Katie Ward | Writer

Shute Festival 2019

During the promotion of ‘The Pretender’ I met one of the organisers of Shute Festival on a Twitter forum I took part in. This is a literary festival that I run in the little village where I grew up and takes place in the local church with all profit made benefitting the local school and church.


When I was asked to become involved in organising the 2019 festival, I jumped at the chance.


In March 2019, while I was in Canterbury for my Books 2 Africa interview I had BBC Breakfast on while I was getting ready. They were talking to an eminent forensic scientist about a book she had released. Then they asked her “of all the cases you have been involved in what is the one that has caused you the most concern”. As she began to reply, I noticed I had stopped and was enthralled a I almost had a feeling I knew what she would say.

In 1987, there was a murder of an elderly woman in her rural home in Shute. A local man was convicted and sent to prison but there was always a fear that a miscarriage of justice had occurred. A Channel 4 documentary in the late 1990’s highlighted some of the major discrepancies within the case.

As I stood watching the TV, Professor Angela Gallop responded by saying that the one case she felt most uneasy about even to this day was the murder that took place in Shute.


Realising how amazing it would be to have Angela come to Shute to talk about her involvement in this case as well as her extensive 40 year career in forensic science, I got in contact with her publicist to see if she would be willing to attend.


In September 2019, Angela Gallop was one of many brilliant participants of Shute Festival and to a full house explained her ongoing concerns around the murder that took place in Shute all those years ago and how she would like to do more to help on this case if the opportunity should ever arise. As well as Angela, many others in the law enforcement world remain concerned today about the conviction made in this case and the likelihood that an innocent man was sent to jail for a murder he did not commit.

Katie Ward | Writer