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King of Hits
JK wins review of his wrongful convictions. PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 January 2006

The Criminal Cases Review Commission, the body set up by the government to investigate miscarriages of justice, has decided to reopen its inquiry into the safety of the conviction of Jonathan King, 61, following the presentation of new evidence by King’s lawyers.

In September 2001, King was convicted on six counts of having indecently assaulted young men in the 1980s. He was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and was released in March 2005 having served half his sentence. He has always protested his innocence.

The new evidence consists of documents and statements showing, for example, that he was in New York in September 1985, when he was alleged to have committed an offence in London.

He was not able to bring this evidence forward at trial because the dates of the alleged offences on the indictment sheet were changed at the very end of the trial – after the defence case had been completed.

“I am delighted that the CCRC has now reopened my case. I hope, at last, to be able to prove my innocence.

“At my trial, I proved I could not have committed four of the alleged crimes on the dates claimed and I assumed I would be found not guilty.

“I was astounded when the prosecution was simply allowed to change the dates on the charges, and even more horrified when I was not given any opportunity to discover or present alternative alibis for these revised charges. I was not even allowed to say to the jury "I didn't do it then either".

“Since being released, I have been able, with great difficulty, to assemble evidence which proves that I was in New York on the very day that I was supposedly indecently assaulting a youth in my house in London.

“The jury did not hear this critical evidence. Nor did they hear my defence to the other charges for which the dates were changed.

“It is incredibly difficult for someone to find an alibi for events that are alleged to have taken place 20 years or so earlier, when it's simply one person's word against another's. But when the dates are changed – in one case to two and a half years later, and the man is someone I don’t believe I ever even met – it becomes totally absurd.

“I am aware that the wheels of British justice grind very slowly, but I sincerely hope that in my case they now begin to accelerate towards their final destination – the truth.”

The law
Among the several legal precedents on which King will rely are the cases of R v Bonner [1974] in which the Court of Appeal ruled that dates should be amended only after the defence had had “ample opportunity” to consider whether further evidence should be called.

In the landmark case of Mattoccia v Italy, before the European Court of Human Rights [2003], the ECHR found in favour of Mattoccia and declared that changes of dates in such circumstances were a fundamental breach of human rights.
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