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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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Is it possible to remove a criminal conviction from 29 years

Customer Question

Is it possible to remove a criminal conviction from 29 years ago. The conviction is/was unsound as it relied solely on a confession from myself aged 22 and and almost no supporting evidence.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 months ago.

What was the conviction exactly and why was it not challenged at the time?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I was 22 years and was told that if I pled guilty there would be a very quiet hearing no press involved and I would receive a sentence of 18 months probation. I lied when giving a confession and lied again when pleading guilty. I did this as I was told if I pled not guilty there would be a very public trial with massive press coverage. I tried to change my plea beforehand but The solicitor told me he would then be no longer representing me and might be called as a prosecution witness so I was afraid of the press coverage. He even said "you said that don't want your mother upset and this will ensure that happens as it will be all over the press" he acted inappropriately. He and the barrister sought a slot for the hearing of the plea during a recess in a major case being heard by Judge Leanard who had recently been in trouble about the vicarage rapist trial. The press were swarming over the place. The solicitor and barrister were both reprimanded during the hearing by the judge for not representing me properly, Judge Leanard saying to the barrister "need I remind counsel that she is meant to be defending the accused, she sounds more like she is prosecuting" the police were asked if they had anything to say and stated that they did not think I was in fact guilty but seemed to merely be pleading guilty for some strange reason."
The only evidence for the prosecution was my confession. I did this to stop a press carnival and ultimately keep things quiet to protect my mother. The reason it was never contested before now was because it made no difference to my life. Now it is coming back to haunt me. The only thing I was actually guilty of was two counts of perjury but now my life is being destroyed by overzealous police who are using my past record to destroy me. The record is wrong. Is it possible to get a retrial after all this time, it's been 29 years and Judge Leanard is dead. The convictions were all serious sexual offences against children. There was no trial just a session to take a plea. I pled guilty and was sentenced to 8 years. The only thing I did was to be a rather arrogant young man who acted stupidly thinking he could prove a point about law and order. I then found myself caught in a process which I could not stop. I would not make these challenges back then because of my desire to protect my mother. I suffered the prison time in the hope that upon release I could restart my life. I was released before registration began and the only effect this had on my life was that it meant I could not sel work with children which didn't matter to me as I wasn't going to do that anyway. Now I have a friend being told she can't come near me nor her husband because of child protection issues. I have been left prison 24 years and never once been in trouble and this was a miscarriage of justice in the first place. I never committed any offences against children. My confession was the only case against me.
My life today is being destroyed because of an act of stupidity years ago in pleading guilty. If I had pled not guilty the case would have folded. I lost 5 and a half years of my life to prison for crimes I didn't commit. I put that down to my own stupidity. I'm not wanting compensation for wrongful imprisonment or anything like that. I just want the record put straight.
I am in the position of heretics in the Middle Ages. Crimes which people think I have committed because of a confession. Being accused of such types of crimes means no one wants to know. Merely being accused makes you guilty in most people's eyes.
There have been similar cases of confessions being the only real case against a person and later this is found to be wrong and they have convictions quashed.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
MICHAELS COURT CASEI have never molested a child in my life.
I have never abused a child in my life
I've never harmed a child in my lifeI pled guilty to charges in 1987 aged 22 years to avoid a huge very public court case and press coverage.This was to save my mother DOROTHY from a massive amount of distress.Those charges related to offences supposedly carried out in 1983/4
When I was 19 yrs old.They were not investigating or searching for me about any case.The case was created by myself through walking into a police station and saying I knew of crimes.An act of stupidity of an arrogant 22 year old.Rather like the bravado of walking into a cage of a sleeping lion and kicking it up the bum.The reasons for such an act of stupidity are complex and relate to my naive way of seeing things at that time and an interest I had in a 19th century British court case involving the Salvation Army trying to help child victims of prostitution in London.What followed was my arrest and interview
Followed by a confession which was given under duress. The sergeant slamming his fist into the table. I had been drinking which made things worse.I was arraigned to custody and transported down South to the area the presumed offences took place in.I was given a court appointed solicitor, who later royally screwed me and any chances of walking away from this.I was promised the guilty plea would mean a very quiet case and no press.On that count they were correct although it would be wrong to say that they told the truth, since they had actually planned for a huge public and press carnival.What they didn't tell me was that I would be sentenced to 8 years.I was told I would get probation
Or at most 18 months.They lied.And I lied.I perjured myself by pleading guilty.The alternative had been discussed, I had tried to pull the confession since that was the entirety of the crown prosecutions case. But when I tried to do I was told by the solicitor that he would be a witness for the prosecution and the case would be extremely public, he even said"you said you didn't want any upset for your mum, this will be huge and the press will be involved"I had also perjured myself by giving the confessionThe solicitor did not caution me or inform me that confessions are notoriously difficult to rescind in British courts.There was no trial and no other evidence.Witness statements for the prosecution read as if they were for the defence.It was The trial of Oscar Wilde all over again and a complete farce. A miscarriage of justice stemming from a 22 year olds arrogant attempt to use the courts system
To prove a point.To me it was like a game, I thought I knew everything and could do some good, come out of it having changed some things for the better, instead it turned into a cruel joke.I was innocent in both senses of the word, innocent of any crime save perjury, innocent in the sense of being naive.It was/is like the old story of the boy who cried wolf.The Hearing to take the plea, hear mitigation and pass sentence was Surreal.The police who had arrested me and questioned me told the judge that they thought me innocent but for some strange reason pleading guilty.The judge actually stopped the proceedings and asked the Defence barrister what she thought she was doing, had she forgotten that she was supposed to be defending since she in her summing up of mitigation sounded more like the prosecution.The prosecution for their part had said similar to the police, that the only worthwhile evidence was the confession, any other evidence was extremely limited and circumstantial.The judge had been specially selected by my barrister and solicitor. Unknown to me they had arranged a plea session in the recess during another trial that was going on, which I understand was a horrific axe murder involving a man and a woman which the national and international press were heavily present to report on.Everyone asked why they had chosen that spot.I was led like a lamb to the slaughter.Worse than that was the fact that the Judge who had been selected by my so-called 'Defence' team was Judge Leanard who had been vilified in the press the previous year for leniency in a bad rape case 'the vicarage rapists' he was being watched by law lords and press for what were being called further 'lapses in judgement'For me it was like being stuck on a huge powerful train hurtling down a mountain sure to crash at the bottom.By the time it was all over I was too afraid and confused to do anything about it.Later when I realised my mistake
I was too caught up in a process which will not allow for mistakes.British courts and justice is perfect went the mantra, even when it's not.And wherever a mistake was made they did anything to keep it hidden away. That's why it is still hidden to this day. People can look up cases from British courts going back 50 years or so and they are a matter of public
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
record, try looking up Crown vs Michael Sloan.I appealed and foolishly did not sack the solicitor and brief even though I had been advised to do so by both prisoners and even prison staff.I attempted suicide.I was surrounded by people who fell into 2 camps, those among the judiciary and police and prison staff and prisoners and probation officers who felt that I was an innocent and naive victim of a seriously flawed system, and those who only looked at a charge sheet and those offences.Later I even had a chance to escape and disappear but didn't do so for the same reason as I pled guilty because to do so would mean a report to the press about the escape with descriptions of me and the obvious claims of dangerous man etcAll I could think of was my mother DOROTHY.After finishing the prison time I decided to forget about it. I saw any battle to clear my name as an impossible task.This meant that I had a criminal record but up until very recently that made no difference.Unless I was seeking work with children or vulnerable people that record was irrelevant.I lived that way for well over 24 years.Then they made new laws and made them retroactive. That is what this will no doubt be about. My friend is being visited by social workers and police talking about child protection issues. I think they are using the SOPO section 104.I have known my friend for 15 months. She is my employee as I became disabled in the early 2000s and use a powered wheelchair. She is employed as my CARER. I am also in the process of changing gender. I have been diagnosed as Transexual and have been referred for hormone treatment and GRS surgery.
Ironic that I am now about to undergo what is in effect chemical castration and effectively surgical castration as well which at one time was actually used as punishment for sex crimes.Of course that irony is compounded when I am not in fact a child molestor.I'm currently seeking court transcripts and a human rights solicitor. I want this crap gone from my name, my life.The police and social workers are only dealing with records of a flawed case-
A miscarriage of justice.Also they are the social services, the SS. Probably the most flawed public departments in the entire country.This is seriously impacting on my life now.My friend started maternity leave on 12th September and
I cannot find anyone to replace her as CARER temporarily for maternity cover.I have been stuck in the house for 2 weeks. I cannot drive and find taxis extremely difficult to find, only 1 accessible cab in my area. He's not always available.My mother is in an Assesment unit after a fall on 3rd September which is how this all started. I visited hospital with my friend driving my MOTABILITY vehicle with her husband and small son who is 6 years.A feud has existed between myself and my sister for years which has become much worse since I went into transition.She visited hospital and an argument happened regarding some relatives my mum hadn't seen in years but which my sister calls family.The next thing I know My carer had been
Visited by police and social workers
Saying she must not come near me nor her husband or the children and citing child protection issues.My sister also texted my friend saying the same type of thing.My friend and her husband still support me and are still friends.She says that if she had any worries she would have resigned months ago.This is pure spite by my sister, who also wants to control my mothers life.My friend is meeting with police and social workers Tommorow.I desperately need legal help as this is obviously a human rights case.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

I have ben asked to look at this as criminal law is my area.

So, in short, you want to appeal a conviction 29 years after being convicted?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

Why didn't you appeal at the time?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I did appeal in 1987, but as I was very naive I did not change solicitor and barrister.I didn't have a chance to prepare, nor to decide to retract the confession.A prison guard just came to my cell and told me to get ready I was going to London to the court.The appeal was a sham. That solicitor never asked me if I wanted to retract the confession or go for a retrial etc. I was utterly confused and scared and still very afraid of a press carnival.With no change of plea or retraction of confession the judges merely dismissed the appeal. It was a repeat of the original hearing. Only this time the barrister was not reprimanded. One judge stopped her and said "we've read the deposition, there is no need to repeat it again"I think the judges were shocked at my incredible naivety in keeping the same barrister and solicitor and confused as to why any convicted person on appeal would not change things, the obvious one to them being to withdraw the confession. They were annoyed.
I had been told that it was pointless to appeal the actual conviction and the only appeal could be an appeal of the sentence.This is what happened, They then dismissed the appeal.I was not properly advised.If I had been then I would have sacked both solicitor and barrister and also would have retracted the confession.In retrospect I can see that but back then I was very confused.They also pushed for an appeal within only a few months of conviction. I later learned that many appeals take place with a much longer period between conviction and appeal because that gives the appellant time to properly prepare the appeal.As I've said I was incredibly naive.
I have found it difficult to understand
Deception my entire life. Why someone who is a trained lawyer would want to deceive me in this way. To not give me all the information I need and make an appeal properly.I was too trustingI tried to tell this man that I had not committed any offences and he reacted very suddenly saying he could not represent me and would be leaving as he might be called as a witness for the prosecution. That was when he said his remark about my mum. "You wanted to keep this away from the press and quiet but this will be very public, and it will be impossible to keep it from the press, you're not thinking of her"I panicked and told him I would plead guilty as he suggestedI was thrown away by the courts because nobody wanted the problem of an incredibly naive young man who did not seem to know what was good for him.All I could think of was my mum.It would be quiet no press not in the public eye and eventually I would be back with her.I have always been something of a romantic which is how this whole thing started, even now I find myself thinking that I need my own Atticus Finch, I also tend to over analyse everything, I'm still often useless in social situations, and I still cannot accept society's ways and what fors, if someone says "that's just the way it is I say, WHY?"I think I'm similar to the character played by Jack Nicholson in the film
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
As good as it gets
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

OK. So there has been an appeal which has been rejected?

What further appeal were you hoping to pursue?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Although I sometimes feel I'm more likeEdward Scissorhands.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
That appeal was flawed because of the actions of that solicitor.I never got a chance to properly appeal.I didn't commit any offences against childrenThe appeal should have appealed conviction not sentenceI didn't know that because of bad adviceI was very innocent also in trusting these peopleI just want my life backI had no problems until a couple of weeks ago now my life is being ripped apart for a miscarriage of justice from thirty years ago
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I want to quash the convictionIt is unsoundIt was a miscarriage of justice
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

OK. So there has been an appeal which has been rejected?

What further appeal were you hoping to pursue?

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
You are the barristerI want this over
I want to quash the convictionIt is unsoundIt was a miscarriage of justice
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

I'm really sorry but there is no realistic appeal.

I'm not sure on the basis you want to pursue anyway.

Quite apart from anything else, you are many years out of time to appeal. Further you did appeal and it was rejected so that is the end of that.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

Moreover, on the face of it, you are not describing a miscarriage of justice. You are just describing an adverse verdict.

I realise that you might not see a difference from the point of view of the impact on you but there is a massive one in law.

What is the specific appeal point?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

The fact that you dislike your representation is not an appeal point per se unless you are saying they acted outside of your instructions or something similar to that and then you have the difficulty of being out of time.

Time is extended sometimes but not 29 years later unless fresh evidence comes to light.

I'm very sorry but that is the reality.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
They are tearing apart my life based on events from 29 years ago.If it is not possible to appeal then how is it that sometimes we can see this on TV where a conviction from many years ago is quashed. If there case rested entirely on the confession then there has to be some way to retract that confession and look at any other evidence of which there was none, what about court transcripts.Even if the conviction cannot be quashed I have lived outside of prison for 24 yearsIf nothing can be done to challenge what is happening now then this country might as well start building gas chambers.Even though I am not guilty, if I am seen as guilty and cannot change that whatever happened to ideas of re-habilitation reform etc. Do 24 years living in society with no further convictions count for nothing. How also can these people do this without letting me know what is going on.I am recruiting at the moment and as I have said I can't even go out as I need a driver CARER to do so. I am having enough difficulties recruiting without this hanging over me as well.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The solicitor did act outside of my instructions in that I was not legally trained had never been in a situation like that before was extremely stressed and acting under duress of both solicitor and police at least at first, the police later were not pressuring and seemed almost sympathetic, the solicitor was the one pressuring.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What fresh evidence could there be.
Is it not possible to review the existing evidence which was not used in the original case, it was circumstantial and not sufficient to prove guilt. Statements from parents saying they did not believe this to be true, statements from teachers and people who knew the children saying this was ridiculous, no medical evidence gathered due to the widespread belief that no molestation had happened, statements from people who knew the children and myself describing me as a kind caring young man who really could not have done this. No concrete damning evidence.I was convicted solely on that confession.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

Well, there isn't fresh evidence that you are raising here. Fresh evidence usually takes the form of something like exoneration by forensics or fresh witnesses.

It is not possible to review the original case here. You are way out of time and anyway there has been an appeal

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
what of now.I am having my human rights abused now.Any actions they are taking must at least be within the law and I must have recourse to be told what is happening and why. Otherwise we are in the land of the STAZI and KGB. McCathyism is alive today. The only difference is that today they don't call you a commie, they call you a child molestor. Human Rights law must affect what is happening now at least.This can be called"Cruel and unusual punishment"Years after the presumed crimeRetroactive
Since there was no law allowing anything like this back then.If this happening today is SOPO section 104Which is all I can think it isIt is a retroactive law which applies a punishment to affect the convictedAfter the convictionIt is punishing retroactively and hiding behind child protectionThere is a massive ability for such retroactive law to be abused by officials such as social workers and police who are not trained legal experts, and I would suggest there is motivation for this to happen by those same.Human rights law prohibits any retroactive punishments applied to a convicted person after their conviction and certainly not 29 years later. Is a panel of social workers and police now going to be judge jury and executioner 29 years after. That looks very like soviet tribunals to me. Is that what the legal proffesion want.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

You are not having human rights abused.

You have been convicted after having had due process. That does not offend the HRA.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What about what is happening now
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

That does not amount to an abuse of human rights.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My friend has been told by police and social workers not to come near me. She is also my employee.I have to pay her and see her about things such as HMRC tax and NI.If she cannot come near me because she was told not to by police and social workers under threat of removing her children from her care, how is that not a serious breach of both my human rights and hers
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

Well, because it is not.

It is just not an HRA issue.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

I'm really sorry but I'm not going to be able to tell you that there is an appeal that can be raised on the same evidence 29 years after a conviction which was appealed.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How, please explain.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

For the reasons above?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 months ago.

There is just not really anything I can add.

There just isn't an appeal.

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