Donald Brown

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

Donald Brown was convicted of robbery of a post office. A participating “supergrass” witness who had already pled guilty implicated Brown and his brother and claimed Brown had said to him that he would buy himself a pair of gates in the area of the robbery on the day of the robbery to give himself an excuse for being in the area. There was evidence that a Mr D. Brown had bought a gate on the day of the robbery. At trial, admissions said to have been made by Brown to two police officers were also introduced along with evidence of some £19,000 in cash being paid into Brown’s bank account during the six months immediately after the robbery. Brown denied involvement in the offence and claimed that the money he received was the result of rennovating council houses, and the purchaser of the gate was his son. Brown claikmed the admissions he was claimed to have made had been fabricated. On appeal, evidence showed that police officers involved in the investigation had been discredited and that evidence of “supergrass” witnesses was tainted by reason of close contact with officers who could no longer be regarded as credible. On this basis Brown”s appeal, and related appeals of other applicants, were allowed.

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  • Offence: Robbery / burglary
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: West Midlands 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 12
  • Offence convicted of: Robbery
  • Year of crime: 1979
  • Year of initial conviction: 1983
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2001
  • Age when imprisoned: Unknown
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case:
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence casting doubt on the integrity of police, Evidence relating to the reliability of witness testimony
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Home Secretary refused to refer the case in 1984