‘I never gave up hope’ – taxi driver David Butler acquitted of Anne Marie Foy murder speaks out
A TAXI driver cleared of the 2005 murder of a Liverpool gran today told how he hopes her family will one day see justice.
David Butler spent an “horrendous” seven months in prison after being charged with killing sex worker Anne Marie Foy before he was acquitted by a jury last week.
Still getting used to being a free man again the frail and terminally-ill 65-year-old Wavertree dad-of-three told the ECHO he rarely gave up hope he would be found innocent but his time in HMP Walton saw him have “dark, dark days” where he contemplated giving it all up.
Mr Butler, who used to combine his time driving Hackney cabs with training young football teams at Mossley Hill Athletics Club, was arrested in November 2010 by the cold case team which re-opened the September 2005 murder of Ms Foy.
Mr Butler was linked to the crime, which saw the 46-year-old mum-of-four – originally from Dovecot but who also lived in Tuebrook and Kensington – battered to death in bushes in the city’s red light district, through a scientific breakthrough in DNA.
A partial profile found on Ms Foy’s clothing and under her finger nails was “more than a thousand billion times” more likely to be Mr Butler’s than anyone else’s, the prosecution told the Liverpool Crown Court trial last month.
But experts for the defence queried the validity of the findings and attacked the processes used to get them.
The jury deliberated for nearly eleven hours before clearing Mr Butler who suffers from debilitating COPD (a mix of chronic bronchitis and emphysema).
Today he told the ECHO: “Something comes along sometimes which is life-changing but you never see it coming so you are never prepared for it.
“It is difficult to put into words how I feel now.
“The major worry for me was how this would impact on my family, not on me. They are my life. I was never really worried about myself.
“We have to remember there were victims here and we all saw Anne Marie’s family and their reaction afterwards [some quickly left the courtroom in tears] and I didn’t expect anything else.
“No-one should lose their mother in those circumstances and I wish them every success in getting justice. This was another false dawn for them which must have been hard but it has to be the right man and it wasn’t here.”
Mr Butler was charged and, despite his failing health, remanded into custody last June.
He was kept on the “vulnerable prisoner” wing and attacked by another inmate in the mistaken belief he was a sex offender.
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