welcome to our witness evidence wiki

This wiki catalogues empirical evidence relating to witness evidence and miscarriages of justice.

Witness Evidence Related Miscarriages of Justice in the UK

Total cases:
155
Years lost:
890
Average years lost:
5.74
2
David Cooper
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1969
Year of initial conviction: 1970
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Michael McMahon
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1969
Year of initial conviction: 1970
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
1970
1971
1
Luke Dougherty
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1972
Year conviction overturned: 1973
View case
1972
5
Des Warren
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1973
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Kenneth O’Shea
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1973
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Eric Tomlinson
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1973
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
John Jones
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1973
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Frank Newell
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 8
Year of crime: 1973
Year of initial conviction: 1973
Year conviction overturned: 2014
View case
1973
11
Ronan Bennett
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 1974
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 1975
View case
Alfred James
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
John Seaburg
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Graham Roberts
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Patrick Butcher
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Terry Renshaw
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
George Arthur Murray
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
John Clee
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
William Pierce
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Bernard Williams
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 0
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
Samuel Warburton
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 0
Year of crime: 1972
Year of initial conviction: 1974
Year conviction overturned: 2021
View case
1974
1
George Davis
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Year of crime: 1974
Year of initial conviction: 1975
Year conviction overturned: 2011
View case
1975
1
Stefan Kiszko
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 16
Year of crime: 1975
Year of initial conviction: 1976
Year conviction overturned: 1992
View case
1976
4
Charles Edwin Clarke
Most serious offence: Manslaughter / non-fatal offence against the person
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 1977
Year of initial conviction: 1977
Year conviction overturned: 2002 (died 1995)
View case
Kathleen Bailey
Most serious offence: Manslaughter / non-fatal offence against the person
Year of crime: 1974
Year of initial conviction: 1977
Year conviction overturned: 2002
View case
Reg Dudley
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 20
Year of crime: 1974
Year of initial conviction: 1977
Year conviction overturned: 2002
View case
Bob Maynard
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 23
Year of crime: 1974
Year of initial conviction: 1977
Year conviction overturned: 2002
View case
1977
1978
1979
2
Terry Pinfold
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 21
Year of crime: 1974
Year of initial conviction: 1980
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Harry MacKenney
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 23
Year of crime: 1974-78
Year of initial conviction: 1980
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
1980
2
John Kamara
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 20
Year of crime: 1981
Year of initial conviction: 1981
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
John McGranaghan
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1978; 1979; 1980
Year of initial conviction: 1981
Year conviction overturned: 1991
View case
1981
1
John Bingham
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 2.5
Year of crime: 1982
Year of initial conviction: 1982
Year conviction overturned: 1984
View case
1982
7
Derek Treadaway
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 13
Year of crime: 1979
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 1996
View case
Ronald Brown
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 18
Year of crime: 1979
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
Donald Brown
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 12
Year of crime: 1979
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
Michael Dunne
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 15
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
Patrick Gaughan
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1979
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
John Wilson
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Christopher Hagans
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 20
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1983
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
1983
2
Thomas Campbell
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 16
Year of crime: 1984
Year of initial conviction: 1984
Year conviction overturned: 2004
View case
Peter Fell
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 17
Year of crime: 1982
Year of initial conviction: 1984
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
1984
1
George McPhee
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 18
Year of crime: 1985
Year of initial conviction: 1985
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
1985
1
Roy Burnett
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 14
Year of crime: 1985
Year of initial conviction: 1986
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
1986
1
Mary Clinton
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1987
Year of initial conviction: 1987
Year conviction overturned: 2016
View case
1987
4
Prem Sivalingham
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 6
Year of crime: 1986
Year of initial conviction: 1988
Year conviction overturned: 1994
View case
Sam Kulasingham
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 6
Year of crime: 1986
Year of initial conviction: 1988
Year conviction overturned: 1994
View case
Alexander Hall
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 11
Year of crime: 1984
Year of initial conviction: 1988
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
John McLoughlin
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1988
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
1988
3
Eddie Browning
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 6
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1989
Year conviction overturned: 1994
View case
Mary Druhan
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1989
Year conviction overturned: 1999
View case
Stuart Gair
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 13
Year of crime: 1989
Year of initial conviction: 1989
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
1989
9
Anthony Poole
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 13
Year of crime: 1989
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Tony Paris
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 1992
View case
Yusef Abdullahi
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 1992
View case
Stephen Miller
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 1992
View case
Gary Mills
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 13
Year of crime: 1989
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Raphael Rowe
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Michael Davis
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Randolph Johnson
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Reginald F
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 9
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1990
Year conviction overturned: 2002
View case
1990
8
Trevor Wickens
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 12
Year of crime: 1986
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Gerard Hodgkins
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: Unknown
Year of crime: 1990
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
James Martin
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 17
Year of crime: 1990
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Liam Martin
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 17
Year of crime: 1990
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Daniel Morrison
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: Unknown
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Daniel Caldwell
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: Unknown
Year of crime: 1990
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
James O’Carroll
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: Unknown
Year of crime: 1990
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Ellish Enright
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 7
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1991
Year conviction overturned: 2002
View case
1991
3
Lisa Taylor
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 1991
Year of initial conviction: 1992
Year conviction overturned: 1993
View case
Michelle Taylor
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 1991
Year of initial conviction: 1992
Year conviction overturned: 1993
View case
Jan Christofides
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 9
Year of crime: 1992
Year of initial conviction: 1992
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
1992
2
Dean Soloman
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 1991
Year of initial conviction: 1993
Year conviction overturned: 2007
View case
Derek A
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 7
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1993
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
1993
1
Martin C
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 9
Year of crime: 1991-1993
Year of initial conviction: 1994
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
1994
5
Leopold Willis
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 11
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1995
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
Anthony Taylor
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 5
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1995
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Kevin Martin
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 5
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1995
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Michael Brown
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 5
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1995
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Christopher-Patrick Walters
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 5
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1995
Year conviction overturned: 2002
View case
1995
11
Zoe Martindale
Most serious offence: Drugs offences
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Ghulam Rasool
Most serious offence: Drugs offences
Years in prison: 11
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2007
View case
Steven Johnston
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
Billy Allison
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
Keith Birchall
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
Richard Mulchay
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
Gary Ford
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 15
Year of crime: 1996
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2011
View case
Victor Nealon
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 17
Year of crime: 1996
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2013
View case
Kevin John Brown
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 7
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Ernest Bond
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 6
Year of crime: 1987 – 1994
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Barry John Cook
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 7
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1996
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
1996
6
Craig Lane
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2.75
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1997
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
Gary Shaffi
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1997
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
Michael Beadle
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1997
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
David Noble
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 2.75
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1997
Year conviction overturned: 1998
View case
Annette Hewins
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 1.5
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1997
Year conviction overturned: 1999
View case
Joseph Otoo
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 1995
Year of initial conviction: 1997
Year conviction overturned: 2000
View case
1997
5
Daniel Mansell
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 11
Year of crime: 1996
Year of initial conviction: 1998
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
Stewart Allen
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 1.5
Year of crime: 1997
Year of initial conviction: 1998
Year conviction overturned: 2007
View case
Anthony Mark Clibery
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 4.5
Year of crime: 1998
Year of initial conviction: 1998
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
Roger Beardmore
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3.75
Year of crime: 1990
Year of initial conviction: 1998
Year conviction overturned: 2001
View case
David Potter
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 6
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1998
Year conviction overturned: 2004
View case
1998
3
Basil Williams-Rigby
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 1999
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Warren Blackwell
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 5
Year of crime: 1999
Year of initial conviction: 1999
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
John Siddall
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 1985-88
Year of initial conviction: 1999
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
1999
6
Robert Clarke
Most serious offence: Drugs offences
Years in prison: 10
Year of crime: 1996
Year of initial conviction: 2000
Year conviction overturned: 2010
View case
Jamie Sneddon
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 0.83
Year of crime: 1999
Year of initial conviction: 2000
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
Michael Lawson
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 1974-97
Year of initial conviction: 2000
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
Ian Brooke
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 6
Year of crime: 1986
Year of initial conviction: 2000
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
David Carrington-Jones
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 6.5
Year of crime: 1999
Year of initial conviction: 2000
Year conviction overturned: 2007
View case
David Luxford
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2.8
Year of crime: 1988
Year of initial conviction: 2000
Year conviction overturned: 2003
View case
2000
1
Christopher Drury
Most serious offence: Drugs offences
Years in prison: 8
Year of crime: 1996
Year of initial conviction: 2001
Year conviction overturned: 2010
View case
2001
7
Margaret Smith
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 1994
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2004
View case
Dwaine Simeon George
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 12
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2014
View case
Gavin Burt
Most serious offence: Other
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
Desmond Dinnell
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2.5
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
Anver Daud Sheikh
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3.5
Year of crime: 1979-83
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2004, 2006
View case
Christopher Scott P
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2004
View case
Ricardo Prince
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 1999
Year of initial conviction: 2002
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
2002
2
Leslie Warren
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 2003
Year of initial conviction: 2003
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
Jason K
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 2003
Year of initial conviction: 2003
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
2003
11
Thomas Rooney
Most serious offence: Manslaughter / non-fatal offence against the person
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2004
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2007
View case
Nimalrajah Thambithurai
Most serious offence: Manslaughter / non-fatal offence against the person
Years in prison: 2.5
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2011 (first successful appeal in 2007 but convicted at retrial)
View case
Jathies Santharatnam
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 8
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2011
View case
Prabu Santharatnam
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 8
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2011
View case
Mayuran Seevaratnam
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 8
Year of crime: 2003
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2011 (first successful appeal in 2007 but convicted at retrial)
View case
Nimalal Nadarajah
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 8
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2011 (first successful appeal in 2007 but convicted at retrial)
View case
Andrew F
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: Unknown
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
Leon Benjamin Forde
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 1.5
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
George Anderson
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1979-1981
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
Margaret Hewitt
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 1979-1981
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2005
View case
David Thackeray
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 2004
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
2004
5
David Ballingham
Most serious offence: Manslaughter / non-fatal offence against the person
Year of crime: 2005
Year of initial conviction: 2005
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Sam Hallam
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 7
Year of crime: 2004
Year of initial conviction: 2005
Year conviction overturned: 2012
View case
David Tucker
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2005
Year of initial conviction: 2005
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Howard Kruger
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 0.67
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 2005
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
Clifford Card
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 2004
Year of initial conviction: 2005
Year conviction overturned: 2006
View case
2005
2
Mark Paterson
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2006
Year conviction overturned: 2014
View case
Mark Pepperman
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 2001
Year of initial conviction: 2006
Year conviction overturned: 2007
View case
2006
4
Billy Mills
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 1.16
Year of crime: 2007
Year of initial conviction: 2007
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
William Mills
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 2
Year of crime: 2007
Year of initial conviction: 2007
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
Bryan Tong
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 0.4
Year of crime: 2007
Year of initial conviction: 2007
Year conviction overturned: 2008
View case
Omar Bryan
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2005
Year of initial conviction: 2007
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
2007
6
Antonio Christie
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2008
Year conviction overturned: 2012
View case
Levi Walker
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2008
Year conviction overturned: 2012
View case
Adam Joof
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2008
Year conviction overturned: 2012
View case
Michael Osbourne
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2008
Year conviction overturned: 2012
View case
Owen Crooks
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 2002
Year of initial conviction: 2008
Year conviction overturned: 2012
View case
Alexander Peppernell
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 1
Year of crime: 1980-1990
Year of initial conviction: 2008
Year conviction overturned: 2009
View case
2008
2
Tonderai Chakwana
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2008
Year of initial conviction: 2009
Year conviction overturned: 2013
View case
Sajid Ali
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2.5
Year of crime: 2008
Year of initial conviction: 2009
Year conviction overturned: 2014
View case
2009
2
John Jenkins
Most serious offence: Murder
Years in prison: Unknown
Year of crime: 2010
Year of initial conviction: 2010
Year conviction overturned: 2011
View case
Nadeem Aslam
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2007-2009
Year of initial conviction: 2010
Year conviction overturned: 2014
View case
2010
2011
2
Ched Evans
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 2.5
Year of crime: 2011
Year of initial conviction: 2012
Year conviction overturned: 2016
View case
Trevor Gray
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: 2011
Year of initial conviction: 2012
Year conviction overturned: 2013
View case
2012
2
Shaun Hegarty
Most serious offence: Robbery / burglary
Years in prison: 3
Year of crime: 2013
Year of initial conviction: 2013
Year conviction overturned: 2016
View case
Danny Steven Kay
Most serious offence: Sexual offences
Years in prison: 4
Year of crime: Unknown
Year of initial conviction: 2013
Year conviction overturned: 2017
View case
2013
2014
2015
1
Frances Avis
Most serious offence: Other
Year of crime: 2015
Year of initial conviction: 2016
Year conviction overturned: 2016
View case
2016
Year of initial conviction
Jurisdiction

Illustrative cases from the UK

Papers

Please feel free to add any relevant papers to our reference of case lists using the ‘+ Add Paper’ button at the bottom of this table.

Title Author(s) Year Tag(s) Link
Planting misinformation in the human mind: A 30-year investigation of the malleability of memory Elizabeth Loftus 2005 Suggestion View paper
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Witness evidence – research summary

Research provides insight that can help assess whether witness testimony is accurate. Witness testimony may be inaccurate because a witness is lying, or because a witness has a false memory. Research in psychology can provide some insight into factors associated with accurate and inaccurate memory that might help inform testimony evaluations. However, data suggests that jurors may have problems distinguishing accurate and inaccurate testimony, and that assumptions jurors rely on may differ from those shown to be important by scientific research. Thus, we can pinpoint potential cases in which decision-makers in the legal system might be particularly likely to make mistakes when interpreting witness testimony.

Last edited 18 December 2020 | 1:47 pm | Rebecca Helm
Edit

Deception

The Difficulty Detecting Deception

Research highlights the difficulty of detecting deception in witness testimony, and cues to deceit have been described as “faint and unreliable”. Meta-analyses suggest that people are correct in identifying whether a statement is the truth or a lie about 54% of the time.

Charles Bond and Bella DePaulo, ‘Accuracy of deception judgments’ (2006) 10(3) Personality and Social Psychology Review 214.

Maria Hartwig and Charles Bond (2011), ‘Why do lie-catchers fail? A lens model meta-analysis of human lie judgments’ (2011) 137(4) Psychological Bulletin 643.

Techniques to Detect Deception

Pär Anders Granhag and Leif A. Strömwall , Detection Deception in Forensic Contexts (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Specific techniques have included:

(1) Physiological measures such as polygraphs (according to which those who are lying have a heightened stress response).

(2) Measures of non-verbal behaviour. For example, Paul Ekman and Maureen O’Sullivan, ‘From flawed self-assessment to blatant whoopers: The utility of voluntary and involuntary behaviour in detecting deception’ (2006) 24 Behavioral Sciences and the Law 673, and

(3) Measures of words and descriptions used. For example, Matthew Newman, James Pennebaker, Diane Berry, and Jane Richards, ‘Lying words: Predicting deception from linguistic styles’ (2003) 29(5) Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 665; Bruno Vershuere, Glynis Bogaard and Ewout Meijer, ‘Discriminating deceptive from truthful statements using the verifiability approach’ (2020) Applied Cognitive Psychology.

However, these cues are unlikely to be sufficiently reliable for use in legal procedures, in part because they are subtle and not always present.

Aldert Vrij and Jeannine Turgeon, ‘Evaluating credibility of witnesses – are we instructing jurors on invalid factors’ (2018) 11(2) Journal of Tort Law 231. 

Alicia Nortje and Colin Tredoux, ‘How good are we at detecting deception? A review of current techniques and theories’ (2019) 49(4) South African Journal of Psychology 491.

Techniques to Make Deception Clearer

In order to help people better distinguish truth and lies, researchers have developed techniques to increase relevant differences between those telling the truth and those lying. For example:

Aldert Vrija, Samantha Manna, Sharon Leala, and Ronald P. Fisher, ‘Combining Verbal Veracity Assessment Techniques to Distinguish Truth Tellers from Lie Tellers’ (2020) The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context.

Aldert Vrij, Samantha Mann, Ronald Fisher, Sharon Leal, Rebecca Milne, and Ray Bull, ‘Increasing cognitive load to facilitate lie detection: The benefit of recalling an event in reverse order’ (2008) 32(3) Law and Human Behavior 253.

Coral Dando and Ray Bull, ‘Maximising opportunities to detect verbal deception: Training police officers to interview tactically’ (2011) 8(2) Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling 189. 

Children and Trauma

Special care should be taken when examining the testimony of people who have been subjected to trauma, particularly children. This special care is required because cues typically associated with lies may be predictably present even where the person giving testimony is telling the truth. For example, victims of trauma, particularly when young, might be susceptible to what is known as memory “blending” which can lead to inconsistencies in accounts.

Rebecca K. Helm, Caisa E. Royer and Stephen J. Ceci, ‘Forensic analysis of child interrogations and testimony’ in Michael Bowers and Wendy Koen (eds.), The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions (Academic Press, 2018). 

Last edited 28 April 2021 | 12:51 pm | Rebecca Helm
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False memory

Memory is not always accurate, and false memories can arise either spontaneously or as the result of suggestion.

Charles Brainerd and Valerie Reyna, The Science of False Memory (Oxford University Press, 2005). 

Elizabeth Loftus, ‘Make believe memories’ (2003) 58(11) American Psychologist 867.

Mark Howe and Lauren Knott, ‘The fallibility of memory in judicial processes: Lessons from the past and their modern consequences’ (2015) 23(5) Memory 633.

Mark Howe, Lauren Knott and Martin Conway, Memory and Miscarriages of Justice (Routledge, 2017). 

Spontaneous false memory

Spontaneous false memories are false memories that arise without external influence as a result of internal processes. For example, a false memory may arise where a person encodes the “gist” of an event, and later recalls this gist but imposes incorrect specific details on it as a result of forgetting true specific details. For example, research has shown that people who see a list of words relating to sleep are likely to later remember that they heard the word sleep even when they did not.

Henry Otgaar and Mark Howe, ‘When spontaneous statements should not be trusted: False memories in children and adults’ in Henry Otgaar and Mark Howe (Eds.), Finding the Truth in the Courtroom (Oxford University Press, 2018). 

Research shows that spontaneous false memory:

(1) Is more likely in adults than children.

Charles Brainerd, Valerie Reyna, and Stephen Ceci, ‘Developmental reversals in false memory: A review of data and theory’ (2008) 134(3) Psychological Bulletin 343.

Henry Otgaar, Mark Howe, Maarten Peters, Melanie Sauerland and Linsey Raymaekers, ‘Developmental trends trends in different types of spontaneous false memories: Implications for the legal field’ (2013) 31(5) Behavioral Sciences & the Law 666.

(2) Can arise as the result of source confusion (inappropriately connecting experiences). This confusion can lead to identifying a familiar but innocent person as the culprit of an offence, or to believing that an imagined event really happened.

David Ross, Dorothy Marsil, Tanja Benton, Rebecca Hoffman, Amye Warren, R. Lindsay and Richard Metzger, ‘Children’s susceptibility to misidentifying a familiar bystander from a lineup: Why younger is better’ (2006) 30(3) Law and Human Behaviour 249. 

David Ross, Stephen Ceci, David Dunning and Michael Toglia, ‘Unconscious transference and mistaken identity: When a witness misidentifies a familiar but innocent person’ (1994) 79(6) Journal of Applied Psychology 918. 

Stephen Ceci, Mary Huffmann, Elliott Smith, and Elizabeth Loftus, ‘Repeatedly thinking about a non-event: Source misattributions among preschoolers’ (1994) 3(3-4) Consciousness and Cognition 388.

(3) May be more likely in certain people or situations, for example as a result of individual differences, differences in experiences, or emotion.

Jason Watson, Michael Bunting, Bradley Poole, and Andrew Conway, ‘Individual differences in susceptibility to false memory in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm’ (2005) 31(1)  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 76. 

Henry Otgaar, Mark L. Howe, and Peter Muris, ‘Maltreatment increases spontaneous false memories but decreases suggestion‐induced false memories in children’ (2017) 35(3) British Journal of Developmental Psychology 376.

Charles Brained, Lilian Stein, R. Silveira, Gustavo Rohenkohl and Valerie Reyna, ‘How does negative emotion cause false memories’ (2008) 19(9) Psychological Science 919.

The influence of suggestion

False memories can arise as the result of external suggestion, for example as a result of leading questions in interviews that suggest a particular answer to the person being interviewed.

Elizabeth Loftus ‘Planting misinformation in the human mind: A 30-year investigation of the malleability of memory’ (2005) 12(4) Learning & Memory 361.

Research shows that false memory arising from suggestion:

(1) Is generally, but not always, more likely in children than adults.

Maggie Bruck and Stephen Ceci. ‘The suggestibility of children’s memory’ (1999) 50(1) Annual review of psychology 419.

Henry Otgaar, Mark L. Howe, Nathalie Brackmann, and Daniël van Helvoort. ‘Eliminating age differences in children’s and adults’ suggestibility and memory conformity effects’ (2017) 53(5) Developmental Psychology 962.

(2) Can arise as a result of receiving misinformation or as a result of suggestive questioning (i.e. being asked leading questions).

Elizabeth Loftus, ‘The malleability of human memory: Information introduced after we view an incident can transform memory’ (1979) 67(3) American Scientist 312. 

Maggie Bruck, Laura Melnyk, and Stephen Ceci, ‘Draw it again Sam: The effect of drawing on children’s suggestibility and source monitoring ability’ (2000) 77(3) Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 169.

Alan Scoboria, Kimberley Wade, D. Stephen Lindsay, Tanjeem Azad, Deryn Strange, James Ost, and Ira Hyman ‘A mega-analysis of memory reports from eight peer-reviewed false memory implantation studies’ (2017) 25(2) Memory 146.

(3) May be more likely in some people than others

Bi Zhu, Chuansheng Chen, Elizabeth Loftus, Chongde Lin, Qinghua He, Chunhui Chen, He Li, Gui Xue, Zhonglin Lu, and Qi Dong, ‘Individual differences in false memory from misinformation: Cognitive factors’ (2010) 18(5) Memory 543.

Bi Zhu, Chuansheng Chen, Elizabeth Loftus, Chongde Lin, Qinghua He, Chunhui Chen, He Li, Robert Moyzis, Jared Lessard, and Qi Dong, ‘Individual differences in false memory from misinformation: Personality characteristics and their interactions with cognitive abilities’ (2010) 48(8) Personality and Individual Differences 889. 

Henry Otgaar, Hugo Alberts, and Lesly Cuppens, ‘How cognitive resources alter our perception of the past: Ego depletion enhances the susceptibility to suggestion’ (2012) 26(1) Applied Cognitive Psychology 159.

Henry Otgaar, Mark L. Howe, and Peter Muris, ‘Maltreatment increases spontaneous false memories but decreases suggestion‐induced false memories in children’ (2017) 35(3) British Journal of Developmental Psychology 376.

Interview protocols

Interview protocols, including the ‘Cognitive Interview,’ have been designed to increase true recollection while minimising errors and false memories. Where such protocols are not followed, the risk of memory corruption and errors is higher.

Ronald Fisher, Rebecca Milne and Ray Bull, ‘Interviewing cooperative witnesses’ (2011) 20(1) Current Directions in Psychological Science’ 16.

Michael Lamb, Yael Orbach, Irit Hershkowitz, Phillip W. Esplin and Dvora Horowitz ‘A structured forensic interview protocol improves the quality and informativeness of investigative interviews with children: A review of research using the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol’ (2007) 31(11-12) Child Abuse & Neglect 1201.

Rebecca Helm, Caisa Royer and Stephen Ceci, ‘Child interrogations and testimony’ in Wendy Koen and Michael Bowers, The Psychology and Sociology of Wrongful Convictions (Academic Press, 2018). 

Distinguishing true and false memory

Research has not yet identified a reliable way to distinguish true and false memory, although factors discussed above can help provide insight into whether a memory is likely to be true or false. For example, a memory is more likely to be false where a person has experienced suggestive questioning.

Researchers have attempted to find ways to distinguish true and false memory by analysing the memory itself. The criterion which has been found to best differentiate true from false statements is the level of detail reported. True memory reports tend to contain more detail, particularly sensory detail such as sight, sound, feel, taste, or smell, than false memories do.

Aldert Vrij, ‘Criteria-based content analysis: A qualitative review of the first 37 studies’ (2005) 11(1) Psychology, Public Policy, and Law 3. 

Jonathan Schooler, Delia Gerhard and Elizabeth Loftus, ‘Qualities of the unreal’ (1986) 12(2) Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 171.

However, research has also shown that some false memories (known as rich false memories) contain significant amounts of detail.

Kimberley Wade, Maryanne Garry and Kathy Pezdek, ‘Deconstructing rich false memories of committing crime: Commentary on Shaw and Porter’ (2017) 29(3) Psychological Science 471.

Importantly, research suggests that non-experts may rely on cues that have been shown not to be accurate when assessing whether a memory is likely to be true or false. For this reason, there is a risk that non-experts including jurors could make predictable mistakes when assessing testimony.

Tanja Benton, David Ross, Emily Bradshaw, W. Neil Thomas, and Gregory S. Bradshaw. ‘Eyewitness memory is still not common sense: Comparing jurors, judges and law enforcement to eyewitness experts’ (2006) 20(1) Applied Cognitive Psychology 115. 

Bradley McAuliff and Margaret Bull Kovera, ‘Estimating the effects of misleading information on witness accuracy: Can experts tell jurors something they don’t already know?” (2007) 21(7) Applied Cognitive Psychology  849.

For example, non-experts tend to have high levels of believe that ‘repressed memories’ are accurate when compared to experts, who are much more skeptical.

Lawrence Patihis, Lavina Ho, Ian Tingen, Scott Lilienfeld and Elizabeth Loftus, ‘Are the “memory wars” over? A scientist-practitioner gap in beliefs about repressed memory’ (2014) 25(2) Psychological Science 519. 

Similarly, non-experts tend to associate witness confidence with greater witness accuracy. Scientific research shows that while confidence generally predicts accuracy, this relationship can be seriously compromised under certain conditions.

Neil Brewer, and Anne Burke, ‘Effects of testimonial inconsistencies and eyewitness confidence on mock-juror judgments” (2002) 26(2) Law and Human Behavior 353.

Elizabeth Loftus and Rachel Greenspan, ‘If I’m certain, is it true? Accuracy and confidence in eyewitness memory’ (2017) 18(1) Psychological Science in the Public Interest 1.

Potential mistakes based on mistaken beliefs have the potential to lead to both wrongful convictions and systematic failures to successfully prosecute in cases where prosecution may be appropriate.

 

Last edited 18 December 2020 | 3:15 pm | Rebecca Helm
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