Another man, wrongly convicted in the 1970's, yesterday had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal, following a media appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) for him to come forward.
Mr Texo Johnson was one of the Stockwell Six, a group of young black men arrested by DS Derek Ridgewell of the British Transport Police anti-mugging squad after boarding a train at Stockwell Underground station on 18 February 1972. Mr Johnson was later convicted of assault with intent to rob, following a trial at the Old Bailey. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of three of Mr Johnson's co-defendants, following referrals by the CCRC. That decision was the latest in a line of cases involving DS Ridgewell to be overturned on appeal. Following that judgment, the CCRC appealed for the other men to come forward. Mr Johnson's sister saw news coverage of the case and got in touch with the CCRC to say that her brother was now living in America. Mr Johnson applied to the CCRC shortly afterwards.
Mr Johnson said: While the result is great, it does not take away the pain and suffering of that awful night.
Chairman of the CCRC, Helen Pitcher OBE said it was a further step in achieving justice but that it doesn't end there: Mr Johnson is the fourth member of the so called Stockwell Six' to get his conviction quashed, said Helen. We know that Ronald De Souza was amongst the men wrongly accused and convicted. We would appeal for him, or a member of his family, to come forward so we can look at his case too. Seeing Mr Johnson get his long overdue justice is what we are here to do, but this is not the end as far as we're concerned. We believe there may be other convictions out there which are unsafe as a result of the involvement of DS Ridgewell.
Texo Johnson is the fourth member of the Stockwell Six to be found and have his conviction quashed. Ronald De Souza is the fifth member that the CCRC has been trying to trace. A sixth man was acquitted during the trial process at the time.
Anyone who thinks they have a case to be looked into, or wishes to submit an application is urged to contact the CCRC on: 0300 456 2669 or they can submit an online application and find out more about the process on its website: www.ccrc.gov.uk
Notes to editors
This press release was issued by the Communications Team, Criminal Cases Review Commission. They can be contacted by phone on 0121 232 0900 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are currently nine Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments' Code of Practice.
- The Commission usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.
- The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are exceptional circumstances.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
- More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk The Commission can be found on Twitter using @ccrcupdate