· Kevan Thakrar was wrongly convicted of murder and attempted murder in 2008 under “joint enterprise”, the legal rule which means that any member of a group can be convicted of a crime, regardless of whether they committed it. Kevan wasn’t present when the murder took place, but he was sentenced to life with a minimum of 35 years in jail. He was aged 20.
· The description of the assailant given by witnesses was nothing like Kevan. One of the victims, who the prosecution accused Kevan of having stabbed, initially falsely identified other people in two line-ups. Even when testifying during the trial, she said she could not be sure the identification of Kevan was correct.
· False statements from people who never appeared in court, who live in Northern Cyprus, and who had never met Kevan, were used to convict him. After the trial those people retracted their statements.
· There was no DNA, cell-citing or forensics to put Kevan at the scene of the crime. Evidence that Kevan was elsewhere at the time was never presented in court. Kevan’s alibi witness was threatened by police to stop him testifying. He was then charged with assisting an offender, a charge that was dropped once Kevan was found guilty.
· A family member of one of the victims who gave evidence against Kevan was himself believed to be involved in the murders. After he received a low sentence for dealing in large quantities of drugs, questions were raised about whether he had been offered a deal to incriminate Kevan.
· Two trials were abandoned because of jury bias. In the third, a juror knew one of the investigating police officers who gave key controversial testimony in court.
· Kevan was assaulted by prison staff just before trial so had to attend court with serious injuries. In March 2010, Kevan himself was charged with assaulting prison officers, and put in solitary confinement but was subsequently found not guilty of the assault.
· Kevan has been held ever since in solitary confinement – “close supervision”, locked in his cell for 23 hours a day, conditions which have been condemned by UN Special Rapporteurs on Torture as “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”
For a more detailed description of this gross miscarriage of justice, please go to https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForKev/
What you can do:
1. Write to the Secretary of State for Justice and Criminal Cases Review Commission (http://www.justice.gov.uk/contacts/ccrc) demanding a review of the case.
2. Publicise Kevan’s case by printing this leaflet for distribution and raise his case and the issue of solitary confinement of prisoners in the press/call-ins/blogs and list serves.
3. WRITE TO KEVAN AND TELL HIM WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO SUPPORT HIS CASE AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:
Kevan Thakrar A4907AE
York YO41 1PS