Steven Puaca

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

Steven Puaca was convicted of the murder of Jacqueline Tindsley. Puaca claimed he had found Tindsley dead, but the prosecution claimed she had been smothered by Pucca. The primary issue at trial was the cause of her death, and pathological evidence was introduced on that issue. Tindsley’s sholder muscles were damaged, which pathologists stated was a result of her straining as she was smothered. The other possibility suggested at trial was that she had died of a drug overdose, perhaps coupled with a fit. This possibility was advanced by defence experts, but they did not rule out the possibility of smothering. On appeal, a new pathologist was instructed. The pathologist was critical of the prosecution expert at trial, and stated that there was no forensic evidence to indicate suffocation.Evidence from another expert using miscroscopic evaluation of tissue found that the haemorage in the muscle appeared to show early inflamation. This evidence indicated that the damage was not simultaneous with the death, and negatived smothering as a cause. This view was supported by other experts and resulted in the conviction being quashed. In quashing the conviction the court stated that they were wholly satisfied that the conviction must be regarded as unsafe.

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  • Offence: Murder
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Suffolk 
  • Ethnicity: Unknown
  • Gender: M
  • Years in prison: 3
  • Offence convicted of: Murder
  • Year of crime: 2002
  • Year of initial conviction: 2002
  • Year conviction was overturned: 2005
  • Age when imprisoned: 35
  • CCRC Referral: N
  • Tried with others: N
  • Link to full case:
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence undermining forensic science
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: Unknown
  • Retrial: No
  • Previous appeals: None