News / Court quashes murder conviction


Court quashes murder conviction  

16/06/2009

A man who spent eight years in prison after being convicted of a murder has won his appeal against conviction in the Court of Appeal today.

Ian Lawless, of Grimsby, was jailed for life in 2002 after confessing to the murder of a retired sea captain Alf Wilkins. The case was referred to the Court of Appeal by the CCRC on the basis of fresh evidence.

The Court of Appeal heard today that the confession was unreliable because of Lawless' medical condition at the time. The Crown Prosecution Service said it would not contest the appeal.

The appeal was based upon fresh evidence and in particular the testimony of Professor Gudjonnsson, an eminent psychologist who has given evidence in many of the countries leading miscarriage cases including the Guildford 4, Derek Bentley and Barry George.

Ian Lawless's Solicitor Mark Newby of Jordans LLP addressing the media outside the Court pointed out how happy Mr Lawless was to be ending his 8 year nightmare .

Mark said : "This case highlights the continued problem of the mentally vulnerable being pushed through a criminal justice system without any of the safeguards being put in place to protect them"

Mr Lawless was represented by Mark Barlow , instructed by Jordans Solicitors LLP .

Media coverage

> 18/6/09 - Why the death penalty is a Lawless matter (The Telegraph)

> 16/6/09 - Court Quashes murder conviction (BBC News)

> 16/6/09 - "Attention seeker" Ian Lawless has murder conviction quashed (The Times)

> 16/6/09 - "Murderer" freed despite confession (ITN News)

> 16/6/09 - "Attention-seeker" has murder conviction quashed (The Guardian)



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