Author Topic: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber  (Read 7735 times)

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Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #165 on: October 28, 2019, 06:26:35 PM »
Cont...


MWT further established that Trisha had impersonated Carole on a visit to a solicitor’s office in order to get her name removed from the title deeds of the Bournemouth house. It was straightforward to unpick this deception; a handwriting expert could tell almost instantly that the signatures did not match.

This was a significant piece of work by MWT, but he failed to make its import clear to viewers. MWT had spoken to local officers about Carole’s disappearance. They all asserted that they’d made the usual thorough inquiries to establish her whereabouts. It was after drawing blanks at every turn that they began to conclude firstly that she was dead and secondly that Causley had murdered her.

We all know the golden rule of investigations (follow the money) and so the fact that the police inquiries into Carole’s disappearance had failed to uncover the title deeds scam merely showed how inept those inquiries must have been.

There are, in fact, three “disappeared wives” cases. They are all drawn from a relatively small geographical area of the south-west. This may indicate merely that the Crown Prosecution Service in these parts is more cavalier in its prosecutions. The other cases are those of John Allen, who sadly died in prison last year, not having had the chance to fulfil his last wish of establishing his innocence, and Glyn Razzell.

I narrated the Razzell case in some detail in The Nicholas Cases and there I make exactly the same point as applies in the Causley case: that although the police claimed to have made strenuous attempts to locate the missing person, in reality those were the most half-hearted inquiries.

Accordingly, the foundation of the prosecution case in each instance – that because of the exhaustive nature of the police inquires, we can say with certainty that the woman must be dead – is simply bogus.

This leads on to a point of huge significance – which is, of course, that when police did try to locate Carole, they succeeded: she went into a police station.

This is a highly inconvenient piece of information for MWT, so how does he deal with it?

‘All it took’, he tells viewers, ‘is for one person to walk into a police station and say she is Carole. No checks made and no questions asked.’

We have already learned both that the officer who dealt with this woman has since died and also that all the relevant files have since been destroyed.

So when MWT blithely says, No checks made and no questions asked – how can he know that? Logically, he can’t.

After all, the officer may indeed have asked a couple of questions to check the woman’s identity, and may also checked with the photograph on the missing person’s file.

Trisha, a natural redhead, did indeed go into a solicitor’s office in what she described as a cheap, blonde wig and pretend to be Carole.

MWT’s inference is obviously that Trisha, or someone, must have impersonated Carole on this occasion also. Yet while Trisha may have felt confident in impersonating Carole in a provincial solicitor’s office, here the circumstances were entirely different.

An impersonator walking into a police station would have had no idea of how thorough the checks were going to be. Officers might well have spent time comparing the file photograph with the actual person. The wearing of a wig may well have been quickly uncovered, and the impersonator unmasked.

Then the consequences could have been disastrous. The impersonator would suffer immediate detention followed by a possible prison sentence. Much more seriously, however, if this was indeed a ploy to pretend that a deceased Carole was actually still alive, then police would be driven to the conclusion that she had been murdered and an investigation would ensue. Such subterfuge could have been so seriously counter-productive that I do not believe anyone would contemplate it.

The key point is not whether or not checks in the police station were made; it is the foreknowledge of a potential impersonator of the likelihood that checks would be made.

Obviously, police witnesses at the subsequent trials would wish to downplay the significance of this evidence, highly favourable to the defence as it is. As with all evidence, it is important to examine the contemporary evidence – as it was viewed at the actual time, and not as it was reinterpreted in later years in the light of what was then thought to be known.

This relatively minor episode becomes more bewildering still, because MWT suddenly says, ‘I’ve established that the woman who spoke to police took a child of a similar age to Sam with her’. He repeats this assertion, saying, ‘I also know that when that person walked in there was a child with them’.

So where has this come from?

It is, at the least, journalistically dishonest. It is unprofessional to put on screen what is asserted to be key evidence while withholding its provenance from the audience. Indeed, it is because we have no idea where it comes from that many would conclude that MWT has just made it up. As before, the same background circumstances apply: the officer has died, the files have been destroyed.

So an analysis of this relatively small area of the case highlights MWT’s style and approach. It is actually a massively important defence point. MWT cannot undermine it so he resorts to unsourced claims (‘I’ve established…’, ‘I also know…’) hoping that viewers won’t notice such journalistic deceptions.

In terms of the case itself, the only point that matters is that that person could have Carole, and that at the time the police were satisfied, by whatever means, that it was Carole. That alone should have been sufficient to secure Causley an acquittal.

By this stage, viewers would surely have been wondering what on earth was the actual evidence on which Causley was convicted. Although The Investigator – A British Crime Story is a bloated and relentlessly repetitive series, MWT finds almost no time to dwell on the evidence that sent Causley to prison to life.

In fact, this is merely another of the elements of dishonesty that characterise the series. Had MWT fully analysed the Crown’s courtroom evidence, then viewers would have realised that the case against Causley at trial was essentially non-existent.

Basically, the trial evidence consisted of the evidence of Samantha, who had been turned wholly against her father by then but who, realistically, could give no evidence of murder; and the evidence of three jailhouse snitches.

Samantha told MWT that, after running away from home in the wake of her mother’s disappearance, she ‘made a statement against my father’. However, he then arrived and coerced her into retracting the statement and making a fresh one. As is usual, MWT provides no supporting evidence at all for this; perhaps there is none. Again, one yearns for information about the actual contemporary evidence, not the evidence as it may have been reshaped in subsequent years.

Jailhouse snitch testimony, when a prisoner claims that another has “confessed” to him, is certainly admissible evidence, but that does not mean that it is acceptable evidence. On the contrary, it is morally repugnant. All prisoners are vulnerable, and a number may perceive advantages and benefits from giving evidence that assists the authorities.

Nevertheless, the jailhouse snitch can help to pull the wool over the eyes of less sophisticated juries. The prosecution may use the evidence of a jailhouse snitch to try to top up a weak court case; sometimes, as in the case of Gordon Park, also described in The Nicholas Cases, there are two jailhouse snitches; to the initiated, that’s a clear sign that the case really is bogus.

Before Causley, I’d never heard of three being used in a case before. From this perspective alone, one can tell that this prosecution case was rotten to the core. Almost inevitably, the evidence of each was at odds with that of the others (one stated that Causley had hacked his wife to death, another that he’d put her in an acid bath, and another that two others had taken away the corpse).

Jailhouse snitch represents a high water mark of prosecution disingenuousness. Prosecutors will know that it has in all probability been obtained by inducements of various kinds (it has never occurred to me that they actually believe it themselves), but will use it when it suits. However, should evidence of a similar nature be available for the defence, then the Crown immediately protest: he’s a convicted man, no one can believe him.

Causley was convicted at Winchester in 1996. His conviction was then quashed at the Court of Appeal in 2003, and a retrial was ordered. In The Nicholas Cases I argue that, in fairness, retrials should take place at the Old Bailey in London. Causley was retried at Exeter. It is 67 miles from Winchester to London and almost twice that distance to Exeter; but the authorities would have wanted an enfeebled case such as this to be heard in prosecution-friendly courts like Winchester and Exeter. Had had he been retried in London, I have no doubt that he would have been acquitted.

On neither occasion did he give evidence himself despite, as I understand it, wanting to. I can, however, appreciate that defence lawyers recognised that Causley, with an abrasive personality and a sharp manner, was not ideal witness-box material. Nor would they have wanted him to be cross-examined about his domestic arrangements in front of the socially conservative juries of the south-west. Again, had the retrial been held in London, I suspect he would have given evidence himself.

Having neglected to consider the trial evidence, MWT instead directs his attentions towards finding a body, or at least some remains. At one point, he has a remarkable conversation with another former police officer:

‘We looked at various places, storm drains’, says the former Dorset police officer. ‘He could have dismembered her and scattered her remains. It’s either that or he’s disposed of her by burning.’

‘Disposal of body by cutting her up, potentially burning the body’, adds MWT, ‘I think both of those have got to be really strong possibilities.’

Subsequently, MWT tells his viewers, ‘I have no doubt, absolutely no doubt, that she died here, she was murdered in this house’.

This is semi-hysterical nonsense for sure, but MWT presses ahead with his investigation. Having brought in equipment to determine the hot spots where burning has occurred in the past, he brings in an osteo-archaeologist and her team to dig up the garden of the Bournemouth house (I do hope that the current occupants were suitably recompensed by ITV) in the hope of finding some of Carole’s remains.

Naturally, this seemed an exercise in futility to vie with Peter Cook’s efforts to teach ravens to fly underwater, and the osteo-archaeologist duly confirmed that their intensive investigations of the garden soil had yielded only animal bone. No human bone at all.

‘This doesn’t mean he didn’t murder her,’ MWT quickly tells the viewers.

The criminal justice system is predicated on the assessment of evidence. That’s the warp and weft; there is nothing without evidence. Here, in effect, MWT is glibly saying that the absence of evidence is immaterial – we know he’s guilty anyway.

This is a second major prosecution deceit: the idea that if an area of investigation doesn’t provide evidence for the Crown, then it somehow falls into a category of non-evidence. In fact, this is all defence evidence, and it is very powerful defence evidence.

Disposing of a body is not easy. Clearly, Causley did not have an acid bath on site. Dismembering or burning the body are, indeed, logical possibilities – but each may well leave behind tell-tale evidence. In this case, there emphatically is none.

The house was not searched by forensic officers until almost a decade later, but it should be remembered that in the Lynette White murder case in Cardiff, forensics officers were able to find incriminating DNA evidence in the room where she was murdered more than a decade later.

Alternatively, had the body been burned, then it is certainly possible that some material would have been left behind – and yet, having conducted the most exhaustive search possible, MWT found nothing at all.

So he cannot glibly say that Causley might still have murdered her. The only point is that Causley’s case was always very strong, and, albeit inadvertently, MWT has actually made it stronger.

Another point needs to be made here. The Dorset police officer points out to MWT, ‘[Causley] had to do something with the body quickly because he still had Sam in the house’.

Once again, key information is being withheld from the viewers. This remark should actually have been: ‘he had to do something with the body quickly because he still had Sam and Trisha in the house’.

When this information is accurately given, it puts everything into a very different context. It is possible (even if highly unlikely) that Causley might have been able to conceal her mother’s remains from his teenage daughter. It is absurd to imagine that he could also conceal them from Trisha.

Given their mindset, MWT and the other former police officers assume that, because Trisha had colluded on the fraud, then she would also collude on the murder. Of course, this does not follow at all; they are wholly different categories of criminality. The idea that Trisha would have simply acquiesced in Carole’s murder seems ludicrous. If it had happened, then she would surely have been sickened by it and would not have stood by him (as she did) for the next 20 years.

The upshot of this (although it is another inescapable feature of the case that MWT ignores) is that Causley would have had scant opportunity to dispose of a body.

So, there is the inevitable question: what has happened to Carole Packham? Well, in the first place, it shouldn’t matter a great deal. There’s no evidence that she’s dead, and there’s an end to it.

The evidence of Brian and Shirley Tizzard, the next-door neighbours, is compelling. They are, after all, independent witnesses who knew her well and whom she visited the day before she disappeared.

‘She told me she was thinking of leaving’, commented Brian Tizzard. ‘She seemed quite calm, quite determined on the path she wanted to take, she wanted to move on with her life.

‘She was a very competent lady and, had she put her mind to it, she probably could have disappeared.’

I was intrigued by the comments of Shirley Tizzard. Asked by MWT what she thought had happened, she responded, ‘Do you want me to be honest? I still have a question-mark in my mind. Did she get away?’

That initial response – do you want me to be honest? – suggests a natural reluctance to challenge the official verdict, and yet she and her husband have the integrity to overcome their inhibitions and give their clear impressions. I’m sure they’re right. Meanwhile, this is more inconvenient evidence for MWT so he simply skates over it.

Had this documentary series been an honest one, then it would have included some general information about missing people in the UK. Approximately 250,000 people go missing each year. Many of those are never found. Creating a new identity may not be difficult. For ‘a very competent lady’, a combination of some fresh paperwork and a trip to the hairdresser’s could suffice.

Should the question be asked, but why hasn’t she come forward? The answer, of course, is that she has. Knowing that the police have disregarded her evidence and pursued a different course entirely might have left her feeling apprehensive about coming forward again. Now, she might fear a perverting the course of justice charge (even though I don’t see how she could be guilty of that). She might have moved abroad and be oblivious of these events; she might in the meantime have died of natural causes.

The point is that all of these are realistic possibilities. If someone disappears, then murder is the least likely explanation of their disappearance not, as some police officers appear to assume, the most likely.

MWT spent almost two parts of this series trying to establish the truth of a confession written by Causley – while concealing from the viewers the key point that Causley had disavowed the confession.

The confession itself did not surprise me. There are three considerations here. The first is that, after 20 years in prison, a prisoner’s mental faculties may understandably deteriorate. The second is the constant pressure they are under to confess to their ‘crime’. They suffer psychological torment, being told again and again that, if they do not confess, they will never be released. It is not surprising that some crack. The third point is that Causley’s mental equilibrium would undoubtedly have been shattered when, in August 2014, Trisha broke off her relationship with him. This finally pushed him over the edge.

‘I would give anything’, he wrote, ‘even now to hear Trish’s voice again, just one more time.’

By the end of the series, MWT has highlighted merely the opposite of what he intended to establish – not that he has the intellectual courage to concede this. His year-long investigation has exposed the absence of any evidence that Causley murdered his wife and, by extension, the intrinsic weaknesses of the UK criminal justice system. Causley has now served 20 years in prison for a murder for which there is simply no bona fide evidence whatever.

This series could well be used by university media departments as a study in how television documentaries seek to mislead and conceal. Had it been attempted in the days when scrupulous standards still applied at ITV, it would have been deemed untransmittable and junked.
Bob Woffinden is a former ITV documentaries producer. The Nicholas Cases, which contains chapters on the Glyn Razzell and Gordon Park cases, is available on Amazon and from bookshops
https://www.thejusticegap.com/two-trials-three-jailhouse-snitches-four-part-documentary-no-evidence/

http://miscarriageofjustice.co/index.php?topic=9725.0
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 01:31:43 AM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #166 on: October 28, 2019, 06:35:27 PM »
Note Andrew Green’s comment at bottom of above article

Andrew Green says:
October 10, 2016 at 8:31 am
It’s upsetting to see a pic of this tedious ex-cop every time I go to the home page of The Justice Gap. Please replace it with one of the many more interesting images you have available.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 06:54:14 PM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #167 on: October 28, 2019, 06:56:31 PM »
The Criminal Cases Review Commission has failed by Bob Woffinden
30th November 2010
Set up to investigate miscarriages of justice, the CCRC's poor track record in recent years shows it is little more than a fig leaf


When it was set up in 1997, the Criminal Cases Review Commission was an experiment. It was an idea unique in worldwide criminal justice: an extra-judicial body that could give another chance to cases that had reached the end of the legal road. The time has now come to acknowledge that it was an experiment that failed.
The CCRC began work on 1 April 1997. In gauging its overall success, we need first of all to look at its own statistics, according to which its work has led to the quashing of 304 convictions. Taken at face value, this is impressive; looked at more closely, the figure quickly crumbles.

Firstly, the CCRC refers some cases to the court of appeal on the basis of sentence alone. If the sentence is subsequently varied, then the CCRC triumphantly – but inaccurately – marks this down as a "quashed" case, and a success. It also counts as successes cases where alternative convictions are substituted – the most common example being manslaughter for murder. This may be little more than a technical adjustment to the conviction and may make no practical difference to the liberty of the prisoner.
Secondly, there is multiple counting. The CCRC rates its success not in terms of individual cases but numbers of convictions. Had the commission ever been tasked with analysing the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four cases, they would have examined two cases but chalked them off as 10 successes.
Thirdly, there is the case of Russell Causley, whose case was referred to appeal in 2001. His conviction was quashed at appeal, but the court ordered a retrial and Causley was reconvicted. So he will be sitting in his cell today, still convicted of the same crime that he once persuaded the CCRC to reopen, wondering just how the CCRC can count him as one of its "successes".

Fourthly, and crucially, any examination of the details of the CCRC "successes" reveals that, especially in recent years, the commission has been getting relatively lightweight convictions overturned: dishonestly obtaining a telecommunication service; allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place; failing to comply with an amended section 215 notice under the Town and Country Planning Act; cheating HM Revenue and Customs contrary to common law; and, that old chestnut, keeping a disorderly house.
Those wrongly convicted in these and other similar cases are doubtless eternally grateful to the CCRC for helping to restore their reputations. But no one should pretend that such low-level injustices precipitated the creation of the CCRC. It was set up because of wrongful convictions in major cases, especially murder cases, that were being rejected at the court of appeal.
In its early years, the CCRC was valuable and productive: the hiatus while it was being established meant there was a build-up of compelling cases, some of which had been part-worked on at the Home Office; and the CCRC began with an altruistic impulse and some highly motivated commissioners, such as the late Dr James MacKeith, the forensic psychiatrist, and the commercial lawyer Laurie Elks.

However, if we look at the CCRC's performance in major cases in England and Wales since the start of 2005, we get a very different statistic. In that period, the CCRC has successfully referred seven major cases to appeal. That's all. Seven.
In fact, even this meagre tally overstates the CCRC's performance level. One of these cases was that of Sean Hodgson, whose legal team had the brilliant idea of bypassing the CCRC altogether. They took it straight to the police and prosecution, who discovered that the DNA on the victim's body was not Hodgson's and said the appeal would not be contested.
So the CCRC was presented with a fait accompli – which did not, of course, prevent it from listing the case as one of its "successes". Yet had the lawyers simply submitted the case to the CCRC, Hodgson would still be in prison. Then there was the case of Barry George (wrongly convicted of murdering the television presenter Jill Dando), which half the country recognised as a miscarriage of justice.

Another was that of Patrick Nolan. This was a confession-made-under-duress case, of the kind that the appeal court had been quashing convictions in for at least 10 years. Any competent body could probably have dealt with it in a couple of months, rather than the more than five years it took the CCRC.
One case I can't tell you about, because the legal process is ongoing. The three remaining cases are those of Andrew Adams, which took the CCRC seven years to refer; the Victor Boreham and Michael and Malcolm Byrne case; and the Ian Lawless case, all of which were piloted to appeal by first-class lawyers (respectively, Ben Rose, Maslen Merchant and Mark Newby).
By my reckoning, six cases are yet to be heard, including the Simon Hall case, which goes to appeal in a couple of weeks. During this time, there have been referrals of 10 other cases that have failed at appeal. They include the cases of Michael Attwooll and John Roden; Robert Kennedy; and David Shale. These are all meritorious cases and so the injustice remains unaddressed.

Although we have no idea of the true number of miscarriages of justice that should be being rectified, I can put it in perspective by pointing out that there are at least 100 contentious murder convictions being analysed by justice groups throughout the country. A host of cases – the convictions of Jeremy Bamber (originally flagged as a miscarriage of justice by the Guardian in November 1993), Susan May, Mark Stonerseed, Warren Slaney, Karl Watson and Eddie Gilfoyle et al – predate the CCRC and, all these years later, are still awaiting resolution.
The complaints are that the CCRC has become characterised by pusillanimity and procrastination. It is taking far too long to evaluate cases; it is not referring the cases it should; and even where it does refer convictions, its poor case analysis leads to poor appeals.
The government did look at the CCRC in the comprehensive spending review, but it survived. After all, it has become a highly expedient mechanism. It allows ministers to deflect all questions about, and accordingly blame for, miscarriages of justice and the malfunctioning of the judicial system. Probably that's its main residual function: as a fig leaf.

• Bob Woffinden will be one of the speakers at a public meeting in the House of Commons: Is the CCRC fit for purpose
[/b]

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/nov/30/criminal-cases-review-commission-failed
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 06:59:58 PM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #168 on: October 28, 2019, 09:08:02 PM »
In what way do you mean “they must be rubbing their hands?”

WESTMINSTER COMMISSION ON MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE TRANSCRIPT OF THIRD EVIDENCE SESSION – ACADEMICS
3 September 2019

Carolyn Hoyle stated:
“Having people with a background in finance is quite interesting and quite helpful, too. Not least, don’t forget, some of the Commissioners sit on the board, also they have to manage this organisation in the way that any organisation getting money from the government must do – it must be accountable to its funders. So, there are other skill sets there. And then there have been journalists on the Commission before – people like David Jessel – who bring investigative skills to look at the cases in detail.
https://appgmiscarriagesofjustice.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/session-3-academics-4.pdf

”Now we had a perception from interviewing screening Commissioners that they were doing things quite differently. So, we looked at all the screening over a period of 15 years. We looked at all of those cases that came in and who screened what, in or out. So, if you take screening as a dichotomous variable, you either screen a case in for a full review, or you screen it out, and the applicant gets a letter saying ‘nothing happening here’.
We found vast variability. One screening Commissioner was pushing through about 50% of cases – about half the applications that were screened by him went to full review. Another Commissioner screened in about 4%. And then there was a whole series of people in between. This data caused them enormous anxiety, as you would imagine it would, because we said to them ‘here is very hard, quantitative, empirical data, that is robust, to show variability at that crucial triage stage’.


“Now, some of them will be innocent, but many of them will not, and you really can't tell from a lot of those applications.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 09:57:26 PM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #169 on: October 28, 2019, 10:29:05 PM »
The Criminal Cases Review Commission has failed by Bob Woffinden
30th November 2010
Set up to investigate miscarriages of justice, the CCRC's poor track record in recent years shows it is little more than a fig leaf


When it was set up in 1997, the Criminal Cases Review Commission was an experiment. It was an idea unique in worldwide criminal justice: an extra-judicial body that could give another chance to cases that had reached the end of the legal road. The time has now come to acknowledge that it was an experiment that failed.
The CCRC began work on 1 April 1997. In gauging its overall success, we need first of all to look at its own statistics, according to which its work has led to the quashing of 304 convictions. Taken at face value, this is impressive; looked at more closely, the figure quickly crumbles.

Firstly, the CCRC refers some cases to the court of appeal on the basis of sentence alone. If the sentence is subsequently varied, then the CCRC triumphantly – but inaccurately – marks this down as a "quashed" case, and a success. It also counts as successes cases where alternative convictions are substituted – the most common example being manslaughter for murder. This may be little more than a technical adjustment to the conviction and may make no practical difference to the liberty of the prisoner.
Secondly, there is multiple counting. The CCRC rates its success not in terms of individual cases but numbers of convictions. Had the commission ever been tasked with analysing the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four cases, they would have examined two cases but chalked them off as 10 successes.
Thirdly, there is the case of Russell Causley, whose case was referred to appeal in 2001. His conviction was quashed at appeal, but the court ordered a retrial and Causley was reconvicted. So he will be sitting in his cell today, still convicted of the same crime that he once persuaded the CCRC to reopen, wondering just how the CCRC can count him as one of its "successes".

Fourthly, and crucially, any examination of the details of the CCRC "successes" reveals that, especially in recent years, the commission has been getting relatively lightweight convictions overturned: dishonestly obtaining a telecommunication service; allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place; failing to comply with an amended section 215 notice under the Town and Country Planning Act; cheating HM Revenue and Customs contrary to common law; and, that old chestnut, keeping a disorderly house.
Those wrongly convicted in these and other similar cases are doubtless eternally grateful to the CCRC for helping to restore their reputations. But no one should pretend that such low-level injustices precipitated the creation of the CCRC. It was set up because of wrongful convictions in major cases, especially murder cases, that were being rejected at the court of appeal.
In its early years, the CCRC was valuable and productive: the hiatus while it was being established meant there was a build-up of compelling cases, some of which had been part-worked on at the Home Office; and the CCRC began with an altruistic impulse and some highly motivated commissioners, such as the late Dr James MacKeith, the forensic psychiatrist, and the commercial lawyer Laurie Elks.

However, if we look at the CCRC's performance in major cases in England and Wales since the start of 2005, we get a very different statistic. In that period, the CCRC has successfully referred seven major cases to appeal. That's all. Seven.
In fact, even this meagre tally overstates the CCRC's performance level. One of these cases was that of Sean Hodgson, whose legal team had the brilliant idea of bypassing the CCRC altogether. They took it straight to the police and prosecution, who discovered that the DNA on the victim's body was not Hodgson's and said the appeal would not be contested.
So the CCRC was presented with a fait accompli – which did not, of course, prevent it from listing the case as one of its "successes". Yet had the lawyers simply submitted the case to the CCRC, Hodgson would still be in prison. Then there was the case of Barry George (wrongly convicted of murdering the television presenter Jill Dando), which half the country recognised as a miscarriage of justice.

Another was that of Patrick Nolan. This was a confession-made-under-duress case, of the kind that the appeal court had been quashing convictions in for at least 10 years. Any competent body could probably have dealt with it in a couple of months, rather than the more than five years it took the CCRC.
One case I can't tell you about, because the legal process is ongoing. The three remaining cases are those of Andrew Adams, which took the CCRC seven years to refer; the Victor Boreham and Michael and Malcolm Byrne case; and the Ian Lawless case, all of which were piloted to appeal by first-class lawyers (respectively, Ben Rose, Maslen Merchant and Mark Newby).
By my reckoning, six cases are yet to be heard, including the Simon Hall case, which goes to appeal in a couple of weeks. During this time, there have been referrals of 10 other cases that have failed at appeal. They include the cases of Michael Attwooll and John Roden; Robert Kennedy; and David Shale. These are all meritorious cases and so the injustice remains unaddressed.

Although we have no idea of the true number of miscarriages of justice that should be being rectified, I can put it in perspective by pointing out that there are at least 100 contentious murder convictions being analysed by justice groups throughout the country. A host of cases – the convictions of Jeremy Bamber (originally flagged as a miscarriage of justice by the Guardian in November 1993), Susan May, Mark Stonerseed, Warren Slaney, Karl Watson and Eddie Gilfoyle et al – predate the CCRC and, all these years later, are still awaiting resolution.
The complaints are that the CCRC has become characterised by pusillanimity and procrastination. It is taking far too long to evaluate cases; it is not referring the cases it should; and even where it does refer convictions, its poor case analysis leads to poor appeals.
The government did look at the CCRC in the comprehensive spending review, but it survived. After all, it has become a highly expedient mechanism. It allows ministers to deflect all questions about, and accordingly blame for, miscarriages of justice and the malfunctioning of the judicial system. Probably that's its main residual function: as a fig leaf.

• Bob Woffinden will be one of the speakers at a public meeting in the House of Commons: Is the CCRC fit for purpose
[/b]

https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/nov/30/criminal-cases-review-commission-failed

Carolyn Hoyle (page 3)
“That said, there have been criticisms of the Commission that it is ‘not fit for purpose’. We've all heard that expression being used. First, that expression is meaningless because if you ask the Commission what its purpose is, if you ask the Court of Appeal what its purpose is, if you ask a campaigner, if you ask an applicant and so on and so forth, they will all have very different answers, so it's a meaningless expression
https://appgmiscarriagesofjustice.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/session-3-academics-4.pdf
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #170 on: October 29, 2019, 01:35:58 AM »
WESTMINSTER COMMISSION ON MISCARRIAGES OF JUSTICE TRANSCRIPT OF THIRD EVIDENCE SESSION – ACADEMICS
3 September 2019

Carolyn Hoyle stated:
Having people with a background in finance is quite interesting and quite helpful, too. Not least, don’t forget, some of the Commissioners sit on the board, also they have to manage this organisation in the way that any organisation getting money from the government must do – it must be accountable to its funders. So, there are other skill sets there. And then there have been journalists on the Commission before – people like David Jessel – who bring investigative skills to look at the cases in detail .
https://appgmiscarriagesofjustice.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/session-3-academics-4.pdf

”Now we had a perception from interviewing screening Commissioners that they were doing things quite differently. So, we looked at all the screening over a period of 15 years. We looked at all of those cases that came in and who screened what, in or out. So, if you take screening as a dichotomous variable, you either screen a case in for a full review, or you screen it out, and the applicant gets a letter saying ‘nothing happening here’.
We found vast variability. One screening Commissioner was pushing through about 50% of cases – about half the applications that were screened by him went to full review. Another Commissioner screened in about 4%. And then there was a whole series of people in between. This data caused them enormous anxiety, as you would imagine it would, because we said to them ‘here is very hard, quantitative, empirical data, that is robust, to show variability at that crucial triage stage’.


“Now, some of them will be innocent, but many of them will not, and you really can't tell from a lot of those applications.

Righting wrongs
Too many cases, too few resources and no room for complacency – John Curtis reports on the Criminal Cases Review Commission state of play.


21 November 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the Birmingham Pub Bombings: a chain of events that led to the deaths of 21 people, 182 serious woundings, the incarceration of the Birmingham Six, their release from prison some 19 years later and the recognition that miscarriages of justice were a reality of Britain’s justice system.

The case, coupled with several others and with the work of BBC’s Rough Justice programme, impelled Parliament to confront the issue and to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Decisions about cases that had already been unsuccessfully appealed were transferred from the political

prerogative of the Home Secretary to the new, independent body constituted of lay and legal Commissioners. The Criminal Appeal Act 1995 confers on the CCRC a range of investigative powers and requires the Court of Appeal Criminal Division to hear the Commission’s references as fresh appeals. Now in its 17th operational year, the Commission’s work covers cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland with a separate counterpart in Scotland. As an inquisitorial body within an adversarial system, the CCRC occupies a unique and influential position.

Hosted at UCL’s Judicial Institute in central London and chaired by investigative journalist David Rose, the CCRC’s recent conference for stakeholders provided an opportunity for reflecting on progress and identifying the challenges. Delegates represented the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, miscarriage of justice campaign groups, solicitors and the Bar, together with judges, academics and students with interest in wrongful convictions.

Court of Appeal support       

Lord Justice Treacy gave the opening speech. As Chair of the Sentencing Council, his Lordship acknowledged that “the task of any responsible and civilised legal system is to develop mechanisms designed to minimise miscarriages of justice”. He explained that the Court of Appeal’s approach to “fresh evidence” is governed by legislation that provides a “checklist” of elements for the court to consider including its “admissibility” and the reasons why such evidence was not produced at trial. However, as the Lord Justice explained: “In recent years there has been very clear recognition by the court that the factors in the checklist are subordinate to an overall test of what is necessary and expedient in the interests of justice.” His Lordship was a strong supporter of the CCRC, commending the Commission’s sensitivity when interviewing jurors for investigations carried out on behalf of the court and noting that, “in making references, the Commission focuses with a degree of realism on the points which can properly be argued”. On behalf of the court, Treacy LJ said: “We value very highly the work done by the Commission and we wish it well for the future.”

Funding and investigation concerns

Richard Foster, the CCRC’s third and current Chairman, saw no room for complacency, telling the conference: “Although the criminal justice system has improved considerably in recent years, we see no reduction in the level of miscarriages – we refer about one case a fortnight.” The majority of those are quashed. Foster reflected on the organisation’s early days and current challenges. In 1997, his predecessor had stated that the Commission had “too many cases and too few resources”. That refrain has not changed. Since the pioneering period, policies and practices have been developed from scratch and application volumes have risen dramatically, partly because of the introduction of an “Easy Read” application form to cater for low literacy levels in prison. Funding has been dramatically reduced and although process improvements have yielded efficiency gains, thoroughness cannot be sacrificed for speed.

Foster warned that without more resources, queues would only lengthen and miscarriages would risk going undetected. January 2015 sees a Justice Select Committee inquiry into the Commission’s work, where the CCRC Chairman said he would repeat his view that the Commission now needs an uplift of £1m to its £5.5m budget to function effectively. Of equal concern was the erosion of the CCRC’s investigative powers. The Commission is able to obtain material from public bodies through Statutory Notices but the power does not currently extend to private bodies. With privatisation and the migration of public services to the “third” sector, the distinction is becoming blurred. Increasingly organisations, including forensic providers, care homes and welfare services, hesitate or decline to provide assistance to the Commission as they are fearful of breaching data protection laws. Successive governments have promised legislation to remedy this but none has done so, leading Foster to ask: “What more is needed to get passed into legislation something which enjoys all-party support, would save money, improve the administration of justice and, crucially, help us to right wrongs which would otherwise go uncorrected?”

Critical perspectives

Mick Creedon, Chief Constable of Derbyshire, gave a perspective on the changing nature of police investigations with digital technology, electronic surveillance and regulation through the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the European Convention on Human Rights. Creedon explained: “We now have pieces of legislation that dictate what happens at every stage of the criminal justice process, at what time it happens, and to whom it happens.” He also candidly acknowledged that disclosure presented and continues to present major issues, but pointed to the differing public perception of convictions overturned because of evidence that suggested innocence and defective processes where “loopholes” were exploited. The Chief Constable also spoke out for victims and witnesses, emphasising the importance of ensuring that they were treated with dignity and properly protected. Ultimately, he said, “no witnesses could only mean no justice”.

The afternoon gave a more critical perspective with solicitor Mark Newby urging the CCRC to undertake more proactive reviews, to challenge the Police and to search for evidence rather than to accept assurances that it had been lost or had never existed. This was important in historic sex abuse cases and Newby cited cases where it was established that defendants were innocent of allegations of child abuse, a subject that Conference Chair, David Rose described as being one of society’s few remaining taboos. Newby also drew attention to the plight of Victor Nealon. He was released in June 2014 after 17 years’ imprisonment. It was on the third application to the Commission that his case was referred to the Court of Appeal which quashed the conviction due to fresh DNA evidence. He was discharged with £46 but no address at which he could stay, and the Ministry of Justice has refused his claim for compensation.

Newby’s concerns on reviews were echoed by Professor Carolyn Hoyle of Oxford University. Professor Hoyle is leading an externally funded research project covering the Commission’s investigative and decision-making processes. The CCRC has facilitated access to its archives and open interviews with personnel. Hoyle’s initial findings suggest some differences between the CCRC’s investigators. Some appear to be more prepared to go “beyond the bundle” than others, to ask questions, or to conduct crime scene visits, or to speak with those connected with the case be they experts, representatives or police officers.

Value of pro bono

In panel discussions, the Commission responded with contributions from staff explaining that investigations and interviews were determined by evidential value and that references are made whenever the statutory test is met. The Commission also commended the pro bono work done by professionals, law clinics and university projects in assisting applicants to assemble information and to highlight lines of inquiry.

Aspiration

The Commission’s contribution to society is important. Miscarriages of justice remain a reality, as are the challenges to the organisation charged with their investigation. The CCRC Chairman’s concluding words provide an apt statement of aspiration: “We can’t know whether a particular person is telling the truth or not. We do not know whether they committed the crime they are accused of or not.” But, he said, people are entitled to be taken seriously when they approach the CCRC claiming to have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice. “Detailed, thorough, impartial investigation may confirm what they are saying – or it may tell us otherwise. But the possibility that what they are saying may indeed be the truth must always, always be our starting point. How different might the case of the Birmingham Six have been had it been approached from the beginning in that spirit?”

Features, Law in Practice
Issue:
January 2015
Author details:
 John Curtis
John was Called to the Bar in 1996. He works at the Criminal Cases Review Commission investigating potential miscarriages of justice. He was a panellist at the Commission’s recent stakeholder event.

https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/righting-wrongs
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 01:44:44 AM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #171 on: October 29, 2019, 01:59:04 AM »
Righting wrongs
Too many cases, too few resources and no room for complacency – John Curtis reports on the Criminal Cases Review Commission state of play.


21 November 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the Birmingham Pub Bombings: a chain of events that led to the deaths of 21 people, 182 serious woundings, the incarceration of the Birmingham Six, their release from prison some 19 years later and the recognition that miscarriages of justice were a reality of Britain’s justice system.

The case, coupled with several others and with the work of BBC’s Rough Justice programme, impelled Parliament to confront the issue and to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Decisions about cases that had already been unsuccessfully appealed were transferred from the political

prerogative of the Home Secretary to the new, independent body constituted of lay and legal Commissioners. The Criminal Appeal Act 1995 confers on the CCRC a range of investigative powers and requires the Court of Appeal Criminal Division to hear the Commission’s references as fresh appeals. Now in its 17th operational year, the Commission’s work covers cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland with a separate counterpart in Scotland. As an inquisitorial body within an adversarial system, the CCRC occupies a unique and influential position.

Hosted at UCL’s Judicial Institute in central London and chaired by investigative journalist David Rose, the CCRC’s recent conference for stakeholders provided an opportunity for reflecting on progress and identifying the challenges. Delegates represented the Police, Crown Prosecution Service, miscarriage of justice campaign groups, solicitors and the Bar, together with judges, academics and students with interest in wrongful convictions.

Court of Appeal support       

Lord Justice Treacy gave the opening speech. As Chair of the Sentencing Council, his Lordship acknowledged that “the task of any responsible and civilised legal system is to develop mechanisms designed to minimise miscarriages of justice”. He explained that the Court of Appeal’s approach to “fresh evidence” is governed by legislation that provides a “checklist” of elements for the court to consider including its “admissibility” and the reasons why such evidence was not produced at trial. However, as the Lord Justice explained: “In recent years there has been very clear recognition by the court that the factors in the checklist are subordinate to an overall test of what is necessary and expedient in the interests of justice.” His Lordship was a strong supporter of the CCRC, commending the Commission’s sensitivity when interviewing jurors for investigations carried out on behalf of the court and noting that, “in making references, the Commission focuses with a degree of realism on the points which can properly be argued”. On behalf of the court, Treacy LJ said: “We value very highly the work done by the Commission and we wish it well for the future.”

Funding and investigation concerns

Richard Foster, the CCRC’s third and current Chairman, saw no room for complacency, telling the conference: “Although the criminal justice system has improved considerably in recent years, we see no reduction in the level of miscarriages – we refer about one case a fortnight.” The majority of those are quashed. Foster reflected on the organisation’s early days and current challenges. In 1997, his predecessor had stated that the Commission had “too many cases and too few resources”. That refrain has not changed. Since the pioneering period, policies and practices have been developed from scratch and application volumes have risen dramatically, partly because of the introduction of an “Easy Read” application form to cater for low literacy levels in prison. Funding has been dramatically reduced and although process improvements have yielded efficiency gains, thoroughness cannot be sacrificed for speed.

Foster warned that without more resources, queues would only lengthen and miscarriages would risk going undetected. January 2015 sees a Justice Select Committee inquiry into the Commission’s work, where the CCRC Chairman said he would repeat his view that the Commission now needs an uplift of £1m to its £5.5m budget to function effectively. Of equal concern was the erosion of the CCRC’s investigative powers. The Commission is able to obtain material from public bodies through Statutory Notices but the power does not currently extend to private bodies. With privatisation and the migration of public services to the “third” sector, the distinction is becoming blurred. Increasingly organisations, including forensic providers, care homes and welfare services, hesitate or decline to provide assistance to the Commission as they are fearful of breaching data protection laws. Successive governments have promised legislation to remedy this but none has done so, leading Foster to ask: “What more is needed to get passed into legislation something which enjoys all-party support, would save money, improve the administration of justice and, crucially, help us to right wrongs which would otherwise go uncorrected?”

Critical perspectives

Mick Creedon, Chief Constable of Derbyshire, gave a perspective on the changing nature of police investigations with digital technology, electronic surveillance and regulation through the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the European Convention on Human Rights. Creedon explained: “We now have pieces of legislation that dictate what happens at every stage of the criminal justice process, at what time it happens, and to whom it happens.” He also candidly acknowledged that disclosure presented and continues to present major issues, but pointed to the differing public perception of convictions overturned because of evidence that suggested innocence and defective processes where “loopholes” were exploited. The Chief Constable also spoke out for victims and witnesses, emphasising the importance of ensuring that they were treated with dignity and properly protected. Ultimately, he said, “no witnesses could only mean no justice”.

The afternoon gave a more critical perspective with solicitor Mark Newby urging the CCRC to undertake more proactive reviews, to challenge the Police and to search for evidence rather than to accept assurances that it had been lost or had never existed. This was important in historic sex abuse cases and Newby cited cases where it was established that defendants were innocent of allegations of child abuse, a subject that Conference Chair, David Rose described as being one of society’s few remaining taboos. Newby also drew attention to the plight of Victor Nealon. He was released in June 2014 after 17 years’ imprisonment. It was on the third application to the Commission that his case was referred to the Court of Appeal which quashed the conviction due to fresh DNA evidence. He was discharged with £46 but no address at which he could stay, and the Ministry of Justice has refused his claim for compensation.

Newby’s concerns on reviews were echoed by Professor Carolyn Hoyle of Oxford University. Professor Hoyle is leading an externally funded research project covering the Commission’s investigative and decision-making processes. The CCRC has facilitated access to its archives and open interviews with personnel. Hoyle’s initial findings suggest some differences between the CCRC’s investigators. Some appear to be more prepared to go “beyond the bundle” than others, to ask questions, or to conduct crime scene visits, or to speak with those connected with the case be they experts, representatives or police officers.

Value of pro bono

In panel discussions, the Commission responded with contributions from staff explaining that investigations and interviews were determined by evidential value and that references are made whenever the statutory test is met. The Commission also commended the pro bono work done by professionals, law clinics and university projects in assisting applicants to assemble information and to highlight lines of inquiry.

Aspiration

The Commission’s contribution to society is important. Miscarriages of justice remain a reality, as are the challenges to the organisation charged with their investigation. The CCRC Chairman’s concluding words provide an apt statement of aspiration: “We can’t know whether a particular person is telling the truth or not. We do not know whether they committed the crime they are accused of or not.” But, he said, people are entitled to be taken seriously when they approach the CCRC claiming to have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice. “Detailed, thorough, impartial investigation may confirm what they are saying – or it may tell us otherwise. But the possibility that what they are saying may indeed be the truth must always, always be our starting point. How different might the case of the Birmingham Six have been had it been approached from the beginning in that spirit?”

Features, Law in Practice
Issue:
January 2015
Author details:
 John Curtis
John was Called to the Bar in 1996. He works at the Criminal Cases Review Commission investigating potential miscarriages of justice. He was a panellist at the Commission’s recent stakeholder event.

https://www.counselmagazine.co.uk/articles/righting-wrongs

“Mr Creedon said he was ordered to limit his inquiries into the MP, now Lord Janner of Braunstone.

He was forbidden from arresting the politician or searching his home, despite ‘credible evidence’ that warranted further investigation.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2770235/Police-told-limit-abuse-probe-MP.html
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #172 on: October 29, 2019, 02:01:12 AM »
“Mr Creedon said he was ordered to limit his inquiries into the MP, now Lord Janner of Braunstone.

He was forbidden from arresting the politician or searching his home, despite ‘credible evidence’ that warranted further investigation.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2770235/Police-told-limit-abuse-probe-MP.html

Don Hale OBE
@perryscope21
Apr 16, 2015
Who ordered Mick Creedon NOT to arrest Janner?
https://twitter.com/IrkHudson/status/588689019476779008
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #173 on: October 29, 2019, 02:17:07 PM »
I doubt it will be the kind of name he expected. He's supposed to be a 'hotshot' in respect to MOJ's but he must know this case and realise that the so called 'compelling' evidence is nothing of the sort. CCRC must be rubbing their hands!

I’ve posted this link previously on the forum but it might be worth listening to Carolyn Hoyle’s talk on her book about the CCRC

The link to the talk is just under the first para.

https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/centres-institutes/centre-criminology/blog/2019/03/all-souls-blog-book-launch-reasons-doubt-wrongful

Am only half way through but already there are many more clues..
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #174 on: October 29, 2019, 07:50:56 PM »
Mark Newby, Mike Naughton, Dennis Eady & Glyn Maddocks, Carolyn Hoyle, Carole McCartney and Josephine Hodgson giving evidence at the justice committee 13th Jan 2015

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/21e7258c-2461-4a1f-af60-bbfb885de507
« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 04:07:02 PM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #175 on: October 30, 2019, 09:44:24 AM »
I doubt it will be the kind of name he expected. He's supposed to be a 'hotshot' in respect to MOJ's but he must know this case and realise that the so called 'compelling' evidence is nothing of the sort. CCRC must be rubbing their hands!

Anything's possibly with the CCRC; let’s not forget the Simon Hall case referral.

And the Dwayne George case.

Dwayne, who had always protested his innocence, had the good fortune to write to and involve the Innocence Project at Cardiff University. Over successive years volunteering law students studied the case, and considered various avenues which might lead to the overturning of the conviction. The case of  Barry George [2007] EWCA Crim 2722 with its staunch criticisms of the standards which had applied to gun shot residue evidence, and its recognition of the important revision of those standards under the auspices of the FSS and in particular their lead scientist Angela Shaw, led to the students securing the services of a firearms expert to write a report on the impact of the Barry George decision on Dwayne George’s case. Detailed submissions to the CCRC were prepared by the many students, into all aspects of the case. Impressed by the work involved the CCRC themselves commissioned Angela Shaw to write a report on the GSR findings in the case, and the approach which had been adopted to them. As a result the Commission referred the case back to the Court of Appeal.
http://doughty-street-chambers.newsweaver.com/Appeals/1cisha3cvxh?a=1&p=456442&t=174031

Conclusion
54. Having admitted the evidence of Ms Shaw, we have concluded that it might reasonably have affected the decision of the trial jury so that these convictions are no longer safe; in the circumstances, the appeal is allowed and the convictions quashed. In addition to expressing our gratitude to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, we pay tribute to the work of the Innocence Project and Pro Bono Unit at Cardiff Law School, which took up the appellant’s case and pursued it so diligently.
https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/r-v-dwaine-george.pdf
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 09:51:29 AM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #176 on: October 31, 2019, 04:15:12 PM »
Mark Newby, Mike Naughton, Dennis Eady & Glyn Maddocks, Carolyn Hoyle, Carole McCartney and Josephine Hodgson giving evidence at the justice committee 13th Jan 2015

https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/21e7258c-2461-4a1f-af60-bbfb885de507

6. We have received some evidence highlighting the effects of both the existing provisions regarding the admissibility of fresh evidence to the Court of Appeal, which generally requires it not to have been available at trial, and of the requirements necessary for a victim of a miscarriage of justice to obtain compensation, under which the person must prove beyond reasonable doubt that they did not commit the offence. Both of these issues fall outside the terms of reference of this inquiry, but it has been drawn to our attention that there is widespread concern that they are having an unjust effect. There may therefore be some benefit in these being reviewed by our successor Committee in the next Parliament.

7. In the course of our inquiry we received 47 written submissions and we held four oral evidence sessions, hearing from

Glyn Maddocks and
Mark Newby, solicitors,
Dr Dennis Eady, Case Consultant, Cardiff University Law School Innocence Project, and
Dr Michael Naughton, Director, University of Bristol Innocence Project;
Professor Jacqueline Hodgson, University of Warwick School of Law,
Professor Carolyn Hoyle, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, and
Dr Carole McCartney, Northumbria University School of Law;
Lord Runciman, Chair, and
Professor Michael Zander QC, Member, Royal Commission on Criminal Justice;
Paul May and
Bob Woffinden;
Richard Foster, Chair, and
Karen Kneller, Chief Executive, CCRC; and
Rt Hon Mike Penning MP, Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims, and
Stephen Muers, Director for Sentencing and Rehabilitation, Ministry of Justice.

Towards the conclusion of the inquiry we received an offer from the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, to give oral evidence; unfortunately we were unable to take him up on his offer because of a lack of available time, but he subsequently submitted written evidence to the inquiry. We are grateful to all those who gave written and oral evidence to us in this inquiry.
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmjust/850/85004.htm
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #177 on: October 31, 2019, 06:31:31 PM »
Anything's possibly with the CCRC; let’s not forget the Simon Hall case referral.

And the Dwayne George case.

Dwayne, who had always protested his innocence, had the good fortune to write to and involve the Innocence Project at Cardiff University. Over successive years volunteering law students studied the case, and considered various avenues which might lead to the overturning of the conviction. The case of  Barry George [2007] EWCA Crim 2722 with its staunch criticisms of the standards which had applied to gun shot residue evidence, and its recognition of the important revision of those standards under the auspices of the FSS and in particular their lead scientist Angela Shaw, led to the students securing the services of a firearms expert to write a report on the impact of the Barry George decision on Dwayne George’s case. Detailed submissions to the CCRC were prepared by the many students, into all aspects of the case. Impressed by the work involved the CCRC themselves commissioned Angela Shaw to write a report on the GSR findings in the case, and the approach which had been adopted to them. As a result the Commission referred the case back to the Court of Appeal.
http://doughty-street-chambers.newsweaver.com/Appeals/1cisha3cvxh?a=1&p=456442&t=174031

Conclusion
54. Having admitted the evidence of Ms Shaw, we have concluded that it might reasonably have affected the decision of the trial jury so that these convictions are no longer safe; in the circumstances, the appeal is allowed and the convictions quashed. In addition to expressing our gratitude to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, we pay tribute to the work of the Innocence Project and Pro Bono Unit at Cardiff Law School, which took up the appellant’s case and pursued it so diligently.
https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/r-v-dwaine-george.pdf

Ex-gang member Dwaine George cleared of 2002 murder on appeal
Presiding judge Sir Brian Leveson said the conviction was "no longer safe" and praised the students' "diligent" work.
Mr George was a member of the Cheetham Hill gang and was convicted on the basis of particles of gunshot residue.
He appealed against the conviction in 2004, but failed on that occasion, and was released on licence from prison after 12 years.
The students were working for the Innocence Project, which was set up to represent people it believes were wrongly convicted.
Sir Brian, president of the Queen's Bench Division, expressed "gratitude" to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), which referred Mr George's case to the court.
He also thanked the Cardiff Law School students, who "took up the appellant's case and pursued it so diligently".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-30395753

Sir Brian Leveson warns crimes are not being prosecuted
The most senior criminal judge in England and Wales has expressed "enormous concern" that many crimes are not being prosecuted.
"It is very, very concerning that citizens suffer wrongs and are not obtaining redress through the criminal courts," he said.
"The criminal courts are a critical part of our society and they are the way that society reflects the minimum standards of behaviour which it requires of all its citizens and therefore it is an enormous concern that crimes are not being detected and crimes are not being prosecuted," he added.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-48713039?__twitter_impression=true
« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 06:42:32 PM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

Offline Nicholas

Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #178 on: November 05, 2019, 11:03:50 AM »
An argument for reforming the Court of Appeal By Glyn Maddocks 4 November 2019
Today, it is now widely accepted that the criminal justice system in this country is, to use the words of Mark George QC, facing a ‘perfect storm’. Overzealous governments have produced legislation by the bucketload aimed exclusively at increasing the conviction rate while simultaneously and savagely destroying the court service, the CPS, the police and the legal aid system. This has led to prisons being full to breaking point. As Polly Toynbee recently said in the Guardian: ‘The tottering edifice is only kept going by the super human goodwill of the dwindling members operating within it.’

Over a period of a few years the criminal justice system has been systematically devalued and the once robust and independent structure which valued human rights and the rule of law is rapidly being destroyed. In the last seven years, the Ministry of Justice’s budget has been cut by 38% – the deepest cuts of any government department. This is unsustainable when all involved are required to do more for less. Former director of public prosecutions Lord Macdonald waded in recently by graphically describing the system we are left with as demoralised, denuded and chronically malnourished.

Investigating miscarriages

In 2017, a group of parliamentarians established the All Party Parliamentary Group on Miscarriages of Justice (APPGMJ). During its first two years, it has grown in strength and expertise and has been very busy and held many events. But of most significance, the APPGMJ has established a Westminster Commission on Miscarriages of Justice (WCMJ) with a brief to investigate the ability of the criminal justice system to identify and rectify miscarriages of justice. Following the model of a select committee this commission has as its co-chairs, Baroness Stern, president of the Association of Members of Independent Monitoring Boards, and Lord Garnier QC, a former solicitor general. They have been joined by Dame Anne Owers, former chief inspector of prisons; Michelle Nelson QC, barrister; Dr Philip Joseph, consultant forensic psychiatrist; and Erwin James, editor-in-chief of the prisoners’ newspaper Inside Time. I act as the commission’s special adviser and it has been fortunate to receive generous support from Simpson Thacher and Garden Court Chambers.

So far, the commission has heard evidence from Helen Pitcher, chair of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and its chief executive, Karen Kneller. It has also heard from Gerard Sinclair and Chris Reddick, representing the Scottish CCRC. They were able to provide valuable insight into the Scottish approach to dealing with alleged miscarriages of justice, which applies a different test when deciding whether to refer a case to the Scottish Court of Appeal. Many regard this test as less subjective than the ‘real possibility’ test which is applied in England and Wales, and which Pitcher and Kneller said they would welcome the commission looking at to consider whether it should be modified. The WCMJ has also heard from specialist QCs, academics, and experienced appeal solicitors, with further evidence sessions currently being organised.

The commission has also received a large number of written submissions from lawyers, academics, investigative reporters, charities, prisoners and their families. Concerns raised include the failure of the CCRC to carry out proper reviews or engage experts, the problems that arise from the ‘real possibility’ test, the lack of funding available for legal representation when applying to the CCRC, and failures elsewhere in the criminal justice process. Those who have direct experience of applying to the CCRC have also been encouraged to share their experiences by completing a questionnaire.

To date perhaps the most powerful evidence received by the commission has come from Dr Dennis Eady, of Cardiff University’s Innocence Project. Eady pointed out that the CCRC’s referral rate had plummeted over the last three years – down from a 20-year average of over 30 to just 13 last year. Eady said that a referral rate of about 1% of the total number of applications represented a ‘snowball’s chance in hell’. He went on to say that he believes that things have got so bad and so serious that there is a greater need now for a royal commission than there was in the 1990s.

Reform the Court of Appeal?

Eady was also understandably concerned that the WCMJ might make a few recommendations for the CCRC to be ‘a bit bolder’ as the Justice Select Committee did in 2015.

‘There is a danger we might mess around on the periphery of things which might make them better for a little while, but I think essentially we’ve got to be more radical in the approach we take’, he said. ‘We’ve lowered the standard of proof consistently, we’ve knocked out due process safeguards, and we’ve become a much more convictionalist kind of society. We’ve had moral panics around sex offences and joint enterprise and that has got lower and lower and lower in terms of convicting people. At the other end, as we have heard, the Court of Appeal’s bar has got higher and higher and higher. The CCRC is stuck between a rock and a hard place.’

Eady suggested it was high time to reform the Court of Appeal and allow the CCRC to have more power and the ability to quash convictions.

Whether this will form part of the recommendations to be made by the Westminster commission remains to be seen. Many feel that, sadly, the topic of miscarriages of justice is not given the priority that it deserves by those in power. There is obviously a great deal to be done and it is fair to say that the commission is determined to complete its task as soon as possible, and provide robust and practical recommendations for reform that will hopefully go some way to restore faith in the system.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice-points/an-argument-for-reforming-the-court-of-appeal/5102022.article#.XcFSL8Fx8GM.twitter
« Last Edit: November 05, 2019, 11:09:50 AM by Nicholas »
A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes

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Re: ITV Developing A Series Based On The Case Of Jeremy Bamber
« Reply #179 on: November 11, 2019, 08:13:12 AM »
Looks like Colin C. will be in line for some royalties when ISOTRE is republished in 2020 to coincide with the new WHF drama...

https://books.telegraph.co.uk/Product/COLIN-CAFFELL/IN-SEARCH-OF-THE-RAINBOWS-END/23399090

But if you can't wait 'till then, how about a tatty 1995 copy for £100 more...

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B01LPE25A2/ref=tmm_pap_used_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=&sr=