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Blog entry 1st February 2018

Since December 2017 there have been numerous reports of trials collapsing at the eleventh hour. In each case the cause has been police corruption in the form of attempted withholding of evidence that indicated reasonable doubt on the accused's guilt. It is not coincidence that each of these cases involved charges of a sexual nature.

An emergency review in to all on-going cases was rapidly conducted by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders. How comprehensive the review has been is questionable. On Thursday 18th January Saunders announced that she was confident that there are no wrongly convicted people in prison due to police withholding evidence that should have been disclosed. Quite rightly defence lawyers, barristers and miscarriage of justice groups immediately condemned Saunders' outlandish claim. With a prison population exceeding 85,000 and Saunders' review being completed in around 3 weeks, no more than 21.5 seconds could have been spent on each case review by Saunders.

The contemptuous nature of Saunders' clearly fictitious statement is further evidenced by the report issued in mid 2017 by the inspectorate for the CPS. This found countrywide endemic failures of disclosure by police forces in Crown Court cases. Significantly, of the cases that were reviewed cases with an accusation with a sexual element yielded the highest occurrences of police non-disclosure of evidence beneficial to the defendant.

After yet another rape trial collapsed on January 20th due to attempts by Surrey police to withhold evidence a comment was issued by the former Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge. However, instead of warning that there are without doubt wrongly convicted people in prison due to police corruption in the form of withholding evidence beneficial to the defendant, Lord Judge warned that:-

"Failings were undermining the public confidence in the system - and could lead to some rapists getting away with crimes."

This statement indicates the current apathetic environment amongst law enforcement services in the UK. Rather than focus on the fact that a defendant has the right to the presumption of innocence unless guilt is proven beyond all reasonable doubt and, the right to a fair trial, based on all relevant evidence law enforcement services are only concerned with enforcing the belief that a defendant, especially in cases with a sexual nature, will be convicted regardless of innocence or guilt.

Events of the last several weeks have proven that British prisons are very likely to have hundreds, even thousands of people who been denied a fair trial and subsequently wrongly convicted. More likely when their conviction involves a sexual element. It is now imperative that a truly independent review is conducted into every case where a prisoner maintains their innocence to establish whether or not the investigating police force and prosecuting CPS office withheld evidence that would have benefited the defendants case.

In each instance where that is found to be the case that prisoner should be exonerated. Then and only if the police can provide full disclosure a re-trial should be held with all the evidence presented to a jury. That should include the fact that the police and CPS obtained an original conviction falsely by withholding evidence that benefited the defendants case.

Leading on from this the CPS continue to ignore my lawful request to disclose the evidence they purposely withheld at my trial, knowing full well that it would give reasonable doubt of the accusation against me. My next step will now be to lodge a formal complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.

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