Who? Paul Bacon, consultant solicitor, Bryan and Armstrong Solicitors, Mansfield.
Why is he in the news? Represents Michael Stone, who was convicted in 2001 of murdering Lin and Megan Russell and the attempted murder of Josie Russell. Bacon acted for Stone on his first application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission which was refused in 2011. A further application to the CCRC has now been lodged on the grounds that serial killer Levi Bellfield had confessed to another prisoner to murdering the Russells.
Thoughts on the case: ‘Michael Stone has always protested his innocence – the only evidence, ironically, being an alleged confession to another prisoner. All of which evidence was in the public domain.
‘The “Bellfield confession” contains significant information which is not in the public domain. In order to protect our informant, we had kept the details confidential, but we were informed that a national newspaper had obtained the story and was planning to publish it. We decided to hold a press conference so as to handle the disclosure ourselves.’
Dealing with the media: ‘We issued a press release on the morning of the press conference, which was held at 3.30pm the same day. It was attended by 30-40 representatives of the media. The BBC carried the press conference live, as did Sky. It became headline news. Throughout, the media were helpful. As a result of the coverage, we have received a significant number of new leads which will form the basis for further representations to the CCRC. I have been assisted throughout by counsel, Mark McDonald. We are confident the CCRC will now refer the matter to the Court of Appeal.’
Why become a lawyer: ‘After a short period of work experience in a solicitors’ office, I realised that this was my vocation. As a youngster, I had won a number of public speaking competitions and decided that I would enjoy advocacy.’
Career high: ‘As a member of the Law Society Mental Health and Disability Committee, I introduced a private members’ bill (supported by the Society) and the bill became the Criminal Procedure (Insanity and Unfitness to Plead) Act 1991.’