The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the sexual offences conviction of Neil Secker to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Secker appeared at Norfolk Crown Court in September 2016 charged with five counts of sexual assault against the same person. He pleaded not guilty to all. The jury acquitted him of the first two counts but convicted him of the remaining three. He was sentenced to four and a half years’ imprisonment.
Mr Secker tried to appeal against his conviction but his application for leave to appeal was dismissed in February 2017. In June 2017 he applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for a review of his conviction.
Having reviewed the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Secker’s conviction to the Court of Appeal because it considers there is a real possibility that the Court will quash Mr Secker’s convictions on the basis of post-trial information which is capable of significantly undermining the credibility and reliability of the complainant.
Mr Secker was represented in his application to the CCRC by Norton Peskett Solicitors.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate or on FaceBook at www.facebook.com/criminalcasesreview/