Miscarriages of JusticeUK

Hainsley Dixon, Ali Tahery and Omar Benguit to Court of Appeal

Hainsley Dixon
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred the firearms sentence of Hainsley Dixon to the Court of Appeal. Miss Dixon pleaded guilty in November 2010 at Birmingham Crown Court to unlawful possession of a firearm.

She was sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of five years' imprisonment. Miss Dixon sought leave to appeal against her sentence in December 2010, but the Court dismissed the application. She applied to the Commission in August 2011.

The Commission has decided to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal because it believes there is a real possibility that the Court will reduce the sentence because it will conclude that the imposition of the mandatory term on Miss Dixon was arbitrary and disproportionate within the meaning attributed to that phrase in R v Rehman and Wood [2006] 1 CR App R (S) 77 and R v Boateng [2011] EWCA Crim 861.

Miss Dixon is represented by Mr Maslen Merchant of Hadgkiss Hughes & Beale, 83 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13 8EB. Tel: 0121 449 5050

Prison Was Not On The Cards But Never, Say Never

I was doing well, life on the up, Then I met a man and things fucked up

He was selling drugs, not loads just bars, My head got dazed by the money and cars

Always abroad, mainly Marbella, Felt like I was dating a football player

Player was right, the guy was untrue, He was always telling me, but let me tell you

The shit that came with him I could not explain, Getting dragged out my car down a dark country lane

See, people got jealous of the things we had, It started off good, was getting real bad

We moved away and so things cooled down, The next thing we knew, the police came round

We were taken down and charged with the offence, Conspiracy to supply, it started to make sense

We had been smashing it by now, selling large amounts, Even importing and fiddling accounts

I thought I was smart, I thought I was clever, Prison was not on the cards but never, say never

Hainsley Dixon - HMP Drake Hall

Ali Tahery  [This one is going to be very important]
Mr Tahery was tried at Blackfriars Crown Court in April 2005 on charges of wounding with intent and attempting to pervert the course of justice. He pleaded not guilty to the wounding but was convicted and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment. He pleaded guilty to perverting the court of justice and received a concurrent sentence of 15 months' imprisonment for that offence.

On 24 January 2006, the Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Tahery's appeal against his wounding conviction but allowed his appeal against sentence and reduced that sentence to seven years' imprisonment.

Mr Tahery applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) alleging that the judge's decision to allow a statement to be read from an absent witness violated his rights under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). On 20 January 2009 the Fourth Section of the ECtHR ruled that the reading of the statement to the jury had violated Mr Tahery's rights under Article 6(1) and 6(3) of the ECHR. 
In the case of R v Horncastle and Ors [2009] UKSC 14 the Supreme Court considered and responded to the decision of the Fourth Section in Mr Tahery's case and in the linked case of Imad Al-Khawaja. The Supreme Court expressed its disagreement with some of the reasoning underlying the decisions of the Fourth Section in those cases.

The decisions of the Fourth Section were then referred to the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR and on 15th December 2011 the Grand Chamber gave its judgment. Although the Grand Chamber departed from some of the reasoning of the Fourth Section, it unanimously held that Mr Tahery's Article 6 rights had been violated by the judge's decision to allow the statement to be read to the jury.

Mr Tahery first applied to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in 2009 when the Commission concluded that it was unable to refer his case back to the Court of Appeal. In April 2012, following the Grand Chamber's judgment of 15th December 2011, Mr Tahery applied again to the Commission.

The Commission has decided to refer Mr Tahery's conviction back to the Court of Appeal on the basis that the judgments of the Supreme Court and of the Grand Chamber raise a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will find that Mr Tahery's conviction is unsafe and should be quashed.

Mr Tahery is represented by Mr Martyn Fisher, Birds Solicitors, Wandsworth, London, SW18 2PT.

Omar Benguit
Mr Benguit was convicted in January 2005 at Winchester Crown Court for the murder of Jong-Ok Shin. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Mr Benguit appealed against his conviction but his appeal was dismissed in July 2005. 

He applied to the Commission for a review of his conviction in May 2010.

Having conducted an extensive and detailed review of the case, the Commission has decided to refer the Mr Benguit's conviction to the Court of Appeal. The referral is based on new evidence which potentially impacts on the reliability of a prosecution witness who gave evidence at trial, and on new evidence in relation to another individual which, had it been known at the time of trial, would have enabled Mr Benguit's defence to suggest a possible alternative suspect for the offence. 

Mr Benguit is represented by CLP Solicitors (City Office) 2nd Floor 5-6 Staple Inn, Holborn, London, WC1V 7QH.