As Napper is removed from the public, the public prepare to see Colin Stagg put on trial. He’s spent a year in custody and the police and prosecution are confident of their material. But Colin’s defence team employ specialists who find the case against him littered with mistakes and entrapment.
The judge agrees and dismisses it as a ‘honey trap’. After taking 4500 statements, and spending £3m in the largest murder investigation in British history, they’re left with nothing.
But Colin’s ordeal is far from over. He’s about to face trial by tabloid media. He’s mobbed outside the court with shouts of ‘Hang him...Guilty, guilty!’. The police tell Nickell’s father they will keep the file open but will not pursue anyone else. The implication is clear. Colin Stagg has got away with murder.
Colin returns to his flat where he will spend the next 14 years as a social pariah
In October 1995, Napper pleads guilty to the Bissett murders. He also admits to one rape and two attempted rapes of women he’d stalked on the Green Chain Walk. Sentencing him, the judge states:
"You present a grave and immediate risk to the public."
But when questioned, Napper insists he was at work on the day Nickell was killed.
It would be another seven years before there’d be a breakthrough. Forensic scientists find very small paint flecks that they‘re able to match with Napper’s metal toolbox.
On 18 December 2008, he’s charged with Rachel Nickell’s murder. Her partner, Andre, travels from Spain to see him sent down.