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16,885. The so-called M25 three who were jailed for life 10 years ago after being found guilty of murder and robbery were freed yesterday when their convictions were quashed as unsafe by the Court of Appeal.
In a reserved judgment, three judges said they could not be sure that, if ‘irregularities’ that came to light since the trial of the three men had not occurred, a reasonable jury would have returned verdicts of guilty. In the original trial, the prosecution had failed to disclose that an associate of the three defendants, a police informer, told police that another man and not Randolph Johnson – one of the defendants – had taken part in the crimes.
The defence was also not told that the informer, Norman Duncan, was paid a reward. Police and Duncan, a key prosecution witness, had been involved in a ‘profoundly disturbing’ conspiracy to give perjured evidence, the judges found. Ten years on it was ‘not appropriate to order a retrial,’ said Lord Justice Mantell, who was sitting with Mr Justice Blofeld and Mrs Justice Rafferty. (Miscarriages of Justice: M25 3 & Police) Telegraph online article 18th July 2000
16,886. Finally freed after being jailed with two other black men for the M25 murder and robberies, Michael Davis talks of his 10 lost years in jail to Tony Thompson
Just hours after being freed after 10 years of a life sentence for a murder and armed robberies he did not commit, Michael Davis was walking down a south London road with friends when his mobile phone – a coming-out present – burst into life.
Davis stopped and stared at the flashing gadget in his palm. Then he stared at his friends. ‘I’d never seen a mobile close up before, let alone held one. I had absolutely no idea what to do with it. Everyone thought it was really funny but when I went to prison, these things just didn’t really exist.
‘It’s not just technology that's moved on. I talk to people and can’t follow what they’re talking about. The names of cars, the cultural references they make, they might just as well be speaking a foreign language.’ Guardian Unlimited online article 23rd July 2000