Unsolved Murders

Steven Burton

Age: 20

Sex: male

Date: 7 Jan 1996

Place: Cowley Road, Oxford

Steven Burton was stabbed at his house.

A man was tried for his murder in 1996 but acquitted. However, he later confessed, but because of the laws at the time on double jeopardy he could not be tried again for the murder, but he was convicted of perjury for lying at his first trial and sentenced to three years. However, after the laws on double jeopardy changed, the police attempted to try him again for the murder, but their application was rejected by judges who said that there were doubts over his confessions which were in part described as manifestly false.

The man had said that he had met Steven Burton, who was a heroin addict, and another addict in Oxford city centre on 7 January 1996 and had then gone off to Steven Burton's flat on Cowley Road where he stabbed him in the chest in the kitchen with a knife that he had taken from his girlfriend’s flat. He had said that his girlfriend had told him that Steven Burton had tried to rape her a few days earlier.

After being stabbed, Steven Burton was then taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital where he later died.

The man that confessed was initially arrested three days after the murder.

The man confessed to the murder in 1997 when he was in prison on other charges. At the time he had become a Jehovah's Witnesses and said that he needed to clear his conscience before he could be baptised.

He was then convicted of perjury in August 1999 and sentenced to three years.

The laws on double jeopardy were revised in 2003 and in July 2007 the police attempted to re-try the man, at which point the man withdrew his confessions, saying that they were a game to show that he had normal feelings like other people.

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