Commission refers the conviction of Mark Anthony White to the Crown Court

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction of Mark Anthony White to the Crown Court.

Mr White was convicted in September 2010 at Rotherham Magistrates Court of failing to give information as to the identity of the driver of a car which had run a red light.

Mr White told police that he had sold the car sixteen days before the red light offence was recorded on camera and that, in any event, he was in Spain at the time of the offence. The police discounted his account of events and he was prosecuted.

Mr White pleaded not guilty at a hearing in August 2010. He was convicted in his absence on 30 September. His licence was endorsed with six penalty points and he was fined £150.

He tried to appeal against the conviction. His conviction was upheld following a rehearing of the case at Sheffield Crown Court and he was ordered to pay £415 costs.

Having reviewed the case the Commission has decided to refer Mr White’s sentence to Crown Court (see footnote) because it considers that there is a real possibility that the Court will acquit Mr White on a new rehearing of the case. The referral is based on new evidence that Mr White’s conviction was obtained on hearsay material which was disputed by Mr White and which may have been inadmissible, and that therefore Mr White may not have had a fair trial.

Mr White is represented by W. Brook & Co Ltd, 2A Doncaster Road, Goldthorpe, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S63 9HQ.

Footnote:
A referral by the Commission of a conviction from the Magistrates’ Court results in an appeal by way of a re-hearing at the Crown Court.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail press@ccrc.gov.uk

Notes for 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 are currently 12 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 1,500 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Typically, around 3.5%, or one in 29, 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.