Hello, I am new to this forum...this is a little about me...Discover more about Gary Critchley From Northfield, Gary Critchley was jailed as a teenager in 1981 for a murder he maintains he did not commit. The Justice for Gary Critchley campaign group is fighting to have the case re-examined, and for Gary to be freed as soon as possible as he has been deemed to be of no danger to the public. Gary has been in prison for almost 30 years, despite the fact that, at the time of sentencing, the then Lord Chief Justice recommended he should serve no more than 8 or 9 years. Introduced to painting and drawing whilst in prison, he has become a prolific painter, winning a Koestler award and being supported by staff from a Cambridge University library where several of his paintings are displayed. Campaigners are fighting to clear the name of Gary Critchley, originally sentenced in 1981 with a recommendation that he should serve 'no more than 8-9 years'. Gary has spent, 30 years in prison. No longer jailed in relation to the original – and very unsafe – conviction. Gary is now detained at Rowan House, in Norfolk, as a result of attempts on his own life. Gary has become somewhat of a political prisoner: being punished over and over by a retributive system. Born in the outer ring of Birmingham in 1962, Gary was a well read young man. Tho always questioning, he wasn't classed as rebellious until discovering politics and punk at the age of 14 years. He was recruited at that age into the Young Socialist party and excluded from school for leading 'pupil-power' marches and picketing the school. Also aged 14 Gary was sent to juvenile detention centre for criminal damage and theft. During his time there he was physically and mentally abused and he describes this as a very shocking and negative period of his life. Upon release he quickly deteriorated, abusing various drugs and becoming involved with crime. In 1980, six months after being released from borstal, he went to stay in Campbell Buildings, a notorious London Squat, with a friend, for two weeks. On the tenth day of that two week visit, Gary was found severely injured on the concrete pavement four floors below the squat. He had a broken back, ankle and wrist, and was subsequently found to have suffered brain damage from a hammer blow to the front of his skull. Drug traces in his blood showed he had taken large quantities of sleeping pills as well as alcohol, and he was suffering with hypothermia when found. When police investigated the circumstances, they found a Mr Edward McNeill dead in the squat above where Gary had been found, and the room covered in blood. Most of the blood was Mr McNeill's, who had been bludgeoned with a hammer almost 30 times. Some of it was Gary's. Gary's blood was also found on a car crook lock inside the flat a bloodstained hammer – described as the murder weapon- was found inside the flat, and was found to have no prints or any other links to Gary. Bloodstained clothing (spare changes, from the squat) bundled up close by Mr McNeill's body included jeans which had traces of both men's blood and a T-shirt with only Gary's blood on it. Despite the fact that Mr. McNeill's blood had been spattered all over the room, not one speck of his blood was found on either Gary's clothing inside the room or Gary himself, when he was found on the concrete pavement some 50 feet below the squat. Charged and bailed for Mr McNeill's murder, Gary returned to Birmingham on crutches In May 1981 (despite numerous forensic discrepancies) he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be 'detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure', the juvenile equivalent of a life sentence. The then Lord Chief Justice recommended that he should serve 'no more than 8-9 years'. Gary has now served 30 years.