The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the case of Dean Williams to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Williams was convicted in October 2005 at Maidstone Crown Court for the murder of Mary Malkin and sentenced to life imprisonment.
He appealed against his conviction, but his appeal was dismissed at the Court of Appeal in June 2006. He applied to the Commission for a review of his case in October 2011.
The Commission has decided to refer the case to the Court of Appeal in light of new medical evidence suggesting that, at the time of the offence, Mr Williams was suffering from alcohol dependency syndrome and associated brain damage. The Commission considers that this new evidence raises the real possibility that the Court will substitute Mr Williams’ murder conviction with a conviction for manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility.
Mr Williams is represented by Scott-Moncrieff Harbour & Sinclair, Office 7, 19 Greenwood Place, London. NW5 1LB.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906.
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 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.
- 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.
- 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.