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Fresh review for murder convictions

Michael Stone’s murder convictions will be reviewed again by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) following a request from his representatives. 

In 2001, Mr Stone was sentenced to life imprisonment at Nottingham Crown Court for the murders of Dr Lin Russell and her six-year-old daughter Megan, and the attempted murder of Dr Russell’s nine-year-old daughter Josie, in 1996.     

The CCRC’s previous reviews found no credible evidence or argument that raised a real possibility of the convictions being quashed – these conclusions are not affected by the new review. 

A CCRC spokesperson said: “We have agreed to a request from Mr Stone’s representatives to carry out a further review. 

“While we can’t comment on the specifics of an investigation, it is not unusual for different reviews to focus on different arguments or evidence. 

 “Our commitment to thoroughly investigate all eligible applications extends to undertaking additional work related to cases we have previously reviewed.” 

Notes to editors 

1.      The CCRC 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 11 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.     

3.      The CCRC 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 CCRC 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 The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc