WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 20 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Oliver Campbell: ‘Crescendo of concern’ builds over 1991 murder conviction

Oliver Campbell: ‘Crescendo of concern’ builds over 1991 murder conviction

Appeal judges were told yesterday of the ‘crescendo of concern’ around the 1991 murder conviction which has been described as one of the most shocking and obvious examples of a miscarriage of justice in recent times – and a case that has featured prominently on the Justice Gap.

Oliver Campbell has spent 33 years trying to clear his name after having served eleven years in prison for the murder which he always insisted had nothing to do with him. In July 1990, an Asian shopkeeper was shot and killed in front of his son during a robbery of his off-licence on the Lower Clapton Road in Hackney, East London. Photo: Louise Shorter

Yesterday, the Court of Appeal, led by Lord Justice Tim Holroyde, heard that Campbell, who his lawyers c claim was highly vulnerable as a result of a severe brain injury suffered as a baby, had been ‘humiliated’ by police in ‘disgraceful’ interviews – as reported by Emily Dugan in the Guardian. Many were not recorded or conducted with a lawyer present and his subsequent ‘confessions’ were described as ‘simply absurd’ and having ‘a litany of inconsistencies’.

‘We have been working on his case for nearly 25 years because we, his two Kings Counsel – and many others, including BBC journalists – believe that he is innocent. … We can’t give Oliver back 30 lost years. But hopefully we can persuade the Court at long last to recognise the injustice done to him.’
Glyn Maddocks and Michael Birnbaum – from forthcoming issue of PROOF


You can listen to Oliver in conversation with Jon Robins in the Justice Gap podcast, produced by Calum McCrae.

In 2021 Campbell’s dusty solicitor spoke out about being deliberately ‘misled’ by the investigating police officers. He claims not to have been called in for the critical ‘confession’ – where Campbell appeared to make a bizarre and contradictory admission – and described the conduct of the police as ‘unfair and an abuse of police powers’. The first time Oliver Campbell was interviewed by the police at Plaidstow police station, he waived his right to a duty solicitor. He was later interviewed at Hackney police station in the presence of the duty lawyer, an experienced solicitor called Arthur Mullinger, as well as an appropriate adult.

‘The police didn’t have anything like sufficient evidence probably even to get a prosecution of the ground, let alone a conviction, without something more – and the ‘more’ was going to be a confession,’ Mullinger told BBC’s Newsnight.

The lawyer was asked if was misled. ‘Yes, of course I was misled,’ he replied. More here.

According to the Guardian report, Campbell’s barrister Michael Birnbaum KC yesterday told the court that Campbell was ‘humiliated’ and ‘frequently told that his body language betrayed guilt’. The barrister said there was a ‘growing crescendo of concern’ from experts that Campbell made a false confession.

The two-day hearing continues today.