Case Summary

That crisp October morning saw the shooting death of Robert Magill. Kevin Lane is one individual who gets accused and who never stops trying to clear his name. The Crown disputes that he was the shooter and that Roger Vincent was with him when Magill was killed.

The conviction is based on dubious forensic evidence, the dishonest behavior of a high-ranking police officer involved in the investigation, and the circumstantial evidence presented by the Crown. DS Spackman had threatened to frame Kevin and was eventually given a 4-year prison sentence for unrelated offenses.

"I'm not a grass, but I've been inside far too long. I'm not going to give up. I know I can prove my innocence."

The Case

The Case

The Crowns case was that Kevin Lane and Roger Vincent had gunned down Robert Magill and that Kevin was paid in cash on the same day for payment.

The individuals from whom Kevin allegedly got this cash are still unknown to the Crown, and they were also unable to provide confirmation for other shaky pieces of circumstantial evidence that they had depended upon. One piece of scientific evidence pertained to the identification of Kevin's fingerprint from a bin liner found in the car's boot, which was suspected of being used in the murder. This piece of evidence did not identify Kevin as one of the gunman, even if he had a believable innocent explanation for how his fingerprint would have ended up on the bin liner. Robert Magill was shot and killed on Thursday, October 1994, at about 8.20 a.m., while strolling his dog down Berry Lane in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire.

Allegations and Circumstances

The main thrust of the case is the allegation that Robert Magill's murder was committed by Kevin Lane and Roger Vincent. The Crown made a case that Kevin got paid for the murder, but they were unable to provide proof for certain important pieces of evidence. Kevin's alibi and lack of eyewitness identification did not prevent his 1996 conviction.

Lack of Evidence

Eyewitnesses did not identify Kevin, and there was no direct evidence placing him at the scene. Additionally, the murder weapon was never recovered. Concerns about police corruption emerged, suggesting an inappropriate relationship between suspects and investigating officers.

Roger Vincent's Deal with the Police

Roger Vincent requested leniency from the authorities in exchange for information and cooperation. The credibility of the inquiry is called into question by this agreement, in which Kevin was implicated.

Kevin's Alibi

Kevin maintained he was at home in Bedfordshire at the time of the murder, preparing to take his children to school. His defense centered on this alibi and inconsistencies in the evidence against him.

Fingerprints and Getaway Car

Kevin's fingerprint was discovered on a trash bag that was purportedly connected to the murder weapon. He did, however, offer a tenable reason for why his fingerprint may have been there—that of a rogue police officer. Though it was found, it was unclear how the red BMW that was thought to be the getaway car related to the murder. Allegations of corruption by police tainted the probe even further.

Police Corruption and Investigation

Kevin said that Detective Sergeant Spackman was planning his conviction because he had a personal vendetta against him. Then, Spackman was imprisoned for corruption, which strengthened Kevin's arguments. Recent revelations of anonymous papers point to a police force effort to obfuscate evidence and suppress important information. The integrity of the case is further compromised by worries about potential conflicts of interest among the investigating personnel.

The police inquiry that followed was dubbed Operation Cactus. After a second trial and a majority conviction from the jury, Kevin was found guilty of the murder in March 1996. In a moving speech, Kevin turned to the jurors and stated, "I didn't do this." Even after his conviction for 18 years, Kevin continues to insist, "I didn't do this." There were several witnesses to the incident. In the ensuing identification parades, not a single witness identified Kevin.

Kevin Lane's case highlights systemic issues within law enforcement and the justice system. Despite mounting evidence of corruption and misconduct, Kevin continues to fight for justice, hoping to overturn his conviction and clear his name.



Kevin could not have been at the shooting site based on the available evidence. Never was the murder weapon found. Even after eighteen years, the narrative of Operation Cactus is far from over. A significant body of evidence now points to the primary suspects in Robert Magill's murder having an improper relationship with the investigating officer. Now that further important details have surfaced, Kevin's conviction would have been in jeopardy if they had been presented to a jury for consideration. Roger Vincent's Police Interaction On December 16, 1994, Roger Vincent and David Smith were both taken into custody on suspicion of killing Robert Magill. On that particular occasion, Smith was detained once and then released without being charged...


Now that he is free, Lane maintains that he was set up for the crime and refuted the evidence used to support his conviction in his book Fitted Up and Fighting Back, which was released in 2021. He said that the BMW purportedly used as the getaway car belonged to his family and had the fingerprints of his kid.

Fitted Up and Fighting Back | Kevin Lane