Article

Jeremy Bamber Q&A

JEREMY BAMBER INTERVIEW

This is an edited interview with Jeremy Bamber conducted by telephone from Long Lartin prison, where he was, and still is, serving five life sentences. Bamber sounded, if not convincing, at least convinced. At the top of the letters he writes to his friends and supporters, he puts in capitals how long he has been inside:
2,833 DAYS OF WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT.

How do you feel now about your conviction ?
“I still can’t understand why I was convicted. It seems incredible to me, eight years after it all happened, still fighting away. There’s so much they don’t want to reveal, so much that they say they didn’t do which would have established my innocence. Had I been arrested immediately and an investigation done, then the truth would have been written much more closely. But, as my dad always used to say to me when any injustice happened to me in my childhood: “don’t worry Jeremy, the truth always comes out in the wash.” I think now the people helping me have been able to put together a package which, the bottom line, as they say, is that it is unimaginable that I would have been convicted had this evidence been before the jury.”

How much trouble have you had from other inmates ?
“Um, pretty much none, very little. I’ve obviously made one or two enemies over the years. I would say the majority of prisoners believe in me – after reading the paperwork, meeting me, quizzing me. The prison staff extend to me, personally, every facility that they can. Very friendly. It’s not the same in every jail, and not the same for every prisoner.”

Have you had any physical assaults ?
“One in Franklin – from a guard, not a prisoner. It was a control and restraint technique. I smashed up my cell and went on a shit protest. It was to do with my case, a daft protest really when I look back at it. I asked for it. Apart from that, in all these years, I’ve never been touched.”

What can you tell me about Sheila ? What sort of person she was ?
“God, that’s a hard question to do in just a few sentences. (Blows heavily.) You’ve sprung that on me. In her early life, a normal sister, interested in English and Art, a sensitive person. A fairly highly-strung person but, up until the age of 17/18, I got on well with her. We had much in common. Then she went up to London and got into the modelling and that changed her quite considerably. It made her too narcissistical (sic). Quite why she started to suffer from schizophrenia, I don’t understand. She suffered from delusions, which made her very distant. It’s very hard when someone you know so well changes so radically, really quite devastating to see someone suffering so much anxiety and not knowing what to do – mostly not having the maturity to deal with that. It makes me very sad now, that none of us – me, my family, the relatives – had understanding about what to do.”

There is conflicting evidence about her actual ability to have committed these crimes with that weapon.
“My own opinion is that she would have had no trouble.”

What about her actual experience ?
“I can’t say that she’d had any particular experience with that particular weapon. It’s not difficult, not sophisticated. They’re simple things to operate. If she’d watched a cowboy movie, it’s almost as simple as that.”

You believe that she committed those crimes using the silencer ?
(Pause). “My own personal belief, I believe that that’s a complete red herring. I don’t have evidence one way or the other on that, not hard evidence. I believe that she didn’t use the silencer.”

Do you see the spark of this crime being the possibility of her children being fostered out ?
“It was something that was discussed. That was one of the many, many options that were discussed over how best to help her. What were the outside pressures causing her such distress ?”

Do you have any regrets about the way you behaved around the time of the funeral ?
“No, because a lot of those things have been grossly exaggerated by the media. I was so devastated at the loss of my family, in a sense I was trying to buy love from my friends by happily picking up the tabs, spending money to buy their affection, because I needed their love. So, no, I don’t regret that… I didn’t do anything wrong.”

What about when you went on holiday ?
“That was just with Brett Collins – we stayed in a caravan, not an expensive holiday.”

Any other regrets ?
“Yes, I suppose I do regret things. Not understanding early enough what was really going on, with the family, being too selfish, too involved with what I was doing. I wish I’d been a better brother. Maybe Sheila and my mum and dad and Daniel and Nicholas would still be alive. I look back now and say, well, so much disturbance, why didn’t I do more ?”

ends