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Convicted murderer protests innocence in letter to regional news website

CastertonA convicted murderer has protested her innocence in a letter to a regional news website.

Cornwall Live has published the letter from Michelle Casterton, left, who is currently serving a life sentence for her part in the death of vulnerable pensioner Terry Oldham.

Casterton, 45, was jailed in January 2015 for a minimum 22 years, while co-defendant Daniel Quinn will stay inside for 24 years and her then-boyfriend Aaron Mallen will serve a minimum of 25 years.

In her letter to Cornwall Live the mother of six claimed the prosecution “accept there is no evidence against me and I have that in writing”, and the site is currently awaiting receipt of this letter to verify her claims.

Reporter Chris Matthews told HTFP: “When a member of the print team brought over the letter I couldn’t quite believe it. I covered the majority of the trial and like the majority of Cornwall, I was shocked by the brutality of the grisly murder.

“Michelle Casterton was one of three sentenced to life after being found guilty by the jury but it was clear from the evidence read in court that her boyfriend Aaron Mallen was the ringleader.

“I have since covered Casterton and co-accused Daniel Quinn’s appeal and can’t say I lost too much sleep when they were thrown out such was the nature of the case.

“I read carefully Casterton’s claims that there was no real evidence against her and it’s true that no fingerprints or DNA was found on the murder weapon. However it is undeniable that Casterton was in the house around the time Terry Oldham was found dead.”

Mr Oldham was found “covered with extensive injuries” at a property in Camborne in April 2014.  A trial at Truro Crown Court heard he was “routinely bullied” by the three defendants who urinated on him, force-fed him dog faeces, prevented him from going to the toilet and stole his money and possessions.

The court was told the trio considered him “fair game” after discovering he had indecently assaulted a girl under 14 in 1987.  His injuries included “deep bruising” to his sexual organs caused by a broomstick being forced into his rectum.

After receiving the letter Chris interviewed Casterton’s parents Wendy and Barry, who also asserted their daughter’s innocence.

In her letter, Casterton had added: “Yes, [Mallen] was my boyfriend at the time but I truthfully had no idea he was treating [Oldham] so badly. If I did I would have said to the police. During my interviews I answered every one of the questions to the best of my knowledge.

“I have never been in any trouble and never been arrested before in my life. Being in prison is hard, but knowing you are in here for the worst crime imaginable and knowing that you didn’t do it and are innocent is unimaginable.”

Chris said: “Wendy and Barry, Michelle’s parents, were welcoming, good people and it was clear from talking to them that they are also serving a painful life sentence and unlikely to live to see their daughter walk out of prison. They highlighted issues with the conviction, some of which appeared to make sense.

“I still don’t know whether to believe Michelle Casterton is as innocent as she makes out but it’s clear she has maintained a close relationship with her family and is well thought of amongst staff in HMP Eastwood Park.

“I am currently awaiting a letter from the prosecution which is said to contain admittance from the prosecution that they have no direct evidence on her. Maybe when, or if, I receive this I’ll have a clearer indication of Michelle Casterton’s true involvement in the murder of Terry Oldham and if, as she says, she was out for the count upstairs while he lay dying.

“We originally intended to wait until the arrival of the letter to publish our full, more detailed and revealing piece but our hand was forced when our rival also interviewed Barry and Wendy a week after us and published the story the next day.”

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  • September 11, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Words honestly fail me at this awful piece of journalism.

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