A man who served eight years of a 15-year prison sentence for armed robbery has had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in London. John Joseph Cummiskey, 49, from Coventry, was jailed in 1985 following an investigation by the then West Midlands Serious Crime Squad.
Mr Cumminskey claimed he was “fitted up” by officers from the discredited squad, and accused them of fabricating evidence against him.
From Robbery conviction quashed: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/coventry_warwickshire/3245076.stm
At the Court of Appeal, judges ruled that if what was known now about the squad’s activities had been known at the July 1985 trial, the jury might have reached a different verdict.
Judges said defence lawyers would have been able to question officers about their conduct in other cases.
From Man’s conviction quashed by court: http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/mans-conviction-quashed-by-court-3154847
Lawyers last night predicted that the notorious West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, which was disbanded more than a decade ago, could be responsible for dozens of wrongful convictions that have yet to come to light. So far 30 convictions have been quashed by the Court of Appeal because of evidence that the squad fabricated evidence, tortured suspects and wrote false confessions.
At the end of its pounds 2m inquiry, the PCA recommended disciplinary charges against only seven officers. A further 10 officers would have faced charges but they had already retired, it was announced.
In the event, just four of the squad’s officers – Detective Superintendent John Brown, Detective Constable Colin Abbotts, Detective Chief Inspector Bob Goodchild and Detective Constable Tony Adams – were punished for minor disciplinary offences.
From: West Midlands Serious Crime Squad: Police unit to blame for `dozens more injustices’: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/west-midlands-serious-crime-squad-police-unit-to-blame-for-dozens-more-injustices-1120219.html