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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son has just been found guilty by Jury in a Crown Court

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My son has just been found guilty by Jury in a Crown Court for handling stolen goods. Can this decision be appealed as there is no evidence that he did?

Also not sure if this is relevant. He was initially on trial for Aggravated Burglary under the Joint Enterprise law (4 defendants), just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The verdict that was delivered was downgraded from this and handed out individually to the defendants.

Finally two of the defendants appeared to share the same law firm (father/son team) and they seemed to swap around during the case between the two of them.

Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
On what basis do you want to appeal?
What is the point of law?
Have you been advised by counsel?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Forgive me for my ignorance, no legal expert. Will try my best to answer your question. His solicitor said there were no grounds for appeal as it was a jury decision. His Barrister said that she couldn't believe that that decision had been reached.

There was no evidence of my son handling the goods from the burglary. In essence the police had asked him if he had handled the coke can (drink) in the house which could have been there before the incident. He had responded he could of to this, on the premise that they were there before the burglary. He was asleep when the actual offence took place and the statements from two police have stated this as well. He had to be woken up when the police arrived.

If it is just that the jury have made a bad decision then there is no appeal from that. Juries do generally come to the right decision on the evidence and when they do not it is mostly in the favour of the defence but there are some unfair convictions that cannot be appealed of themselves.
The only appeal from a jury decision is that there was an error in fact or in law that renders the conviction unsafe. That could be any number of things - missing evidence, the Judge misdirecting the jury etc. You need to find a specific point complained of to seek leave to appeal.
It isn't like a Magistrates Court where you have a right of appeal automatically.
If the jury made a decision that is wildly incorrect though then there is often a route of appeal arising.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the response. It's a total minefield and my head is hurting now! A few final questions (I think!) before I rate the answer as excellent.

  • You make the point that jury made a decision that is wildly incorrect, how is this determined?

  • How can we determine that there is a specific point to seek leave to appeal?

  • What kind of advice would we need to seek to move this forwards? I looked at the appeal form and whilst competent at many things that scared me!

1 Not supported by the evidence.
2 Usually counsel will tell you.
3 Counsel will do a written advice.