Notorious Rolex murder con artist denied parole
Notorious crook convicted of infamous “Rolex murder” was denied parole for the 1996 murder of a friend whose identity he stole before killing him on a boat trip and to dump the body at sea near Teignmouth.
Albert Walker, then 52, was jailed for life in Exeter Crown Court in 1998 after being convicted of the murder of his friend and business partner Ronald Platt, 51, a former soldier, whom he had used identity in a complex plot to protect his double life.
The runaway former Canadian financier, now 75, denied responsibility for the murder but was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 15 years. He was allowed to return to Canada in 2005 to serve his life sentence.
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The Parole Board of Canada, in a recent decision, denied the former Woodstock businessman’s request for release, denying him both day and full parole as well as his request for release. unescorted absence to travel to Vancouver Island for a “personal development” program.
Walker’s Crimes were then turned into a book and TV movie.
The “Rolex Murder” has become infamous around the world, as a single clue would not only identify the victim, but also lead agents to unravel an international network of lies and deceit.
On July 28, 1996, the body of a man was found in the net of the trawler Brixham Malkerry six miles from Teignmouth.
Detectives could not find anything on the body to indicate who the drowned man was. Their only clue was a 25-year-old Rolex Oyster watch that was still strapped to his right wrist.
Six weeks later, after searching Rolex’s meticulous service records, officers established that the victim was Mr. Platt.
The serial number and service documents showed that the watch had been brought in twice by Mr. Platt to a Harrogate jewelry company in the 1980s.
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Following Mr. Platt’s trail to Essex, an owner directed officers to the direction of Mr. Platt’s “best friend”.
It would ultimately be the fugitive Canadian businessman Walker, who had given his name as David Davies and passed himself off as an American.
He first told police that he had given Mr Platt money to set up an electricity company in France and had not seen him since June.
But when police went to Davies’ home in the quiet village of Woodham Walter, near Maldon, to get a written statement, the officer was surprised.
As fate would have it, the detective went to the wrong property where he was told: “Our neighbor is called Platt, not Davies”.
The alarm bells rang and the police put him under a microscope for three weeks before arresting him in an armed raid on Halloween.
But it took a month for the police to find out Davies was really Walker and the woman he was passing off as his wife was actually his daughter Sheena.
A jury of eight women and four men convicted Walker, who, at the time of his arrest, was Interpol’s fourth most wanted man and Canada’s first fugitive.
Just weeks before Canadian authorities began investigating the alleged theft of nearly C $ 4 million from his financial services firm, Walker had fled across the Atlantic to London with his daughter. 15 years old in December 1990.
He chose the identity of one of his Canadian clients – David Davies – to use it as his.
He later befriended mild-mannered TV repairman Ronald Platt and his 39-year-old girlfriend Elaine Boyes in Harrogate, where the couple unwittingly played a role in expanding the network of Walker’s deception and lies.
Walker used them as a front for a bogus corporate operation, with accounts in Switzerland, to launder money in order to continue his stay in Britain.
When they achieved their goal, Walker paid to start a new life in Canada – a country Mr. Platt loved after living there as a youth – and assumed his second false identity. But when the disillusioned and unemployed Mr Platt returned to Britain in 1995, he became a threat to Walker’s safety and freedom.
In July of the following year, Walker took Mr Platt on his 24ft yacht Lady Jane, which he kept moored at Dittisham in the River Dart, knocked him unconscious in the back of the head and threw him into the sea, with a weight of 10 pounds. anchor tucked into the waistband of his pants.
Handing down the life sentence, Judge Butterfield told Walker: “In my opinion, this was a ruthless and premeditated murder aimed at eliminating a man whom you had used for your own selfish ends.
Walker had requested day parole in a British Columbia jail in 2015, but then withdrew his request.
In its recent ruling, the parole board asked Walker to describe what led to the fraud and theft charges. Walker said his biggest risk factor at the time was “insecurity” and the need for “love and affection from others.”
Asked about the toll of his financial crimes on his victims, he said none had gone bankrupt or faced financial devastation. The board concluded that Walker “lacked remorse” and “did not have a good understanding” of how his actions affected his victims.
In England, Walker’s network of deception began to unravel when Mr. Platt returned to England and settled near Walker’s house. Walker was found to have killed Platt on Walker’s sailboat by knocking him out, weighing his body down and throwing him into the English Channel.
Walker told the parole board he had considered taking Mr Platt to his boat with a plan to kill him, but was unable to follow through. He said he had decided to give Platt a lump sum of money and tell him, on their next boat trip, that there would be none left. Walker told the parole board that when he told Platt about his previous plan to kill him, Platt attacked him, knocked him out, and when he woke up, Platt was in the water. .
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Walker told the board that he had prevented Platt from re-boarding the boat and, when he realized the man had drowned, he searched his pockets to retrieve the large sum of money he had left. ‘he had given it to her, then weighed her body with an anchor. Walker continued to use his victim’s identity to make transactions, including buying gold bars.
“You said that the different versions of the offense that you have reported over the years are due to your failing memory,” the commission said in its written decision.
When the council asked Walker about his “crime cycle,” he told them he didn’t.
“The board finds that you have a very superficial understanding of your risk factors,” the board report says. “You have no idea about your deceptive behavior patterns, your need for control, and the role your ego and self-image have contributed to your offense cycle.”
Walker tried to appeal his conviction but his request was rejected in 1999.
Four years ago he was transferred to minimum security prison. A year later, the board denied her request for an accompanied absence to attend church.
Victims of Walker’s frauds described him in court impact statements as “selfish, deceptive, callous and fraudulent.” After being cleared back to Canada, Walker’s daughter Sheena in the media called him “bad guy” and said he had manipulated her and lied to her.
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