George Anderson

Years in prison:
2
Year of crime:
1979-1981
Year conviction was overturned:
2005

George Anderson was convicted of numerous sexual offences, including rape, in relation to his work at a care home for children in Newtownabbey. On appeal, one alleged victim (known as R) wrote a series of letters to social workers in which he retracted the allegations that he had made at trial. When asked about the letters he said that it was true that he and the others who had given evidence at trial had lied.He said allegations against a co-defendant of Anderson (Margaret Hewitt) had been made up because he was trying to get his own back, and it would not surprise him if Anderson was innocent. He also claimed he had told his sister, another complainant, what to say. He later said that his account at trial was true and he had made up the retractions for attention. These statements meant that R could not be considered a credible witness. R’s evidence could also have contaminated the evidence of other witnesses.In these circumstances it was found that none of the counts could safely stand, and the convictions were quashed.

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  • Offence: Sexual offences
  • Jurisdiction: Northern Ireland
  • County: County Antrim 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 2
  • Offence convicted of: Numerous Sexual Offences (including Rape)
  • Year of crime: 1979-1981
  • Year of initial conviction: 2004
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2005
  • Age when imprisoned: 45
  • CCRC Referral: N
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case: https://www.bailii.org/nie/cases/NICA/2005/45.html
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence relating to the reliability of complainant testimony
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes (but did not seek to stand over any conviction based on the evidence of R at trial)
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Unknown