Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Derek A.



Rape and Indecent Assault


7 years

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:

United Kingdom

County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated

Summary of Case:

"Derek A. was wrongly convicted on 16 June 16, 1993 in Maidstone, England of allegedly raping his minor step-daughter in 1991 during a trip to Scotland and indecently assaulting her in 1989 and 1990. His stepdaughter, identified as "Z", was born in June 1981. Derek's first trial ended in a mistrial when the jury failed to arrive at a decision. During his second trial Derek, a lorry driver, adamantly denied the accusations, and a doctor testified as a defense witness, while the jury primarily relied on the contradictory testimony of Z and her mother to convict him. Derek was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 18 months for indecent assault, and 7 years for rape. Derek's direct appeal was dismissed on August 1, 1994. Insisting on his innocence, Derek made application to the Home Office for reconsideration of his case. Derek's case was transferred in 1997 to the newly created Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) for review of his conviction as a miscarriage of justice. On November 30, 1998 the CCRC submitted Derek's case to the England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), arguing that the prosecution failed to disclose during his trial or prior to the dismissal of his appeal the material evidence of police reports related to three matters: First, the alleged victim Z had made allegations of sexual misconduct against both her science teacher at school and her woodwork teacher, and that both of these allegations had being found to be groundless. Second, that KB had said the previous week that the appellant ought not be driving (which was his livelihood) and that if she could not get him one way then she would get him another. A woman police constable reported that a week before the accusations were made against Derek that Z's mother, identified as KB, said that Derek ought not be engaging in his occupation of truck driving, and "that if she could not get him one way then she would get him another." Third, police reports identified "that a boy aged 15 was suspected of sexually assaulting younger children in the area where Z lived," and that Z's "mother knew that the younger children in the area played at looking at and touching each others genitals; that the mother felt that this was normal behaviour; she knew of older children involved in this." The reports were not provided to the Crown Prosecution Service, which conceeded that if the jury had known of the non-disclosed evidence he may not have been prosecuted, but, "At the very least, the jury may well have come to a different conclusion." On March 14, 2000 the Court of Appeals quashed Derek A.'s convictions as unsafe in light of the new evidence that the testimony of both Z and her mother was unreliable. The Court's ruling stated: "As in so many other cases of this kind the case against the appellant rested very largely on the evidence of the alleged child victim. In the absence of any confession -- and here the appellant adamantly denied the offences from the outset -- there is often no supporting or corroborative evidence. ... The jury may, as here, conclude that it is safe to rely on the child's evidence. If however, as now appears, there are substantial grounds to question the honesty and reliability of the child and, here, the motivation of the mother -- grounds unknown to the Crown Prosecution Service, prosecution counsel and the defence at the trial, and hence unknown to the jury -- then the safety of a conviction may be thrown into real doubt. In our judgment such is the case here. ... The appellant submits that the convictions are unsafe. He receives weighty support from the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The Crown [Prosecution Service] accept that submission as being soundly based. We agree with it. We accordingly allow this appeal and quash both these convictions."

Conviction Caused By:

Prosecution failed to to disclose exculpatory evidence casting doubt on the reliability of the testimony of the alleged victim and her mother.

Innocence Proved By:

"On March 14, 2000 the Court of Appeals quashed Derek A.'s convictions as unsafe in light of the new evidence that the testimony of both Z and her mother was unreliable."

Defendant Aided By:

England and Wales Criminal Case Review Commission

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:




Information Source 1:

R. v. D. A. [2000] EWCA Crim 100 (14 March 2000) (Quashing conviction)

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"The Criminal Case Review Commission (UK), Annual Report 1999-2000, p 15"

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Information Source 3:

"Derek A., Criminal Case Review Commission referred cases database (last viewed Feb. 1, 2014)"

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