“Anver Daud Sheikh was twice wrongly convicted of child abuse that had allegedly occurred more than 20 years prior to his May 2002 conviction when he worked as a housemaster at a children’s home. In quashing his conviction on February 5, 2004, and ordering a new trial, Mr. Justice Hedley of The Court of Appeals’ three judge panel said the prosecution’s case was “holed below the water line.” Anver was released on bail pending his retrial, but was again convicted in January 2005. In October 2006 the Court of Appeals again quashed his conviction, based on “missing” documents that weren’t considered by the trial judge in allowing the case to go to trial that prove Anver Daud Sheikh couldn’t have been guilty, because he didn’t work at the children’s home at the time of the alleged crime. There were also issues related to the credibility of the 14-year-old girl who made the allegation. Sheikh was wrongly imprisoned for almost four years (44 months).”
“For the main evidence on which the appeal will be based will not be the police malpractice alleged by the witness who retracted. It will be another example of malpractice unearthed by Mark Newby, the solicitor to whom Sheikh turned after he had been convicted.
What Newby discovered when he examined the trial papers was that the full records of the home in question had never been obtained by the Crown. It was therefore clear that nobody, including the police, had ever taken the trouble to check whether the dates given at the trial for when Sheikh worked at the home were actually correct.
The first complainant had located his allegation quite specifically. He had described an incident involving another resident, ‘Pete’. At this point he had already been at the home for some time. It was he said, soon after this incident that Mr Sheikh had started abusing him.
Mark Newby approached the branch of Catholic Social Services who had run the home and asked to see the full records. They showed that Anver Sheikh had stopped working at the the home soon after the first complainant had arrived in August 1980; the two had overlapped only by some four weeks. More importantly still the records clearly showed that ‘Pete’ had not arrived at the home until 1981, several months after Sheik had left. It was therefore apparent that the allegation which the first complainant had made could not be true.”
Successful appeal links
Historic sexual abuse general links
- Falsely Accused Carers and Teachers: http://www.factuk.org/