Wearside ‘killer’ continues fight to clear his name

convicted: Michael Luvaglio.
convicted: Michael Luvaglio.
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AN ailing ex-jailbird has launched an online fight to clear his name after he was convicted of a mob-linked killing.

Michael Luvaglio, 74, has spent more than 40 years attempting to overturn his conviction for the murder of business associate Angus Sibbet in South Hetton in 1967.

Dated: 19/06/2011'Angus Sibbett, who was shot dead in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1967, which inspired the iconic gangland film Get Carter. Convicted murderer Michael Luvaglio has now made a deathbed plea for help to clear his name, offering a �10,000 reward for information that would clear him of the fatal shooting of Sibbett.'See story North News' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Dated: 19/06/2011'Angus Sibbett, who was shot dead in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1967, which inspired the iconic gangland film Get Carter. Convicted murderer Michael Luvaglio has now made a deathbed plea for help to clear his name, offering a �10,000 reward for information that would clear him of the fatal shooting of Sibbett.'See story North News' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

The crime became known as the “one-armed bandit murder” and inspired the story of gangster film Get Carter.

Now web developers have worked free-of-charge to help Mr Luvaglio make all the evidence he claims proves his innocence available online.

He hopes it will to gather more supporters to his cause.

Today the charity worker appealed to Echo readers to learn more about his plight and sign an online petition to help him clear his name.

If he can get 100,000 signatures, then the issue will have to be considered for a Parliamentary debate.

“I’m in ill health and this may be the last chance I have to get justice, but I need everyone’s help. I need people to sign the petition and tell others about it through Facebook and such like.”

Mr Luvaglio, who lives in London, said the website contains witness statements and other evidence which was he claims was “suppressed” during the trial.

The site also features video clips, including reconstructions of the murder, theories, evidence from gangland characters and other material gathered before and since Mr Luvaglio’s conviction.

The 74-year-old was convicted alongside Dennis Stafford, now of Stanhope Castle, who lived in Peterlee at the time of the killing.

Both men have continued to protest their innocence. Mr Stafford has been convicted of more minor crimes since the murder.

They claim they were framed by the infamous Kray twins, who had their eye on the lucrative fruit machine business in the North East.

{http://www.villain-or-victim.com,Click here} to view Luvaglio’s website.

THE bullet-riddled body of Angus Sibbett was found in the back of his Jaguar under Pesspool Bridge in South Hetton on January 5, 1967.

Within 18 hours, the wealthy businessman’s colleagues, Luvaglio and Stafford, were arrested. They were found guilty by a jury in Newcastle two months later.

The convictions came as a shock – the champagne to celebrate their acquittal was already on ice at the nearby Station Hotel.

The three men had all worked for Sunderland-based fruit machine company Social Club Services, owned by Luvaglio’s brother Vince Landa.

The two convicted murderers were released on life licence in 1979 after serving 12 years.

Despite two appeals to the Court of Appeal and one to the House of Lords, as well as an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, they have failed to overturn the conviction.

The men have now appealed to European courts, but face a long wait.

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