Justice at last for Carol’s family

It has been reported in The Times that the family of a nurse who falsely claimed that her parents were Satanists after undergoing “recovered memory” therapy have won the right to seek a new inquest into her death. Article and source here (please note The Times operates a paywall) FACT Comment You can find out further […]

Barry George to take compensation case to European Court.

Barry George, the man wrongly accused of murdering TV presenter Jill Dando, is taking his £1 million compensation claim to the European Court of Human Rights. Mr George, 53, is seeking compensation for loss of earnings and wrongful imprisonment, after spending eight years in jail for a crime he did not commit. Full Story here

The Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 receives Royal Assent

The Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 which makes provision about the release, and supervision after release, of offenders, to make provision about the extension period for extended sentence prisoners, to make provision about community orders and suspended sentence orders, and for connected purposes has received Royal Assent Under the new Act rehabilitation periods for community orders […]

The problem with memory

There is an interesting article in Inside Time by Dr David Hockey an Applied Investigative Criminologist and Private Investigator regarding the role of memory in in cases of alleged historical abuse. Since the Jimmy Savile ‘Yewtree’ inquiry, there has been an increasing number of alleged historical sexual cases brought to court and there appears no end […]

Unlock provide update on recent changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Unlock have campaigned for many years to see changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. It’s the first time in nearly 40 years since the legislation has been reformed in this way. It’s been quite a wait since the law received Royal Assent in 2012, but we’re delighted that we’ve finally got there. Since we […]

DPP strongly defends celebrity prosecutions

Alison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions has strongly defended the prosecutions that have followed the Jimmy Savile scandal. She said that she intends to keep pursuing such cases and claims that the public would be “horrified” if complaints about historical abuse did not lead to prosecutions and  referred to sex abuse convictions for teachers dating back […]

Officers face a “Catch-22″ situation over historical sexual abuse claims.

Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe says his police officers face a “Catch-22″ situation over historical sexual abuse claims and were criticised if they did not take allegations seriously yet condemned for pursuing them. “If we investigate to the point of charge – we are challenged – did you go too far? And I think we have got […]

Chasing Savile’s ghost threatens to leave today’s victims behind

“Can we now, please, stop trying to convict Jimmy Savile by proxy? That is surely the message of the acquittal of the DJ Dave Lee Travis on 12 charges of indecent assault, only a week after the acquittal of the Coronation Street actor William Roache”. Link to source and full article  (subscription required)

Police watchdog investigators to carrying out house to house following the death of a man wrongly believed to be a paedophile.

“Police watchdog investigators are carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the Bristol street where a disabled Iranian refugee was murdered by a vigilante who wrongly believe him to be a paedophile. The Independent Police Complaints Commission’s investigators will ask residents about Bijan Ebrahimi’s contact with Avon and Somerset police officers in the days, weeks and hours […]

The decision to prosecute historic sex abuse cases involving celebrity defendants has been called into question

‘The decision to prosecute historic sex abuse cases involving celebrity defendants has been called into question after veteran DJ Dave Lee Travis was acquitted of 12 sexual assault charges in the first high-profile trial brought by Operation Yewtree.’ Full story The Independent, 13th February 2014

Coronation Street star William Roache acquitted

‘The Coronation Street star William Roache has been acquitted of two counts of rape and five charges of indecent assault on Thursday at the end of a trial that raised questions about the decision of police and prosecutors to press charges.’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26071149  

Parole system is on the brink of a crisis

The Independent on Sunday report (here) England and Wales’s parole system is on the brink of a crisis that will result in reformed prisoners being detained months after they should have been released. The report highlights problems caused by:- Staff cuts together with a groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling about the way parole hearings are conducted […]

Wirral electrician extradited from Canada to face historic child abuse charges from the 1970s was found not guilty on all counts.

Wirral electrician extradited from Canada to face historic child abuse charges from the 1970s has been found not guilty on all counts. Paul Cleary was accused of abusing two young girls he knew in Upton in the 1970s when he was in his late twenties, charges he always denied. The jury of eight men and […]

Sentencing Historic Sexual Offences – The new guidelines

The Sentencing Council have issued new definitive guidelines on sexual offences The guidelines come into force on 1st April 2014 The existing guidelines do not apply in relation to offences committed under the 1956 Act. However, in the new document, the maximum penalties are set out in Annex C and the approach to sentencing historic sexual […]

Man wrongly convicted of sexual assault is freed after 17 years in jail

A man who spent 17 years behind bars after being wrongly convicted of a sexual assault has been freed by the court of appeal after DNA evidence pointed to another man as the perpetrator. Victor Nealon, a former postman, has always maintained his innocence. He was convicted in January 1997 of the attempted rape of a woman […]

FACT receives a reply to its open letter to the Home Secretary and the Minister of Justice calling on them to learn lessons from the murder of Bijan Ebrahimi

FACT has received the following reply to its open letter to the Home Secretary and Minister of Justice calling on them to learn lessons from the murder of Bijan Ebrahimi Direct Communications Unit 2 Marsham Street London SW1P 4DF Tel: 020 7035 4848 Fax: 020 7035 4745 www.homeoffice.gov.uk [The Chairman] National Committee of FACT PO Box […]

The Law Commission publishes the reports on the risk Contempt of Court arising from the use of social media and the internet

The Law Commission published the first of its three reports on Contempt of Court on 9 December and the report, along with the online-only appendices, can be downloaded from our website using the following link: http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/publications/contempt_of_court_juror_misconduct.htm. The project is part of our Eleventh Programme of Law Reform and since the publication of that Programme, various high profile […]

What’s the point of human rights? Lecture given by Lady Hale

The Supreme Court have published a lecture given on the 28th November by Lady Hale, a Supreme Court Judge titled “What’s the point of human rights” In it Lady Hale sets out the historical context of the UK’s approach to humans rights and the impact of European legislation on UK human rights. She then goes […]

Congratulations Cardiff Law School

Cardiff Law School is the first Law School in the UK to have a case  referred to the Court of Appeal on application made by a university-based Innocence Project. Congratulations to them. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred the case of Dwaine George to the Court  on Friday 15th November 2013 Daniel Dale died almost instantly as he ran […]

Sex offenders will be offered lie detector tests to help police assess the risk they pose to the public when released.

 Sex offenders are to be offered lie detector tests to help police assess the risk they pose to the public when released. Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Shaun Wright has decided to introduce the technology despite questions over its accuracy. He will spend £35,000 training two officers to carry out the tests, sending […]

A man has been jailed for life after admitting he murdered his disabled neighbour who had been wrongly branded a paedophile.

A man has been jailed for life after admitting he murdered his disabled neighbour who had been wrongly branded a paedophile. Lee James, 24, killed Bijan Ebrahimi and set fire to his body in the Brislington area of Bristol in July and was ordered to serve a minimum of 18 years in prison. Stephen Norley, 25, […]

Sex offenders in Yorkshire to be offered lie detector tests as part of a risk assessment

Sex offenders will be offered lie detector tests to help police assess the risk they pose to the public when released. Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire Shaun Wright has decided to introduce the technology despite questions over its accuracy. He will spend £35,000 training two officers to carry out the tests, sending them […]

Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps – Consultation Response by Garden Court Chambers

Garden Court Chambers have published their response to the Ministry of Justice consultation document ‘Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps.” The response reiterates Chambers’ strong opposition to the cuts to legal aid. You can read their response here

Teachers and health workers should be prosecuted for failing to alert the police to allegations of child abuse

Teachers and health workers should be prosecuted for failing to alert the police to allegations of child abuse, according to the former director of public prosecutions, who is calling for an overhaul of the law to prevent more victims from slipping through the net. Keir Starmer QC, who left his role as Britain’s top prosecutor last […]

Falsely accused man cleared

A man whose life was ruined when he was charged with child sex offences after looking at legal gay pornography in a hotel room has accused the police and Crown Prosecution Service of a “homophobic witch-hunt” after his case was finally thrown out. The defendant endured a “two-year nightmare” after being arrested in front of […]