The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conspiracy to rob conviction of Gary Hutchings to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Hutchings pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to rob but was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in December 1992 and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment.
The charges arose from a series of cash-in-transit robberies committed in London between 1989 and 1991.
The gang involved would identify a Post Office worker from the targeted depot and then carry out research into his family and personal circumstances. On the morning of the robbery the Post Office worker would be kidnapped at gunpoint and threats against his family would be made in order to coerce him into cooperating with the robbers. At a certain point during the round, a member of the gang riding a motorcycle would meet up with the van and lead the way to where other gang members waited and where employees would hand over cash bags from the van.
Mr Hutchings was refused leave to appeal against his conviction and applied to the Commission for a review of his case in 2004.
The Commission’s review considered a range of issues including the impact of the central involvement of police officers since discredited as a result of a Metropolitan Police inquiry into alleged corruption among officers in the Flying Squad based at Rigg Approach in Walthamstow, North East London.
The Commission has decided to refer Mr Hutchings conviction to the Court of Appeal because in its view there is a real possibility that the court will conclude that the conviction is unsafe.
Mr Hutchings is represented by Venters Solicitors 1-6 Camberwell Green
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