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Commission refers the joint enterprise murder conviction of Andre Johnson-Haynes to the Court of Appeal

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the joint enterprise murder conviction of Andre Johnson-Haynes to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Johnson-Haynes was one of seven defendants tried on the basis of joint enterprise for the murder of Shakilus Townsend in London in July 2008.

All defendants pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court in April 2009, but the jury returned guilty verdicts against all seven.

Mr Johnson-Haynes, who was 17 at the time of the murder, was ordered to be detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure with a minimum term of 12 years’ imprisonment – the starting point for youths in such circumstances.

Mr Johnson-Haynes’s application for leave to appeal refused in July 2011 – several years before the Supreme Court decision in the case of R-v-Jogee, Ruddock-v-The Queen [2016] UKSC 8, [2016] 2 WLR 681 (“Jogee”) made significant changes to the law in relation to secondary parties in joint enterprise cases.

He applied to the CCRC for a review of his case in March 2016 on the basis that the change in the law  regarding joint enterprise following Jogee may be relevant to his case.

Having considered the case in detail the Commission has decided to refer Mr Johnson-Haynes’s conviction to the Court of Appeal because it believes that there is a real possibility that the Court will find that it would be a substantial injustice to maintain Mr Johnson-Haynes’s conviction and will quash it as unsafe.

This referral is based on the change in the law in relation to the liability of secondary parties brought about by the judgment of the Supreme Court in Jogee, the scope of which was further clarified by the Court of Appeal in R-v-Johnson and others [2016] EWCA Crim 1613.

Mr Johnson-Haynes has been represented in his application to the CCRC Ms Antonita Arikaran of Cambrose Solicitors, Office 210, Camberwell Business Centre, 99-103 Lomond Grove Camberwell, London, SE5 7HN, and by Mr Michael Birnbaum QC.

This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail

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 10 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 1,500 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.
  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.

More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate.