January 21 2022

Joint enterprise: ‘They keep knocking us down, we get stronger’

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Joint enterprise: ‘They keep knocking us down, we get stronger’

From Jimmy McGovern's BBC film Common

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Common, BBCOn October 22 2014 Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions and Mike Penning MP, Justice Minister, gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee’s follow up Inquiry into Joint Enterprise charging and prosecutions. JENGbA had previously given evidence in the first session in 2011 and also to this further inquiry on September 3 2014.

The change in the atmosphere with the Committee this time was palpable. In 2011 most of the MPs on the Committee had not heard of joint enterprise until our campaign forced it onto their agenda. Certain Committee members were even agitated that we had the audacity to suggest that miscarriages of justice were a common occurrence in our justice system. You see for a country like ours, who prides itself on having one of the best justice systems in the world, any exposure that this is indeed a myth is deeply troubling.

For this session the Justice Select Committee asked us to look at two areas: firstly whether the DPP guidance (issued in 2012) on charging decisions and prosecutorial policy has made any difference; and, secondly, whether the Law Commission’s proposals relating to joint enterprise (in its Participating in Crime report PDF) should be implemented by reforming the law into statute.

The DPP was up first and it is honestly difficult to work out whether Alison Saunders is deluded or disingenuous. She pointed out to the committee that she was a civil servant and also an Under Secretary of State, not really sure why, unless it was perhaps to clarify that the opinions given were not necessarily her own. Apparently the aim of the guidance was to ‘help prosecutors in their role’ and ‘improve the way they behave’.

  • You can read about joint enterprise elsewhere on www.thejusticegap.com here and watch our interview with Jimmy McGovern and his film Common which explored the issue here

Who exactly is she talking about here? Highly educated lawyers who hardly need any ‘help’ in our adversarial court system determined to get a result. She claimed that there are robust procedures in place to ensure that the ‘test’ to go ahead with a prosecution is based on ‘evidence’.

Really? JENGbA’s own cursory examination of cases taken to court this year alone shows many, many cases where, mainly, young men are held on remand for up to a year and which do not result in a conviction, which means that the ‘test’ is evidently not strong enough.

The reality of joint enterprise
We know of a case where three young men were charged with a murder, the ‘evidence’ against two of them was that they received a phone call from the suspected principle after someone had been shot. The judge in that case berated the prosecutor by telling him that he needed to prove exactly what it was that the defendants were supposed to have done in committing the murder (his answer to the judge was ‘not in joint enterprise’). Luckily for those two boys the judge was having none of it and they were acquitted, otherwise they would have been sentence to the minimum mandatory of 30 years. One of those lads’ mum died five days before he was acquitted and he has been constantly harassed by the police ever since.

The DPP also stressed that they do not prosecute people on the periphery of a crime, that there has to be evidence that they participated or encouraged the offence. What if you are not even there like the previous scenario or as in lots of the cases JENGbA represents.

This idea that innocent bystanders will not be prosecuted is again a nonsense when the police’s own film that they take round to schools to educate children about joint enterprise states that ‘if you are there and you do nothing to stop a crime occurring you too can be charged’. Dangerous and unhelpful advice when in the instance of a spontaneous outburst all present can be charged because they should have known better than to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is the reality of joint enterprise charging.

The DPP went on to suggest that the guidance gave prosecutors the ‘thought process’ they should go through when deciding whether to charge. However defence practitioners tell us that 10, 15 years ago they simply would not progress with a prosecution based on little or no evidence but now even some defence solicitors want cases to go to trial as it is a way of ensuring they make the most money. Shocking you might think but this was reiterated by Dr Matt Dyson in his supplementary evidence.

The DPP cited the Steven Lawrence case as a good example of how joint enterprise can work – since they did not know who wielded the knife, two of the five men charged are now serving life for his murder.

Joint Enterprise charging was in place 21 years ago when Steven was murdered. Why was it that all five were not charged with his murder since all present can be convicted of murder? Yet it takes 20 years, a massive campaign by the Lawrence family to expose the endemic racism and corruption in the Met, reversing double jeopardy and the lazy doctrine of joint enterprise to get two of them. Result!

And every member of the establishment who holds joint enterprise in esteem will use the Lawrence case to claim it is a vital tool of law enforcement. If police corruption had not been part of the initial investigation then they could have actually charged all five – and probably found evidence of who participated in the attack.

And no-one should be surprised that police corruption, withholding of evidence, using testimony of actual criminals, changing witness statements, paying huge amounts of money to witnesses to corroborate the Police version of events, are all constant common denominators in joint enterprise convictions.

When asked whether the guidance follows the test for young people and those with disabilities, the DPP said the judges do take into consideration the age of children and whether they have disabilities or not. Well, that explains the very recent case in Liverpool where one child was just 14 years old with severe ADHD, who was not the principal but is now serving a life sentence along with three other children, because he was there when another boy stabbed the victim in the leg.

JENGbA have many cases with Asperger’s (one currently in Broadmoor because the YOI he was in did not know how to cope with him), autism, severe learning difficulties and ADHD – mostly young boys.

Which begs the question, how in the instance of a spontaneous violent attack often over in seconds, can a child with any of these disabilities process what his intentions or foresight would be? Having said that, in a spontaneous attack, how can anyone share the same foresight and intention that something seriously wrong might happen. It is a nonsense and Alison Saunders knows it.

She even said that judges throw out cases when they feel the prosecutors have not presented enough evidence to justify a case. Oh really? Like in the case last year where 10 young men, all Afro Caribbean were in the dock. There had been a stabbing in a nightclub in Manchester and because the CPS could not identify from CCTV footage when the stabbing occurred they rounded up these 10 and charged them all. The judge looked at the footage for three days, the prosecutors could not identify any of the individuals, the judge attempted to throw the case out through lack of evidence but the CPS challenged that decision by judicial review in the Royal Courts of Justice. The decision to throw the case out was overturned because, even though the judge could not make any sense of CCTV footage, nor could the experienced prosecutors. The Judge decided that the Jury could decide. All 10 were found guilty and are now serving 137 years between them.

Saunders also stated that the CPS ‘do not look to charge the most serious offence – we look to charge the most appropriate offence’. Since JENGbA know of cases where it is simply easier to charge large groups without any real evidence against individuals but the ‘group’ is deemed ‘criminal’ by its numbers, this too is simply not true.

The most galling part of what we listened to from the DPP and then Mike Penning is that they think the general public (and JENGbA families) are stupid because we cannot possibly understand the complexities of the law so we should accept what they say as fact.

‘Not very legalistic’
Mike Penning kept talking about joint enterprise as ‘legislation’. He used that term throughout his evidence until the chair Sir Alan Beith corrected him that joint enterprise was not legislation but a legal doctrine. Mr Penning said that he was ‘not very legalistic’. Why is he a justice minister then? It doesn’t seem to worry the Coalition that the most senior positions in the Ministry of Justice do not have any legal background or even legal expertise themselves (see our Lord Chancellor, Chris Grayling).

I couldn’t stay to listen to all of the Justice Minister evidence in person as we had promised to support a case in the Appeal Court being heard at the same time.

Hollie Robinson was 16 years old when her father had been stabbed by her sister’s boyfriend. She had already been turned down by the single judge on conviction and 20 year sentence. Her legal team were so convinced by her innocence they took the case to the three judges making strong legal arguments against her participation and the flawed use of joint enterprise. She did not murder her father nor did her sister who got 22 years. They had gone to their family home to retrieve their mother’s jewellery, albeit while he slept. The argument was that it was not joint enterprise murder because they had gone with a different plan, to retrieve their property. They also argued that since Hollie was only 16 at the time she would not have properly understood what joint enterprise was and the foresight element was not present as their intention was totally different to the outcome.

Hollie was naïve, it was a naïve plan and one that went horribly wrong and ended in the death of her father; but she did not kill him, nor did her sister, but they are serving 20 and 22 years and have to deal with the added tragedy of the loss of their father.

The three judges knocked her back. I have attended countless appeals and cannot fathom how these judges sleep at night, so bizarre are some of their decisions in the face of natural justice. So when Alison Saunders and Mike Penning both suggested the ‘right’ decision is being made to charge in the first place, because they secure convictions and both were satisfied that the appeal court agrees with the judicial process, they know exactly why this is. This is the establishment not allowing any precedent through with joint enterprise because as soon as someone proves that it is not possible to have ‘possible’ foresight the doors will open for other appeals. The legal arguments in joint enterprise appeals are based on the fact that no evidence existed in the first place and it is hardly surprising that 22% of appeals in 2013 were joint enterprise but since 2004 only 1 conviction has been quashed after a referral from the CCRC.

When asked if this doctrine is not in danger of contaminating our justice system, Mike Penning said he was not convinced. Obviously this is the Government line and the current tragedy of joint enterprise miscarriages of justice are not entirely the Coalition’s fault. That goes straight back to the previous government who follow that same old mantra to be ‘tough on crime’ and win votes.

Labour brought in the mandatory sentencing, which the public are still not aware of. They have no idea that you do not need any mens rea (mind to kill) or actus rea (act of killing) to be convicted to a life sentence. But the public are learning because JENGbA exists and we are relentless in our pursuit for justice for our loved ones.

All the campaigners who attended the Select Committee came to the Royal Courts of Injustice as soon as the evidence hearing was over to support Joanne, whose two daughters are Hollie and Ashleigh. Although there were some tears, there is a sense that if they keep knocking us down we will get up stronger, and as we grow in numbers and sadly we are, the government will have to take stock and do something to restore the public faith in the Police and the CPS that natural justice must exist for every member of society and not just for those who can afford it.

22 responses to “Joint enterprise: ‘They keep knocking us down, we get stronger’”

  1. John H says:

    WE might as well go back to the ducking stool If they drown they’re innocent and if they survive they’re guilty

    Our present justice system is now considered a joke around the world.

  2. Richard Dunstan says:

    Excellent article.

  3. Christopher Lennon says:

    I found Gloria Morrison (GM)’s post disturbing, but not for the reasons the author evidently intended. GM is a lawyer, but one would hardly think so, from the manner her arguments are presented.

    Joint Enterprise is a very longstanding Common Law doctrine, as Sir Alan Beith (Chairman) had to point out to Mike Penning, a Minister of State at the Department of Justice. I do share GM’s misgivings concerning the appointment of a non-lawyer to the position and one who has not read his briefing papers. Indeed, I am quite surprised Mr Penning is a Member of Parliament.

    However, so well known a legal doctrine cannot have been unheard of by the majority of MP’s on the Justice Select Committee. Not after the notorious case of Derek Bentley (1953 until his posthumous pardon in 1998), surely?

    GM’s chief mistake in discussing the several cases she cites is to suggest the mental element of the accessory’s crime is to be assessed immediately prior to the commission of the act in question, but in most cases the intention liability derives from has been formed earlier and that is the point of the doctrine.

    Thus, in the appalling Steven Lawrence case, GM deplores the fact two of five assailants were convicted and sent to prison long after the event, because of police incompetence and ‘institutional racism’, as the McPherson Enquiry found, but GM appears not to appreciate the five men were undoubtedly engaged in a joint enterprise when they attacked Steven. The better result would have been the successful prosecution of all five.

    Similarly, it is difficult to see the fundamental objection to the conviction of the ten young Afro-Caribbean men. They were all close to the murder. One of them wielded the knife, but the law has always held all guilty in those circumstances, or would GM prefer it if all had been acquitted and the murder unpunished?

    Then we come to the sad case of the two sisters who recruited the the boyfriend of the elder one to take part in a joint burglary (for that is what it was) of their (presumably estranged) father’s home. The boyfriend was carrying a weapon, it seems and he used it to kill the father when the trio were disturbed. Tragic though the case is, I do not share GM’s misgivings, even without having seen a transcript of the trial and appeal. This was a classic case of joint enterprise. Indeed, the girls brought about their father’s death by enlisting the boyfriend, B in their foolhardy criminal plan. The excuse they were only intent on retrieving their mother’s property is just that; an excuse and not a good one. We are not informed as to whether the girls knew B had a weapon in his possession, or what it was, but it appears most likely the jury found they did know. Or perhaps there was no carried weapon, but the girls, or one of them, knew of B’s violent tendencies.

    JENGbA’s focus ought perhaps to be on reducing the length of the girls’ sentences, possibly, rather than seeking to portray them as innocent.

    GM’s final assertion is the most extraordinary: the suggestion that persons are convicted without any finding of either mens rea or actus reus, when it is abundantly clear in the cases cited, what the wrongful act was and the mental element will have been a finding of fact.

    • Joanne says:

      Omigosh, where do people like you crawl out from, under which rock . You really should not comment on publications you quite clearly have no idea about. On first reading you come across as quite intelligent but when I read through your comment again, you seem to be someone who WANTS people to think you are. Has your life ever been touched by the mentioned subject. And as for commenting on personal cases you know absolutely NOTHING about …..how dare you …..its people like you that sit on juries and find these people guilty. Well I hope with ALL my heart that this DISGUSTING ,LAZY EXCUSE OF A LAW GETS CHANGED

      • Jay says:

        I really don’t think these sort of personal attacks are particularly helpful or even warranted. It is clear that the issue of joint enterprise is something close to you however the idea behind Gloria’s movement is to get a debate going over it; rather than personally attack Christopher why don’t you highlight the particular points he makes that you disagree with? The issue of joint enterprise is particularly controversial and I can see merits for both sides of the discussion. For instance, is it right that a person who goes with another knowing full well what offence is going to be committed but having no active involvement in the offence is allowed to claim innocence? I think not. Is it right that they serve the identical sentence as the principal offender? Again, I think not. Current sentencing guidelines do reflect the degree to which a secondary participant was involved, which I believe to be fair.
        I do however disagree with Christopher’s characterisation of the ten Afro-carribbean men’s case that Gloria discussed. The conviction of ten men who just happened to be in a nightclub at the time a murder was committed is wrong and is ‘trawler’ justice, i.e. if you cast a big enough net you’ll get someone who is guilty of something!
        In relation to Christopher’s comment about letting the guilty go unpunished, I would refer you to the quote of Sir William Blackstone (of whom I am an admirer), who said “It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.”
        Undoubtedly joint enterprise does promote lazy prosecution to some degree, but in some circumstances it can be called for.

        • Me says:

          Quite clearly a few of you posting comments on here have not had your life devastated by this charge of Joint Enterprise, as if you did/had you would not be writing the comments you are . Christopher, it just goes to show that not everything you that is published or that you read is legit. The CPS move the goal posts with regard to this charge. As in the sisters case they were going to be charged with burglary , but it is not an offence to retrieve your own property and there was nothing else so they slapped this charge on them . Also I think the ‘victims’ have a very big say in the charge etc, so Im sorry to say its not as cut and dried as everybody seems to think. Jay, do you honestly think that if these people serving under Joint Enterprise thought for one minute an offence was going to take place they would have gone in the first place ??? What about the person who gives a friend/relative a lift , does that make tem innocent ??? So therefore why does a taxi driver not get charged ??The comment about casting a big enough net ,is true and I have that in writing from an MP

    • If says:

      Christopher it is called JOINT ENTERPRISE. There are no rules it changes with every given case. If it were a disease I would describe it a deadly cancer latching on to every organ of the justice system destroying everything was strong and healthy.

      I’m not sure what you read or how you come to your conclusions, however, you begin your comment way off mark because it is a well know and well documented fact that Gloria Morrison is not a lawyer, so from there onward I read with a pinch of salt. You are correct about the Lawrence case and I do believe that is the same point GM is making because those at JENGBA all agree in that case it cannot be a success if only 3 of 5 are convicted and if it took the destruction of the British justice system to get those 2 convictions. You mention Bentley, the felony murder rule was abolished in 1957 and by default a warped and nastier version took it’s place. Not of course in statute or even in the publics mind. It’s called JOINT ENTERPRISE it’s a not very well thought out legal doctrine that has been allowed to mutate into a nasty, racist, child snatching, life destroying mechanism that is deliberately being used to fill our private prisons so that big business can make massive profits for wealthy shareholders. If I am wrong it’s use will be abolished by the end of the year. I think I am right and JENGbA will have a fight on their hands. Because money is more important than life. Again, I hope I am wrong, I hope life is more important and I hope thumbs get taken out of asses, hands stop pretending to be tied and pompous mouths stop spouting nonsense in support of a chilling fact. JOINT ENTERPRISE CONVICTS INNOCENT PEOP TO LIFE SENTENCES…..

    • Jan says:

      Bah humbug Mr Lennon, I know not what you are on about. GM’s blog was a fabulous account of what joint enterprise really is about. Lawyers skirt around the edges trying hard to justify its use. There is no justification especially when running such a real risk of a miscarriage. Convictions should be hard to gain not served up on a plate as in joint enterprise. There is a good reason for that and it’s simple. Innocent people cannot be put in jail. EVER. What right minded person would want it any other way. JE is a stain on our justice system and prosecutors should hang their heads in shame for squeezing the life out of justice so the can be seen to be a winner. What kind of person bases a career on smashing to prices the life of the innocent, and deluding the victims who are forced to endur appeal after appeal. Gloria Morrison should be celebrated for having the courage and the passion to speak out for those who are considered to be the surge of society. It’s time lawyers did grasp the nettle and said it like it is, because their continued silence stinks of joint enterprise corruption. They may not have physically killed anyone, just as those supported by JENGbA have not physically killed anyone, but the sought to destroy lives wilfully and with intent and a very common purpose.

    • june parsons says:

      Well Mr.Lennon ,after reading the drivel of rubbish that you want people to believe in itself a crime. First of all I do not know where you get your dubious information from I can assure you that GLORIA MORRISON is not a lawyer ,solicitor or have any other legal training, she is a mother who can see like most people what this country’s judicial system is an absolute farce. We have High Court judges that condemn joint enterprise as it can lead to innocent people going to prison then we have Law commission who gave guidelines to the government of the time saying it should be changed for the secondary’s part in joint enterprise but the government chose to ignore it. If you had read the story properly you would have seen that ms Morrison said that “IF THE CPS HAD USED JOINT ENTERPRISE”
      in the Stephen Lawence case it would not have dragged on for another 20 years, so please get your facts right first before you give judgement. It sounds as if you are trying to play at being someone who knows about the law but you do not. I was at the fist commons select committee and I can tell you that most of the MP’s that were there knew very little or nothing about joint enterprise in fact Sir.Beith actually told us that his father was a policeman
      and told him if he was with friends and could see trouble starting then he should just “walk away” but he was told by MS Morrison that was not the case now as you would still be prosecuted for just being there according to a video by the met police. Sir Beith was somewhat taken aback at this answer so there you go Mr Lennon ,I just hope that you or anyone in your family get caught up in this doctrine because I assure you it is not a very nice place to be

  4. Jan says:

    Great blog and one that hits home for many people. Gloria Morrison is not a lawyer as the previous comments states, she is a volunteer who works tirelessly listening to people when others ignore. Joint Enterprise is nothing like Joint Enterprise was in the Derek Bentley case. No other felony has to be committed or even planned. A spontaneous act of violence by one person can lead an innocent bystander who has no idea and no intention that someone would be hurt let alone die. Its time people caught up with this disturbing legal principle and stopped defending it. There is no excuse for putting people in prison for murder when they did not commit murder or have any plan or intention that someone else would. Possible foresight is not enough to convict and neither should presence at the scene be either. Gloria Morrison is right the Lawrence case is a bad example, and the young lads from Manchester where not convicted of murder. No one was convicted of the murder of the man in the night club, again proving that by desperately scrambling to do them all fir JE murder, a real murder was over looked in an attempt to convict many at all cost, but not in the name of natural justice. Blinkers off its time to take JENGbA seriously.

  5. Firstly Chris Gloria Morris on is not a lawyer! Glad we cleared that one up. Secondly your pointless views which you’ve clearly gather from reading news papers Hold No Facts What So EVER.i.e the 2 young girls serving a life sentence for a murder they did not commit! You clearly only read the facts in the local rag! Until you walk a day in the shoes of the families and loved ones affected by joint enterprise you should not judge especially not knowing all the facts! Let’s hope you never need the help of jengba as it so scarily can happen to anyone.

  6. jan s says:

    The joint enterprise needs scrapping it traps innocent people esp blind jordan cunliffe an atrocious miscarriage of justice at its worst and the sentence its even more ludicrous u would not get even half the sentence for actual murder by knife car crime etc, totally barbaric

  7. Joanne says:

    A very well written piece Gloria, I do like it when people comment like they know you personally and from reading a few lines from someones case they are able to make a judgement. Thats the trouble with this country everyone thinks they are an expert on everybodies business. They dont look at the bigger picture

  8. Natalie says:

    Great peice glo and as for the idiot above obviously ain’t gathered his facts correctly!
    Lawyer when did that happen?

  9. Kate says:

    At last! The truth is coming out about the corruption surrounding joint enterprise. Jimmy McGovern’s film was powerful and truthful. Carry on Gloria Morrison and JENGbA. Keep up the good work and one day people will realise that the prisons are full of innocent people who have been convicted of someone else’s crime.

    By the way Christopher Lennon, don’t give advice to JENGbA, they’ve don’t need it, especially from someone as ignorant as you are about joint enterprise. You a lawyer by any chance?

  10. Christopher Lennon says:

    It must be a feature of the age, I guess, that anyone may use the internet to post anything they like, almost, but woe betide anyone who disagrees with any statement made. That post should be censored, of course. Down with free speech. Of eight posts in addition to mine, four are uncritically supportive of Gloria Morrison and four are critical, two abusively so, of me, for disagreeing with some, not all, of what she posted. Joanne writes that on first reading, I come across as quite intelligent. I wish I could say the same for you, Joanne, but you resort to the least intelligent argument of all when you simply attack the bona fides of the person you are arguing with and avoid engaging with the subject. And Sheena, I didn’t read anything in the newspaper: I read it on Gloria’s blog and that is what my comments were about. Naturally, there is a lot more to know about the cases in question. Probably, none of us was in court to hear the evidence, but we can still take a view on what is presented, especially as Gloria gave insufficient explanation, indeed an inaccurate explanation, of the law. Of the eight responses, not one attempts to get to grips with the legal doctrine of Joint Enterprise, or to try to understand why the persons mentioned were convicted and why they may, or may not, have been victims of miscarriages of justice. Instead, it seems to be a given that the centuries old Common Law doctrine is an ass and away with it, Not so fast, friends.
    Before posting the first time, I did two things. First, as I do not know her, I googled Gloria Morrison to try to understand where she was coming from:
    “Gloria Morrison
    Name: Gloria Morrison
    Where: UK
    What she does: Lawyer and campaigner.
    Impact: Raising awareness of victims of miscarriages of justice convicted under the law of joint enterprise.
    Nominated by: Stephanie Hart
    Website: http://www.jointenterprise.co/

    That is why I described Gloria as a lawyer, because her website says she is a lawyer.
    The second thing I did was to look up ‘Joint Enterprise’ in an up to date (2014) textbook on Criminal Law. I should emphasise, I am not a lawyer, but in Mike Penning MP’s unfortunate terminology, I do adopt a ‘legalistic’ approach, because this is about the law, a subject in which I happen to have taken an interest over many years – and passed a couple of relevant examinations – but that does not make my views any more valuable than anyone else’s. It does give me an understanding of the issues, I might not otherwise have had.
    The law can be stated briefly. Anyone who ‘aids, abets, counsels or procures’ the commission of an offence by another is guilty in the same degree. At trial, the facts are for the jury to find, based on the testimony of the witnesses. The law is for the judge to explain to the jury. I have sat on two juries myself. It is not a ‘lazy’ process, Sheena and the law certainly does not apply to an ‘innocent bystander’, Jan, so if such a person has been convicted, that should certainly be reviewed and there are mechanisms in place. No one wishes miscarriages of justice to stand. However, the sad case of the two young girls, Sheena so vehemently denounces, is clearly very difficult, on the facts presented in Gloria’s blog. There clearly was a joint enterprise by the three accused. It was a burglary and because another crime was committed in the course of that burglary, it was aggravated burglary, involving a second offence of the utmost seriousness, murder (assuming that was the charge). It was the girls who aided, abetted, possibly procured, the death of their own father by introducing his killer to the scene of the crime. Why did they bring a man with them? The answer seems fairly obvious. That is why they were all convicted, no doubt. There might be something to be said in mitigation of sentence, given their relative youth, immaturity and motive, but please don’t portray them as innocent and suggest the settled law should be turned on its head because of their plight, for which they have themselves to blame.
    Thank you for reading this far. I have tried to keep my comments brief.

  11. Christopher Lennon says:

    If the poster ‘Joanne’ is the mother of the two girls in the case mentioned, of course you have my sincere sympathy, as a parent of daughters myself. If the conviction of your daughters was unsound, for any reason, then you are absolutely right to seek justice and you will have my support. But do take the best qualified advice available. Best Wishes.

  12. Gen Jones says:

    Christopher Lennon – Extremely poor research on your part in your comment (already highlighted in earlier comment). This is the problem the facts are that innocent people are convicted to life in prison under Joint Enterprise (JE) when Alison Saunders (DPP) states that JE was being used to get convictions when they do not know who the perpetrator are (in a crowd/gang) – there is evidence to show that this is incorrect as there are many people serving life although the Crown is well aware of who the actual perpetrator is (some actually admitting guilt) and those who had no intent to commit these heinous crimes are still being convicted under Association.
    She also stated that if you are just standing there you will not be prosecuted – MANY PEOPLE HAS BEEN CONVICTED (as young as 13) AND THEY WERE NOT EVEN PRESENT (by answering a call from an unidentified number, giving someone a lift, walking away before altercation starts etc). Christopher Lennon if you are not working class, ethnic or unemployed you have no worries about JE as it will not affect you as it is being targeted at the people I just mentioned. If you do fit into that group then BEWARE as IT WILL NOT BE LONG BEFORE YOU KNOW SOMEONE CONVICTED UNDER JE and if you are capable of reading another person mind to know their intent (nod and a wink crap) you are a special person. I do not believe it is the norm to read another persons mind-they should teach this in schools as life in prison is a long time to be serving because you are unable to read another person mind (life changing). Important to know ALL the facts so that you are able to make better judgement in making such comments. No one is advocating to let guilty people walk – DO NOT LOCK UP A PERSON FOR LIFE FOR ANOTHER PERSONS CRIME – Locking up 10 innocent people to get 1 guilty person – then the system needs to be design to get the perpetrator – so again something obviously wrong with the system if they feel it is ok to satisfy themselve to send innocent people down – In 2014 time really has not moved on unless you are middle class etc. EDUCATE YOURSELF
    I also wish that they would stop using Stephen Lawrence case as an example to uphold JE as if this was the case ALL 5 would of being convicted by just being present-so it is OBVIOUS that JE is being used selectively.

  13. William says:

    “I found Gloria Morrison (GM)’s post disturbing, but not for the reasons the author evidently intended. GM is a lawyer, but one would hardly think so, from the manner her arguments are presented”.
    (Gloria Morrison (GM) is not a lawyer as you sugest; she is a former teacher, turned campaigner. You googled her name and were miss informed?” oneworldaction.wordpress.com/100-unseen-powerful…/gloria-morrison..)
    “However, so well known a legal doctrine cannot have been unheard of by the majority of MP’s on the Justice Select Committee. Not after the notorious case of Derek Bentley (1953 until his posthumous pardon in 1998), surely?”
    (Although Derek Bentley was involved in a joint enterprise “per se” he was not convicted under the Doctrine of Joint Enterprise and the rules pertaining to it, he was convicted of murder under the Felony Murder Rule. That is why Bentley’s indictment held no provision for the possibility of manslaughter, you are again mistaken to cite that as your famous example of Joint Enterprise liability that the M.P’s must have heard of?)
    In the case of Stephen Lawrence, there is a common miss conception peddled that is merely a half truth and it is this; that without joint enterprise liability convictions in the Lawrence case would have been impossible? The Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 is statute, not common law or if you prefer precedent. The 1861 Act largely covers the Lawrence situation without the need to evoke the worst excesses of the J.E.Doctrine; Section 8 of the Act, as amended, reads:
    “Whosoever shall aid, abet, counsel, or procure the commission of any indictable offence, whether the same be an offence at common law or by virtue of any Act passed or to be passed, shall be liable to be tried, indicted, and punished as a principal offender.”
    Compare former accessorial liability (1861 Act) to joint enterprise precedent accessorial liability.
    Powell and Daniels [1999] 1 A.C.1
    A principal requires intent, an accessory requires knowledge, yet a complicit party requires suspicion. There is a clear lacuna between these standards. A conviction for complicity is founded on a bases that would not suffice to convict the principal nor an accessory.
    But it is worse than that because, the crown can allege a party to be an accessory and yet include foresight of the perpetrators act (killing) on their route to verdict to bring in a guilty verdict, even though the 1861 Act allows no such provision for the alleged accessory to be convicted on. Furthermore, . The mental element required for complicity is that D2 foresaw that D1 might intentionally use serious violence. Foresight of a possibility can be described as a suspicion. In this regard, I cite the counter argument “Chan Wing-Siu v The Queen [1985] A.C. 168, 175”.Sir Robin Cooks defeated argument was in my view the right and correct position. “That the judge should have emphasized that the requisite foresight had to be of a ‘real’ or ‘substantial’ or ‘serious’ possibility of intentional killing or infliction of really serious injury.”

    Make your own mind up.

  14. Margaret says:

    Well done Gloria for bringing Joint Enterprise into the public domain.

    We at the False Allegations Support Group (UK) have been going for 13 years now, supporting families and many of the falsely accused of abuse/sex allegations who are incarcerated – whilst not being able to get the high profile of the falsely accused you are creating from JE.

    WE have no high powered fighting machine like you – I wish we could clone you.

    well done to you and all your voluntary workers.

    From our voluntary workers and me

    FASO Director

    • Joanne says:

      What a very gallant reply Margaret and thank you for the recognition of the GOOD , HARD work that JENGbA do and have done

  15. John H says:

    JE has been brought into disrepute in much the same way conspiracy was/is which is also a ‘net them all’ tool used by the CPS

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