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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...

Criminal Bar Head’s DIY Defence Warning

(Posted on 06/12/19)

Legal Aid cuts have been followed by a steep rise in the number of defendants representing themselves in crown court. “7.7% of people in the court [at first appearance] are litigants in person,” Caroline Goodwin QC, head of the Criminal Bar Association, told the annual Bar Council conference on Saturday.  “That builds in a time delay because their cases take longer. “At the moment, 40% of criminal courts are sitting... Read more...

‘Lady in the Lake’ Conviction Appealed

(Posted on 06/11/19)

A posthumous appeal against Gordon Park’s 2005 conviction for his wife’s murder has been heard at the Court of Appeal after his son Jeremy brought the case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Henry Blaxland QC, for the CCRC, told the court on Tuesday that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not disclose evidence undermining the credibility of a key witness to whom the school teacher allegedly confessed in prison... Read more...

No compensation for wrongful imprisonment

(Posted on 05/11/19)

In 2014, Danny Kay received a 4½-year prison sentence for rape. In 2017, his conviction was quashed after the Court of Appeal ruled police had relied on an 'edited and misleading' account of Facebook conversations provided by his complainant. Kay's sister-in-law Sarah Madison (pictured with him) found the messages that cleared him after just a minute searching online, supporting his claim that sex had been consensual.... Read more...

Many prisoners “unwell not evil”

(Posted on 17/09/19)

The chief inspector of constabulary Sir Tom Winsor has written in The Times that “sick and dangerous” people who commit crimes should be in secure hospitals or other care facilities, not prisons, describing the criminal justice system as “dysfunctional and defective, broken and on-the-floor”. “People who are bad should be punished and, if possible, reformed. People who are unwell should be treated and, if possible, healed,”... Read more...

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