The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the case of S to the Court of Appeal.
Mr S pleaded not guilty to charges of indecent assault on a female under 14, but was convicted in 1987 and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.
Mr S had applied for leave to appeal against sentence in 1987, but leave was refused. He had not previously appealed against his conviction and applied to the Commission for a review of his case in 2008.
Having reviewed the case, the Commission has decided to refer Mr S’s conviction to the Court of Appeal because it considers that fresh medical evidence, which potentially undermines medical evidence heard at trial, raises a real possibility that the court may decide the conviction is unsafe.
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 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.
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.
- 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.
This press release was issued by
Head of Communication,
Criminal Cases Review Commission,
Telephone: 0121 633 1800