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Free Peter Barlow!

Correna Platt
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By Alison Marriott,  appeals solicitor This week fans of Coronation Street saw the culmination of the dramatic storyline involving Peter Barlow and the death of his girlfriend, Tina McIntyre. The allegation of murder, vigorously denied by Peter, was...

Be involved!

Correna Platt
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By Correna Platt, partner and head of the  Appeals team at Stephensons. This blog was first featured on the Inside Justice UK website - Be involved   I can not stress how important it is that a client is involved in their own case. Many...

Supreme Court rules on post conviction duty of disclosure

Correna Platt
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The case of Nunn raised the question of the extent of any continuing duty of the police and the Crown prosecution service to assist him in gathering and examining evidence with a view to a further challenge to his conviction. The ruling has wide...

The Court of Appeal has upheld 'whole-life' sentences

Correna Platt
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Judges at the Court of Appeal have ruled that the most serious offenders in England and Wales can be jailed for their whole life. This was despite the fact that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said last year that whole life terms breached a...

Guilty verdict in the trial of Shahidul Ahmed

Correna Platt
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On the 4th September 2013 Shahidul Ahmed was found guilty of the murder of Rachel Manning which occurred in 2002. This case highlights how important it is to pursue and fight for miscarriages of justice because in 2002, Mr White, the boyfriend of Miss...

1985 Robbery conviction quashed

Correna Platt
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On 17th April 2013 the Court of Appeal quashed the 1985 robbery conviction of Martin Foran. The case had been referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), after two earlier appeals were unsuccessful.  Foran was...

SAS Sniper Danny Nightingale's conviction overturned

Correna Platt
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A defendant can plead guilty and then seek to challenge that conviction as being unsafe as evidenced in the case of SAS sniper Danny Nightingale. The lawyers for Mr Nightingale argued that he had been placed under ‘improper pressure’ to plead...

Unsafe conviction - concerns about police investigation

Correna Platt
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The Court of Appeal is to consider again the case of Kevin Lane, after instructing the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to review ‘particular points’ relating to the conviction. Kevin Lane was convicted of the murder of a local business...

Will Court of Appeal judgment change face of disclosure?

Correna Platt
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The following article was first published on Lexis®PSL Crime on 8 February 2013. Click here for a free 24 trial of Lexis®PSL. 08/02/2013 Crime analysis: What next for disclosure of convictions, cautions and warnings? Mike Pemberton, partner...

IPP sentence quashed as learning disability was not taken into consideration

Correna Platt
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In R v Fletcher (2012), an IPP sentence was quashed and a restricted hospital order substituted in its place as the Judge had not properly been informed as to the appellant's mental state.  The original reports focussed on mental illnesses which...

No defence: professionalism vs economics

Correna Platt
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Campbell Malone, a consultant to Stephensons' appeals team and a former partner of the firm, together with Correna Platt, head of appeals at Stephensons, have prepared an essay for www.thejusticegap.com. The essay will feature in a new collection of...

Appeal against conviction refused by Court of Appeal

Correna Platt
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Mr Dizaei was convicted of Perverting the Course of Justice and Misconduct of Public Office.  It was alleged by the prosecution that Mr Dizaei had falsely claimed that the complainant had assaulted him. Mr Dizaei’s barrister submitted to the...

Is it right that a person can be convicted of a serious offence on hearsay evidence alone?

Correna Platt
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On the 6th February 2013 judgment was handed down in the case of R v Adeojo, Nyamupfukudza  at the Court of Appeal (2013 EWCA Crim 41 case no: 201200231D1). Central to the rule is that in the absence of an opportunity for the defence to cross...

Lurking doubt

Correna Platt
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The question to consider in criminal appeals is whether the lurking doubt principle actually exists? In a recent Judgment R v Pope (2012) EWCA Crim 2241 the Court of Appeal confirmed that the so-called ‘lurking doubt principle’, previously...

Appeal after a Guilty Plea?

Correna Platt
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Lawyers for Sgt Danny Nightingale, the SAS soldier convicted of possession of a pistol and live ammunition at a court martial earlier this month, have confirmed an appeal has been launched against his conviction. The issue of the sentence handed down to Sgt...

Could you appeal your sentence?

Correna Platt
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Our Civil Liberties team was recently involved in a high profile case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning three offenders who had been jailed indefinitely without being given access to courses which would have aided their rehabilitation. ...

The Court of Appeal considers whether the defence of duress needs to be extended

Correna Platt
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The issue of duress has come under the spotlight in relation to whether a threat of false imprisonment could suffice for the defence of duress. Dao & Ors v R. [2012] EWCA Crim 1717 (31 July 2012) considered this point: The case in essence stated that...

Lorraine Allen's quest continues

Correna Platt
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Last week, Lorraine Allen, a mother who was wrongly imprisoned following the death of her son Patrick in one of the so-called Shaken Baby Syndrome cases, discovered that her fight for compensation will be heard at the European Court of Human Rights in...

Who investigates miscarriages of justice? Manchester event review

Correna Platt
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Following a successful event in London in March, The Justice Gap held a debate in Manchester on “Who Investigates Miscarriages of Justice” jointly hosted by leading Manchester barristers’ chambers, Garden Court North. I was delighted to...

The importance of having diligent defence solicitors at trial

Correna Platt
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Concern has been expressed by those involved in campaigning against miscarriages of justice about a recent High Court judgment in judicial review proceedings relating to the obligations on the police to disclose material post-conviction. In the recent case...

Sam Hallam conviction quashed

Correna Platt
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The welcome news that the Court of Appeal has quashed the conviction of Sam Hallam after a determined campaign by family, friends and supporters brings with it some sobering reminders. At the age of 17, Mr Hallam had been convicted in 2005 of the murder of...

CCRC is the last chance

Correna Platt
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For someone still fighting to overturn their conviction after an unsuccessful appeal, the Criminal Cases Review Commission is their last chance. Established as an independent body to consider suspected miscarriages, it is the last mechanism in England,...

CALA Annual Conference

Correna Platt
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The Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association held its annual conference last weekend. The theme of the event was “Miscarriages of justice, who cares? The association was formed in 2002 with a view to promoting better representation for those persons...

The Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association Conference

Correna Platt
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Ten years ago, Stephensons’ consultant Campbell Malone, along with a number of other leading specialist criminal appeal lawyers, helped establish the Criminal Appeal Lawyers Association. One of the reasons for doing so was a feeling at the time that...

Review of Taylor on Criminal Appeals

Correna Platt
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It is amazing to think that nearly 12 years have elapsed since the publication of the first edition of Taylor on Criminal Appeals. That edition has always been one of the most thumbed works of reference amongst my own criminal appeal colleagues and the...

Why should we care about miscarriages of justice?

Correna Platt
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Earlier this month, the launch of a series of essays entitled "Wrongly accused: Who is responsible for investigating miscarriages of justice?" was held at the College of Law. It is the fourth publication in the JusticeGap series (published by...