The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred for appeal the firearms offences of Gary Lee Williams to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Williams pleaded not guilty but was convicted in May 2007 at Wolverhampton Crown Court of Possession of a Firearm with Intent to Endanger Life, Possession of a Prohibited Firearm, Possession of Expanding Ammunition, Violent Disorder and Wounding with Intent to Cause Grievous Bodily Harm. The charges related to two separate incidents.
He was sentenced to Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) with a minimum of seven years to serve for the wounding and the possession of a firearm with intent, and to five years’ imprisonment, to be served concurrently, for possession of a prohibited firearm and possession of expanding ammunition. No separate penalty was imposed for the violent disorder.
The Court of Appeal declined Mr Williams’ application for leave to appeal in January 2011. He applied to the CCRC for a review of his case in July 2017.
Having considered the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer for appeal Mr Williams convictions for Possession of a Firearm with Intent to Endanger Life, Possession of a Prohibited Firearm and Possession of Expanded Ammunition, because it believes there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will quash the convictions. The referral is based on new evidence that Mr Williams did not bring the firearm to the scene of the first incident.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 07947 355231 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
1. The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently 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.
2. There are currently 13 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.
3. The Commission usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
4. 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”.
5. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
6. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate