A DRAMATIC new twist in the notorious “Beauty in the Bath” killing will see a fresh attempt made to overturn the conviction of the man found guilty of murder.

Ten years ago this month, John Taft, the managing director of a glass company, was convicted of murdering Cynthia Bolshaw in her Heswall home - 16 years after she was found dead in her bath at her bungalow in Buffs Lane.

She had been strangled and the murder investigation sparked a inquiry that would circle the world.

Taft was given a life sentence at Liverpool Crown Court in November, 1999, after advances in DNA evidence encouraged detectives to reinvestigate the case.

But he has always maintained his innocence - even though it emerged at his trial that he had sex with Mrs Bolshaw at her home on the night she was killed.

In the last few days, however, the case has taken a sensational new turn after campaigning Wirral solicitor David Kirwan discovered that the forensic material from the trial has not been destroyed or lost as had previously been thought.

He believes that some of this evidence, which was not made available at Taft’s trial, could form a vital part of a new appeal.

Mr Kirwan told the Globe: “Fundamental mistakes were made both before and during the trial which meant that a lot of vital evidence was simply not presented to the jury.

“Having reviewed the case, it is clear that police, lawyers and forensic teams were responsible for a catalogue of blunders which may have led to the conviction of an innocent man.

“We believe we will be able not only to show that John Taft could not have been the murderer, but also point the finger of suspicion at another visitor to Cynthia Bolshaw’s house on the night of her murder.”

He is hoping to seek leave to appeal and, if it is successful, Taft will be aiming to have his conviction struck out or a new trial ordered.

Mr Kirwan said: “Within hours of starting to work on this case, I became extremely concerned that this is one of the most serious miscarriages of justice I have come across in more than 40 years as a criminal solicitor.”

Taft’s campaign for justice is supported by his second wife Susan, to whom he had only been married for 19 days when police arrived at their house in April, 1999, to question him over the death of Mrs Bolshaw.

At the time of the killing, in October, 1983, police discovered a series of diaries kept by Mrs Bolshaw which shed light on her colourful life.

The diaries contained the names of 200 men and sparked a line of inquiry that involved Interpol and spanned the world.

Taft has had one appeal turned down already, when questions were raised over the trial judge’s summing up.

The Appeal Court ruled that there was no evidence to demonstrate the judge’s words had altered the course of the jury’s deliberations and were insufficient to order a retrial.