Case Overview

Flaws in the Crown’s case

The Crown claims that on the morning of the 19 March 2002 Glyn Razzell drove from his home to the centre of Swindon town and abducted Linda on her way to work.

Glyn did not know Linda’s routine.

Linda’s hours changed from term to term. The sites she worked at varied. Linda started work in 2000 a few months before they separated, but at the time Linda’s routine was to work around pre-school childcare commitments. Despite extensive Police enquires with Linda’s friends and colleagues, Glyn’s friends, and Alvescott Road residents, there is no evidence of Glyn knowing where Linda parked. Linda had only started to park in Alvescott Road to save money on her parking costs after they had separated.

Glyn had not had any direct contact with Linda for 18 months before she disappeared.

No time to plan an abduction.

Glyn was due to be in France on the day Linda went missing (Tuesday 19th March) and only pulled out on the Monday (18th March) as his solicitors needed his affidavit for court to get his bank accounts unfrozen. Linda had obtained an order for this on the previous Friday. Due to the fact that Glyn’s car was a people carrier and the purpose of the trip to France was to stock up on wine, his friends asked if they could still take his car because of its storage capacity. Glyn agreed which is why he had his friend’s car on the day Linda disappeared.

Glyn received a phone call

At 8.24am Glyn’s girlfriend phoned him on his landline for 1 minute 43 seconds just as she arrived at work. Police enquires revealed that Linda’s routine was to arrive in work between 09.00 & 9.15 on Tuesday’s, so she would normally park at around 08.50. It usually takes about 20 minutes to get into town depending on rush hour traffic from Glyn’s home, it could take as little as 15 minutes but often took a lot more. So to be sure of intercepting Linda, Glyn would have had to leave his home by 8.20am, get into position and wait to abduct Linda, so he would not have been at home to take the 8.24am call!

Sighting of the car

Glyn’s next door neighbour who has a clear unobstructed view of his drive confirmed that the car was parked on his drive both when she went out shopping at 9.30am & when she returned at 11.00.

CCTV on route to town centre

More than 20 CCTV tapes were seized by the police along all possible routes from Glyn’s address to the alleged abduction site. Many pictures were enhanced. The car that the Crown say Linda was abducted in does not appear on any of the tapes seized. Glyn could not have driven into town without passing one of these cameras, and be recorded on CCTV tape.

CCTV on route to Lydiard Park

On the morning Linda disappeared Glyn went for a walk to a local park. He passed a CCTV camera located on Westlea Police Station which pointed directly at the path he walked along. When Glyn retraced his walk with 2 officers a few days later, he pointed out the camera and asked the Police to check their tape. A number of other cameras were also pointed out that could possibly have Glyn on them. The Police claim that the camera on the police station does not record, although it is linked to recording equipment. There is no way Glyn could have known this, and he would therefore have been crazy to say he walked past it if he didn’t. 2 other cameras were identified but one was not recording and the other one was not followed up quickly enough by the Police and the tape had been re-used and recorded over.

Linda’s mobile phone was found by some garages in an alley that she walks through to work at Swindon College, the Crown claim that this was the abduction site & that the phone dropped out of Linda’s bag when Glyn abducted her.

The alley is only wide enough for 1 car. There is no room to turn a car. A resident saw Linda enter the alley on foot and he followed her in his car about 75 seconds later. He said no car entered or left the alley from his end. (Covert Police surveillance confirmed the time by monitoring his routine).

A driving instructor was parked at the other end of the alley waiting for his next lesson. He saw or heard nothing unusual.

The Police timed how long it takes to walk to the spot where the phone was found and that leaves only around 30 seconds for Linda to be overpowered, bundled into a car, the abductor to get back into the drivers seat, start the engine, drive off and clear the alley completely. It couldn’t have been done!

The phone was set to discrete which is an unusual setting to have it on if you are walking outside or in the car.

The phone was found on the 20 March 02 lying under a piece of wood with no sign of disturbance around it. At an initial police briefing it was reported that the phone looked like it had been planted there and had not fallen.

As you would expect, Linda’s phone received a large number of calls from the morning of the 19 March until the next day when the phone was found by police. 43 calls in total were recorded, 42 calls routed through the 2 nearest masts, but 1 call went to a mast over a mile away. This call was at 10.17pm on the 19 March. A phone expert said in court that he thought it was highly unlikely that at 10.17pm the phone was in the alley, because the signal from the mast a mile away was not detectable there. Glyn has a firm alibi at this time as he was with friends in Hungerford.

Linda’s boyfriend arrived at her car, parked 12 metres from the end of the alley at 10.15pm to check if it was still there.

The boyfriends DNA was found on the mobile phone.

A witness claims she saw Linda walking quickly and looking upset after the alleyway. The woman gave a good description of the clothes Linda was wearing that day and said she had also seen her on previous mornings.

The area is very busy around rush hour as there is a school nearby, it is also a residential area with lots of people getting ready for work. A nearby playschool starts at 9.15am and Police videos of the area show several mothers with pushchairs pass the end of the alley, they all look up as they cross. Any stationery vehicle, blocking the alley would have been noticed by someone.

The alley is overlooked by the windows of 12 houses and it has been shown that more than 40 people either drive or walk past it at the relevant time each morning.

There is no evidence of any disturbance in the alley. No screams, shouts or car doors banging were heard, and no blood, hair or skin traces were found despite forensic searches.

Not one person reported seeing Glyn, or anyone matching his description, nor did they see the silver Renault Laguna that was in his possession that day.

The Police questioned all the residents in the area and stopped all passers by on 2 Tuesdays after Linda disappeared. Hundreds of people were spoken to but there is no evidence of an abduction.

There is no evidence at all to link Glyn to the alleyway either on the morning of the 19 March 02 or any other time.

The Crown claim that Glyn drove an extra 60 miles in his car on the day of Linda’s disappearance, therefore showing he had driven somewhere to dispose of the body.

However, by looking at the amount of fuel in the car when it was next filled up and retracing Glyn’s routes in the car that day, an expert concluded that no extra miles had been driven based on the car doing 24 mpg, the figure usually attained by the car’s owner as it is a 3 litre V6.

It emerged in court that police officers who had done the same test had made errors with their calculations, they had not considered the amount of fuel put in the next time the car was filled up. It was initially denied by the crown that the Police had details of the next fill up. It was later admitted in court that they had always had the information.

The Crown claimed that Glyn stood to benefit from a substantial amount of money if Linda died.

Linda’s Will had been changed in 2000 leaving all her assets and money to the children. There is documentary evidence to show that Glyn knew this.

The life insurance taken out in 1992 on Linda would also go to the children. There is documentary evidence to show that Glyn knew this.

There is also documentary evidence to show that Glyn knew that Linda had taken steps to change the ownership of their house so that her share would not go to him in the event of her death.

If Linda disappeared, Glyn would not be able to sell the house for 7 years and would have to put his life on hold for years to come. No life assurances will pay out without a body. There is documentary evidence to show Glyn knew this.

The Crown claimed that Glyn deliberately turned off his mobile telephone on the morning of the 19 March 02 so that his whereabouts could not be traced.

Glyn owned a Nokia 6210. Both defence and prosecution phone experts confirmed that this phone had a tendency to switch off on its own – this may be due to a loose battery or a software fault. Glyn’s phone bills show that there have been many occasions when Glyn’s calls had been diverted to voicemail as the phone had turned itself off.

The court heard evidence from a woman who worked in the phone department for Nationwide Building Society. She confirmed that many of the Nationwide staff have complained that the Nokia 6210s keep switching off. Nationwide was fixing this problem by issuing sticky patches to place between the phone and the battery.

The Crown’s own expert confirmed that Glyn’s phone had switched itself off whilst being carried in his trouser pocket.

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