right)Jason Moore (top right) is serving a life sentence for murdering Robert Darby (bottom right) (Image: Moore family / Darby family)

Mr Ahmed was one of only two eyewitnesses to a clash outside the Valentine which resulted in Robert's death.

Jason has always said he was sat in the passenger side of his friend's car outside the pub, but didn't get out until Robert was already injured.

Mr Ahmed was the only witness who identified Jason as the killer and said the killer got out of the passenger side of a car.

Weeks after the incident, Mr Ahmed attended a photo ID parade where he was shown Jason’s photograph. He did not recognise him.

In another photo line-up on the same day, he identified a thin-faced man with very short, receding hair as the stabber. He was an innocent ID parade volunteer.

Seven years later, Mr Ahmed was asked to attend another photo line-up. He was shown Jason’s photograph again and this time chose him as the stabber.

“Ahmed’s evidence was effectively the evidence that convicted Jason Moore,” said retired Metropolitan Police detective Dave McKelvey. “This new material brings that whole conviction into question.”

Newsquest passed on its recording of Mr Ahmed’s comments to Jason’s pro bono lawyer Mark Bowen, of Shearman Bowen Solicitors.

Also at the protest were Lord (Nicholas) Monson, Thomas Skinner and Bobby Cummines OBE.

Romford Recorder: Reformed gangster Bobby Cummines OBE holding a Free Jason Moore shirtReformed gangster Bobby Cummines OBE holding a Free Jason Moore shirt (Image: Newsquest)

Newsquest asked the Met Police and the CPS last week to respond to Mr Ahmed's claims.

We asked the Met whether it accepted or denied that he had told officers on the day that he was "drunk". 

We asked the CPS, given Jason was charged as a direct result of Mr Ahmed's identification procedure, whether a charge would still have been authorised if it was known that he had been "drunk" at the time of the incident.

We also asked for the details of the appropriate officers at each body to whom our recording should be sent.

Neither body answered our questions.

NEXT WEEK: The authorities said pathology evidence proved somebody else brought a knife to the scene and stabbed Robert with it. Newsquest investigates the safety of that evidence.