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A barrister, Tim Raggatt QC, has been suspended for 12 months after he failed to disclose evidence which supported the defendant’s alibi. This resulted in an unsafe conviction which was overturned on appeal.
Cases involving the same prosecutors must now be carefully examined to see whether any similar disclosure issues are at play.
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Failure to disclose evidence
Tim Raggatt QC was instructed as leading counsel for the prosecution in the trial of five men accused of the murder of 24-year-old Clinton Bailey in Coventry in 2005. They were all found guilty and jailed for a total of 146 years.
A sixth man, Conrad Jones, was said to have threatened Maria Vervoot, a key witness for the prosecution. Jones maintained that he had an alibi – which, it later transpired, had been captured on CCTV. The prosecution team was in possession of this CCTV footage, but they decided not to disclose it at the trial. This decision was taken, despite knowing that it supported the defendant’s alibi and undermined the evidence of one of the leading prosecution witnesses.
Jones was originally found guilty and sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. His conviction was later deemed ‘unsafe’ by the Court of Appeal after the surveillance footage came to light. He has reportedly been paid more than £100,000 by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to settle his civil claim for wrongful imprisonment.
The Court of Appeal said that failing to disclose the evidence amounted to a ‘lamentable failure of the prosecutor’s obligations’. The Bar Tribunals & Adjudication Service (BTAS), the disciplinary body for barristers, agreed that Mr Raggatt QC’s actions prevented the proper administration of justice. He has been suspended for 12 months, meaning he cannot practice law during this period unless is succeeds in appealing the decision.
Does this affect your case?
Cases involving the same prosecutors where disclosure issues have been raised and not resolved to the satisfaction of the defence must now be re-examined. If there were any identifiable faults, then it may result in a successful appeal.
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