The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the murder conviction of Adrian Jones to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Jones was convicted at Swansea Crown Court in July 2008 for the murder of Kelly Hyde who was killed while walking her dog in September 2007.
The prosecution case was that Mr Jones, who was aged 16 at the time, was responsible for the murder of the deceased. Mr Jones claimed that he did not know and had had no contact with her.
Because of his age at the time he was sentenced to detention at Her Majesty’s pleasure with a minimum prison term of 11 years and 79 days.
Mr Jones tried to appeal against his conviction but his appeal was dismissed in October 2009.
After his appeal Mr Jones accepted his responsibility for the killing. He applied to the CCRC for a review of his case in September 2015.
The Commission has conducted a detailed review of the case which has included considering reports from a number of psychiatric experts and commissioning its own psychiatric expert evidence.
The Commission has decided to refer Mr Jones murder conviction to the Court of Appeal on the basis of new psychiatric evidence relating to his mental state at the time of the killing which raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will now quash the murder conviction and substitute a conviction for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.
Mr Jones died of natural causes while in custody in February 2018. His family have pursued the application on his behalf. In light of that, the Commission has decided to refer the case, not only on the basis that there is a real possibility that the Court will quash the conviction, but also because it considers that there is a real possibility the Court of Appeal will approve Mr Jones’ Mother under subsection 3 of section 44A of Criminal Appeal Act 1968, to appear in lieu of her son.
Mr Jones was represented in his application to the CCRC by Paul Taylor QC of Doughty Street Chambers.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 07947 355231 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
1. The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently 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 13 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 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications 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.
6. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate