Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Chris Bateman



Driving Related


2 year driving ban & 130 hours community service

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:

"Chris Bateman was wrongly convicted on November 7, 2014 of driving while intoxicated on June 26, 2014 in Sunderland, England. The prosecution's case was that Bateman arrived at the home of his ex-partner at 10pm. During their conversation he started to shout at her and she told him to come back later when he had calmed down. Bateman got into his Volkswagen Passat and drove off to the Buffs club, on Old Mill Road in Sunderland's Southwick Borough. Bateman's partner had called the police and said she could smell alcohol on his breath. During Bateman's bench trial, the prosecution contended the police found Bateman at Buffs at 10:30 pm and arrested him for suspicion of assault. He was taken to the police station where at 11:45 p.m.he was given a breath breathalyzer test that found 97 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath – the legal limit being 35 microgrammes (That would be a blood alcohol equivalent of 0.22.) Bateman was charged with driving while intoxicated (He was not charged with assault.) Bateman's defense was that earlier in the evening he had two beers before going to his former partner's residence. After leaving he former partner's residence he arrived at Buffs at 10:05, and in the next hour and a half he drank about a number of beers before the police arrived at 11:30 p.m. An employee at Buffs testified the police came to be club about 11:30. The magistrate accepted the police testimony that they arrived at the club at 10:30 and convicted him of driving to the club while intoxicated. Bateman, a self-employed taxi driver, was sentenced on January 6, 2015 to a two year driving ban, ordered to perform 130 hours of community service, and pay £120 costs and £60 victim surcharge. His driving ban was stayed pending the outcome of his appeal. Bateman appeal presented the new evidence of CCTV video from Buffs that showed he arrived at 10:05 and that he consumed at least eight beers before the police arrived at 11:30 p.m. Based on the evidence that Bateman became intoxicated after arriving at Buffs, on May 6, 2015 the Newcastle Crown Court quashed Bateman's conviction as a miscarriage of justice, and ordered return of the payments he had made. Afterwards Bateman told reporters, "My life has been on hold for 11 months. My taxi licence was revoked and the DVLA required me to send my licence away. Now my driving licence is being returned, my taxi badges are being returned, my community order has been cancelled and my fine is being returned.” Bateman, 49, has been driving a taxi for 28 years."

Conviction Caused By:

Erroneous testimony by the arresting police officer.

Innocence Proved By:

"On May 6, 2015 the Newcastle Crown Court quashed Bateman's conviction as a miscarriage of justice, and ordered return of the payments he had made."

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

Age When Released:




Information Source 1:

"Taxi driver gets drink-drive conviction quashed after CCTV proves off-duty drinking defence, By Staff writer, Sunderland Echo, May 7, 2015"

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Information Source 2:

"Sunderland taxi driver fights to clear his name after drink-drive conviction, By Staff writer, Sunderland Echo, January 8, 2015"

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Information Source 3:

"Drink-driving Sunderland taxi driver allowed to keep his licence, By Staff writer, Sunderland Echo, January 7, 2015"

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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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