The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction of Miss T to the Crown Court.
Miss T pleaded guilty in 2007 at a Youth Court of possessing a false identity document with intent. She was sentenced to a four months’ detention and training order.
Miss T, aged 17, was trafficked into the UK and forced to work as a prostitute. She managed to escape from her trafficker. Several weeks later she was arrested trying to leave the UK using a stolen British passport.
Having considered whether Miss T had acted under a ‘nexus of compulsion’ (as defined in the case of R v LM, MB, DG, Tabot and Tijani  EWCA Crim 2327) and the applicability of Crown Prosecution Service guidance on the prosecution of defendants charged with offences who might be trafficked victims, the Commission decided to refer the conviction to the Crown Court because it believes there is a real possibility that the Court will set aside the guilty plea and quash or stay the conviction.
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
Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication,
Criminal Cases Review Commission,
Telephone: 0121 633 1806