David James

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

David James was one of four men convicted of GBH with intent, after a Brisish Transport Policeman was found having been beaten. The policeman was taken to hospital in a critical condition and was left virtually blind in one eye with no sense of taste or smell. The prosecution case was that the victim disturbed the defendants while they were trying to break into a warehouse (there was evidence of a disturbance at the warehouse). Each of the defendants made confessions to the police and they were similar to each other. A neighbour also gave evidence that they had overheard a conversation between the defendants that contained similar details. The defendants claimed they had nothing to do with the attack and their confessions was unreliable and did not represent the truth. James’s mother gave evidence that they were at home on the night of the crime. On appeal, it was found that the admissions in the case (the only substantial evidence against the defendants) were obtained in breach of applicable rules. In addition, an appropriate adult was not present with James, despite him being illiterate. The court found that by present day standards James and his co-defendants should have been allowed access to a solicitor and a contemporaneous record of the interviews should have been made. On that basis the convictions were found to be unsafe and were quashed.

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  • Offence: Manslaughter / non-fatal offence against the person
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Nottinghamshire 
  • Ethnicity: Unknown
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 8
  • Offence convicted of: Grievous bodily harm with intent
  • Year of crime: 1985
  • Year of initial conviction: 1986
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2008
  • Age when imprisoned: 20
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case: https://www.casemine.com/judgement/uk/5b46f1ed2c94e0775e7ee449
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence undermining the reliability of a confession
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: No
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Served previous notice to appeal but did not pursue it