Ann Craven Obituary
London Against Injustice would like to pay tribute to Ann Craven, who was Chair of INNOCENT for more than twelve years, and died on 13 June 2010 of cancer, following a short period of illness. Although she never sought prominence for herself, she had become well known amongst those serving prison sentences for crimes they had not committed, as well as their families and supporters.
Ann joined INNOCENT after her son had been wrongly convicted of rape. After he was exonerated and his conviction overturned, Ann devoted a large part of her life to helping others who were experiencing the devastating effects of wrongful convictions which she and her son knew at first hand. She would say: “It’s not just the people in prison who serve the sentences in miscarriage of justice cases – it’s the families too whose lives are on hold until the convictions are overturned.”
She became the second Chair of INNOCENT and held the organisation together for many years, so that it is now expanding and has a secure future (since, unfortunately, there are ever more miscarriage of justice cases needing its help). She co-founded United Against Injustice (UAI), the national umbrella organisation for groups like INNOCENT, and her commitment helped to make possible the successful series of annual public meetings and workshops through which UAI has raised the profile of the problem of miscarriages of justice.
She will be remembered for the direct support, encouragement and practical advice that she gave to many victims of miscarriages of justice and their families. She gave her time willingly to researching cases, making contacts and visiting prisoners.
She inspired and energised her friends and fellow campaigners by drawing on her fierce hatred of injustice and the destructive effects of the incompetence and corruption of the police and the legal system. Those of us who had the good fortune to know her well will miss her sound and practical advice and her sense of humour.
She leaves her husband, Alfred, who supported her unstintingly in her work and who shares her hatred of injustice.
Steven Gray, Spokesperson for United Against Injustice, said: “Ann Craven’s death is a huge loss as she was a campaigner for many years, a true fighter for miscarriages and to many a close and wonderful friend. I’m sure our thoughts are with her family and loved ones at this time. We will miss you Ann and we shall carry on fighting in your name……”