The Commission has referred the false accounting conviction of Jawid Yusuf to the Crown Court.
Mr Yusuf was convicted of five counts of false accounting (contrary to section 17 (1) (A) of the Theft Act 1968) on 15 January 2004 at East Hertfordshire Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £80 on each count (making a total fine of £400) and was ordered to pay £150 costs. He did not appeal. He applied to the Commission in February 2009.
Mr Yusuf worked as a pharmacist at a chemist shop in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire. He left there in December 2001 to work in another local chemist shop owned another proprietor.
The prosecution alleged that whilst working at both these shops Mr Yusuf falsified prescriptions by adding additional items, forging the doctor’s signature and then claiming payment for the extra items which were not in fact dispensed to the customer.
Having reviewed the case, the Commission has concluded that several issues, including non-disclosure to the defence of material which might have affected the credibility of key witnesses, raise a real possibility that, on a re-hearing of the case, the Crown Court would not uphold Mr Yusuf’s conviction. Accordingly, the Commission has referred the conviction to the Crown Court.
Mr Yusuf has not been legally represented during his application to the Commission.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906.
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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.
 Convictions from a magistrates court are appealed, by way of a re-hearing of the case, in the Crown Court.