In what is possibly Scott Watson's first ever interview he comes across as complex in this months issue of North and South. He seemed to have been busting to tell his side of the story and why not of course. But unfortunately it appeared to me that in describing the police case manufactured against him he has brought too deeply into needing to explain something uncomfortable to the public - that he was framed more by rumour and deliberate misinformation than by evidence. He came across at times as though arguing that the entire police force and even the prison administrators were against him when that is simply not the case.
Such descriptions took the emphasis away from the main doubts about his convictions. I think he needed to be hammering them, rather that trying to convince the public of a plot against him rather than a lack of evidence. While he may be well justified, as he appears to be, to denounce the police investigation - that unfortunately doesn't resonate broadly in the public mind. The public I think are given the option to either accept that Watson is obsessed to the point of fuelling suspicion against himself or confirming already held opinions of his guilt rather than accepting his argument that the entire police force is corrupt. For example had he merely said that officer in charge of the police case had only been able to put Watson and the young couple together by employing an apparently deliberately deceitful manipulations of 2 prime witnesses and photographs which now longer stood, a telling aspect of the failure of the case would have stood firm - giving a strong, inescapable argument for a retrial.
Of course Watson is not trained in public relations as he clearly told Mike White from the North and South magazine. Nor is his father. Scott Watson also showed he does not have the single mindedness of arguing how the case against him has now failed, compared to the time of the trial. Again he has brought into the rhetoric used by the police to arguing in circles on the periphery of the evidence, rather than right at the heart of the unsoundness of his conviction. That suits the police, they take advantage of the misinformation against Watson because Watson himself raises it time and again.
What do the public need to know? Something simple, easy to follow rather than an over burdened picture with details they might find scary or even bizarre. It is at this point that the complexity of Watson himself works against him. I think that is entirely understandable on the 1 hand but very destructive on the other. I for example wanted to hear about his recent failed application under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. I looked forward to a tight argument based on tight facts as to why that application is, or should be, taken for Judicial Review. Though it cannot be a surprise that Scott Watson perhaps is unable to appreciate the simple detail of the failing Crown case against him when so much about his conviction is over burdened with pointless detail and insinuation.
The Crown needed to put Watson and the deceased Ben and Olivia together. Whilst they did to that at the trial through 2 witnesses, the water taxi operator and the bar manager both recanted and now say they were tricked into their identification of Watson being with the couple. That is a simple and crippling point in the Crown case. Watson cannot be reliably placed with the deceased couple before or after their deaths. Moving forward from that is the description of Watson's boat compared to the much bigger vessel the couple were dropped of at after leaving the hotel. The descriptions are not the same, even remotely. The Crown argue that Watson came ashore after alone being dropped off to his boat with the couple, however that is a theory they have been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt.
Where Watson explains point by point the dismantling of the evidence against himself, he either fails to appreciate, having brought hook line and sinker the report into his failed application for The Royal Prerogative of Mercy, that the dismantling of various facts once held against him not only need to be looked at in isolation but in continuity. For example the recanted identifications cannot be relied upon to prop up the case against Watson in other areas. The bar manager and the water taxi driver that put the couple together with Watson no longer stands, that is from the witnesses themselves. There is no longer any credit the Crown can take from evidence that has been withdrawn and this indicates the real Miscarriage of Justice that is now the Watson case. The Crown in Law cannot rely upon evidence that no longer exists to prop up other evidence that is contingent upon the failed evidence. In short what puts the couple on Watson's both if the water taxi driver says it wasn't he that put the couple on Watson's both but on a large ketch and not in the company of Watson but another man? Nothing. If the 2 witnesses are mistaken in their recantation let a Jury make heads or tails of it, let a Jury decide having first heard the witnesses evidence and cross examination, don't allow their evidence to a credit to the Crown in a case which has failed.
Following those recalled identifications there really are only 2 other issues in question about the purported validity of the Watson verdict. Firstly his 'confession' to a stranger in prison which has also been recanted. Because the Crown could not find the witness the investigator of Watson's application for the Royal Prerogative of Mercy allowed the evidence to stand. Well hello, if the police no longer have positive identifications of Watson with the couple that can't be support for the police being unable to find their own witness who has recanted anyway. This is the systematic failure in the case against Watson, doubtful or recanted evidence used to hold together other doubtful or recanted evidence. Watson, in his interview, didn't focus on that - instead he gave breath to peripheral stuff which included a media campaign. Well, the media campaign, if it can be called that - doesn't put the couple together with Watson, only hard unimpeachable evidence can do that and it does not exist.
I've written before about what appears to be keeping Watson from his freedom 2 hairs found on a blanket in a lab. While the blanket had been taken from Watson yacht and over 400 hairs removed from it 2 distinctive, blond and long hairs were not found. The 'hair search' was conducted by a scientist in a laboratory situation. It was only after a second search, and following hairs being uplifted from the home of Olivia and delivered to the same Laboratory that 2 hairs from un unknown number of introduced hairs were found on the blanket in a subsequent search. Those 2 hairs at Watson's trial backed up the identifications of Watson being with the couple. However when those identifications are withdrawn the 2 hairs become something entirely different, evidence in isolation that 2 hairs were found on a blanket already carefully searched and only found after a bag containing an unknown number of hairs was introduced to the laboratory.
On the subject of the hairs and the mystery ketch, elsewhere on this blog has been submitted a photo of a ketch which really ought to have been seen by the Jury and put to witnesses at the trial as in fact the vessel that the couple went aboard. Also elsewhere on this blog is an analysis of the forensic value of the 2 hairs. That analysis, and perhaps this is not known to Watson, shows that the 2 hairs indicate the same hereditary line of Olivia and her sister, that they were both the daughters of their mother - the conduit of that hereditary line. They could have been the hairs of one sister or the other I understand, that is a could rather than a definite. Something else that favours Watson since the identifications and so called confession no longer stands, not only are the couple not put in the company of Watson by witnesses, or on is boat but that 2 hairs apparently pivotal to the validity of Watson's conviction prove neither to be those of Olivia beyond reasonable doubt, or in fact not to have been absolutely unable to have arrived on a blanket in a laboratory 'between' searches other than by some kind of evidence contamination. The case against Watson is in tatters. The credibility of the Exercise of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the Crown's own agents is in tatters and should be taken to the Court for Judicial Review.
Scott Watson should be paroled in the meantime. It is an absurdity that his lack of admitting being responsible for the deaths of Ben and Olivia is held against him for parole. This is a form of witchcraft belonging to the dark ages - 'confess and be forgiven otherwise rot in hell.' There is not place for such sentiment in controversial cases. Watson is smart enough to know that his bucking of the system is working against him, stealing 1 year after another. He is trusted enough to be in minimum security to have worked in prison forests. He may be obsessed with the crisis that has been brought upon him, how a system works against the innocent and guilty equally and most often against the innocent more so - but that too does not make him guilty. It makes him frustrated and no doubt unbelieving that a system cannot correct itself.
Watson built his own yacht in quick time, spoke about building his own home. He is no doubt a practical and methodical person, those building skills and method now need to focus on an absolute truth that Ben and Olivia cannot be put in his company beyond reasonable doubt on the morning of their disappearance, or on his yacht, take that to the High Court for review.