‘I was a lawyer for Wells’, Peter Moore, the worst serial killer of all time

The lawyer representing Wells’ worst serial killer describes how the case led him to a nervous breakdown and suicidal thoughts years later.

Dylan Jones was young and ambitious when he received a call a few days before Christmas, 1995, to represent Peter Moore at the Landudno Police Station.

Dubbed as the “Man in Black”, Moore committed a series of violent sexual assaults on men over 20 years in North Wales and Merseyside, culminating in the 1995 murder of four men in a span of three months. That year he killed Henry Roberts. , Edward Cathy, Keith Randles and Tony Davies in violent, frenzied attacks, with each victim suffering multiple stab wounds.

Read more: Faces of jailed killers in Wales in 2021

Abergel’s former criminal lawyer Dylan Jones represents Peter Moore, Wales’ most infamous serial killer

Despite the “toll” that Moore represented, Mr Jones said he did not regret defending the killer.

The then 30-year-old lawyer knew Moore as a local shopkeeper and cinema owner from Kinmel Bay who occasionally used his firm for business matters.

Moving towards the police station, he felt a sense of panic. He knew there had recently been a murder and it was unusual for him to be there without delay, urging him through a custody sergeant.

It turned out that the “well spoken and clearly measured” customer was a serial killer. The case will take over the young lawyer’s life for the next 12 months and affect him for years to come.

Pursued along the North Wales coast, Moore is also believed to have been responsible for several physical and sexual assaults on lonely men in Wales and Liverpool, before it turned into murder. The former manager of a cinema in Bugilt, Flintshire, was eventually convicted of the murders of four men within months of mutilating his victims.

The crimes shocked North Wales and the country, with Moore being found guilty and sentenced to life in prison in November 1996, nearly a year after Mr Jones was called to represent him in December 1995.

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Edward Carthy who was one of the people murdered by serial killer Peter Moore

“A few days before Christmas when I got a call from a friend of Peter Moore’s that he was in custody asked to meet me,” said the former criminal lawyer, now a senior law lecturer at Wrexham University, Academics. , remembered.

“As a firm we previously represented Peter Moore in small business matters and when his mother died we probated.

“I called the police station and I was sent to the constable in custody, who told me to be there immediately. That was unusual. I could have asked not to represent him. But I was a 30-year-old lawyer, Was full of ambition and if you get a case like this it’s unlikely you will say no. I was excited about the challenge, but nothing prepares you for a case like this.”

Putting on his professional hat, Mr. Jones tried to put emotions aside as he heard horrific evidence, confessions and retreats. He knew that he needed to fix everything in order for the case to run properly.

When Moore told how pleased he was with what he sees as well-intentioned murders, he listened.

“It was weird because when you talked to Peter Moore he was very polite and very well spoken. He appeared to be taking care of others. It just makes the whole thing more bizarre and scary. A mask who was well spoken and measured. It made the process of talking to him easier, but when he told you things like “I killed that guy for fun” that made your blood run cold.

“When you’re sitting there and he says he thought he did a good job of hitting someone who’s cool, when it’s given in such a calm, reasoned way.”

serial killer peter moore
serial killer peter moore

At the same time keeping his professional duty at the forefront of his mind, the lawyer persuades Moore to commit murder.

“I’m a Sunday school boy with a Welsh Methodist upbringing. You reflect on him and think – What is this guy? He had a certain air about him. I’m hesitant to say bad, but someone like that The air of the person who had done something really bad and was satisfied with what he had done. He knew he had committed heinous crimes and was overjoyed that he had committed them. It cools one’s blood. No remorse No.

He later concluded that Moore was a psychopath.

Alone in the chambers with the “Man in Black” for hours, he said he had never felt intimidated.

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“I spent countless hours with him in the prisons of Wakefield and Durham and sat in his police room talking to him in police interviews for four or five days.

“I was never intimidated or worried about my well-being. I was alone in a cell with him, but I was in no danger. He saw me by his side. My duty as his lawyer was to make sure that Let everything be done in the right way.”

But hearing the peculiar details and dealing with the case had an effect that no professional expertise could escape.

Moore described how he murdered for fun, how stabbing someone felt like putting a knife through butter. His victims were left to die alone and did not have a shred of remorse.

“Essentially it is a very emotional thing to have to face the facts of the murders that are normal and completely distasteful,” Mr Jones said.

“Nothing prepared me, as a lawyer or the police involved, to deal with the nature of the murders for which Peter Moore was responsible. This is something I am now aware of. The effect it had on me , I would not have seen at that time.

“Finally the matter took its toll on me. After nine or 10 years I had a nervous breakdown. The matter still bothers me. I had PTSD and flashbacks of people following me and stabbing me. I could not concentrate properly. I was finally in the hospital. My best friend came to my house. I had planned to commit suicide and he took me to the local psychiatric hospital. I got the help I needed.”

But he said he still has no regrets about taking the case.

“From my experience, mental health is something that you are always recovering from and you need to be aware of the path you have to walk.

“I don’t regret having a case. I don’t even regret having a breakdown. I learned a lot about myself, my friends and family, and who you can and can’t trust.”

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Peter Moore at Mold Crown Court

Moving on to a successful career, Mr Jones handled more high profile cases before leaving the profession after 20 years and branching out into teaching. Despite wanting to delve into her new role with Wrexham Glyndwr University, she is also likely to remain in the limelight by selling the filming rights to her book – The Man in Black – which details her insight into the Moore case.

Mr Jones also has no doubt that students will ask him about the matter. He hopes to further help students and law professionals deal with the mental health impacts of the cases they deal with. But he will remind his students that people like Moore are rare.

“He’s a psycho and a psycho killer. You don’t meet many of them. He’s the only one I’ve met in my career. That’s what I tell my students – these people are few and far between.”

As for himself, he said he would be interested in meeting Moore in prison, but doubted that would happen.

They communicated by letter while Mr Jones wrote a book about the case in 2019, but it stalled when the killer suddenly turned against the idea and threatened legal action in the autumn of last year.

The action was halted by a court, but Moore had already sent letters detailing his background and offering a bizarre apology to the people of North Wales, which Mr Jones never included in the book. did. He saw the assassin’s attempt to stop the book as his relentless desire to “control the narrative”.

“Peter Moore explained to me that his upbringing was difficult. I idolized his mother and he was a mother’s boy. He said his father was a bully. He felt excluded. I admired his school contemporaries and teachers. Spoke to those who say he was ostracized. He mixed with the gay scene and became more and more extreme.

“It will be interesting to watch him and see if he has changed after 25 years in prison, to see if there is any remorse or remorse or whether he now admits that what he did was wrong. From Peter Moore It will be interesting to meet again. But I don’t think it will happen now.”

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