1 JR - Royton

I am a clerical officer with the DSS and have been for 14 years.

I am Susan's neighbour and have known her for over 11 years. We went out socially and we are good friends. She babysat for my children regularly and is godmother to my son.

I have always found Susan honest and trustworthy; someone to rely on when you needed, help. Nothing was ever too much trouble. During my separation from my husband she was very helpful and supportive and used to cook my meals for me when I was working.

I would sometimes go with her to see her Aunt with her meals and she was always very caring with her. She never got cross even if her aunt phoned 3 or 4 times in a row. She was never angry, she would just go through the same things with her again. I was amazed with how much patience she had.

Susan's Aunt never had any children and Susan said to me that she was just like her daughter. When you saw them together there was a special bond between them, that's why her Aunt would phone Susan rather than her sister Ann.

I've never known anybody more giving than her, she was very generous. She never had a holiday for 10 years but she never complained. She didn't want to put her Mum and Aunt into care even for that long.

I know Susan gave up her job at school when her aunt deteriorated but she never saw it as a chore. She said it was what she wanted to do, to care for her.

She was always there for her friends and neighbours; they could ring her up at any time of the day or night and she would be there for them. I've never known anybody like her. She is not capable of hurting anyone, especially someone she loved so much as her Aunt.

I have no criminal convictions. I saw Susan the night of her Aunt's murder at about 6.00 p. m. when she came round with my meal. We had a brief conversation; she brought me some
birthday cake she had made for her Mum whose birthday it was that day or the day before. She seemed very cheerful, her- normal self: Nothing to get her down or anything like that.

2 FW - Royton

I am a general assistant in the kitchen at Thorp School and have worked with Susan for about 3 years, but also knew her for a couple of years beforehand. I consider her a good friend - we go out occasionally together and I would visit her home with my little girl. She also used to supervise my son at school at dinner time.

Susan is a very honest and reliable person and very kind and gentle. She was very popular with all the children at T School where she worked for about 12 years. She devoted the biggest part of her life to her children, her late Mum and her late Aunty Hilda. Everything revolved around the welfare of her family, especially her Mum and Aunty Hilda. Susan gave nights out up because there was no one to stay in and look after her sick mother who was then living with her. She never complained - she did it out of the love for all her family. I have been there when her mother has wet herself and so on, and Susan would never get annoyed. She would just laugh if off and get on and sort it out.

Susan was never greedy or selfish; she would help anybody out, family or friend.

3 AG - Oldham

I have been a Commercial Manager for 4 years with the SG in Staly Bridge, Cheshire, and worked as a buyer for the same company for four years before that.

I have known Susan May for 13 years, having met her through my friend CR. I would describe her as a good friend. I have never known Susan to be in the least dishonest, selfish or greedy, but very kind and generous; someone who is willing to give up time for anyone.

Susan was very good with her family. I have never known her to lose her temper even under what I would call severe provocation from her children. She spent a lot of time looking after her mother and her auntie and was always very concerned about both of them. She was always happy to go up to her auntie's 3 or 4 times a day and I have never seen any signs of reluctance or impatience with it, or with having her mum in her house. She was quite happy to look after her family. She didn't consider it a burden or a chore, it was something she was happy to do as a daughter or a niece.

Susan is very well thought of in the community. I can't believe that Susan would ever lift a finger against her auntie, she is not the sort of person to hurt anyone or anything.

I have a conviction from 14 or 15 years ago for threatening language and behaviour to which I pleaded not guilty but was found guilty.

4 KS - Royton

I am co-owner with my husband of MM in Royton, which we opened about 9 years ago.

I have known Susan May for about 17 years, having met her when my children started going to T School and where she was a midday supervisor. My eldest daughter used to play with Susan's daughter Katie.

I am a neighbour of Susan, so would tend to see her on a daily basis and I think I know her pretty well. I would think she is very honest, not selfish at all; she would do anything for anyone without thinking twice about it. One year my mother had a stroke and Susan looked after her while we went on holiday.

I would say Susan lived for her family - I don't know anyone else like her. It didn't matter how often her aunt and mother called her she always looked after them, and the children and she never complained. Nothing was too much trouble for her. She would give you her last penny.

During the time she was caring for her family Susan never showed any resentment towards anyone. She took it all on willingly and she is very well liked in the community.

When Susan was arrested I contributed several thousand pounds towards her bail without hesitation because I have such a high regard for her.

5 WM - Blackpool

I am currently off work sick but I was the owner of an international transport company for 6 years before falling ill.

I have known Susan May as a friend for thirty years. I met her through my wife, L, who was her friend. I know her very well, she is a close friend of my wife and myself. When she was bailed Susan stayed in our house for around 2 months, and we also contributed substantially to her bail money. I was prepared to do this because I was convinced of Susan's innocence. If there had been any doubt at all in my mind I would not have put up the money nor had her stay with us.

As far as Susan's honesty goes, she is in my opinion totally honest and straightforward. Far from being selfish or greedy she is totally the opposite; she would rather give than take.

Susan was very protective towards her mother and her aunt, she was very close to them. She thought the world of them and ever since she lost her dad, and her uncle T, she cossetted her aunt and mum. She didn't want anything to happen to them. She never showed any sign of frustration and when she has come to visit us she has always made a point of spending time with L's mother. I think she is aware that elderly people can be neglected and she doesn't like to see it.

If anybody ever needed anything they would go to Susan.

6 MH - Royton

I am a midday supervisor at T School and have been for 7 years. I have known Susan for many years, but became friends with her when I began working with her and I would say I know her well.

She is very open and caring so it was easy to become friends with her. She spoke freely of her family. I found her completely honest with everything she did; she was by no means selfish - anything she could do she would. She always put herself second. She was very caring and gentle with the children and it was a pleasure to watch her work.

She adores her family, her Mum, Dad, Auntie. She talked about them a lot and was always concerned about them.

A few years ago my own family had a very bad experience when my 18 year old got into trouble. During this time Susan gave me immense support at work, taking on some of my duties for me, totally unprompted. I remember her saying to me that "the family is everything" and doing things for me so that I could look out for my son.

During the time she was caring for her family and also at work, Susan never seemed to run out of patience at all. She never complained. Susan's caring and understanding for people was a natural thing; never at any time did she want or expect anything back.

If anything had ever been moved out of place at work, and Susan had moved it, you would know before she spoke because she would just go bright red she couldn't tell a lie.

7 AK - Royton

I am a cook supervisor in charge of the kitchen at T School in Royton where I have worked for about 16 years. I have known Susan May since that time as she was already working there as a midday supervisor. As well as working with her I used to see her socially occasionally and we are also neighbours so I would say I know her well.

I have no doubt that Susan is 100% honest - I would trust her with anything. Her gentleness with the children at school during the course of her job was well known. Her kindness to them and her profound love of animals were qualities I admired in her. Her great love of all her family was without question, despite the difficulties she encountered both with her elderly Mum and Aunt, and with adolescent children, whilst being a single parent. She did her best to keep cheerful no matter what. If she came to school feeling a bit down she would try to see the funny side and we would end up having a laugh about it. She really did a lot for her Aunt and mother and never ever showed any resentment - she loved them both. It wasn't a trouble to look after them; she was very family minded.

I found Susan generous in time and doing anything to help anyone experiencing difficulties. She would help anyone in trouble; if I ever had any problems I knew she would be there to help, and in fact she did so during a time of difficulty I had with one of my children.

I couldn't believe that anyone could think that Susan had killed her Auntie. She is totally incapable of killing a spider, let alone a woman. I remember her coming into school with a badly bitten arm which had been caused by a doberman she rescued after it was hit by a car. She had continued and looked after the dog despite it biting her and she just saw the funny side of it.

The children at the school absolutely loved Susan and were heart-broken when she left.

8 JH - Royton

I am retired after being a departmental manager in the textile industry with about 50 people under me for about 20 years.

I have known Susan May for at least 20 years because she lived across the road from my mother, Mrs. JH. Susan was a good neighbour to my mother and would come to her aid if my mother rang her. She would always remember my mother's birthday with a small present, e.g. a tin of biscuits etc.

In my opinion she was a very ordinary person who would have done anyone a good turn.

9 CF - Royton

I have been a caretaker at T School, where Susan May was a dinner lady for 18 years. I knew Susan at work and then became friends with her about 10 years ago.

I have always found Susan a very kind, warm-hearted, honest person. She has always been very generous and thoughtful. She would help anybody - she is that kind of person.

Susan is very close to her children and was absolutely superb with her Mum and Aunt. She gave up her dinner-time job to care for them almost fulltime. I never ever heard her complain, it was just a matter of course for her.

Susan was very popular with the children. She always had time for people, even the little ones; they loved her.

I can honestly say I have never seen her lose her temper with them.

Over the years I have known Susan she has been such a kind and caring person, I just can't believe that she could have killed her auntie.

I have no criminal convictions.

10 SH - Royton

I have been an Accountant for 14 years and I am presently a Management Accountant on contract to the ES, North West region. This will continue until September 1994 when I shall be seeking new contracts.

I have known Susan May as a friend for approximately 8 years, having met her through my cousin CR.

In my experience Susan is totally honest, and unselfish as shown in the exemplary way she looked after her Mother and Aunt Hilda. Her relationship with her Aunt was obviously excellent - Susan used to go up to see her every morning and evening. I have never met anybody with so much patience. Susan, was liked by everybody that knew her.

I have no criminal convictions.

On the night of llth March 1992 I was in Susan's company for about 15-20 minutes sometime between 9.00pm and 10.00pm as she drove CR and myself to the HA Public House in Royton. At the time that I was with her I found Susan to be perfectly normal and cheerful. When I heard that Susan had been charged I was totally shocked. To me it was totally obvious that it was untrue, knowing that Susan had looked after her Auntie for years and years.

I acted as a prosecution witness at Susan's trial at the request of the police. I was never approached by her Solicitors to act as a defence witness, nor to provide a character reference. I would certainly have been willing to do so had I been asked.

11 JL - Oldham

I am a housewife but I worked at OL as an assembly worker in Oldham for 20 years.

I have known Susan May for 30 years as a friend and apart from one misguided incident with an insurance claim I would say she is impeccably honest. To me the insurance claim was totally out of character - she has always been very honest and open. She is unselfish; it has always been a part of her.

As long as I can remember through all she has been through, her Mum and Aunt were always there for her. It would be like cutting both her arms off to hurt her Mum or Aunt. She was always really close to the family. In fact she is almost naive, they sheltered her.

Taking care of her Aunt and Mum was like a reversal of roles for Susan. I think her strength came from them and Susan would never dream of not being there for them and would never have resented it. They were so attached, it was a bond; they were very close.

I don't think anybody had a bad word for Susan, or her say a bad word about anybody. She is just such a genuinely nice person.

I have no criminal convictions.

12 JT - Rochdale

I am, with my husband RT, a director and proprietor of TS Ltd. We have been suppliers of interior decorating materials for 30 years.

I have known Susan May for 30 years, as a close neighbour for 18 years. We are friendly and I would say I know her well.

I have never doubted Susan's honesty whatsoever. She always seemed a good mother and used to take care of her Aunt, next-door-but-one to me. She was always very kind to people and animals as well. Susan used to take care of a neighbour, MB, giving her a lift whenever she asked. This is how she was - nothing was too much trouble. She was also looking after an old man across the road.

I used to look after my elderly parents and Susan and I used to talk about it. She never moaned about looking after them, or about it being hard work. I didn't know how she found time to do it all, but she did.
I could never imagine her doing what she was convicted of, ever.
I have no criminal convictions.

13 TR - Royton

I am a partner in a business, F.R and Son, sheet metal workers and have been for the last 20 years.

I have known Susan May for 12 years as a friend and would say I know her very well, seeing her around four to five times a week to chat to on visits to my daughter-in-law JR.

As far as I know Susan is 100% honest, and I would never think of her as greedy or selfish; she would give anybody her last penny. I never knew how Susan had enough hours in the day to care for her children, her beloved mum and Auntie and anyone else that needed her in the self less way that she did. Her relationship with her auntie was excellent. I never saw any signs of frustration from Susan whatsoever in all the time she was caring for her mum and aunt.

14 ER - Shaw

I am currently a temporary sales clerk and was formerly an accounts clerk for five years with LT Limited in Oldham.

I have known Susan May since 1989 when I began a relationship with her son A. During the 2 ½ years I was with him I spent the majority of my spare time with Susan and the family.

Susan is well known within the community, very well liked - she would help anyone with a problem. Her life was spent caring for her mother and auntie and helping neighbours. Prior to caring for her mother and auntie on a full-time basis, Susan worked at the local school where she was well regarded by colleagues and children alike.

Susan's families were her life. She cooked for the family - mother, three children and her auntie on a daily basis. She tended them with loving care - nothing was too much trouble. On most days she called on her auntie three times a day.

I would trust Susan with anything. I can't believe that Susan could have done anything bad to her auntie, having been to her auntie's house with her and seen the way she looked after her.

I have no criminal convictions.

15 SB - Royton

I am a sales advisor with J in Manchester and was formerly a sales assistant in the carpet trade for 10 years.

I have known Susan May nearly 30 years as a friend and neighbour and I would say I know here very well.

Susan has always been upright and straight forward because that is the way she's been brought up. She was a very caring daughter and niece. What she did for her Mother and Auntie was like a full time job.

I have no criminal convictions.

16 SB - Royton

I am a cook at SA School in Royton, having spent 17 years as a cook at T School. I have known Susan and her family for 35 years as a neighbour and friend and I worked with Susan at Thorp School for around 12 years. As a result I would say I know Susan very well.

I have always trusted Susan, she was always very honest and reliable. She would look out for my daughter as well as several of my elderly neighbours with anything they needed. She is a very kind person, would give to everyone rather than have for herself.

Susan was at the beck and call of her family - she never wanted anything else. I have often gone with her to visit her auntie when she took her meals and she really loved both her Mum and her auntie.

If her auntie ever phoned her she would drop everything and go and visit her rather than talk to her by phone.

Susan was utterly unselfish, and had more patience than anyone I've known. She never lost her temper even with her children. She was always there to help anyone who asked, and more often than not wouldn't even take money for shopping she did for them.

MH was my next door neighbour and Susan used to pay her to do aunt Hilda's cleaning and even used to give M some of her mother's things, like a pair of boots. I can't understand why M said Susan didn't care for her aunt properly and didn't give her proper meals - I saw those meals myself. M lied in court about that, Susan gave more than enough to her aunt.

M stopped cleaning for Hilda because she started working for Susan's sister, Ann Mellor, but in court she said it was because she didn't like the way Susan didn't look after her aunt properly.

I gave evidence at Susan's trial, but I was only asked my name and how long I had known Susan. I was to answer only yes or no. They didn't ask for character reference or anything.

17 DG - Royton

I have been a WD at the ROH for the last 4 years, and before that I worked as a midday supervisor at T School for 9 years.

I have known Susan for around 25 years, but have known her better since I began working with her 14 years ago; in fact it was she who got me my job at T School. She is a good friend, very honest, she would do anything for anybody. She is a very generous person, not selfish at all. She thought about other people before herself.

At school the children loved her, she was always kind and helpful to them. If they fell and got hurt they always wanted Mrs. May. She was very patient and placid.

Susan would go up to her auntie's 3 times a day, taking meals to her. If she hadn't a car she would go up there with a plate of food for her on the bus. She also looked after her Mother who she lives with. I don't remember Susan going away on holiday at all because she was always looking after them. She seemed to thrive on it. She never complained about it.

I have no criminal convictions.

18 LH - Rochdale

I am a pensioner and have known Susan May for 24 years. She was a very nice person, one you could rely on. She would do anything for anyone, and she couldn't be more honest.

Susan went to her auntie's every day, sometimes three times a day and she looked after her mother as well. Her auntie used to get confused and Susan would help her all she could. She never got impatient, she was always very calm, even up at the school with the children. There was nobody better to look after them.

19 CW - Royton

I have been the proprietor of a photographic studio in Royton for the last 20 years.

I have known Susan May for 30 years socially as a friendly acquaintance. I consider Susan a trustworthy person, always very gentle and pleasant. She seemed to be a very tolerant person, the way she used to run around after her aunt, mum and children, never complaining - she always spoke in a very caring way about her family.

Susan had a hairdressing business in Royton and was well-known and I can't remember anyone ever saying a wrong word about her.

I would find it very difficult to believe that Susan would be capable of killing her aunt.

I have no criminal convictions.

20 AA - Royton

I am now retired having been a nursing auxiliary for eleven years. During the war I worked as a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment.

I have known Susan May for several years. She has been my landlady since her father died.

Susan is a very caring person; she cared for both her auntie and her mother and I have always found her very gentle. Susan has always been very nice with me.

21 MH - Royton

I am a housewife. I have known Susan May for over 10 years as a friend on a social basis. I have always found Susan's honesty to be beyond question. She is one of the nicest, kindest, gentlest people I have ever met. She wouldn't do a bad turn for anybody and I have only ever heard good things said about her.

I thought she was a saint the way she looked after her Mum and Aunt. She never gave me the impression it was too much trouble; she would have a laugh about the things they would get up to.

I found Susan's conviction quite unbelievable; it just wasn't in her nature to do something like that.

I have no criminal convictions.

22 RC - Royton

I was an ex-office clerk for LMO (3 ½ years) , before contracting ME.

I have known Susan since my early childhood and we attended school together until the age of 16. She was my hairdresser for some years. We have been friends since that time on a casual basis.

I would say that I know her quite well and always found her friendly and outgoing and very concerned for her family. I have never had any cause to question her honesty, nor have I ever known her to, act selfishly. I am aware that she has spent some years caring for elderly relatives and I have always been impressed with her patience and understanding.

23 MB - Royton

I am now a housewife but I worked in care homes both previously and for Social Services for around 9 years. I have also worked as a Midday Supervisor at T School in Royton which is where I got to know Susan May as a friend. I have known her for 14 years.

I consider Susan a really nice person, very honest and trustworthy. She had the patience of job, she never lost her temper like the rest of us supervisors. She was very quiet-spoken, no aggression at all.

Susan used to go to her Auntie's three times a day. It was like her life revolved around her family for years with her mother, her Auntie and her children. It is very hard work looking after old people, I know this from my work, but the number of years she did it speaks for itself. Obviously it can get you down but it didn't stop her doing everything she could.
Susan was very well liked in Royton, friendly with her neighbours.
I have no criminal convictions.

24 NRC - Royton

I am now a private music teacher and was formerly head of music at SC School near Oldham.

I have known Susan May all her life having lived four houses down from the family for 20 years. Susan was born while I was serving in the forces, and she went to the same school as my children. I know her very well. Although in recent years I have seen her less often we have still stopped for a chat whenever we have seen each other out shopping and so on.

I have always found Susan honest and trustworthy, kind and never aggressive. She was brought up in a very respectable family and took pride in her children; not just bringing them up but taking great care with how they were turned out.

In all the time she was looking after her mum and auntie, Susan never complained or grumbled.

I can't believe that Susan could have killed her aunt. I think she is utterly incapable of such violence.

I have no criminal convictions.

25 DT - Royton

I am a housewife. I have known Susan May for over 30 years as a friend, having met her through family.

I would say Susan is perfectly honest, completely unselfish, and always gentle and caring. She always took care of her Mother and Auntie, never left her Auntie out of anything. On Mothering Sunday Susan would always buy her Aunt a present just as she would her own Mother, because her Aunt had no children of her own.

Susan was very well liked in the neighbourhood although she didn't have a busy social life as she was always concentrating on her family. She's always been a very caring person.

I have no criminal convictions.

26 LA - Middleton

I have been a nursery nurse at SM School in Middleton for 1 year and before that I worked in the same role at the W nursery, also in Middleton.

I have known Susan May for 4 years since becoming close friends with her daughter Katie. I would say Susan is a very honest person and is very patient. When I used to see her with her mother she was always very patient with her, never trying to rush her. She would also care for her auntie, going up to see her, and she was wonderful with them. She always had plenty of time for them.

Susan is a very nice person, very easy to get on with. She always had time for everybody and never had a bad word for anybody. I still can't believe Susan was convicted of killing her auntie. She was so unbelievably devoted to her.

I have no criminal convictions.

27 GA - Middleton

I am now retired, having worked for 35 years as a joiner.

I have known Susan May for 4 years through her daughter's friendship with my daughter, and I regard her as a friend.

I think Susan's honesty is unquestionable; I would trust her with anything. She is a generous person to a fault with her family. She puts her family before anything else - before herself even. She was devoted to both her mother and her auntie, running back and forth between their houses and shopping for them. It must have been hard work but Susan always did it cheerfully.

She was always patient and gentle and is very well respected in her community. The way she loved her family, her mother and her auntie, and the way she looked after them, putting them above herself, it is totally unbelievable to me that she could have killed her aunt.

I have no criminal convictions.

28 MA - Middleton

I have been a school caretaker for around 8 years at SM School in Middleton. Before that I was a dinner lady at the same school for about 12 years.

I have known Susan May for about 4 years through my daughter, L. I wouldn't doubt Susan's honesty for one moment - I think she is a very honest and open person, very gentle with her aunt and mother. I think the most important thing in Susan's life is her family. When Susan was convicted her children just automatically took over from her, caring for their grandmother - they are a very, very close family.
I have no criminal convictions.
When Susan was taken by the police I was absolutely horrified. I was convinced it was a mistake because she is someone I would trust with my own life.

29 AF - Royton

I have been an executive officer with the CSA for 2 years, and before that I was an EO with the CS since 1975.

I have known Susan May for four years socially having met her through my sister FW. She also supervised my children at T School. She is a very kind, gentle person. She has a heart of gold and would have helped anyone. She looked upon her aunt as a second mother and looked after her as any daughter would. I never heard her complain once about looking after either of the old ladies, she did all she could for them out of her love for them. She was extremely well liked at school by my kids. She is one of the most popular, gentle and trustworthy people I know.

I have never seen Susan lose her temper or say a bad word about anybody and believe she is incapable of the crime in question.

30 HM - Oldham

I am now retired having been an electrician for 40 years.

I have known Susan May for 30 years having met her through my daughter, who is now her sister-in-law, CM. I think of Susan as a completely honest, very caring and helpful person to everyone, not only her own family. She has helped me and my family in the past; when my first wife had a stroke Susan would help make the bed, dress her, cook and so-on.

She also helped bring up her sister Ann's son because Ann was ill in hospital quite often.

I can never believe Susan is guilty of killing her aunt because all the time I have known her she has been so kind and caring. I have never heard her complain about looking after her aunt and mother, she helped them willingly, and would do the same for anyone.

I have no criminal convictions.

31 DG - Royton

I am an Assistant Cook at T School and have known Susan through work for around 12 years, and 3 years socially before that. We have been good friends for all of this time and I would say I know her very well.

I consider Susan to be 100 per cent honest; she is a most caring person with anybody and unbelievable with her family. She seemed to spend most of her life caring for other people and put herself last. I never heard her complain about the burden of caring for her elderly relatives - nothing seemed to bother her at all.

I have never seen her behave in a greedy or selfish way, and she is always there to give a helping hand. When I have had any problems she has been the first to help.

32 SCC - Shaw

I am a Stewardess at OT. I was formerly a hairdresser, having served my apprenticeship at Susan May's shop in Royton around 20 years ago. I have therefore known her for that length of time seeing her occasionally for a chat in the streets.

Susan was a nice person to work for. I would never have doubted her honesty, she seemed a caring person, looking after her relatives, very close to her Mum.

33 AT - Royton

I have been a teacher in SP School in Royton for 20 years.

I have known Susan May since we were children but got to know her better when she began attending SP Youth Club which I used to run. We have remained friends and I would say I know her well.

I have always thought that even as a child Susan was a very caring person. I have often wondered at how she has managed to look after her Mum and Auntie and always remained so cheerful. At the same time she was doing this I was caring for my own Mother who had terminal cancer and we frequently seemed to be in the doctors together to pick up medicine. She always asked after my Mum and she made me feel better by the way she remained so cheerful when looking after both her Auntie and her Mum.

I really can't believe that Susan could have killed her Auntie. I just can't see how she could change so much from how I know her to be so cold and calculating as to pretend to discover her aunt dead.

I have no criminal convictions.

34 FG - Rochdale

I am now retired but I used to work as a Mill Manager supervising 400 staff. I am also Deacon of Bethesda Baptist Church in Royton.

I have known Susan May since her childhood as she went to school with my daughter, Dorothy Cooksey.

As far as I am aware, Susan is honest and upright, a pleasant young woman.

35 PH - Royton

I have been a CN in the ICU at the ROH for the last 10 years.

I have known Susan May for 10 years having met her through a mutual friend CR and would say I know her quite well as a friend.

I have never had any occasion to doubt Susan's honesty. Her life revolved around her aunt and her mother who she cared for selflessly with always a smile and never any complaint - she was known for not complaining.

I have no criminal convictions.

36 DC - Rochdale

I am a housewife bringing up two children and caring for my elderly father in my home. I worked for the IR as a TO for 18 - 19 years, until I had my first daughter in 1980, and I subsequently ran a dress fabric shop in Royton with MC for 5 or 6 years.

I have known Susan May all my life, having been to infant, junior and grammar school with her. Since leaving school I would see her to chat to once or twice a month, but would also see her about, on her way to her aunt's and so on, about every other day. We were best friends throughout school and I would still say I know her well.

Susan is a gentle person, a giver, not a taker, very generous-hearted and caring. Even at school she used to give some of her own spending money to her friends who had less and took enjoyment in giving and sharing. It is just her nature.

I would never question Susan's honesty, and I can genuinely never remember an instance of her behaving selfishly or raising her voice. If there was ever an argument Susan would be upset and try to smooth it over.

When we were younger if Susan wasn't playing she would be at her cousin's helping out, taking the children for walks and so on. She did this regularly, as she cared for her Aunt. Her family was the centre of her life and she would help them without being asked.

In the area where we lived there is a community spirit of helping neighbours looking after one-another's children, picking up someone's shopping and so on and I would say that has prevailed there largely because of Susan.

I have spent 3 - 4 years caring for my own mother who was an Alzheimer's sufferer and I know that it is easy sometimes to get cross or impatient. Susan wasn't like that, she would react with concern. I remember Susan saying of her Auntie that she had called 7 or 8 times with the same message the night before, and there was no sign of frustration in her voice. It wasn't in her nature. I would think it impossible for her to perform a violent act of any description.

37 RB - Royton

I am the proprietor of VA in Oldham and have been for over 10 years.

I have known Susan for around 18 years as a friend and neighbour and would say I know her quite well. I have been amazed at the accusation against her as I think of her as an honest and trustworthy person. I think the idea of her being selfish or greedy is rubbish. Nothing was too hard work for Susan.

38 VJ - Bodmin

I am a housewife, but until 1979 I ran a ladies dress shop with WA, now deceased, in Royton.

I have known Susan May for about 30 years; my shop was just a few doors down from her hairdressers. Susan was a friend and customer. She was the most honest person you could hope to meet; I can't fault her character at all.

I am much older than Susan and she just seemed like the perfect daughter. Her family were her whole life. They were very close-knit. She always seemed happy to look after her aunt and mother. She was extremely loyal.

I never heard Susan say a wrong word about anybody. I know her as a hardworking gentle and considerate person and a wonderful mother to her children.

I have no criminal convictions.

39 NG - Shaw

I am a housewife. I have known Susan May for 30 years and would say I know her very well - she is the godmother to my youngest son.

I consider Susan very honest, not at all selfish or greedy but put others before herself at all times. I knew both of her parents and she was very close to her family. The Marchbanks were like second parents to Susan. While she was caring for her aunt she just took everything in her stride. Susan would do anything for anybody. She used to keep her eye on elderly people whose own children did not live close-by.

Susan often used to look after our children when we went out, and at Christmas she would always buy all four of them presents that had obviously had a lot of thought put into them.

I have no criminal convictions.

40 CMS - Oldham

I am now a housewife, but I was a hairdresser for over 20 years. I met Susan May through my job 28 years ago and was in contract with her regularly for around 6 years and I continue to keep in touch with her by post.

During my time working for Susan she was always very nice and never had a temper. Everybody that knew her just can't believe she could have done what she was convicted of.

41 MC - Bishop-Auckland

I am now a house wife, but I used to run a dress fabric business with Dorothy Cooksey in Royton where I grew up. I have known Susan May all my life and so would say I know her very well, in a social capacity.

I consider her to be very honest and unselfish, giving of herself to her family.

When we were teenagers, Susan used to look after her cousin, who was an invalid, and her children. After her marriage with TM ended she single-handedly brought up their three children as well as caring for her mother and Aunt. She was devoted to her family, they meant everything to her. I have never ever heard or seen her do anything against anyone, even when at school. It just wasn't in her nature.

In the time caring for her family I have never saw her agitated; she took everything in her stride and did it cheerfully. I have never known a cross word to anybody from her.

Susan has always been very kind to everyone. Even as a teenager, she would always ask after my mother, who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.

42 MT - Oldham

Having lived in Royton all my life, I knew of Susan May's family, who were highly respected in the area. I came to know Susan personally around 1968, nearly 26 years ago. We became sisters-in-law in 1971 until my divorce in 1978.

During that time Susan was a constant source of support to myself and my children and never hesitated to help when asked. As a friend she has always shown me nothing but kindness, loyalty and reassurance. I would have no hesitation in helping Susan by vouching for her good name and character to the best of my ability, if called upon to do so.

I have always found her to be an honest, caring and compassionate person, who by nature, has a gentle temperament and the mere thought of her being capable of any violent act is inconceivable to anyone who knows her.

In all the time I have known Susan, she has always put her family first, including the care of her invalid mother, her aunt and helping her sister in times of need and I have never heard a harsh word from her about them. I am certain she cared for them all with an unquestionable sense of love and duty.

From the day Susan May was taken into custody, charged and sentenced to life imprisonment I have never once strayed from the firm belief that she is innocent of the crime she is accused of and a gross miscarriage of justice has taken place.

43 MB - Royton

I am now retired, having held various jobs during my life including working as a Sunday school teacher.

I have known Susan May for 30 years. I would trust her with anything, she is a very kind person. When I lost my husband 5 years ago, I could not have got through my loss without the help Susan gave me. She called every day on her way to Hilda's or after she had been, she was just wonderful. When I had to go into hospital it was Susan that took me and brought me home: there is no-one kinder or more thoughtful.

I can't believe Susan could have killed her aunt. She wouldn't hurt anyone.

I have no criminal convictions.

44 JC - Chadderton

I have been the head teacher of T School in Royton for 17 years.

I have known Susan May as an employee for around 11 years, but I had known her family all my life, as Hilda Marchbank was a friend of my parents. During the time of her employment at the school I would chat to Susan almost every day. She was always a cut above the other midday supervisors in every way; the way she treated her job, her intelligence, her general awareness of and responsibility for the children. If I ever needed to communicate with the group of supervisors, who numbered about 6, I would always go to Susan and ask her to pass on what I had to say.

I would trust Susan implicitly with anything. Nothing in my experience of knowing her for 11 years would show any selfishness or greed; she would do anything for anybody, and she would never get flustered.

Susan went weekly to her father's grave and I know that she felt strongly about the neglect of graves; on one occasion she acted by writing a letter to the local paper to bring it to peoples' attention. Another time she found a stray cat; she took it in, took it to a shelter for animals and went on to get involved with the shelter for a time and gave at least one donation to it that I know of. She was a very generous and kind person.

Susan gave up her job at the school in order to care for her Mum and especially her Aunt. This must have been a blow but she never complained or made a big thing of it.

Such was my regard for Susan that on two occasions I asked her to take on extra responsibilities. Once was as Senior Midday Supervisor and when she turned it down I decided to do it myself and have done so ever since. The second time was as Classroom Support; this was a much bigger job as ancillary support in a classroom situation, but Susan refused saying that she couldn't take on the extra hours.

After her arrest I contributed £3,000 to Susan's bail. As far as I was concerned the person I knew could in no way be guilty. I was so shocked that anybody out there could think Susan had done it, that I felt like they could be saying it about me, so it was a small price to pay to help keep her from being held in custody.

45 CN - Royton

I am now retired but I used to work as a clerk for F Ltd for 29 years. Before that I was in the Women's Auxillary Airforce - this was for 4 ½ years during the war.

For over 70 years I have been a tenant of Susan's family in one of their properties in Royton. I know Susan very well, having known her all her life, and I have always found her perfectly honest, and her gentleness has always shown through in her love for her children, her parents and her aunt. Since her father died, she took over as landlady on her mothers behalf and has always treated me with the utmost kindness and consideration.

In my opinion, Susan is absolutely incapable of doing any harm to anyone, especially to her aunt, whom she loved so dearly.

46 BB - Royton

I am now a housewife but I used to work as a care assistant for eight years. I have also worked as a midday supervisor for 6 years, during which time I met Susan May. I have now known her for 15 years and I have always found her to be completely honest and a very sincere and gentle person.

I know that Susan used to go to visit her Auntie 3 times a day and has looked after her for 15 years. She also had three children to bring up and so would sometimes get tired but it never appeared a burden to her. She always genuinely thought a lot about her Auntie Hilda.

Susan was very lenient with the children, very quietly spoken. I have never known her to shout and she is not aggressive at all. She is very well known and liked in Royton.

I just can't believe that this situation has arisen. It is just unbelievable that she would have killed her Auntie Hilda.

I have no criminal convictions.

47 JG - Shaw

I have been a civil engineering contractor and a part-time farmer for over 30 years.

I have known Susan May since she was a child, and she used to babysit our children when she was a teenager. Susan is as honest as the day is long, and would do for others before herself. She was the best thing that ever happened to her Aunt and her mother as well. She would look after them before herself. She never showed signs of stress. I think she just took it as a job that had to be done.

Susan once saw my own mother who was not well wandering in the street and went after her, took her in, and called me straight away to tell me so I could collect her. Looking out for people seemed like her vocation.

I can never believe Susan would have killed her Auntie. I've seen her over the years and I know the way she is and she would never get to that stage. She would go tirelessly to her Auntie's in response to the same call again and again. She would not get cross, she would just think it was a great pity that she couldn't find a magic spell to make her better.

I have no criminal convictions.

48 GB - Royton

I am a midday supervisor at T School, looking after the children during lunch breaks. This is the same job that Susan used to do and it is how I met her 11 years ago. We would occasionally go out for a drink together but I mostly know her through work. I would say I know her very well, having seen her every day for 11 years.

I consider her to be 100 per cent honest. She thought the world of her family, and gave up her job at the school in order to afford her mother and her aunt more of her attention.

I don't think she had a selfish bone in her body. At school she was always rushing around helping other people and not doing anything for herself. I used to tell her she was too soft with people and they would end up using her. She didn't have a bad word for anybody.

Susan had a lot of patience: sometimes she was too soft with the children, she didn't like shouting at them.

49 CP - Royton

I am a housewife, but I worked as a wages clerk in my husband's firm P + K Ltd for 10 years and before that I was a nurse for 5 years.

I have known Susan May as a neighbour for 5 years and during that time I always found her honest, kind and gentle - it came over in the way that she spoke of her family, especially her Mum and aunt. I was amazed that she showed no selfishness in all that she did for them all. I can remember my Mum looking after my Grandmother; she would occasionally need a break because she would get worn down, but it was never like that with Susan. It never seemed a burden to her at all.

I always found Susan pleasant and cheerful. I find it unbelievable that Susan could have killed her aunt; I just don't think she was capable of doing anything bad at all.

I have no criminal convictions.

50 MTW - Heywood

I am a teacher at CH School, in charge of the Upper School. I also served as a police officer for 4 ½ years in the late 60's.

I have known Susan May for 12-13 years, since I started teaching her son Adam. I got to know her much better when I started teaching her twins as form teacher a couple of years later.

When Susan's daughter Katie was in fifth form she was apt to miss school and I was always impressed by the way Susan refused to try to lie for her to keep her out of trouble. Her attitude was always that honesty is the best policy and that Katie would have to take the punishment for anything she did wrong.

Susan was a very caring mother, friendly, pleasant and hard-working. She had a genuine love for her children who were always well-turned out, thanks to Susan.

Some of the pupils at school are neighbours of Susan and at the time of the trial I remember them speaking with affection of her.

Although I accept that people do things in the height of passion that are out of character I personally don't believe Susan is capable of killing her aunt. I believe whoever killed her should certainly be in jail, but I have never seen the slightest sign of aggression from Susan and I don't believe she would hurt anyone.

I have no criminal convictions.

51 JM - Rochdale

I have been a Secondary School Teacher at C School in Rochdale since 1976, but have not been teaching for the past two years due to taking care of my two children.

I am Susan May's half-cousin and have known her all my life. Consequently I can say that I know her very well.

I have never known Susan to be anything other than absolutely honest. She was always very patient; I've never seen her give her kids so much as a smack in all the time she has brought them up. She would do anything for anybody; I can't think of anybody who would have a bad word for her.

With Auntie Hilda and Uncle Thom having no children of their own Susan and Anne became extra close to them. Not a day would go by without Susan seeing Hilda two or three times and as Hilda's health deteriorated Susan would do more for her. I never, ever saw Susan show any signs of frustration with this. In fact it became a joke with her how many times Hilda would phone in a day. She didn't resent it at all. She would do a good turn for anybody.

I have no criminal convictions.

52 LM - Blackpool

I am a housewife caring for my elderly mother, and was formerly a medical receptionist for 4 - 5 years.

I have known Susan May all my life and we are close friends. I know her very well. While Susan was on bail she stayed with me and my husband at our house and we also contributed around thirty thousand pounds towards her bail. I was happy to do these things because I trusted Susan completely and was completely satisfied she was innocent.

Susan has always been totally honest as far as I know; I would trust her completely.

Susan has always been very close to her auntie and would put herself out to look after her; she wouldn't put it like that though. Even as a girl she would go quite often to her auntie's.

During the time she was caring for her elderly relatives, Susan never complained. When Susan came to visit for my daughter's wedding her Mum phoned to ask when she was coming back and Susan just laughed about it rather than getting annoyed. I care for my own elderly mother so I know how it is, but it didn't get Susan down at all. She is a very gentle, sympathetic person.

Susan was very well known in Royton and well liked.

53 BS - HNP

To Whom It May Concern

I was moved from CW Prison to Durham over Fourteen months ago and it happens that my cell is directly opposite Susan May's.

I have leaved with more than a thousand inmates at different prisons and I can write a book on every one of us. Sue is very innocent of the crime she was jailed for, she is very transparent, you can read her like a book. Its difficult not to like her, she is there for everybody no matter what your problem is, she would make sure that she do something to make you happy, but not to violate the law. She is not a violent lady at all, I have never heard nor see her angry with anybody, even the officers do respect her, she is like a big sister to us all.

(I am a Nigerian)

54 DH - HMP Durham (Teacher)

Dear Mr Goodwin

I have been asked to write a few words of description of Ms Susan May, as I have known her for a couple of years as a student in my Friday discussion class.

I have found Ms May a charming, honest and unassuming lady who has always voiced her innocence of the crime she is imprisoned for. Her relationship with her peers, her general behaviour and conversation in no way would persuade you that she is devious, or could be the cold calculated killer that she has been claimed to be.

As far as I am aware she never causes any bother on the wing but simply gets on with the limited life that is available to her. She works very well, and consistently and the results of her 'OU' manifests this.

Yours faithfully

55 LC - Durham

I met Susan May in 93 at Durham H Wing, we was together there for 2 years, till I won my appeal in 95. In that time I found Sue to be very genuine and reliable woman, and a very sincere friend.

Sue and I was in a similar situation, both fighting to prove our innocence. I would never of got through those 2 years if it wasn't for Susan. There was days and nights when you would just give up all hope, but with out asking Sue would always be there for me, with her loving hug that tells you, you're not on your own, and to keep fighting. Sue would do this even though she was going through the same pain and frustration herself.

Susan would always go out of her way to help anyone, never putting herself first.

Susan is one of the most loving and caring women I've ever met, I've never heard her say a cross word about anyone. When Sue is around you will always have a smile on your face, she brings out the best in people.

Susan was and always will be like a 2nd mother to me. Thanks Sue.

56 MM - Durham

To whom it may concern,

My name is MM. I am currently serving a sentence in H.M.P. Durham, due for release next week.

The first time I ever saw Sue May was on the 16th June 1994, upon my arrival to H-wing. My immediate thoughts were that Sue was a probation officer or something similar. After a few days around the place, to my astonishment I realised that she too was an inmate.

In my mind I asked myself how such a respectable and polite woman came to be enclosed in these surroundings???

In the weeks that followed I was told by other inmates why Sue May was in H-wing, something inside me made me uncomfortable, I myself are not on H-wing for a violent crime, it is not my nature and my sixth sense told me that Sue May too was not of that nature, the crime she is convicted for is of someone quite evil, something that Sue May is not.

Why do I say this? Because of the 22 months spent in here, there have been many times were I've felt bitter, especially being confined within 4 walls with women that have killed children, family or friends and the only way to control this bitterness was talking to Sue. Many of times she has stopped me doing something irrational, yet this system categorises Sue May into one of these "killers".

She puts everyone else before herself, even people that do not deserve it, she takes bread out to the birds on the yard, the rest of us forget. We kill the spiders that walk around in our cells, Sue picks them up with her hands and gently places them outside the window, she picks up the worms on the tarmac and places them back on the earth, so in my mind this deep voice screams, what is this kind human being doing here?

Sue does not belong in here, I truly believe in my heart that she is an innocent woman, not because most people in prison say they are, but simply because of the horrendous crime she is convicted for. Her family are her life and soul, her pride and joy, and that means young and old.

The real perpetrator of this crime is still out there, therefore I believe the public out there are still very much in danger. From my own experience there are faults within the legal system and this scares me because I have family out there too. My only regret when I leave this prison is leaving Sue May behind.

Yours Sincerely

57 NH - Durham

My name is N and I have been in Durham since May 93. I first met Susan May in Durham, the 13th October 93. I myself came into jail in January 92 and was still at the stage where I had not yet met a guilty person. Everyone I met told the same story. They didn't do it or they were framed. I heard so many stories that I was convinced that all the jails were full of innocent people, until I met Susan that is. It took me a good year to realise that most people say that they are not guilty for one reason or another.

I watched Susan walk round the yard the first day she arrived here. You could tell that she didn't want to be here. We had a few words on the yard and I remember later in the day hearing her say to one of the girls that she was in for killing her auntie Hilda but that she had not done it. How that was nothing new to me as everyone says that. I even had one woman say to me "I didn't mean to kill him I only meant to cut the chicken" Hense I gave her the name "Kentucky Stab Chicken". My mammy used to say to me "N you can't be the only guilty person in jail". To which I would reply "no mammy they are all innocent."

Time passed and Sue made friends with some of the other girls. We all went to the gym a lot. One thing that struck me then, was the fact that any time that I was within earshot of Sue I always heard her talking about her case and the fact that she did not kill her auntie Hilda.

Eventually Sue and I came into contact with each other on a more personal level. I started to teach her all that I knew about computers. We spent all day together and also the evenings. My friendship with Sue has never been a selfish one. She is free to live her own life while in here (where she shouldn't be) without feeling that she is tied to me in anyway what so ever.

The very first time that she told me that she did not kill her auntie I believed her. I went on a visit with my Mammy and said "Mammy I have made a new friend." Mammy said "I suppose she is innocent", to which I replied "yes" but this is different. Of course only I could say that this was different, because only I could feel what I was feeling. Mammy of course was first and foremost pleased that I had made a new friend. Someone in jail been "innocent" would not really touch her. I have to admit in the months ahead she must have been a bit tired of hearing Sue's name that even she came to believe that Sue was indeed "innocent." Such was my strength of conviction with regards Sue.

Some might ask how could I possible have this strength of conviction. Well I spent many hours with Sue, but I have to point out here that the very first time that Sue told me that she did not kill her auntie I believed her. I mean truly believed her. You would have to meet Sue to know that she could not have possibly killed her auntie or had anything to do with it at all. I believe that many staff here believe that Sue is "innocent" but because they have to do their job they have to treat her the same as all the rest of us. Otherwise "how could they sleep at night knowing, that they, have an innocent person locked up." Such is the law of the land. But what about natural law. Sue has a lot of people outside helping her. But someone somewhere must know something that will help her to get out of this nightmare. Not only did Sue's auntie die Sue's Mammy also her sister died while Sue is in jail for something that she didn't do and she has become a granny. Who can ever give these things back to her. Not I, Not you. But someone somewhere can give her her freedom.

Sue spends her time working on her case, sifting through her paperwork looking for clues as to why she is here. She writes many letters and has made many friends.

I write to Geoff Goodwin (holy pastor) a friend of Sue's and asked him where was God in all of this, how can he let Sue be in jail when she did not kill her auntie. Geoff says where would I be without Sue in jail, what would it be like for me. I told him "if it meant Sue coming into jail just for me then I would rather not exist.

You know the old saying "if you want to know me them come and live with me". Well I live with Sue May in a way that only people in jail would understand. I believe with all my heart that Susan May did not kill her auntie nor did she have anything to do with her death. If I could believe this as a stranger then many more can believe it as well.

When Sue leaves jail as I know that she must a part of me will go with her. I expect a part of me (the selfish part) would want to keep her here with me as my friend. But I believe in "Natural Law" and this is a far higher law that the man made one.

58 RF

[Written in presence of her husband, granddaughter, and Dorothy Cooksey]

R has known Susan 30 odd years - originally this is working with her.

Knows Susan very well and all the close family connections.

Susan's nature - very soft, would do anything for anybody - not selfish in any way ('put on' because of her nature).

Never known Susan to be violent - in any situation would be inclined to be upset rather than aggressive. Would never knowingly upset anyone.

12th March - Thursday, market day, very wet and blowy - 9.00 am saw Susan going about her normal day, shopping - looking her normal self (if anything went wrong she flushed up from the neck upwards). Not flushed, agitated in any way. I did not speak to her, just saw her in passing on other side of stalls - we just waved.