James Jones(left) former Bishop of Liverpool and James Thompson (right)

Bishop of Liverpool visits Formby murderer in jail in bid to clear his name

The former Bishop of Liverpool has visited a convicted murderer in prison because he believes he could be innocent.

James Thompson was jailed for life and ordered to serve at least 10 years behind bars for killing Antony Johnson in Southport in 2009.

The 25-year-old was convicted after a jury heard how dad-of-three Mr Johnson, 47, was on a Christmas night out, when he was repeatedly kicked in the head while he lay defenceless on the ground.

Prosecutors said the victim was trying to help two upset teenage girls when he was attacked in Lord Street.

anthony johnsonAntony Johnson, who was killed on a Christmas night out in Southport in 2009

A later appeal at the High Court in London failed after a judge described quantity surveyor Thompson’s actions as ‘launching drunken gratuitous violence’ on the victim.

But now a campaign has gathered momentum to clear Thompson’s name, with the Right Reverend James Jones – who was involved in the case of Liverpool fan Michael Shields who was eventually granted a royal pardon after being wrongly convicted of attempted murder in Bulgaria – backing him.

The religious leader has looked at the murder case files, and said: “I have studied his papers, have taken advice and strongly believe there are very firm grounds to question the prosecution case and the safety of James’s conviction.”


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