The wrongful convictions of two men who died before their judgments could be overturned will be reviewed by the courts as part of a wider examination into cases that relied on evidence from a corrupt British Transport Police Officer.
Basil Peterkin and Saliah Mehmet were British Rail workers, convicted in 1977 after thefts from the goods depot where they worked.
DS Derek Ridgewell provided evidence in their prosecution but later plead guilty to stealing from the same depot.
The CCRC have previously referred 9 such cases that relied on Ridgewell’s evidence back to the courts, all of which were quashed. They announced their review of the Peterkin and Mehmet cases after tracking down surviving family members, who have welcomed the re-examination of their convictions.
The head of the CCRC, Helen Pitcher, said they are still working to identify other people who may have been unjustly convicted, and urged people to contact the commission if they believe this may be them or one of their family members ‘particularly if DS Derek Ridgewell was involved‘.
In 2021, the British Transport Police apologised for the trauma caused by Ridgewell’s actions and ‘systemic racism’ in light of miscarriages of justice involving the Stockwell Six, who were accused of attempting to rob the corrupt officer, and the Oval Four, who were accused of ‘nicking handbags’ on the tube.