Wrongly Convicted by the British Justice System?

September 1, 2014

LONDON AGAINST INJUSTICE (LAI) is a support group for those who are innocent of a criminal conviction and their supporters.  We are all volunteers and are victims of a miscarriage of justice.

We are not solicitors, so cannot provide legal advice, but we have a large pool of practical knowledge gathered from experience of our own cases.

If you are seeking justice for someone who is innocent of the crime of which they have been convicted and would like some support and advice, please come along to our meetings.  Read more about us here

LAI Meetings 

Meetings are usually the second Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm.

The Tufnell Park Tavern, 162 Tufnell Park Road, London, N7 OEE

Directions to the Tufnell Park Tavern

It is advisable to check the website for any date or venue changes before attending meetings.

LAI Meeting Dates for 2014

7th October and 11th November

Important Notice regarding London Against Injustice correspondence

February 21, 2013

LAI is a support group and we do not have a legal company or endorse one using our name. If anyone contacts you or your loved one in prison claiming to be London Against Injustice – please be very wary. If you do receive any correspondence claiming to be from London Against Injustice asking to look at your legal papers please call our  helpline immediately.

Guner Salih

September 1, 2014

Guner Salih is 60 years old.  He is Turkish Cypriot, has lived in the UK for 40 years.  He is married to Helen and has two grown up children.  He was a market trader for 28 years until he took over his deceased father-in-law’s gun shop in London’s East End.  Guner had no experience of the gun trade.  He has never been in trouble with the law before.

He has been charged with:

  1. possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life (an old Astro-cub belonging to his late father-in-law);
  2. possession of prohibited CS gas batons; (German pre-war purchased by Guner in a market)
  3. possession of prohibited ammunition;
  4. possession of ammunition without a certificate (small amounts of bullets, again from late father-in-law’s old stock) – total of 4 counts.

5 counts of conspiracy with two separate sets of co-defendants.  The first set, who had roughly 80 prior convictions between them, stated to the judge that Guner was not involved in any way. They pleaded guilty, were given 9 years and are now out. The second set (father and son) son was given 15 years and father was given 7 years and the father has only another year to serve. The father had 11 offences of possessing prohibited weapons (58 offences were taken into consideration) and a conviction for theft.

Guner was sentenced to 7 years for no. (1) above, reduced to 3 years on appeal, to run consecutively. For the remainder of the ammunition/CS charges he was given various sentences running concurrently, the maximum of which was 5 years. He was given 7 and a half years for each of the conspiracy charges, again each running consecutively. He is now serving 18 years reduced from the original 22 year sentence.   

Both conspiracy charges relate to selling replica guns with intent to convert to firing weapons.  Conversion tools were found in first co-defendants’ 7 lock-ups. No such equipment was ever found in Guner’s shop or home and he was acquitted from the charge of conversion, but charged with knowing about it and possibly re-selling the converted guns. During surveillance by police one only of first co-conspirators was seen entering 7 times and carrying something out twice.  Another gun shop also under surveillance was seen to supply replica guns in bulk, but on challenge by police were given two days to get their receipts and paperwork in order. Guner was not.  They stated they became suspicious and ceased to supply co-defendants in August, but they were seen in and out at least 3 times after that and were arrested outside the gun shop the following Feb.  That gun shop was never searched.

Concerning the second co-defendants, the father was a weapons collector.  Police inferredthat the son brought a bag to Guner’s shop containing the Astro-cub for Guner to re-sell. The conspiracy aspect relates to three bullets, one found in possession of first set of co-defendants, the second found in Guner’s possession and a third bullet found with second co-defendants.  Prosecution stated 15-20% similarity between the three bullets.  Defence stated no real similarity.  The bullet relating to first co-defendants was destroyed by police. 

The trial began in 2004.  The first co-defendants pleaded guilty.  Prosecution wanted Guner to stand alone.  Shortly afterwards Guner had a massive heart and two cardiac arrests, had a stent put in and the trial resumed in 2005, but Guner then became too ill to carry on and the trial did not continue until 2006 by which time the second two co-defendants had been identified by police using Guner as the link between them.   Guner’s defence counsel was then too busy to carry on and appointed another barrister in her place. Summing up was done by the judge in Guner’s absence, despite his request that he be present because the judge had considerable pressure from the jury, at least three of whom needed to leave by specific dates.  Neither Guner nor his wife has ever seen the papers on the summing up by the judge. 

Comments

Re: gun charges – Guner was collecting together all old weapons and ammunition on 1stApril 2003 to hand these in on first day of amnesty when police arrested him.  Why was he not given the opportunity to do so?

Re: first co-defendants who actually said they were not connected in any way with Guner and yet they were ignored. Why?

Guner pleaded innocent throughout and ended up with a much longer sentence than those who had a string of prior convictions but had pleaded guilty.

Re: second set of co-defendants – the son got 7 years for conspiracy with Guner but the timescale does not match. Conspiracy period stated as 1st April to 30th June but Guner was arrested on 1st April and only came out of prison on 13th June. The son was in America until 28th June and was arrested on 30th June. Surely the whole conspiracy couldn’t have taken place in two days.

There has never been any DNA match with Guner to support the charges.

The indecent haste of the jury to convict on such flimsy evidence has clearly resulted in an unjust verdict.

Why were the police so lenient with the other gun shop?

We cannot help wondering whether the fact that Guner is a Turkish Moslem has contributed both to the charges in the face of lack of corroborative evidence and the jury’s view of the case during a period of high risk of terrorism.

Sadly, Guner is in extremely poor health and is unlikely to survive this prison sentence.  It is even harder to survive in prison knowing that you are innocent. 

 

Malcolm Kennedy

September 1, 2014

Read Malcolm Kennedy’s case here

Geoff Hyde – Convicted of drug smuggling. Sentenced to 22 years in prison

September 1, 2014

On February 27, 2006, haulier Geoff Hyde took a call on his mobile. Taking that call changed his life forever; because it ended up with the 59 year old grandfather being found guilty of drug smuggling. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Geoff Hyde had no previous convictions not even a driving offence. He is a loving husband and supportive father – both to the daughters from his first marriage and to his second wife’s son, who he adopted.  

geoff3

Geoff’s case is featured in The Guardian’s website series “Justice on Trial”

 

Jerome Charles – Convicted of murder. Sentenced to life with a tariff of 25 years

September 1, 2014

Jerome Charles, 32 was wrongly convicted for the murder of Liam Landers by Joint Enterprise. On 20th February 2005, Mr Landers was shot at close range during a struggle with the gunman in Green Hill Gardens, Northolt; Middlesex around 11:20pm after an attempted robbery went wrong. On 20 March 2005, Mr Charles was arrested with 3 others in connection with an unrelated incident. The other men were released without charge and Mr Charles was charged with the murder of Mr Landers.

Mr Charles stood trial at Snaresbrook County Court in December 2005 and was found guilty of conspiracy to rob, possession of a firearm with intent and murder. He was sentenced to life with a tariff of 25 years.

PROSECUTION CASE

The prosecution case is that Mr Charles was one of the people present at the shooting of Mr Landers. It was alleged that Mr Landers was murdered after he was enticed into a trap by Mr Charles and his co-accused Mr Nicholas, who agreed to sell him cannabis but when Mr Landers arrived in Green Hill Gardens, he was allegedly confronted by Mr Charles and the gunman who were intending to rob him. The gunman asked Mr Charles “If he could shoot this guy” after allegedly stepping out of a grey Toyota Carina car. Mr Charles apparently shrugged his shoulders and replied “it’s up to you”. The victim was shot during a so called struggle as he tried to call Terry (the co-accused). Mr. Nicholas allegedly organized the deal from a safe distance on his mobile phone throughout the incident. The victim bled to death but not before according to the prosecution uttering “Terry set me up”. The prosecution had linked Mr Charles to the scene as he was stopped in a grey Toyota Carina at the time of his arrest. Items said to belong to Mr Charles were found with gunshot residue on them in the Toyota. The mobile site evidence seemed to place Mr Charles at the scene and he was identified by only one eye witness. Mr Charles at no time during his interviews mentioned his alibi and answered any questions put to him about the murder of Mr Landers. Mr Charles was under caution and took the advice to say nothing.

DEFENCE CASE

The defence case presented at court that Mr Charles did not murder Mr Landers and was not involved in his killing. Mr Charles was unable to assist with the police enquiries as he had no knowledge or knew Mr Landers. Mr Charles was neither driving the Toyota nor a passenger in that car on the 20th February nor was the owner. The car belonged to someone else. The mobile telephone in question was in the possession of a friend during the time of the murder on the 20th February. No further positive identification could support the claim made by the eye witness. No forensic link could be made with Mr Charles to the items found in the boot of the Toyota. At the time when Mr Landers was shot, Mr Charles was drinking with friends in his local pub in Southall. Upon leaving the pub Mr Charles was accompanied to Slough. Mr Charles and his friend proceeded inside. His friend stayed with him for some time. He left and Mr Charles remained at the premises. The friends of Mr Charles had given statements to that effect.

After the trial Mr Charles’s defence team made an application for appeal. Despite having good grounds of appeal, Mrs Justice Rafferty rejected his application in 2006

FLAWS

  • The prosecution main key witnesses had deliberately lied and misled the prosecution regarding that night and a case of perjury was to be considered.
  • The credibility of the eye witness who made the identification.
  • In court there was no evidence to support the claim of purchasing cannabis on the 20th February 2005.
  • A guilty verdict was reached quickly on all three counts whereas the co accused was found not guilty.
  • In court, it was made clear that Mr Charles was not the gunman.
  • No other witnesses identified Mr Charles

The family and the defence team are working towards finding new evidence for an appeal.

If you have any information or offering support please contact Justice4jerome@yahoo.co.uk or you can write directly to:

Jerome Charles – NB7049
HMP Long Lartin, South Littleton, Evesham, Worcestershire, WR11 8TZ

Kenneth Alexander – Convicted of murder. Sentenced to Mandatory minimum 15 Years

September 1, 2014

Ken has been convicted of murder and sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 15 years under section 269 – 270 Criminal Justice Act 2003.

 

Kenneth’s case has recently been featured on the BBC Panorama programme called “Lethal Justice” which tackles the law on Joint Enterprise.

Please watch the Panorama programme here

Ben – Attempted Armed Robbery. Sentenced to 4 years

September 1, 2014

Ben was convicted of attempted armed robbery of Jack Nyman in March of 2007 and sentenced to 4 years even though he had No previous convictions.

Ben had been out with his work colleagues and was walking home with his girlfriend after getting off the bus.   Along the way they bought a portion of chips, they were then stopped by a police car and asked if they knew anything about a robbery having said No the police left them to continue down the road. Ben and his girlfriend continued strolling down the road, the police then returned and promptly arrested Ben after pushing him up against the window of the police car.

Unknown to Ben the victim had been in the police car so when asked to attend an ID parade he happily agreed. The victim stated the robber had a knife, the dog unit was called and a full search of the area was made, NO knife was found. 

Ben’s girlfriend has shoulder length brown hair, but the victim stated the girl with the robber had short blond hair, she was supposed to have been present during the robbery but was described by the police as a victim in the police paperwork instead of witness/suspect, and her statement wasn’t taken until weeks later.  Ben’s girlfriend was his Defence witness at the trial, stating he robbed no one.

The victim stated the assailant searched him and folded the knife over using his right hand whilst holding chips in his left hand! As a LEFT HANDED person he would not have been able to hold a knife in his right hand and been able to manoeuvre it as claimed by the victim. The jury was not offered any evidence to show he was left handed. The victim claimed to have been previously mugged in the exact same spot before no details of this were ever obtained or investigated. 

Since Ben’s conviction 4 new witnesses have come forward including 2 senior managers from work to demonstrate that Ben would not have had time to commit this crime! Timings were never looked at by his legal team. 

Miscarriage of Justice Day 2013 Conference – Manchester, 12th October 2013

October 7, 2013
Miscarriage of Justice Day – Saturday 12th October 2013
 
Open for all those wrongly convicted, their families and friends, those interested in supporting Miscarriages of Justice.  It is free, however, donations are welcome.  No need to book.

Doors open 10 am
Workshops in morning
Main meeting 2pm – 5pm

Friends Meeting House
Mount Street
Manchester   M2 5NS

 
Workshops:  Starting a New Campaign/Group, Documents and disclosure, Supporting Someone Inside, Court and Trial Iniquities                      
 
Main Meeting Speakers:
 
Andrew Green, 20 Years Of Innocent’
 
Keith Hyatt, on  Barri White/Keith Hyatt Case
 
Alan Jamiesom, Director Forensic Institute, Edinburgh
 
Sandra Lean, author and researcher on ‘Miscarriages of Justice’
 
Organised by http://www.unitedagainstinjustice.org.uk/ 
 
 
 

 

11th National Miscarriage of Justice Day Conference, 13 October 2012, Sheffield

September 26, 2012
11th National Miscarriage of Justice Day
 
Saturday 13 October 2012 – 10:00 am to 5:00pm
 
St George’s Lecture Theatre, Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT
 
All workshops and meetings are free and open to everyone opposed to Miscarriages of Justice.  Donations to UAI welcome, to help cover costs

The day’s events are primarily designed for the benefit of the families and supporters of people believed to have been wrongly convicted of criminal offences.

The day will also be an important one to anyone who is concerned about the large and growing problem of miscarriages of justice, and especially to students and journalists. Sheffield University School of Law has a strong student Innocence Project which is part of the Innocence Network UK, and which reviews cases of people who claim to have been wrongly convicted.
 
We expect to attract a good audience and speakers of the highest standard, to make this one of the best miscarriage of justice days ever.
 
The meeting will be chaired by Bruce Kent
 
For full details of speakers and programme, please visit:
 
National Federation of Miscarriage of Justice Campaign and Support Organisations
http://www.unitedagainstinjustice.org.uk/
 

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