The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the murder conviction of Dwaine George to the Court of Appeal.
Mr George was tried in 2002 at Preston Crown Court for murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 12 years.
Mr George appealed against his convictions in 2004, but the appeal was dismissed.
Following a wide ranging review, the Criminal Cases Review Commission has decided to refer Mr George’s convictions to the Court of Appeal.
The referral is based on new scientific evidence, relating to gunshot residue, that the Commission considers raises a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will now quash Mr George’s convictions.
Mr George’s representatives at Cardiff University Law School Innocence Project raised issues relating to gunshot residue evidence and made representations to the Commission based on an expert report obtained by them.
As part of its review, the CCRC commissioned further specific expert analysis of gunshot residue evidence and its presentation at trial. The Commission’s referral is centred around that further expert report. It should be said however that the Cardiff University Law School Innocence Project has made a very significant contribution to the case and to the referral of Mr George’s convictions.
Mr George is represented by Cardiff University Law School Innocence Project, Cardiff Law School, Law Building, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3AX
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail email@example.com
Notes for 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 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.
- The Commission usually 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.
- 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.