10 FEBRUARY 1961, Page 15


SIR,—It is sad to read in the Spectator that 'if Mr. Butler feels that an inquiry would be embarrassing, a posthumous pardon for Evans would be almost as

good.' • On the contrary, a pardon without an inquiry would be worse than useless, except that the un- fortunate man's remains could be removed from the Pentonville quicklime, precisely. because it would be posthumous. Nothing we can do will help Timothy Evans, or the four women subsequently strangled by the chief witness against him. What we should worry about now is the chance of the same thing happening again: after all, it has happened before, to Oscar Slater and Walter Rowland.

There are quite enough disturbing factors in the Evans-Christie case to give a full-scale inquiry under someone like Lord Birkett or Lord Monckton plenty to ' work on--police irregularities concerning con- fessions and alteration (or disappearance) of evidence. The first priority is to recognise Evans's innocence: but if that is all Mr. Butler does there will be another hanged to pardon before long.— Yours faithfully,