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Unsafe conviction - concerns about police investigation

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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 man in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire in 1994. He was alleged to have been hired as a contract killer (along with another male) and used a shotgun to kill victim Robert Magill, when he was out walking his dog.

It is understood that there was very little evidence against Lane, who could not be placed at the scene and the murder weapon was never found.

Concerns have been raised regarding a police officer involved in the murder investigation, who was later convicted and jailed for involvement in criminal offences. It is understood that concerns have also been raised regarding the use of informants in this case.

No date has yet been set at the Court of Appeal.

This case follows the referral to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission of the case of Martin Foran in December.

Foran was convicted of robbery and conspiracy to rob, in 1985 and sentenced to eight years imprisonment.

The case was referred on the basis of information that had come to light regarding the credibility of a police officer from West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who was involved in the case against Mr Foran.

The CCRC also made reference to the developments in case law which mean, in summary, that when the evidence of a ‘tainted officer’ is supported by an officer who has not been criticised, this is no longer sufficient to uphold a conviction.

By criminal appeals solicitor,  Alison Marriot

If you have been convicted of an offence and wish to obtain advice in respect of an appeal please contact our Appeals team.