Never Stop Fighting to Overturn Your Conviction
A Kent MP has called for an independent review into the case of a Paul Cleeland, 67 who served 25 years in jail for a gangland shooting he claims he did not commit. He was jailed in 1973 for shooting gangland leader Terry Clarke in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He was released in 1998, 5 years over tariff.Conservative MP Damian Collins has questioned the reliability of forensic evidence presented at the trial.He has called for an independent review of the case and successfully obtained a debate in the House of Commons, which took place yesterday
House of Commons Debate: Firearms Residue Testing (Criminal Cases)
Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe) (Con): I applied for this debate because a constituent has brought to my attention a case in which forensic evidence that was presented to achieve his conviction for murder has been proven to be unreliable. That constituent is Mr Paul Cleeland, who was convicted in 1972 of the murder of Terence Clarke outside his home in Stevenage. I want to address some specific issues about Mr Cleeland's case, but I believe that it is an exemplar of problems with evidence presented in such criminal cases in the 1970s.
The matter has been raised twice in the House: in 1982 and 1988. It was pursued with persistence by Baroness Williams when she was a Member of Parliament, Mr Bowen Wells when he was the MP for Hertford and Stevenage, and Mr John Hughes when he was the MP for Coventry, North East. It is a matter of great regret that the issue remains unresolved to my constituent's satisfaction after such a long time. Mr Cleeland is in the Public Gallery to witness the debate, a privilege he was unable to exercise in the previous debates.
Read the full debate here . . . .