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Victor Nealon: case raises questions

A constituent approached me in 2011 raising concerns about the failure to consider the new evidence  It seemed that this should be considered and the court of appeal has now considered this.  On behalf of my constituent I spent some time working with his lawyer to get the CCRC to consider this aspect of the case.

I am mainly concerned about two things directly relating to the appeal:
a) How long it took for this evidence to be considered as part of an appeal.  This is an issue as to how the CCRC works.
b) That the system continues to punish people who maintain their innocence.

Both of these issues need to be considered.

This is in fact the third criminal appeal I have assisted with where the defendant was found either to be not guilty or to have been wrongly sentenced.  There are other aspects of the process that cause me concern.  One is that the barrister who handles the case at the court of first instance is the person who also writes the opinion as to the likelihood of success on appeal.  I am not sure that this is really sensible.

Some more about his case http://www.insidetime.org/articleview.asp?a=187&c=a_lump_on_the_forehead

Comments

A newspaper report comments 'That the Prosecution stated no Forensic evidence was available'. Since this was clearly not the case can we the public expect either a prosecution of those who kept this evidence from view or at the very least I expect some heads to roll.
'One is that the barrister who handles the case at the court of first instance is the person who also writes the opinion as to the likelihood of success on appeal. I am not sure that this is really sensible.'

No it is not sensible, As somebody with no knowledge of this subject until recently, I have been shocked to discover that this is the protocol. Not only can a barrister give opinion on a case that he / she may have conducted in a less than perfect manner but also it is up to their discretion what evidence is submitted.. For many the option of a new legal team for the appeal is not possible as Legal aid is not provided..

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R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).

KING’S BENCH DIVISION

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

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