James and his family have received a huge amount of support before, during and after his trial. Here we show excerpts from some of the letters received.
All of his supporters remain unwaivering in their support.
In court, His Hon. Judge Henry Globe QC, said he considered James “to be of impeccable and positive good character”.
The Rt Rev James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, 12 July 2013
“James has been in continuous custody since 30 December 2009, and at the time of writing that is 1358 days and counting. I am a retired police officer, retired barrister and retired Crown prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service. I have reviewed the file relating to the murder alleged to have been committed by James. There are so many anomalies and inconsistences in this case that it should never have been brought before a Court. In my view this is a case of the justifiable homicide of a violent and aggressive man high on cocaine, where it is quite possible due to the violence of his act and combined with the exertion of carrying out an assault on James that he suffered a cardiac episode and died not of a brain injury as was suggested by the prosecution but of positional asphyxia, caused by a ham fisted attempt at first aid by a Crown witness. James committed any act against the deceased in self defence. Most of the key Crown witnesses were found to be unreliable mainly through the excessive consumption of alcohol. Had the Crown Prosecution Service been in possession of the full facts at the time the charging decision was made, especially all the medical evidence, it is my view James would have never been charged with murder. He is subject of a serious miscarriage of justice.”
Ed Shone, Barrister (ret’d)
“James’ family has been convinced of James’ innocence all along and I am hugely impressed by how hard they have fought to try to clear James’ name. There are big questions about the conviction and these need to be cleared up at the appeal. There appears to be significant evidence to support James’ defence and I am convinced that it is absolutely right that the appeal court considers an appeal.”
Bill Esterson MP
“I have known your son many years and have always found him to be a lovely gentle person, blessed with a cheerful disposition. I don’t understand what happened but I am sure your son did not go out to fight. I think the press have a lot to answer for.
“I pray that good will come out of this.”
A Southport resident
“This verdict was a travesty and as I’m sure that you are aware, people who know and have supported James are stunned. None of us thought it would have resulted in the outcome it did and it has been equally difficult for people who have been behind you all to come to terms with this.
“James is a lovely young man who you should remain immensely proud of – he so does not deserve this. Having only met you outside court and not knowing you before then, you came across as being a loving, supportive family and this was evident by the way in which you remained composed and strong throughout the trial.
“I think about you constantly and I would like to offer my continued support along with that of our family in any way that we can help. Many members of my extended family and friends are also behind you.”
“My wife and I attended James’ trial and were stunned by the jury’s verdict. How they came to it we will never know. The real culprit got off scot-free.
“What angered us most was the young woman who caused all the trouble, refusing to accept any responsibility for it and ruining the lives of two families.
“The day after the trial I visited the Southport Visiter’s office with a letter about the part she had played but they were unable to accept it on legal grounds.”
A Formby resident
“During this time I have found James to be a kind and trustworthy person. I have met him on numerous occasions during his visits to my house when calling on my son in which James has always shown to be polite, helpful and very communicative to both myself and wife Caroline. James has held various jobs whilst at school and during his time studying at university, I have met and was served by him whilst he was working at the local ‘Spar’ store in which he was always of a very pleasant disposition with customers at all times. James has always been very helpful and encouraging during my son’s difficult times in taking his A levels for maths in which James gave up his own study time to help my son of which I am most grateful as this helped my son gain a place in university and a full time career in construction management and engineering.”
“You don’t know me but my eldest son William, knows him. William has told me you could not wish to meet a nicer young man than Jay and I wanted to unite and offer our support. We do not believe the horrible article in the Southport Visiter…. Jay must have been acting in self defence. We have heard the deceased man was not the angel he was portrayed in the newspaper… I feel those girls have a lot to answer for! My heart goes out to you all and I am praying for you….”
A Southport resident
“I have known Jay for 4 years… Jay was one of the few male friends I had whilst at University… Friendly and chatty… We spent a lot of time together… I saw Jay most days because it would always be nice to spend time with him… Because Jay is easy company… He is laid back and would just keep me smiling the whole day… I was excited for him because he was planning to move into a new house nearer to his work… In absolute honesty, Jay is a really nice, kind thoughtful lad… He has always been friendly to people he doesn’t know… A nice friendly gentle person…”
“Just a few words to let you all know that we are here to support you and Jay in any way we can over the next few weeks. Jay is a lovely lad and none of us can believe this is happening to you all.”
G. & H.M. Formby
“I have known James Thompson (known as Jay) for approximately 15 years. He struck a good friendship with my son Richard when they were at school together and for many years both played football for a local team, this friendship is still as strong today. In that time he has been a welcome guest to our home and on many occasions he has stayed both in Formby and also at our holiday cottage in the North East of England. Whenever I have met Jay I have always found him to be a delight to be with, he is always polite and respectful in a quiet unassuming way.”
“I was so shocked and upset to hear the very crushing verdict regarding James. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.”
A Formby resident
“At times like this I think it’s important for you to know how much you are loved and respected. We all think so much of you and will support you as much as we can. You don’t deserve this nightmare. Our love and prayers to you all.”
P. & D.J. Liverpool
“I got to know about you during my time at Kentonwood. I feel that you are a loving, strong, supportive family and I’m sure these qualities will sustain you in the time ahead and be a great comfort to James until he comes home.”
“We all know James isn’t capable of what they are accusing him of and he will be home soon enough. You are in our thoughts and prayers.”
K. & M. Hampshire
“I am writing to say that I am so sorry about the outcome of the trial, it is unfair and I am really devastated. I can’t imagine how you are feeling but want to let you know that I am thinking of James too. I hope he gets the chance to appeal because the verdict wasn’t fair. I would also like to thank you for being so welcoming to me throughout the trial, I am really grateful, and sorry that this has happened to such a nice family. I will continue to be supportive throughout the whole thing and would like to stay in contact with Jay if he wishes to.”
A Formby resident
“You don’t know me but I have heard about the sad events around your son James. I am thinking of you and would like to send my sincere sympathy for all that you are suffering as a family.”
Unamed Southport resident
“I would like to join with the family to offer our support to you all in any way that we can.
“Keeping Jay in my prayers.”
“It is impossible to know how you feel at this time, we can only imagine and empathise, for that we send you our heartfelt support and compassion.
“We think of you every day, it’s impossible not to.”
H. & S. M. Somerset
“We were very pleased to hear about Steven, but, of course absolutely devastated for James and yourselves. It is, to us, completely unbelievable that such a thing could happen and we can only offer our total sympathy. We know how he has been brought up and achieved what he has done at school, university and at work, as well as being such a nice person. We are so sorry for you all.”
J. & B. Wolverhampton
“Whenever I met James he was always extremely polite and impeccably behaved. He has a very pleasant temperament and I believe his is a thoroughly honest, decent, level headed young man.
“He is a very caring person and very close to his family. He was always very kind and caring towards our daughter, so much so that I was always certain that she was in safe hands whenever they were out together. I could not have been so sure of this if I ever thought James was in any way a violent person.”
A Formby resident