Commission refers the conviction of Q

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction of Mr Q to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Q pleaded not guilty but was convicted in 2004 of indecent assault. He was sentenced to a Community Punishment Order of 100 hours and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for a period of five years.

Mr Q applied to the Commission for a review of his case in September 2012.

Having reviewed the case, and having used its powers under Section 17 of the Criminal Appeal Act 1995 to obtain material relating to the case, the Commission has decided to refer the conviction to the Court of Appeal.

The referral is based on new evidence relating to the credibility of the complainant which, in the Commission’s view, raises a real possibility that the Court will now quash the conviction.

Mr Q was not 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 or e-mail press@ccrc.gov.uk

Notes for editors

The Commission has replaced the applicant’s name with a letter in order to protect the identity of individuals involved in the case. The letter should not be taken as an initial. The Court of Appeal will make its own decision about if/how to anonymise the case when the appeal is heard.

  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 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 currently receives around 1,500 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.
  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.