On 7th September 2012 I received a statement of reasons from SCCRC referring my case back to appeal court.
I want to first of all, to thank all involved with my case at SCCRC, and everyone who has supported me over the years particularly Iain McKie for all his help and support.
Most importantly I want to thank the Innocent Project at Bristol University whom without their help I have no doubt the SCCRC would not have referred my case.
I cannot thank Dr Michael Naughton, Gabe Tan, students Mark & Ryan enough for all their hard work, and for this I will be forever in their debt.
I have no doubt whatsoever it was the Innocent Project that convinced SCCRC to refer my case.
I would like to thank everyone who has and continues to support me and my fight for justice.
My appeal was heard on 12th and 13th March 2013.
All I can say about todays Judgement is it was expected once I knew Lord Carloway was chairing it.
I had asked my defence team to object to Lord Carloway on the grounds I had made serious complaints to the Justice Minister and Justice Committee which I can now publish below.
My defence did not make this objection.
I have edited my Address and Phone Number from this letter sent to Paul Martin MSP on 20/08/2012 who made the complaint on my behalf:
Dear Mr Martin
As one of your constituents and a justice campaigner I have concerns about the accuracy of the recent Scottish Government Consultation Paper which followed Lord Carloway’s report on reforming Scots Law in the wake of the ‘Cadder’ judgement. This judgement by the Supreme Court made it mandatory that accused persons were entitled to consult a lawyer before police interrogation.
In their submission to the Justice Committee enquiry as part of the consultation process ‘Rape Crisis Scotland’ stated.
‘Since Cadder, defence lawyers seem to be routinely advising their clients to make no comment at all during police interviews, which is seriously hampering police efforts to put cases together and appears to be making prosecutions in rape cases even more difficult than they were previously’.
http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_JusticeCommittee/Inquiries/Rape_Crisis_Scotland_written_submission.pdf (Para 1.2)
This claim that, ‘defence lawyers seem to be routinely advising their clients to make no comment at all during police interviews’ was part of the Rape Crisis case for the removal of ‘corroboration’ now that accused were entitled to lawyers before interrogation by the police. Their claim was taken up by Lord Carloway as part of his report and in turn has been used in the Scottish Government’s consultation paper apparently as part of the case for doing away with corroboration.
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00396483.pdf (Page 39 footnote 14)
I do not believe that any evidence has been adduced to support this claim and at a recent workshop at Strathclyde University on the likely consequences of the Carloway recommendations this was confirmed to me during discussions.
I feel there is a danger that Lord Carloway is misleading parliament in supporting his recommendation to do away with ‘corroboration’ with erroneous or unproven ‘facts’. The Scottish Government in repeating the claim in its consultation paper is giving credence to them.
I would appreciate it if you would consider making the following enquiry by way of a parliamentary question.
‘To ask the Scottish Government what evidence it has to support Rape Crisis Scotland’s claim, made in their written submissions to the Justice Committee on the Carloway Report and repeated in the Scottish Government consultation paper on ‘Reforming Scots Criminal Law and Practice: The Carloway Report’, that defence lawyers seem to be routinely advising their clients to make no comment at all during police interviews and that this has resulted in a significant drop in the number of rape prosecutions.’
Like a number of leading commentators on Scottish Legal matters, including Maggie Scott QC, I have severe reservations about the removal of corroboration and believe that unless safeguards are put in place it will lead to even more miscarriages of justice. My concern deepens when I discover that unsubstantiated information is being used to support changes.
I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
More information will be posted on the link below