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Woman convicted of murder dies trying to clear name

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(Originally published by the Big Issue in the North)

A woman from Royton who was found guilty of murdering her elderly aunt 21 years ago has passed away just days after the emergence of compelling new evidence which could exonerate her. 

68 year old Susan May, who was receiving treatment for cancer, hoped her case would be referred to the court of appeal after a report from a leading fingerprint expert was submitted to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) last month.

Sentenced to life imprisonment in 1993 for the murder of Hilda Marchbank, May consistently protested her innocence and was released in 2005 after serving her minimum tariff of 12 years.
At her trial a jury heard that May’s fingerprints were found in her aunt’s blood on the wall of the victim’s bedroom, placing her at the scene of the crime.

But the report by Arie Zeelenberg, the former head of the national fingerprint service of the Netherlands, concluded that the prints attributed to May were made before Marchbank…