The Detective

Join Mark Williams-Thomas as he asks you to become the armchair detective in cases exploring possible miscarriages of justice.

Hosted by investigative journalist and former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas, this podcast explores possible miscarriages of justice in a variety of cases, ranging from terrorism, to murder, to missing people. Eac
Monday, June 22, 2020

Series 2, Episode 1 • What If It's Not Murder?

Season 2, Ep. 1
We set the scene on the horrific and brutal murder of 17-year-old, Sana Ali who was 11 weeks pregnant. The attack on Friday 10 May 2007 resulted in over 40 separate knife wounds, described as ‘sustained and ferocious’, and occurred at the home of her husband’s parents in Bury on the outskirts of Manchester, England. Sana’s husband, playboy businessman Sair Ali had been having a long-term affair with Harmohinder Sanghera, also known as Mindy.  On that fateful day Mindy drove from her home in Solihull, West Midlands to confront Sana about her husbands illicit affair but to tell also her it was all over.After a trial in November 2007 Mindy, a dentistry student was jailed for life, with a minimum term of 14 years, for the murder of Sana Ali. Mindy has always maintained her innocence and this podcast will take you through a very careful and thorough forensic re-investigation of all the evidence from both the prosecution and the defence. We hear from Mindy as she describes her visit to Sana. You, the listener will be asked to consider if Mindy is a cold-blooded killer or if she is the result of a flawed police investigation, resulting in a tragic miscarriage of justice. In the opening episode we will explore the following: ·      Mindy as a person, and her family's fight for what they believe is a miscarriage of justice·      Background to Mindy’s affair with Sair·      The initial police investigation·      Mindy’s own account of what happened when she visited Sana TEASE – Next week ·      We hear from the police officer that lead the police investigation ·      Hear the initial 999 emergency call·      Mindy’s best friend describes her conversations with Mindy on the day of the murder·      We begin to piece together the timeline of Mindy’s movements 
Monday, June 29, 2020

Series 2, Episode 2 • What If It's Not Murder?

Season 2, Ep. 2
In this episode we start to break down the police and prosecution case against Mindy and what it was that lead to her being convicted of the furious and brutal murder of 17-year-old Sana Ali, the wife of her lover. On the day of the attack Mindy speaks to her best friend Sheetal, both on her way to confront Sana and also immediately after she leaves the house. In Sheetal’s own words, we hear details of the exact conversations she had with Mindy. We hear more from Mindy as she describes what happened and who she spoke with after visiting Sana. Sana was found by her two sisters in law’s who were so concerned for her safety, that they went around to the house to check on her only to find her on the floor, covered in blood with a knife alongside her.  Their initial reaction and observations are that Sana had killed herself.  We hear the details of the initial 999 emergency call and start to understand more as to why Sana’s family were concerned about her welfare.We hear from the police officer who was in charge of the investigation, retired Detective Chief Superintendent Jane Antrobus.  DCS Antrobus gives an insight into her investigation, why the case was initially treated as a suicide, and how after medical evidence from Dr Lumb, a Home Officer forensic pathologist, Sana’s death was instead considered as a homicide.DCS Antrobus gives us an understanding of the dynamics of this three-way love triangle and how Mindy entered into a Mut'ah with Sair, a temporary marriage which under the eyes of Allah allowed him to conduct his relationship with Mindy. The crime scene is described by the attending paramedics which feeds in to forensic expert Dr Woods evidence around blood pattern analysis and specifically where he believed Sana was during the furious attack. We hear why the paramedics considered that Sana was alive and took her to hospital in an attempt to save her life. In this episode we introduce David Wells, as he presents evidence from the police and prosecution, a role which he will adopt for future episodes. We also consider how Sana would have been capable of moving around the bedroom after she had received her wounds.TEASE – Next week  ·      We hear more from Mindy’s family about what they knew about Mindy’s affair and the initial police investigation. ·      The police officer leading the murder investigation explains how they never established ownership of the knife.·      The officer also explains how she believes Mindy was able to carry out this brutal attack without getting a drop of blood on her clothes or body.
Monday, July 13, 2020

Series 2, Episode 4 • What If It's Not Murder?

Season 2, Ep. 4
By this stage of the investigation you should now have reached one of the following conclusions:1)    That the evidence stacks up - as per the prosecution case and Mindy was correctly convicted, or2)    That you have some concerns about the evidence, but not enough to feel that Mindy is the subject of a miscarriage of justice, or 3)    That you have serious concerns about the evidence that convicted Mindy and like her family and friends believe that Mindy’s conviction is unsafe.The police’s theory was that Mindy travelled to see Sana with the intention of killing her and making it look like suicide. In this episode we explore this theory to see if it stands up to scrutiny or if any other evidence exists that could cast it in serious doubt.  We also consider the belief held by the police that Mindy attended the house and put on a full forensic suit without being noticed, that Sana was fully compliant whilst she did this and made no attempt to leave the bedroom.Mindy’s timeline and recollection of events also come under close scrutiny. We piece together her movements by using CCTV footage and mobile phone data to see if her account is accurate. We also consider how she behaved before going into the house to see Sana and immediately afterwards. Was Mindy telling the truth about how she left the house or does evidence exist that shows she must have left via the kitchen window?We hear vital evidence from Sana’s close friends and relatives about Sana’s state of mind, which shows just how low and unhappy she was.This episode highlights the failings of another case, an unsolved murder in which the pathologist‘s findings were clearly wrong.We also hear from an Italian forensic pathologist, Professor Di Vella, about a very similar case.TEASE next week ·      Challenge the police officer in charge of the case over some of her theories·      Try to track down Sair ·      Hear more about the impact the case had and continues to have on the family.