The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the case of Mr A to the Court of Appeal.
In 2005 Mr A pleaded not guilty to sexual offences against a child, including rape. He was convicted and sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.
He sought to appeal against the convictions, but leave to appeal was refused.
Having considered the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer Mr A’s convictions to the Court of Appeal, because new evidence relating to the credibility of a key prosecution witness raises a real possibility that the Court will decide the convictions are unsafe and quash them.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 633 1806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Commission has replaced the applicant’s name with the letter A in order to protect the identity of individuals involved in the case. The letter should not be taken as an initial; when the Commission decides to anonymise a case, it does so by choosing the next letter in the alphabet following on from the last anonymised referral. The Court of Appeal will make its own decision about if/how to anonymise the case when the appeal is heard.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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”.
6. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.