A MAN who spent almost a decade in prison has had his conviction referred to the Court of Appeal following a thorough review.
In 2013, ‘Mr R’ was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of a range of crimes including the rape and assault of a child.
A comprehensive investigation of new evidence by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has concluded that there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal could overturn his conviction.
Due to the nature of the conviction and possible identification of others involved, the CCRC is not naming the applicant or going into any further detail about this investigation.
Notes to Editors
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.
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.
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.
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”.
If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.