Judge rejects husband's murder claim

PUBLISHED: 11:44 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

Michael Porter

Michael Porter

A WIDOWER who has campaigned tirelessly to prove his wife was murdered after she was found hanging from a coat cord in a hospital cupboard has failed in a High Court bid for a fresh inquest. Michael Porter, 45, of Hillbrow, Letchworth GC, told judge Mr

Sally Jane Porter

A WIDOWER who has campaigned tirelessly to prove his wife was "murdered" after she was found hanging from a coat cord in a hospital cupboard has failed in a High Court bid for a fresh inquest.

Michael Porter, 45, of Hillbrow, Letchworth GC, told judge Mr Justice Hodge: "I believe my wife was murdered. There's very much more to this case than meets the eye."

He rigged up in court a device made of poles and ropes - and put his head into the makeshift noose - to try and demonstrate that it would have been impossible for his wife, Sally Jane Porter, to have hanged herself while being treated at Lister Hospital in April 1998.

Mr Porter believes that she was killed in a chair and then placed in the cupboard to cover up her killing. He claims that he has been lied to, and the authorities have been lied to, from beginning to end.

A pathologist said the cause of death was inhalation of vomit "as a consequence of suspension".

Mr Porter was challenging the refusal of the nation's top law officer, the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, to sanction a fresh inquest into his 35-year-old wife's death.

An inquest jury returned an open verdict on Mrs Porter's death, but Mr Porter told the judge that, while he had no wish to point the finger of blame at anyone, vital questions remained unanswered and he was convinced his wife had been murdered.

He said 10 injection marks had been found in his wife's arm after her death, only seven of which were accounted for by her medical treatment.

In dismissing the widower's judicial review challenge on Monday, Mr Justice Hodge said it appeared that Mrs Porter had had a long history of depression and had taken overdoses in the past.

She was admitted to Lister Hospital after the death of her 13-year-old son Christopher and the judge said she had "lost two other children previously in the 1980s".

The judge said he had no power to overturn the Attorney General's ruling that it would not be "necessary or desirable in the interests of justice" for a fresh inquest to be held.

He added: "I'm sad that Mr Porter continues to find it impossible to accept the verdict in the case of the death of his wife. But this court cannot help him and his application has to be dismissed."

After the hearing, Mr Porter said he was "disappointed, but I was being spoken to honestly by the judge.

"It was not his fault. He went by the law but sometimes the law needs to be changed."

Mr Porter is now waiting to hear from the Independent Police Complaints Commission the outcome of its investigation into his string of allegations made against Hertfordshire Constabulary following the death of his wife.

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