Colin John C

Years in prison:
Year of crime:
Year conviction was overturned:

Colin John C was convicted of one count of rape and three counts of indecent assault. The complainant was a 9 year old girl. At trial medical evidence was introduced to show that the complainant had been sexually abused. At trial, the medical evidence was, according to the Court of Appeal, “for practical purposes decisive in at least establishing as a fact” that the complainant had suffered abuse. On appeal, fresh medical evidence was introduced that called this into question. An expert noted that many of the findings previously considered diagnostic or suggestive of sexual abuse were non-specific, meaning that they occur equally in children carefully screened for non-abuse. The expert concluded that the physical findings described at trial were not diagnostic of sexual abuse and were in the range seen in non-abused children.The expert who gave evidence at trial noted the conclusion he would give would be radically different from that at trial because of the development of medical knowledge, and that things were considerably less clear than they had appeared at trial. The court noted that the case had been presented to the jury on the basis that medical evidence was decisive for practical purposes in establishing that the complainant had suffered abuse. The fresh evidence made this proposion anything but plain, and in light of the evidence the convictions could not be regarded as safe.

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  • Offence: Sexual offences
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Essex 
  • Ethnicity: Unknown
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: Unknown
  • Offence convicted of: Rape (1 count) and indecent assault (3 counts)
  • Year of crime: 1996-1997
  • Year of initial conviction: 1997
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2010
  • Age when imprisoned: Unknown
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: N
  • Link to full case:
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence undermining forensic science
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: Unknown