Statement in court by Lady Justice Hallett.
On 20 April 2012, a jury at the Carnarvon Crown Court convicted the appellant of an offence of rape. He was sentenced to five years imprisonment and he has since been released on licence.
He appealed to this court against conviction on a reference by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (the “CCRC”) under s.9 Criminal Appeal Act 1995 on the basis that relevant and admissible evidence has come to light, that was not available at trial, and that undermines the safety of his conviction.
On 22nd and 23rd March 2016 we heard argument and we heard the fresh evidence. In our judgment handed down this morning, we provide a detailed consideration of the issues raised on the appeal and the reasons for our decision.
In summary, we have concluded that we must allow the appeal and that it is in the interests of justice to order a re-trial. Nothing can be reported that might prejudice the fairness of that re-trial. That means the contents of this statement may be reported and broadcast, in full, but nothing more about the appeal proceedings may be reported until the re-trial is concluded. The identity of the complainant in this case must not be reported.
Accordingly we order:
- The appeal is allowed.
- We quash the conviction.
- The appellant will be retried on the allegation of rape
- A fresh indictment must be served.
- The appellant must be re-arraigned on that fresh indictment within 2 months of today.
- The appellant will be on unconditional bail as far as this court is concerned.
- The venue of the re-trial, the trial judge and the date of the re-trial will be determined by the Senior Presiding Judge for the Wales Circuit, Nicola Davies J. Any applications for further directions should be made to her.
- Reporting restrictions under section 4 (2) of the Contempt of Court Act apply to the appeal proceedings and will continue until the conclusion of the re-trial, to avoid any prejudice to the re-trial. Any application to lift those restrictions to be made to Nicola Davies J or the trial judge.
- The Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 1992 also applies so that the complainant is entitled to life-long anonymity.