The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the murder conviction of Kenneth Noye to the Court of Appeal.
In April 2000, Mr Noye was tried at the Central Criminal Court for the murder of Stephen Cameron in Swanley, Kent, in 1996. He pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of self-defence, but was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He appealed in 2001 but the appeal was dismissed. (See Notes to Editors below for a chronology of events.)
In September 2003, Mr Noye applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for a review of his conviction and in October 2006 the Commission decided not to refer his conviction to the Court of Appeal. In March 2008, the High Court granted Mr Noye permission to seek judicial review of the Commission’s decision and, in April 2008, having considered legal argument, the Commission agreed to reconsider Mr Noye’s application.
Having carried out a thorough review of Mr Noye’s case, that has included consideration of the pathology evidence at trial and new expert evidence acquired since the original decision in October 2006, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Noye’s conviction to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that there is a real possibility that the Court may quash the conviction as unsafe.
The Commission’s referral of Mr Noye’s conviction to the Court of Appeal means that the Court will hear a fresh appeal. The Court will decide whether to uphold the conviction, whether to quash the conviction and require a retrial, or whether to quash the conviction without requiring a retrial.
Mr Noye is represented by Henry Milner & Co Solicitors, 14 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8AT.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 633 1806 or e-mail email@example.com
NOTES TO EDITORS
Chronology of Events.
Stephen Cameron died at West Hill Hospital in Dartford at 2.10pm on Sunday 19 May 1996, from two knife wounds to the chest suffered during a fight with Mr Noye at about 1.15pm, at traffic lights on a roundabout at the M25/A20 interchange near Swanley in Kent. Mr Cameron was 21 years old and had been the only passenger in a red Bedford Rascal van being driven by his girlfriend. Mr Noye was 48 years old and had been driving alone in a blue Land Rover Discovery.
Mr Noye was extradited from Spain and was returned to England on 20 May 1999. His trial for the murder of Mr Cameron began on Thursday 30 March 2000 at the Central Criminal Court in London. He pleaded not guilty to murder on grounds of self defence.
On Friday, 14 April, 2000, after deliberating for eight hours and 21 minutes, the jury found Mr Noye guilty of murder by a majority verdict of eleven to one. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Mr Noye appealed against his conviction but the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal in a judgment dated 10 October 2001.
Mr Noye first applied to the Commission for a review of his conviction in September 2003. In October 2006, after reviewing the case, Commission informed Mr Noye that it had decided not to refer his case to the Court of Appeal. In March 2008, the High Court granted Mr Noye permission to seek a judicial review of the Commission’s decision. The Commission agreed to reconsider Mr Noye’s application in April 2008.
Following a lengthy re-examination of the case, which has included consideration of the pathology evidence at trial, and new expert evidence not available at the time of the 2006 decision not to refer the case, the Commission referred Mr Noye’s conviction to the Court of Appeal 13 October 2010.
About the Criminal Case Review Commission
1. The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
2. There are currently nine Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
3. The Commission receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Typically, around 4%, or one in 25, of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.
4. The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
5. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.
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