The Criminal Cases Review Commission (‘CCRC’) has today referred Mr F’s convictions for murder, wounding with intent and attempting to wound with intent to the Court of Appeal.
He was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for a minimum of 14 years (reduced to 10 years on appeal in 2019).
On 19 June 2017, Mr F, then aged 14, was convicted of murder, wounding with intent and attempting to wound with intent following a trial at the Central Criminal Court. The trial related to a series of incidents in which three young men were attacked with knives in South Harrow on 18 November 2016. The prosecution case was that Mr F and three others had taken part in a joint plan to commit a serious act of revenge violence. They alleged that, although Mr F had not been directly involved in the attacks on the victims, he had provided “assistance and encouragement” and thus was guilty by way of “joint enterprise”.
Mr F’s application for leave to appeal was rejected by the Court of Appeal in 2018. He applied to the CCRC in March 2019.
The CCRC has decided to refer these convictions on the basis of new psychological evidence which indicates that Mr F has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a number of accompanying vulnerabilities and traits. In the CCRC’s view, had this new evidence been available at Mr F trial, it might reasonably have had a material effect on the jury’s assessment of his credibility and, ultimately, their verdicts.
Mr F is represented by Helen Ahmet of Tuckers Solicitors.
This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. They can be contacted by phone on 07789 945304 or by email 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 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 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.
- 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