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 Post subject: Justice takes 34 years!
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2006 18:10 
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 00:15
Posts: 5232
Location: Windermere
Several decisions in the courts at Kendal in recent months, might be viewed in a new light following a recent verdict in the Court of Appeal.

Conviction quashed after 34 years
A pensioner from Cumbria, convicted of assault 34 years ago, has expressed his delight that his name has been cleared.
Edward Caley-Knowles, now aged 69, of Whitehaven, had his 1972 conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm quashed by the Court of Appeal.

He had claimed justification, but the trial judge said this was no defence in law, and directed the jury to return a guilty verdict without retiring.

Appeal court judges have now concluded that his conviction was unsafe.

Mr Caley-Knowles had been sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years at Kendal Crown Court, for an assault on a fellow railway worker.

He said he was shocked when the guilty verdict was returned.

'Kangaroo court'

He said: "They are supposed to adjourn to decide it, how can it be a verdict in which they are all agreed when it was never even discussed?.

"I just said 'What a farce, this is a kangaroo court'."

His case was one of two referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

It followed a decision by the House of Lords that there were no circumstances in which a judge was entitled to direct a jury to return a verdict of guilty.

Quashing the convictions, Lord Justice Tuckey, sitting with Mr Justice Leveson and Mr Justice Davis, said: "The decision in each case was not in reality made by the jury at all. In each case it was made by the judge."

Following clarification of the law, the court was "driven to the conclusion that the convictions are unsafe and must be quashed."

Mr Caley-Knowles added: "I am delighted."

In recent months, a judge ruled that a driver was guilty despite a lack of evidence that he was the driver of the car. A picture of him DRIVING the car, under the speed limit, was said to preceed one of him driving OVER the limit - yet he could not be identified in the photograph, and there was no corroberating video evidence that linked the two pictures.

In the second case, a man was judged to have been driving a boat towing a water skier at more than ten miles per hour, by a lake warden, over a mile away, who failed to use either the laser speed gun, or video camera at his disposal, but merely relied on "his opinion".
This was later accepted in court, and the man was convicted.
On appeal, the second judge simply said she accepted this view!

This case is still to go to a higher court - lets hope it does not take 34 years!!

Time to take responsibility for our actions.. and don't be afraid of speaking out!

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