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Release the harmless to save lives!

(Posted on 24/03/20)

Writing yesterday in the Guardian, Eric Allison called on the government to release elderly prisoners from custody in order to protect staff and inmates from the spread of COVID-19. An increase in prisoners being sent home with a tag has already been announced but, last week, the Prisoners’ Advice Service asked the Ministry of Justice to follow Iraq’s lead by releasing groups of prisoners in order to reduce deaths from coronavirus... Read more...


Undisclosed Evidence of Indecent Images in Police Commissioner’s Safe for 14 years

(Posted on 12/03/20)

A hard drive belonging to ex-Lord Mayor of Leeds Neil Taggart was kept in a police commisssioner's safe until after his sex offence conviction. Taggart was jailed in 2017 after pleading guilty to making and distributing indecent photographs of children. Describing it as an "embarrassing" mistake, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson insisted: "There's been no intentional cover-up with this... Read more...


CCRC’s change of heart over Shrewsbury 24

(Posted on 05/03/20)

Eight years after their submissions to the the Criminal Cases Review Commission and nearly fifty years after their convictions, the CCRC has referred eight members of the Shrewsbury 24 back to the Court of Appeal. The twenty-four men, all construction workers, were convicted of a range of offences including unlawful assembly, conspiracy to intimidate, affray, and threatening behaviour in the early 1970s, receiving sentences of up to three... Read more...


Forensic Science Professor: Budget cuts "will lead to miscarriages of justice"

(Posted on 13/02/20)

"Forensics is an essential component of justice – and the state of the science and its industry in the UK is only getting worse," Professor Angela Gallup CBE writes today in the Guardian. "Budget cuts in England and Wales are already resulting in more cases reaching the courts without the prosecution’s forensic evidence having been checked by a competent, experienced scientist working for the defence. This will inevitably... Read more...


Report finds CPS still failing on disclosure

(Posted on 10/01/20)

The latest report from the CPS watchdog, HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI), has found its baseline performance to be ‘very low, and although there was progress there is still a long way to go before an acceptable standard is reached’. Over half the criminal cases sampled showed the CPS’s charging advice failing to properly deal with unused material, whilst only a sixth of cases of sub-standard police performance were... Read more...


Oval Four’s corrupt convictions finally quashed after nearly 50 years

(Posted on 11/12/19)

Winston Trew, Sterling Christie, George Griffiths and Constantine Boucher – the Oval Four – spent eight nonths in prison in 1972 for attempting to steal handbags and assaulting a police officer. Det Sgt Derek Ridgewell had set up a plain clothes police operation on the Northern Line. Eight years later, Ridgewell was jailed for conspiracy to steal from mailbags. He died of a heart attack in prison in 1982, at the age of 37.... Read more...