13 September 2012

Wullie Beck

Great news for Wullie, I am thrilled for him and maybe we can say hope for us all after his battle for 30 years!

William 'Wullie' Beck to Scottish CCRC After Thirty-Year Fight

William 'Wullie' Beck's thirty-year fight to clear his name for a conviction he served six years of imprisonment for has culminated in an appeal thanks to work by the University of Bristol Innocence Project (UoBIP).  The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission announced this week they have referred Mr Beck's case back to the High Court of Justiciary after agreeing his conviction may be unsafe.

William Beck was 20 when he was arrested for an armed robbery of a post van in Livingston, Scotland on 16 December 1981. He served six years of imprisonment for his conviction, which was based exclusively on eyewitness identification.

Although Mr Beck claims that he was in Glasgow the entire day at the time of the robbery, some 40 miles away from where the crime occurred, he was convicted on the positive identification of two eyewitnesses despite other witnesses not identifying Mr Beck in an identity parade.

For more than three decades, Mr Beck has steadfastly protested his innocence, claiming that he is a victim of eyewitness misidentification. By the time he sought the assistance of the UoBIP, Mr Beck has made two previous unsuccessful applications to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and numerous complaints about how the police conducted the identification parade and the conduct of his legal representatives at trial.

The UoBIP took on Mr Beck's case in 2011 following the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission's provisional Statement of Reasons stating that it was not minded to refer his conviction to the High Court of Justiciary.

Under the guidance of Dr Michael Naughton, postgraduate law students Mark Allum and Ryan Jendoubi at the University of Bristol Law School undertook detailed research into Mr Beck's case and made two submissions to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. They contended that a combination of factors rendered a real likelihood of a miscarriage of justice in Mr Beck's case. In addition to the 'flimsy nature' of the eyewitness identification evidence that underpinned his conviction, they argued that the judge had made several serious errors in the way in which he had directed the jury.

In an interview with Good Morning Scotland, Dr Naughton said: "This is a significant moment for Mr Beck. There has been 1,500 cases applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and only about 100 cases have ever been referred. They have agreed with us that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred in Mr Beck's case and we are delighted that they have referred his case."

In a public statement posted on a justice forum website, Mr Beck expressed his gratitude to both the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the UoBIP, stating that "he had 'no doubt whatsoever' that it was the UoBIP that convinced the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer his case".

University of Bristol Innocence Project


Blogger Nigel UK said...

It seems that whenever the "big battalions" (such as the CCRC) have given up the fight (or more likely have sold out), it's left to the "little platoons" to carry on...as these students are doing - magnificently.

On the day you walk through that arch into the Strand, Susan, think of them...

7:22 pm  
Blogger Janet said...

20 years too late though, for the powers that be to listen!
Same with Hillsborough - 20+ years too late to admit to police altering statements.
Well of course it allows them to say that things have changed and it couldn't happen now.

7:21 am  
Blogger riggers said...

"20+ years too late to admit to police altering statements...."

Good God - police altering statements ... you'll be
saying they lie under oath next...

8:42 am  
Anonymous Sue May said...

46What I have often said re my own case is it is bad enough that corrupt practices were used pre trial to gain a wrongful conviction....it is what happens after conviction that is also disgusting. Evidence rewritten, forged and 'lost' in order to sustain that conviction. Now following the revelations re Hillsborough, HOW MANY enquiries have there been over the years to get to the truth yet NOT ONCE has one of those police who altered their statements felt a pang of regret to stand up and show courage to admit what went on. Shame on them and they have to be brought to account and not be allowed to use the usual 'escape' route of early retirement or permanent sick leave. The scale of deception at Hillsbro' just goes to highlight what happens in every single miscarriage of justice but here we are seeing it on such a massive scale, how cover ups do happen from the top down.

11:54 am  
Blogger riggers said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:06 am  
Blogger riggers said...

And as for Hillsborough: well we know what'll happen, don't we? The police - who work hand in glove with the CPS in any case - will, together, single out a few individual coppers who are on the fringes of the actual wrong-doing, and whom will be most likely to attract public sympathy. Ensuring the others whom they may incriminate have either died, retired or emigrated, they'll then be charged with altering statements etc., but because the actual evidence against them will be sketchy, the hand picked, middle class jury (to whom it is invariably inconceivable that police officers could ever engage in dishonesty)will find them all not guilty. And the sleazy toerags at the top will keep their pensions and positions. We've seen it so many times before, yawn, yawn.

By the way - surprised you get any comments on here at all: the figures in the boxes (to prove you're not a robot) are almost indecipherable to humans, let alone robots.

9:12 am  

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