Justice for George Romero Coleman
I am currently incarcerated in HMP Gartree serving a life sentence with a tariff of fourteen years which has yet to be confirmed.
I was found guilty on a Joint Enterprise murder charge and solely convicted on the alleged awareness of the principal's intentions. Incorporated in the charge were further four counts of grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary and also initially an additional three counts of grievous bodily harm out of a total of eight indictments, five of which were allegedly involving myself, of which one aggravated burglary was eventually dismissed.
These indictments allegedly took place over a period of three to four days, to be more precise, seventy two to ninety six hours, of which my alleged involvement was estimated at between one and half to two hours.
The issues surrounding this case are clearly very complex but without a doubt a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred. The case was a very high profile event and attracted extensive media coverage from both press and T.V.
Much has happened since my trial and the first point I would to draw your attention to is the acquittal of the brother of the co-accused and the alleged principal. The acquittal was due to grounds of misidentification by the main witness, Claire Burgess.
The second point is the extradition from Spain of the principal Jonathan Crossling, and the outcome of his trial. On the 9th June 2003 Jonathan Crossling was found guilty, at Newcastle Crown Court, of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm and additional charges. He was sentenced to a total of eighteen years, receiving nine years for the first two counts of manslaughter and grievous bodily harm. He was also sentenced to four years for aggravated burglary and an additional five years for other assault offences.
How can the prosecution maintain that I am an accessory to murder if they now accept that a murder did not take place and that Mr Singh died as a result of events which constituted manslaughter rather than murder?
Surely, then, my murder conviction must be unsafe!
I hope that my concerns are only of matters raised prior to the completion of this letter and do not extend to the possibility of any stereotypical, biased or prejudicial motives due to the vast attention and publicity which accompanied the trial both before, during and after the proceedings.
I have been totally honest and by my own admissions agreed with my short term life-style as described by the prosecution. I regard myself as a British subject of West Indian origins, and whether this has any significance regarding my present predicament is questionable.
My defence team have now prepared perfected grounds for appeal. However I was understandably concerned at the length of time which, to date, stands at approximately four years to rectify a blatantly obvious miscarriage of justice.
Issues of main concern are that the advice by my counsel was in context only to the outcome of my trial, and not in relation to the new and current evidence and issues.
To which I add and most clearly emphasise I was discriminated against.
In the Judge's Report the Right Honourable Lord Justice Turner states that: - George Coleman played a significant part in the planning of the intent of activities that took place that morning of August 6th 2001. He then went on to say that I was "recruited" to drive the alleged principles, which in his lordship's opinion would show intention on my part. This contradicts and defies a vast quantity of the evidence, e.g. the intended destination differs from where the incidents took place, also that the victim was unknown to any of the accused and none of the accused knew of his existence.
The judge then went on to say that this was an act of gratuitous violence. Please correct me if I am wrong, does this mean that the men allegedly share the same indiscriminate violent intentions towards anyone who obstructed them? Continuing he then said "It was obvious that George Coleman detached himself from the others at the first sight of any violence" and then asserted his declaration that "…although George Coleman never participated in any violence he still allegedly guilty of intent."
This contradicts the prosecution QC Mr Timothy Robert's affirmations that I, "George Coleman, could not have possibly known of the principal's intent," he then went on to state that this was an impulsive or spontaneous act of violence carried out by the alleged principal.
I would like to emphasise that this was just a fraction of a long and complex statement of issues and objections.
Inquies - letters of Support/Solidarity
George Romero Coleman
Convictions for murder following a trial were not rendered unsafe by reason of the fact that the prosecution had subsequently accepted pleas of guilty to manslaughter from others involved in the same incident.
<>Thomas Petch & George Romero Coleman v The Queen
<> Regina - and - Thomas Petch, High Court setting of minimum terms for mandatory life sentences under the Criminal Justice Act 2003
End of Bulletin
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Justice for George Romero Coleman