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CCRC refers Oliver Campbell case 17 years after it first rejected his case

(Posted on 24/11/22)

CCRC refers Oliver Campbell case 17 years after it first rejected his case

Oliver Campbell was arrested and interviewed 14 times by police before they charged him with the murder of Baldev Hoondle which took place on 22 July 1990 in East London. 

In 2002, Inside Justice Founder Louise Shorter was working as a producer on a BBC Rough Justice investigation into the case which highlighted the vulnerability of suspects with severe learning difficulties in police interviews. Mr Campbell has learning difficulties as a result of a brain damage when he was a baby.

Following the television programme's investigation, an application was made to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) but rejected two years later.

The jury at Mr Campbell’s trial knew that he had learning disabilities with impaired memory and reasoning skills; however, an expert report at the time concluded that he was not abnormally suggestible.

Mr Campbell's lawyers made another application to the CCRC in 2020. 

In its most recent review, the Commission approached that same expert and invited him to re-consider his assessment of Mr Campbell. The expert concluded that he had not properly understood Mr Campbell’s vulnerabilities at the time of trial or appeal. A second expert instructed by the CCRC explained how a modern approach to assessing Mr Campbell would take a more holistic view that considered his background and experience. This expert agreed that there were reasons why Mr Campbell may have given unreliable evidence, which were not fully understood or explained to the jury at the time. 

Helen Pitcher, Chair of the CCRC, said: "We’ve decided that there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will now overturn his convictions in light of this new evidence and have referred the case for a fresh appeal.”

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