Raphael Rowe

Years in prison:
10
Year of crime:
1988
Year conviction was overturned:
2000

Raphael Rowe, Michael Davis, and Randolph Johnson (known as the M25 Three) were convicted of a series of robberies that left one man dead. Their convictions were largely based on evidence connecting them to property stolen in the robberies, and evidence from witnesses. The decision to quash their convictions was made on the basis that crucial evidence not disclosed at the original trial. First, one of the witnesses was a registered police informant, was eligible for a reward at the conclusion of the case, and may have initially named a different suspect (failure to disclose his status as an informant meant the witness was forced to lie in an interview, the court described this lie as having been in collusion with the police, and profoundly disturbing). In addition, a juror had visited key locations themselves. The European Court of Human Rights had held that failure to disclose the fact that a witness was also a registered police informant meant that the defendants had been denied the right to a fair trial, and that this had not been cured through the appeals process. At the appeal, the Court of Appeal stated that the decision was not a finding of innocence but that they could not say that if irregularities identified had not occured a reasonable jury would have been bound to return verdicts of guilty.

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  • Offence: Murder Robbery / burglary
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: London 
  • Ethnicity: Mixed Race
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 10
  • Offence convicted of: Murder; robbery
  • Year of crime: 1988
  • Year of initial conviction: 1990
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2000
  • Age when imprisoned: Unknown
  • CCRC Referral: Y
  • Tried with others: Y
  • Link to full case: https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2000/109.html
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence relating to the reliability of witness testimony
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Yes
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: Unsuccessful appeal in 1993