CCRC refers the conviction of Ricky Rowe to the Crown Court

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the driving without insurance conviction of Ricky Rowe to the Crown Court

Mr Rowe was convicted in absence at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on 26th August 2008 of an offence of driving a motor vehicle without insurance on 30 January 2008.

Mr Rowe appealed against conviction and a re-hearing was held at Woolwich Crown Court on 5th December 2008. Mr Rowe’s conviction for driving without insurance was upheld

.Mr Rowe has always denied that he was the driver of the vehicle when it was stopped by police on 30 January 2008 and denies having any connection to the vehicle. Mr Rowe applied to the Commission seeking a review of his conviction on 11th June 2009

.Following a detailed review, the Commission has decided to refer the case back to the Crown Court on the basis that there is new evidence which casts doubt on whether Mr Rowe was the driver of the vehicle and therefore there is a real possibility that Mr Rowe’s conviction will not be upheld.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 233 0906 or e-mail press@ccrc.gov.uk

Notes to editors

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.

There are nine Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice

.The Commission receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Typically, around 4%, or one in 25, of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.

The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”

.If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.