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News Round-Up Week Ending 24.6.16

(Posted on 24/06/16)

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News Round-Up Week Ending 24.6.16

'Guilty by association' test cases at Court of Appeal:

Following February’s Supreme Court ruling that the law on joint enterprise had been misinterpreted for 30 years, appeal hearings for at least six men began this week.

The appeal judges, led by Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, will examine individual cases affected by the so-called foresight principle, technically known as “parasitic accessorial liability”, under which rule co-defendants have been convicted of a violent crime committed by an associate if they were judged to have foreseen that associate might commit it. Sentences have often been extremely long thanks to the mandatory life tariff for murder under the 2003 Criminal Justice Act.

The first appellants include Tyler Burton and Nicholas Terrelonge, convicted of murdering Ashley Latty in 2014; Asher & Lewis Johnson, Jerome Green and Reece Garwood, convicted of murdering Thomas Cudjoe in 2012.

Convictions have included those who “did not intend anyone to be seriously injured let alone killed, yet they are still [deemed to be] a murderer,” according to Simon Natas of law firm ITN Solicitors, advising the campaign group Jengba (Joint Enterprise: Not Guilt By Association). “It set a very low bar. It creates real difficulties for defendants. It was much too easy to get convictions and for prosecutions to be used as a dragnet. Groups of young people were labelled as gangs. Joint enterprise was targeting black and minority ethnic young men.”