Commission refers the attempted rape conviction of Victor Nealon to the Court of Appeal

The Commission has decided to refer Victor Nealon’s conviction for attempted rape to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Nealon pleaded not guilty to attempted rape but was convicted at Hereford Crown Court in January 1997 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

He appealed against his conviction in January 1998, but the appeal was dismissed.

Mr Nealon’s current application arrived at the Commission in July 2010 .

Having reviewed the case, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Nealon’s conviction to the Court of Appeal because it considers that new scientific evidence raises the real possibility that the Court may quash the conviction.

Mr Nealon is represented by Mr Mark Newby of Quality Solicitors Jordans, Doncaster, DN1 1BP.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906.

Notes to editors:

  1. 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.
  2. There currently 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.
  3. The Commission receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year.  Our current rates of referral are around 4%, which means around one in 25 of all applications are referred 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.