Prosecution service pay damages to wrongfully convicted man after disclosure failure.
(Posted on 17/10/16)Share:
[Posted on wrongfulconvictionsblog.org, October 11, 2016 by Carole McCartney]
A man who spent six years in prison has successfully sued the England and Wales Crown Prosecution Service after their failure to disclose police surveillance tapes that proved his innocence. Wrongly convicted of perverting the course of justice in 2007 (after 2 failed trials), Conrad Jones was freed in 2014 when he won an appeal. He was on trial for bribing a witness in a murder trial, but police surveillance tapes proved he could not have been present.
While the Judge at his appeal called the failure to disclose the exculpatory evidence â€˜lamentableâ€™, Jonesâ€™s solicitor said: â€œIt is clear that the CPS and prosecution counsel had in their possession, both while my client remained on remand in prison awaiting trial and at the time of my clientâ€™s trial, surveillance material which showed he could not realistically have met with and bribed [the witness] not to give evidence. They knew it was relevant, they knew it undermined the prosecution case and strengthened Mr Jonesâ€™s defence and they knew that the law required them to disclose it. To discover years after the event that the CPS, on the advice of highly experienced lawyers, has knowingly and repeatedly failed to comply with the criminal law on disclosure is shocking, and raises very serious questions which go right to the heart of public confidence in the criminal justice system and the legal profession.â€