Free David Ferguson

Help to right a grave miscarriage of justice....

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Blog entry 23rd December 2015

Happy New Year to all. That is now my sixteenth Christmas imprisoned for a murder that I did not commit. On a more positive note it has been my first festive season as a happily married man.

At the start of December my barrister requested full physical re-testing of the crime scene DNA samples. This is something I've been requesting since the year 2000. Requests will now have to be made to the police and CPS for access to the samples so that they can be subjected to independent re-testing.

I've also written to my solicitor as my barrister has misunderstood the context of the recently discovered evidence that proves my alibi. He has also omitted to request disclosure of key areas of forensic evidence from the crime scene that the police and CPS hid until two years after my trial. It is essential that these items are disclosed as they demonstrate just how far the prosecution went to falsify their case against me.

Back in 2011, another prisoner and I won a judicial review against HMP Wakefield for it denying our lawful right to pursue higher education courses. The prison only obeyed the judgement against it for two years before again obstructing our ability to study. For the last two years we have been trying to get the prison and the case back in to court. Finally, on November 24th 2015, permission for a full new judicial review hearing was granted at Manchester Administrative court. A date for this hearing is yet to be set by the court.

Cases such as this are the reason why prisoners should be able to access Legal Aid FUnding. The Justice Minister (Michael Gove), has openly stated how education is the key factor to reducing re-offending. Yet here at HMP Wakefield every effort is made by the Head of Reducing Re-offending to stop prisoners capable of studying at a higher education level from doing so.

Since Grayling withdrew prisoners Legal Aid access prisons have felt that they can ride rough-shod over hard fought for and won basic rights such as access to suitable education.

Grayling claimed prisoners do not need Legal Aid and access to the courts as they have the Prison Ombudsman to adjudicate on 'disputes'. If this were the case my previous 2011 judicial review, nor my latest one would be necessary. Most prisoners have little faith in the Prison Ombudsman. Why? Because time and again they conduct openly biased investigations favouring the prison system. It is not un-typical for the Prison Ombudsman to give greater weight to the un-evidenced word of prison service employees over the documented evidence of the prisoner complaintee. This is no alternative to the courts for prisoners.

The last time prisoners were disenfranchised in this way the Strangeways riots occurred.

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