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Man convicted of 30 year old murder and attempted murder

A man has today [Friday 6 May 2022] been found guilty of murder and attempted murder, dating back to August 1990. He will be sentenced on the 28 June 2022.

Rickie Michael Tregaskis aged 53 (16/01/69) has been convicted of the murder of Barbara Griffin, who was 59-years-old at the time of her death, and the attempted murder of her aunt Emma Anton, who was then aged 85-years-old.

Tregaskis was initially tried for the crimes in 1991 but was acquitted on both counts. States of Jersey Police conducted a cold case review in 2012 and a subsequent re-investigation, and following a change in law in 2019, officers were able to resubmit the case to the Law Officers Department (LOD) for Tregaskis to be re-charged with the offences. The case was referred to the Jersey Court of Appeal, and in November 2021, the original outcome of acquittal was quashed, allowing for a fresh trial to begin on 26 April 2022.

The court heard how, on the night of 2 August 1990, Tregasksis who also lived on the Le Geyt Flats estate where the crimes took place, entered the ground floor property where Barbara and Emma lay sleeping in their beds. The property was rented by Barbara, and her aunt Emma was in the island visiting her. At around 2am, Emma was stabbed several times to the left side of her body while in her bed and while coming to her assistance, Barbara received a fatal stab wound to her heart. Tragically, Barbara was pronounced dead at 4.40am, Emma miraculously survived her injuries.

A number of witnesses provided police with descriptions of an attacker fleeing the scene and following further enquiries, Tregaskis was arrested and charged five days after the incident, on 7 August 1990. He was tried in the September – October of 1991, and the jury unanimously found him to be not guilty.

This is a landmark case for Jersey as this is the first case in the island whereby a person’s acquittal has been quashed and that person re-tried. This was only possible because in 2019 Jersey’s legislation was aligned with that of the UK in respect of ‘double jeopardy’. This has been in place there since 2003 and has been used successfully in only about 20 UK cases since that time.

Deputy Chief Officer, Stewart Gull, said: “Today we can finally see justice done as Tregaskis is convicted for his heinous crime committed over 30 years ago.

“I would like to firstly commend the family of Barbara and Emma who have supported officers through both the initial investigation, and this second re-trial; they have demonstrated courage, grace and immense dedication in securing justice for their loved ones.

“Despite the challenges faced, and sheer length of time, SoJP officers, along with the support of the LOD, have conducted a painstaking yet extremely professional review into this case, which has indeed paid off. Recognition must be paid to Lee Turner and Clyde Till, who led this review.

“I hope that today’s outcome has given Barbara and Emma’s family and friends some closure and sense of justice and that the two ladies can now finally rest in peace.”

 

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