Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Roy Burnett





Life Imprisonment

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Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:

United Kingdom

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City of Crime:



Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Roy Burnett was wrongly convicted in July 1986 of raping a 20-year-old student nurse in 1985. Burnett insisted at his trial he did not rape the woman, but based on the woman's testimony the jury convicted him and he was sentenced to life in prison. The woman falsely accused two men of raping her 13 years later in 1998. Burnett had steadfastly maintained his innocence and refused parole, and the woman's 1998 false report caused law enforcement officers to take his claim seriously and reinvestigate the evidence of his innocence. 'Fresh expert evidence of scratch marks on her body, shown in photographs taken of her at the time of the Burnett allegation, were found to be "typical of self-inflicted injury" Perjury charges were considered against the woman who filed the false charge. In April 2000 Burnett's conviction was quashed, and he was released from prison, based on the new evidence undermining the reliability of his conviction. Appeal judge Lord Justice Judge (sic), sitting in London with Mr. Justice Wright and Mrs. Justice Rafferty, said the crime "almost certainly never happened at all ... If nothing else, this case provides a salutary reminder that an allegation of rape is not always true and that the man against whom it is made is not necessarily guilty. It should serve to ensure that proper safeguards against the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals are preserved. If so, then, although of no comfort whatever to Mr Burnett, something positive will have been salvaged from this disaster." The Crown Prosecution Service told the Court of Appeal that it could no longer support the conviction. "

Conviction Caused By:

"Deliberate false eyewitness testimony of the alleged rape victim, who wasn't raped at all."

Innocence Proved By:

"Based on fresh expert evidence the crime never happened, the Court Appeals quashed Burnett's convictions in April 2000 and he was released after 15 years of imprisonment."

Defendant Aided By:

Compensation Awarded:

Was Perpetrator Identified?

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Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"Rape Prisoner Cleared, By Staff writer, BBC News, April 7, 2000"

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Information Source 2:

Innocent UK website

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Information Source 3:

""Man freed after wrongful rape conviction," Guardian Unlimited, April 7, 2000"

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

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