Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders TV - Neil Wilby Media online
Anthony Steel served 23 years for the murder of Carol Wilkinson. He died four years after his release. Yorkshire Ripper: The Secret Murders, ITV 2022
This is an article, first written by Neil Wilby for the police whistleblowers’ website, uPSDWYP, in 2013. It has been edited and refreshed with new information and connected case history that has emerged since then.
Its importance at the time it was written, in aiding understanding of the incompetence and deep rooted institutional corruption that still dogs West Yorkshire Police, decades later, has not diminished in any way. It is a force plagued with serious investigation failings, and scandals, right up to the present day.
Anthony Steel was wrongly jailed in December, 1979 in one of West Yorkshire Police’s most notorious miscarriages of justice. Even after his name was cleared in 2003, following a release on licence over 4 years earlier, he never spoke publicly about his wrongful conviction for the murder of bakery sales clerk, Carol Wilkinson. Even though he had always vehemently denied any part in that crime.
But in a video, broadcast for the first time in 2009, two years after his death, Anthony gave his account of how police ‘persuaded’ him to sign a confession to the killing. During the interview, thought to have been filmed at his home in Halifax, whilst he was out of prison on licence, Anthony alleged that he was physically attacked during a lengthy interrogation by police officers.
He said: ‘How much do people have to stand? People getting on at you all the time, not leaving you alone and hounding you – a person can only take so much?’
‘Now you could put me inside and kick me to death, but I would never sit there and sign a confession again. But I was young and I’d never had experience of being in custody, or anything like it.’ Neil Wilby Media online article, ‘Rough Justice for Anthony Steel’