George Davis

Year of crime:
Year conviction was overturned:

George Davis was convicted of participated in an armed robbery of the London Electricity Board in Ilford, in the course of which a pursuing police officer was shot in the leg. The prosecution relied substantially on the identification of David at parades by several police officers. Davis contended that on the morning of the robbery he had been driving his brother’s car operating as a minicab. On appeal, the conviction was quashed on the basis of new material affecting the identifications of the two police witnesses who were at the scene of the armed robbery. One of those witnesses had initially identified someone as being the one of the three robbers that was subsequently argued at trial to be Davis (the man in the “flying helmet”). The defence did not know of this identification at trial. At committal proceedings when asked about viewing the photographs the officer said he had not seen anyone in them who he recognised. The officer had also made another identification in the case that was found to be incorrect. Further, the two officers at the scene had been excluded from the first identification parafe as senior officers doubted their ability to make reliable identificaitons. The second officer had not referred at all to the man in the flying helmet initially. He claimed he had remembered this shortly afterwards and had passed the information on in a telephone call, but there was no sign of such a call having been made. These issues raised questions about the identifications of the two officers that were not before the jury. On that basis the conviction was quashed (although Davis remained in prison on another charge).

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  • Offence: Robbery / burglary
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Essex 
  • Ethnicity: White
  • Gender: M
  • Offence convicted of: Armed robbery
  • Year of crime: 1974
  • Year of initial conviction: 1975
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2011
  • Age when imprisoned: 33
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case:
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence relating to the reliability of witness testimony
  • Compensation: No
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Previous applications to the Home Secretary and the CCRC were refused.