15 March 2021
The CCRC has referred for appeal the 1972 attempted robbery conviction of Mr Cleveland Davidson.
Mr Davidson was one of six young men (who later became known as the Stockwell Six) tried at the Old Bailey in September 1972 following an alleged attempt to rob a police officer in plain clothes. The officer in question, DS Ridgewell, led a team of officers from the British Transport Police called the “anti-mugging squad” who worked on the London Underground. Mr Davidson was one of 5 men convicted following the trial. The sixth man, Everet Mullins, was acquitted.
Mr Davidson applied to the CCRC following its decision in December 2020 to refer the cases of two other members of the Stockwell Six, Courtney Harriot and Paul Green, to the Court of Appeal. All three cases will likely be heard together by the Court of Appeal in due course.
The CCRC began its review of the Stockwell Six cases after it referred two other cases involving DS Ridgewell: Stephen Simmons and the Oval Four. The Court of Appeal quashed the convictions in both of these cases.
The CCRC has decided that there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will quash Mr Davidson’s conviction on the basis of:
- New evidence relating to the conviction of DS Ridgewell for conspiracy to steal whilst working as an officer for British Transport Police in 1978; and
- The recent successful appeals in the earlier CCRC referrals of Stephen Simmons in (R v Simmons EWCA Crim 114) and the Oval 4, (R v Trew, Christie and Griffiths  EWCA Crim 2474).
The CCRC is still very keen to hear from the remaining members of the Stockwell Six: Texo Joseph Johnson, Ronald De’Souza and Everet Mullins. The CCRC would also like to hear from anyone else involved in a case where DS Ridgewell played a role. The CCRC can be contacted on 0121 233 1473.
Mr Davidson was not represented in his application to the CCRC.
You can read our press release about the referral of Courtney Harriot and Paul Green here.
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 www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate