The Independent London Newspaper
26th April 2019

Hampstead pensioner's killer to see secret evidence in bid to win re-trial

    Alan Chappelow

    Published: 3 November, 2016

    THE man convicted of killing a Hampstead pensioner in his tumbledown home and trying to steal his identity learned yesterday (Wednesday) that his defence team will be granted access to evidence heard in secret at his original trial.

    Wang Yam was found guilty of killing 86-year-old Alan Chappelow at his Downshire Hill home in 2006 as he sought to steal Mr Chappelow’s identity and empty his bank accounts. 

    His barrister Peter Wilcock QC, who hopes to gain a retrial for his client, told the Court of Appeal yesterday that his team wanted access to evidence that had been heard behind closed doors in the original trial. Earlier this year, the Criminal Cases Review Commission had given Yam the green light to seek to have his conviction overturned, on the basis that with so much of his evidence heard in secret, he was denied a fair trial.

    At the hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd ordered the release of evidence and transcripts of the Old Bailey trial to Yam’s defence team by December 22, with a view to hearing further arguments as to whether the convicted murderer should be given a retrial in the new year.

    Physics professor Yam was convicted of murder in 2011 and given a life sentence, but has always protested his innocence, despite the Court of Appeal upholding his conviction in 2012. He had claimed to be an informant for the British Secret Service after being granted political asylum following the Tiananmen Square massacre. 

    Before Yam’s trial started, a number of newspapers, represented by Gavin Millar QC,  applied for the order by the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith on the grounds of national security to be overturned, but their bid for the whole trial to be heard in public was thrown out. 


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