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CCRC refers first Joint Enterpriser case in Northern Ireland

(Posted on 22/08/22)

CCRC refers first Joint Enterpriser case in Northern Ireland
For the first time in Northern Ireland, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred a joint enterprise case as a possible miscarriage of justice. 

Under the joint enterprise law, James Alexander Smith and his co-accused Peter Greer were convicted at Downpatrick Crown Court in March 2013 of the murder of Duncan Morrison, the attempted murder of Stephen Ritchie and two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life in May 2011.? Mr Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 21 years.? 

Mr Smith’s case has today been referred to the Northern Ireland Court of Appeal (NICA) following the CCRC’s review of directions given to the jury during the trial.  

As Mr Smith’s trial was in 2013, the directions to the jury included references to the law as it stood pre-Jogee. Having carefully analysed the case, the CCRC has decided that there is a real possibility that had the jury been directed in line with the law as it is now understood, this would have made a difference to the outcome of the trial. 

The CCRC has therefore concluded that there is a real possibility that NICA will decide that it would be a substantial injustice for Mr Smith’s convictions to stand.? 

For more information visit the CCRC website.  

Photo of Downpatrick Head by Irina Shishkina, Unsplash 

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