The notorious second man

You have to believe me when I say I'm a fundamentally good person. I have a good reputation in the neighbourhood and am Chairman of Keep West Kenbury Tidy, I’m considered an all-round good egg.

My only flaw is my tendency not to own up. For example when I started a new job I scraped the bumper of another vehicle in the car park visibly marking it, but because no one was looking I then drove off to another space. When the person whose car was damaged issued an e-mailed plea for whoever was responsible to come forward I ignored it. On another occasions I accidentally flooded a pub toilet before swiftly exiting via the beer garden rather than telling the landlord.

You must all know about the “Kenbury Christmas murders” of 1994? The gruesome crimes of David Anthony Linton are the subject of a channel 4 documentary, a Netflix series , a Serial podcast and at least 6 true crime websites.

I won't therefore, go into the gory details.

You may, even if you are the vaguest student of the case, have an inkling of what it i am about to say.

Yes it’s true, I was the wearer of the blood splattered flip-flop! The blood that was spattered was also mine. Before you gasp in horror let me tell you what happened.

When I was a student I had sex with a girl who then admitted she had a large rugby playing boyfriend who would be coming home soon. Unable to put my shoes on in the dark and panicked by noises I slipped my feet into a cheap pair of flip-flops in the hall and made off, real shoes in hand.

I don't know about you but I find flip-flops hard to walk in and I stubbed my toe on the path as I left, getting some blood on the flip flops which I then tossed over the nearest garden wall.

They landed in the garden of the house where David Anthony Linton was at the time, murdering Paul and Angela Phelps and their 3 year old Molly.

As a student you are sort of cut off from the real world and while I had heard of the murders I wasn't following them and hadn't looked at the Phelps' address. Nor did I read anywhere that a man had been released because his blood didn’t match that on the flip-flops.

By the time of Linton’s re-arrest he had brutally wiped out two more families.

It was only then that I saw the flip-flops on Crimewatch and heard the words “possible accomplice”.

I wish I'd come forward at this point I really do, But the "second man" in the blood spattered

flip-flops quickly became a notorious figure on an infamy par with Linton himself. My identity has been the subject of constant conjecture ever since.

Several times I nearly set off for the police station but was put off thinking of the threats made to The second man on the internet. Once I reached the station only to see someone reading The Sun’s front page featuring the local postman and the headline "Face of a monster?".

For years I’ve lived in fear of discovery, I don't give blood, I gave up cycling in case I should end up in hospital and every time my GP orders me to have a blood test I make an excuse to miss the appointment.

Recently I’ve come to think that I’m enjoying this situation, becoming strangely rather proud of my unlikely identity as the notorious “second man” and at my ongoing success in evading capture.