Free David Ferguson

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Blog entry 28th July 2019

I'll begin this blog with the news that my application to have my case heard by the Court of Appeal has been sent to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). I am confident that my application has been strengthened by a recent case that was upheld by the Court of Appeal. I now have to wait for the CCRC to decide whether my case merits a full review by their investigators. If this is the case, the CCRC have the powers to compel Kent police, CPS and their trial expert witnesses to disclose the evidence they withheld at my trial.

A 'paper' hearing parole review of my case will be held any day now. At this, the parole board will review my case based on reports entered by the prison, my external probation officer etc., and representations submitted by my solicitor. My solicitor has requested an 'oral' hearing to be convened due to inaccuracies and unsupportable clauses in reports entered by the aforementioned parties. The parole panel will either approve or deny my solicitors request.

If it is approved a new hearing will be scheduled at which all the report writers, my solicitor and myself will be in attendance, as well as any witnesses we call. The parole panel can then question all of us, enabling a fully informed decision to be made. If our request for an oral hearing is declined my solicitor intends to pursue a judicial review to facilitate the oral hearing.

Due to the prison's obstruction to my distance learning studies I have prepared and submitted a civil court claim. The documentation for this is all but complete. I am now just waiting for a hearing date to be set. Sadly this is not the first time that I have had to pursue legal proceedings against HMP Wakefield for its obstruction to my educational development. In 2011, the High Court upheld my judicial review on this issue. Despite this, the prison felt that it could ignore the High Court ruling and still deny me my legal right to pursue higher education through distance learning, hence the civil action I am now pursuing.

This raises an important question though. How can HMP Wakefield profess to rehabilitate prisoners when it is so willing to ignore and infringe judgements made against it by the High Court? It's hardly a good example to set.

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