Historic cases

We have compiled a library of historic miscarriage of justice cases. These are not cases that have been investigated by Inside Justice as a unit, although different members of our Advisory Panel have often been instrumental in righting past wrongs listed here.

We have compiled this list from public records. We have tried to include every case widely considered to be a miscarriage of justice but if we have missed any, we would like to know. We hope this record serves as a reminder for why it is so important that prisoners who say they are innocent are listened to.

Stephen Downing

Stephen Downing

Served 27 years


Convicted of the murder of Wendy Sewell in 1973, infamously known as the 'Bakewell Tart Murder', on the strength of his 'confession' and in the face of contradictory evidence.
Conviction quashed 2002 after years of campaigning by his parents, Ray and Juanita, and by Don Hale, editor of the local newspaper, the Matlock Mercury.


Mary Druhan

Mary  DruhanServed 10 years

Convicted in 1989 for the murder of Richard Duddie and Kenneth Challenger, who died in a fire at a squat in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.
Freed in 1999 after an investigation by Trial and Error. On the day she was released, her only request was that someone buy her a Cornetto.

Reg Dudley

Reg  Dudley

Served 22 years

Convicted in 1977 with Bob Maynard, on the strength of an alleged confession, of two murders in 1974, after Britain's longest criminal trial.
The victims were Billy Moseley, whose torso was found in the Thames, and Micky Cornwall, whose body was dumped in a shallow grave in Hertfordshire.
The second plank of the prosecution case was the testimony of Tony Wild, who claimed Maynard and Dudley, ‘The Legal and General Gang’, had bragged about the killings. Wild's reward was a shorter prison sentence, but in 1995 he told the Guardian he had made up his testimony.

Convictions quashed 2002, Henry Blaxland junior counsel.


John Duggan

Served 20 years                                                                                        Murder conviction quashed 2004.


Michael Dunne


John Edwards


Phillip English

Served 3 years

Convicted in 1994, aged 15, of the murder of police officer Sergeant Bill Forth in Gateshead, though 100 yards away in handcuffs at the time Sgt Forth was stabbed by Paul Weddle. The law on "joint enterprise" or "common purpose" was defined when the House of Lords overturned English's conviction in 1997.


Andrew Evans

Andrew Evans

Served 25 years

A teenage soldier jailed after he confessed to the murder of 14-year-old Judith Roberts because he dreamt of the dead schoolgirl's face.

Freed 1997


Timothy Evans

Timothy Evans

Hanged 1950. Pardoned 1966

The first major post-war miscarriage of justice to capture public attention. Broadcaster Sir Ludovic Kennedy wrote his most famous book about it causing a national outcry. Timothy Evans, a Welsh van driver, was hanged for one of the 10 Rillington Place murders: those of his wife Beryl and their baby daughter, Geraldine.
Three years later John Christie confessed to strangling eight female victims.

In 1966, Mr Evans was given a posthumous royal pardon but attempts to formally quash his conviction have failed. The last judicial review in 2004 called it "an historic and unique injustice" but decided it would not bring any "tangible benefit" to the family or the public to refer his case to the Court of Appeal.


Peter Fell

Peter Fell

Served 17 years

Convicted of the 1982 murders of Ann Lee and Peggy Johnson in Aldershot on the strength of his 'confession' and his supposed resemblance to a photo-fit picture of the killer.

Convictions quashed 2002.


Paul Finlay

Served 6 years

Convicted of manslaughter in the 2001 death of Jasmine Grosvenor, who injected heroin that he had prepared, loaded into a syringe and handed to her.
His direct appeal was denied in 2003.
Finlay died in 2008, and his sister continued his appeal.
Conviction quashed and exonerated posthumously 2009

Jacqueline Fletcher

Served 4 years

Convicted of killing her baby son


Tested in prison at the request of BBC’s Rough Justice and found to have an IQ of 70, which was not compatible with the confession obtained during a 6-hour interrogation.


Conviction quashed 1999


Martin Foran

Martin Foran

Served 18 years

Framed for robbery by the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad. Conviction quashed 2013.
He has also asked CCRC to refer another conviction against him from 1977, claiming to be the UK’s only double miscarriage of justice victim. He is terminally ill.


Adolphus Francis


Devon Francis

Served 15 years

Convicted on drugs charges 1993.
Overturned following an appeal in 2009, the evidence of Detective Constable Breakwell and others in the West Midlands Drug Squad no longer reliable. Lead counsel Peter Wilcock QC.


Lloyd George Fraser


Billy Joe Friend

Served 9 years

Jailed aged 15 with his brother Edward Lee for the murder of Ben O’Connor in Plumstead, south-east London.
Conviction quashed 2004 after new psychological evidence showed he was suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) at the time of the initial trial, which meant he was not able to give evidence properly.


Raymond Fryer


Ronald Gall


Gerard Gall