Neill Buchel murder: ‘Leg in the Lake’ murderer’s appeal rejected
- Credit: Archant
A court appeal which could have resulted in the re-trial of a convicted murderer who chopped up his friend and dumped his parts in a lake was rejected this morning.
Chas Quye, 36, of Stansgate Road, Dagenham, and Elvis Kwiatowski, 36, of Clopton Close, Royston, were sentenced to life imprisonment last year after being found guilty of killing Neill Buchel, 39, of Braintree Road.
The South African’s dismembered body was found in the White Hart Lakes in The Chase, Dagenham, on April 1, 2014, three weeks after he was stamped and kicked to death.
Although neither claimed to remember what happened, during the final stages of the three-month trial a note was brought before Blackfriars Crown Court, signed by Kwiatkowski, claiming Quye had played no part in the actual killing.
Although not mentioned in front of the jury, Quye’s legal team lodged an appeal to acquit him of murder after Kwitakowski also signed a further statement in September last year which claimed that Buchel had been killed by either himself or co-defendant Alan Quinn.
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“It’s conceivable that what Kwiatkowski is saying is right,” Iain Morley QC told the Royal Courts of Justice this morning.
“Maybe he remembers that he was party to kicking Mr Buchel, that Quye wasn’t there and that maybe Quin was involved.
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“It would seem that Mr Kwiatkowski remembers more than he said he did in court.”
Close friends since their school days, the pair had shared a cell until shortly before the opening of the trial and it was decided that the timing might actually harm his defence, rather than having the opposite effect, appearing like a last-ditch act of desperation.
“I wasn’t going to say that in court because at the time it would not have helped Mr Quye, because he would be convicting himself of murder,” added Mr Morley.
An application was made to discharge the jury at the time, but was rejected by Mr Justice Spencer for a number of reasons, including the timing, the possibility that Quye could have pressured Kwiatkowski to write the note and the impact it would have upon the three other defendants.
Reading out the note this morning, Lady Justice Sharp rejected the appeal on the same grounds.
“We agree with these reasons,” said Lady Justice Sharp. “There are no grounds for a re-trial, it would not further the interests of justice so we refuse the application.”
Buchel’s housemate, Scott “Gary” Hunt, 41, of Braintree Road, was sentenced to five years in prison, Alan Quinn, 28, of Lynette Road, was sentenced to three years (with 18 months to be spent in custody) and Bradley Andison, 47, of Villa Road, Rochester, was sentenced to four years (half of which will be carried out on licence) after all three were found guilty of perverting the course of justice.