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Charles Ingram is innocent and evidence used to convict him is ‘full of holes’ says lawyer

Evidence which helped to convict Charles Ingram of cheating his way to the jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is ‘full of holes’, according to his lawyer.

Criminal defence solicitor Rhona Friedman, who is behind the former army major’s new appeal, said new technology could help to prove the innocence of Ingram and his wife Diana.  

Speaking as new docudrama Quiz – which tells the story of Mr Ingram’s fall from grace in 2001 – airs on ITV, Ms Friedman said it was ‘ludicrous’ to suggest a conspiracy took place.

Evidence which helped to convict Charles Ingram of cheating his way to the jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is 'full of holes', according to his lawyer

Evidence which helped to convict Charles Ingram of cheating his way to the jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is 'full of holes', according to his lawyer

Evidence which helped to convict Charles Ingram of cheating his way to the jackpot on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is ‘full of holes’, according to his lawyer

She told the Telegraph: ‘There is a lacuna at the heart of this evidence,’ she said. ‘It wasn’t a conspiracy – it’s just ludicrous.’ 

The Ingrams, from Wiltshire, were convicted in 2003 alongside their accomplice Tecwen Whittock, who was also a show contestant, of Procuring the Execution of a Valuable Security by Deception.

The successful prosecution case was based on evidence which they said indicated that Major Ingram was directed to the right answers by coughs from Whittock. 

Diane Ingram was also alleged to have coughed when her husband struggled with the answers.

But the couple’s lawyers said that scientific and technological advances picked up previously unheard other coughs made by Mr Whittock.

They also allegedly picked up other people coughing in the audience who could have made a noise at significant moments.

The lawyers claim that the evidence was not considered by the jury during the trial and that it undermines the prosecution case.

Criminal defence solicitor Rhona Friedman, who is behind the former army major's new appeal, said new technology could help to prove the innocence of Ingram (pictured) and his wife Diana

Criminal defence solicitor Rhona Friedman, who is behind the former army major's new appeal, said new technology could help to prove the innocence of Ingram (pictured) and his wife Diana

Criminal defence solicitor Rhona Friedman, who is behind the former army major’s new appeal, said new technology could help to prove the innocence of Ingram (pictured) and his wife Diana

Speaking as new docudrama Quiz - which tells the story of Mr Ingram's fall from grace in 2001 - airs on ITV, Ms Friedman said it was 'ludicrous' to suggest a conspiracy took place. Pictured: Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen in character as Ingram and Chris Tarrant in the drama

Speaking as new docudrama Quiz - which tells the story of Mr Ingram's fall from grace in 2001 - airs on ITV, Ms Friedman said it was 'ludicrous' to suggest a conspiracy took place. Pictured: Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen in character as Ingram and Chris Tarrant in the drama

Speaking as new docudrama Quiz – which tells the story of Mr Ingram’s fall from grace in 2001 – airs on ITV, Ms Friedman said it was ‘ludicrous’ to suggest a conspiracy took place. Pictured: Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Sheen in character as Ingram and Chris Tarrant in the drama

They also claim the integrity of the audio evidence could have been compromised because it came from the prosecution and was not referred for independent analysis to the Forensic Science Service.

Ms Friedman added that there were ‘gaps’ in the ‘chain of continuity’ of the audio evidence.

She said: ‘In the Ingrams case, the programme makers were allowed to produce the ‘expert evidence’ with very limited police oversight. 

 

‘What they ended up with at trial was a gentleman’s agreement that nothing had been done to alter the trial exhibits but there is no place for a gentleman’s agreement in a criminal trial.’

Ms Friedman also cast doubt on why the Ingrams would rely on Whittock as an accomplice, given that he had longstanding respiratory conditions which made him liable to repeated coughing. 

She added that while the show’s producers, Celador, did not ‘deliberately’ set out to deny the Ingrams their prize money, the prosecution ‘fastened on to a theory’ and ‘shoved in everything they could’ to suit it.

The Ingrams, from Wiltshire, were convicted in 2003 alongside their accomplice Tecwen Whittock, who was also a show contestant, of Procuring the Execution of a Valuable Security by Deception

The Ingrams, from Wiltshire, were convicted in 2003 alongside their accomplice Tecwen Whittock, who was also a show contestant, of Procuring the Execution of a Valuable Security by Deception

The Ingrams, from Wiltshire, were convicted in 2003 alongside their accomplice Tecwen Whittock, who was also a show contestant, of Procuring the Execution of a Valuable Security by Deception

And while the show host at the time, Chris Tarrant, said last week that Ingram as ‘guilty every step of the way, Ms Friedman said that he admitted at the trial that he could not hear any coughing. 

The lawyer plans to submit a dossier of legal arguments to the Court of Appeal later this year. 

The Ingrams and Whittock were each given two-year suspended prison sentences for the crime. 

The most recent episode of Quiz aired on Monday and depicted the moment that Diana Ingram appeared to cough to alert her husband to the correct answers. 

In the dramatisation, Ingram is played by Matthew Macfadyen, while Diana is played by Sian Clifford.  

The successful prosecution case was based on evidence which they said indicated that Major Ingram was directed to the right answers by coughs from Whittock (pictured)

The successful prosecution case was based on evidence which they said indicated that Major Ingram was directed to the right answers by coughs from Whittock (pictured)

The successful prosecution case was based on evidence which they said indicated that Major Ingram was directed to the right answers by coughs from Whittock (pictured)

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