Millionaire Pro Gambler Jailed for Murder Maintains Innocence

Posted on: October 9, 2023, 06:01h. 

Last updated on: October 18, 2023, 11:56h.

A wealthy professional gambler — sentenced to 18 years in a UK prison for stabbing a petty criminal to death in a pub parking lot in east London — continues to profess his innocence.

Jason Moore, Robert Darby, CCRC
Jason Moore, above, is 10 years into an 18-year sentence for the murder of Robert Darby. But even Darby’s relatives believe he is innocent. (Image: The Guardian)

Supporters of Jason Moore, 53, plan to protest Wednesday outside 10 Downing Street against his conviction for the murder of Robert Darby, who was killed in August 2005. These include members of the victim’s own family and several retired police detectives who believe Moore’s conviction was unfair.

Moore’s plight has become the subject of an upcoming Netflix documentary that reexamines the evidence in the case.

Moore became a millionaire by spread betting on cricket games. His checkered past includes a conviction for fraud, but no history of violence. Had he admitted to the crime, he would soon be eligible for release, but he refuses to do so.

“Whenever I meet with probation, I refuse to do the courses. I just tell them I’m innocent,” he told The Guardian this week from behind bars.

‘Love Triangle’  

Darby was under the misapprehension that Moore was having an affair with his ex-girlfriend,  a woman who worked in a bar beneath Moore’s £1.4 million apartment in London’s Canary Wharf business district. While Moore had briefly dated the woman, he hadn’t seen her for months. But Darby began threatening and harssing Moore, according to court documents.

Moore asked his friend, Martin Power, to reason with Darby. On the day of the killing, Moore claimed he was in the back of Power’s car on the way to the gym when the latter received a phone call and diverted to the Valentine pub in Ilford, East London.

Moore claimed he remained in the back of the car in pub parking and witnessed a scuffle between Darby and Power. Darby was killed with a utility knife later found to belong to Power. 

Both men fled the UK for Spain days after the murder. From there, Moore traveled to Dubai under a false identity. But he returned to the UK of his own volition in 2012, determined to clear his name. Power was arrested in Spain in April 2013 and extradited to the UK.

Both men stood trial for murder, but Power walked. He was acquitted of all charges, while Moore got life.

Circumstantial Evidence

Moore’s supporters note that there was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime. The only witness to identify Moore as the killer later admitted to being drunk at the time of the murder, and even then, only caught a fleeting glimpse of the perpetrator.

This was not disclosed to the jury at trial.

The witness initially picked the wrong person out of an identity parade, choosing a volunteer who was of a similar height and build to Power, according to The Daily Mail. Moore is 6’4″.

The same witness chose Moore from another lineup eight years later. A second witness failed to identify Moore at all.

Retired Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Steve Hobbs has prepared a 46-page dossier detailing flaws in the case, which Moore and his supporters hope will prompt the UK’s Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) to take a fresh look at Moore’s predicament.