A precedent for those wrongly accused of historic sex abuse
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Man wins abuse verdict appeal

A CARER from Doncaster accused of abusing youngsters at a Herefordshire school in the 1960s and 1970s has won his appeal and been freed from a 13-year jail term.

Frank Joynson sat impassively as three top judges - including England and Wales' most senior judge, the Lord Chief Justice - ruled the delay in bringing his case to trial had caused unfair prejudice to his defence.

Mr Joynson, 64, of Wheatley Street, Doncaster will be freed immediately. Mr Joynson, who was working at a school in South Yorkshire when he was arrested, was found guilty in November 2007 of 12 counts of indecent assault and two counts of serious sexual assault at Hereford Crown Court and jailed for 13 years.

The alleged offences related to a period between 1969 and 1972 when he was a house parent at Wessington Court School, Herefordshire, an institution for troubled youngsters.

Lord Justice Toulson, sitting with the Lord Chief Justice - Lord Judge - and Mr Justice Maddison, said the Crown Court judge should have stopped the trial after the prosecution's case as it was an "abuse of process".

Five former pupils - all boys - alleged Mr Joynson had sexually assaulted them when they were aged between nine and 12. Mr Joynson has always denied any wrongdoing.

Lord Justice Toulson said the court was "troubled" by the delay and it had caused a "real danger of prejudice" to Mr Joynson.