Exclusive: Bamber lawyer to take on Balkwell case

PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 July 2012

Lee Balkwell

Lee Balkwell


One of Britain’s top human rights lawyers has this week pledged to investigate the death of Lee Balkwell.

Simon McKay, the man who forced the disclosure of MPs’ expenses in the High Court, will launch a two-pronged legal attack on behalf of the Balkwell family.

Lee, from Elm Park, died in horrific circumstances at a farm in Upminster.

Wednesday will mark the 10th anniversary of his death.

Lee’s head and shoulders had been crushed in the mechanisms of a cement mixer at Baldwins Farm, Dennises Lane.

Police said the death was a tragic industrial accident and closed the case after 19 days, but Lee’s father Les, 65, has spent the past 10 years demanding a full criminal re-investigation.

A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), released in January after four years, found the investigation was “seriously flawed”.

Mr McKay has said Essex Police will first be served with civil proceedings over the mistakes made in its original investigation.

But the lawyer has told the Recorder he has also committed to a “dogged fact-finding exercise” into what happened to Lee the night he died.

He said: “What we will be doing is reviewing the case in its entirety. We have vast experience of miscarriage of justice work and can bring in the best experts from around the world if necessary.”

Mr McKay has said legal letters would be sent to the head of Essex Police, Chief Constable Jim Barker-McCardle, “in the next few weeks”.

It is the first time the Balkwell family will be formally legally represented outside the coroner’s court.

Les Balkwell said: “I’m very happy to be working with Simon. He’s the best of the best and determined to see this through to the end.

“With him on board I feel we will finally uncover the truth of what happened.”

The Leeds-based solicitor is steering an appeal case for killer Jeremy Bamber through the courts. Bamber was convicted of murdering his adopted family in 1986 to gain inheritance – but maintains his innocence.

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