Commission refers the case of M, a minor.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred for appeal the sexual offences conviction of M.

M, who was minor at the time of conviction and therefore cannot be identified, pleaded not guilty but was convicted at Youth Court in 2015 on two counts of sexual offences against another minor. M was sentenced to a youth rehabilitation order and a sexual harm prevention order.

M tried to appeal against the conviction but was unsuccessful. They applied to the CCRC for a review of their conviction.

Having reviewed the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer the conviction for appeal at the Crown Court[1] because it considers there is a real possibility that the appeal will succeed. The referral has been made on the basis of new forensic evidence and on the Judge’s views on the forensic evidence presented at trial.

Footnote: [1] Youth Court convictions are appealed in the Crown Court.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 07947 355231 or e-mail press@ccrc.gov.uk

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