‘Oval 4’ cases quashed af­ter 47 years

Daily Express - - News - By News Re­porter

AN in­no­cent man was cleared yes­ter­day – 47 years af­ter be­ing wrongly con­victed on the ev­i­dence of a cor­rupt po­lice­man.

Win­ston Trew, 69, and three oth­ers spent eight months in jail fol­low­ing their con­vic­tion af­ter a five-week Old Bailey trial in 1972 of as­sault­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer and at­tempted theft.

But the group, known as the Oval Four, al­ways main­tained their in­no­cence.

They said they were “fit­ted up” by a Bri­tish Trans­port Po­lice de­tec­tive sergeant whose ca­reer ended in dis­grace when he was jailed for theft and died of a heart at­tack in prison.

Mr Trew, Ster­ling Christie, 69, Ge­orge Grif­fiths, 67, and Con­stan­tine “Omar” Boucher, were ar­rested in 1972 at Oval Un­der­ground sta­tion in south Lon­don by a po­lice unit known as “the mug­ging squad”, ac­cused of steal­ing hand­bags.

The unit was run by De­tec­tive Sergeant Derek Ridgewell, who was in­volved in a num­ber of high-pro­file, con­tro­ver­sial cases in the early 1970s.

Mr Trew, Mr Christie and Mr Grif­fiths fi­nally had their con­vic­tions over­turned yes­ter­day by the Court of Ap­peal in Lon­don, af­ter a re­fer­ral by the Crim­i­nal Cases Re­view Com­mis­sion ear­lier this year.

Mr Boucher’s con­vic­tion was not re­ferred as the CCRC has been un­able to trace him. Speaking out­side the Royal Courts of Jus­tice, Mr Trew urged oth­ers who might have been wrong­fully con­victed as a re­sult of Ridgewell’s mis­con­duct to chal­lenge their con­vic­tions.

He said: “If you are in­no­cent, don’t give up.”

The Lord Chief Jus­tice Lord Bur­nett re­gret­ted it had taken so for the in­jus­tice to be reme­died.

In­no­cent man... Win­ston Trew, left, out­side Lon­don’s Royal Courts of Jus­tice yes­ter­day and, right, dis­graced De­tec­tive Sergeant Derek Ridgewell

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.