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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71030
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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A family member was convicted of historical rape (no evidence)

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A family member was convicted of historical rape (no evidence) from over 30 years ago. We still believe he is innocent but our barrister advised that we could not appeal because we had no new evidence and there was nothing wrong with how the trial was run.
Is there really nothing we can do
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
If it just comes down to the fact that the jury accepted the Crown's allegation then it is difficult to appeal.
You have to show that you have a ground of appeal rendering the conviction unsafe. Fresh evidence can be one ground. Another can be errors in law or in fact.
If this is a year after then usually you would need to find fresh evidence. If you cannot then, in truth, it would be difficult to appeal.
I am sorry as I don't like these stupid stale prosecutions either. If people cannot complain expeditiously then they shouldn't be allowed to do it donkey's years later.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for the quick response Jo, and yes it is as you suggested the jury sided with their version of events.

Can you clarify 2 points for me please.

1. "Rendering the conviction unsafe" is an unusual way of phrasing it. Do you mean simply that the conviction is wrong, or could you elaborate a little on the meaning.

2. Fresh evidence. The difficulty we have is the case is from 30+ years ago so there is no evidence as such that we can think of. Is there any types of evidence that are usually useful in old cases such as these?

I appreciate you won't want to go into lots of detail, but at a high level the prosecutions case made several mentions of a family member who was unwilling to appear in court (but had the opportunity to do so). If this family member changed their minds and would testify to his innocence, is that grounds for appeal? Our barrister advised it wasn't, because they had the original chance to give evidence and chose not to.

If you can respond to these points I'm happy to close and give a positive response.



1 Yes. It means objectively renders the conviction unsafe in the view of the Court of Appeal.
2 Fresh evidence could be anything. I haven't had vision of this case but it could include fresh witness statements if they go to the issue.
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