A decision on whether a supposed killer can appeal against his conviction has been delayed by around six months.

The Recorder reported in December that a decision was due “within weeks” over Harold Hill man Mark ‘Ozzy’ Osborne’s murder conviction.

But the childhood friend organising the campaign to free him has now been told there will be no decision until at least May.

Mr Osborne’s case has been with the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) – the only body with the power to send him to the Court of Appeal – for two years.

Mr Osborne’s lifelong friend Julie Major says she has obtained a bombshell recording of somebody involved in the killing admitting Mr Osborne had “nothing whatsoever” to do with it.

He was convicted in 2009 of murdering his friend Mark Tredinnick in Noak Hill, Romford, despite being in prison at the time over an unrelated matter.

The main evidence against him was the testimony of a “jailhouse snitch” – a fellow prisoner who claimed to have heard a phone call in which Mr Osborne discussed the murder.

The prosecution’s case was that Mr Osborne ordered the hit from within prison.

But the prison witness was a violent illegal immigrant who leveraged his story to avoid deportation, said Julie.

A con artist with 12 aliases and a firearms conviction, he was serving a public protection sentence for GBH at the time and had just been told he was going to be deported.

But his deportation was abandoned after he came forward with the story implicating Mr Osborne and said he would only testify in return for lenience.

Romford Recorder: Julie Major and Mark Osborne together during a prison visitJulie Major and Mark Osborne together during a prison visit (Image: Julie Major)

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In addition to her new audio evidence, Julie’s application relies on new science undermining ballistics evidence used at the trial to lend credence to the con artist’s account.

He claimed the phone call included discussion of firing ten bullets into Mr Tredinnick, which the prosecution argued was accurate.

But Julie claims the evidence shows there were actually only seven shots.

However, she and Mr Osborne now face a further wait for a decision.

"In our last letter we told you that Mr Osborne’s case had been passed to the commissioners for a decision,” the CCRC has told her.

“Regrettably, it was not possible to reach a decision and further work is needed… I am sorry for the delay this has caused. We will write to you again before the end of May to give you a further update.”