On 12 May 2003 the Criminal Cases Review Commission [CCRC] announced that it had referred the Siôn Jenkins case to the Appeal Court.
Following nearly two years’ rigorous examination of new evidence, the CCRC — which is an independent body — decided that the conviction might be unsafe and the case should return to the courts.
The CCRC is the independent body which reviews cases in which there is serious doubt about the verdict. Its decision in this case followed two years’ detailed examination of evidence which convinced the Commission of the strong possibility that a miscarriage of justice had taken place.
In 1998 he was found guilty of a murder he did not commit. In May 2003 the CCRC indicated that his conviction should be challenged.
Now, witness testimony and forensic evidence could result in the overturning of a verdict which, over the years, had acquired notoriety both nationally and overseas. The case became the subject of dissertations in university law departments; many concerned individuals lobbied their MPs, the Home Office and the Lord Chancellor’s department.
Siôn Jenkins had always maintained his innocence. At last there was an opportunity for his conviction to be overturned.
A searching analysis
The Daily Mail of 15 May 2003 featured a two page article on the case of Siôn Jenkins written by Bob Woffinden, well-known for his work as an investigative journalist. The article had its origin in the the CCRC’s referral of the case to appeal; it raised hugely significant questions at a crucial time.
In it he summarises the events of 15 Feb 1997, and challenges the assumptions on which the prosecution’s case was founded in the original trial. He highlights a number of key issues which have yet to be explored:
- The fact that critical alibi evidence was never used at the original trial.
- The validity of forensic evidence presented at trial and appeal.
- A credible alternative suspect who was eliminated from the investigation.
- The behaviour of Siôn Jenkins’ former wife since the time of the murder.
The clarity of Bob Woffinden’s analysis sweeps aside the digressions which often obscure consideration of this case. It is presented in the context of Siôn Jenkins’ intense personal sadness at his enforced separation from his daughters during formative years in their lives, and his bewilderment at the insidious hostility of Lois Jenkins.