Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/411/4675
Clear Oliver Campbell's name
"I HAVE spent 12 years in prison for for a crime I didn't commit. The charge was murder and conspiracy to robbery. The incident happened in July 1990 in Hackney where a shopkeeper was shot dead.
OLIVER CAMPBELL spoke to Naomi Byron
"Five months later I was arrested. The fingerprints they found at the scene didn't match mine. The only 'evidence' was a hat they found which had been worn by one of the suspects and it was like one that I'd worn. But the hair they found in the hat was tested and it wasn't the same as mine. It didn't belong to me.
There's no forensic evidence, no ID evidence. At an identity parade, neither of the two witnesses to the crime picked me out as the man in the cap. One witness changed their mind after the police spoke to them.
The witness said the person who did the crime was 5 foot 8 or 5 foot 10, but I'm 6 ft 3 inches. The man who was sentenced to five years for robbery said I was not involved but this evidence was not heard in court.
A TV programme Rough Justice highlighted all the injustices I suffered and called it a miscarriage of justice. All the evidence points to someone else.
When the government set up the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and said it would investigate suspected miscarriages of justice, it gave a lot of hope to people like myself. The CCRC could recommend whether convictions or sentences should be referred to a court of appeal.
Unfortunately, the CCRC have turned my legal case down. My legal teams are very angry and we're going for legal aid to take the CCRC's judgement to judicial review.
The CCRC obviously still think I'm guilty so I've got a life sentence hanging over me. The police can still pull me up at any time on anything. I've still got a criminal record for an offence I didn't commit.
I want my name cleared. Why should I still be at risk and have a crime against my name when I didn't commit the crime?
But the CCRC didn't accept my legal team's arguments - we wanted them to send the case to the Appeal Court and ask for it to be quashed. But the CCRC have washed their hands of it and refused to refer my case to the Court of Appeal.
I think this is wrong. I've been a victim of a miscarriage of justice. If it takes me the rest of my life to clear my name, I would do that. We should write letters to the press and politicians and put pressure on the Home Office and CCRC to get them to take up my case and refer it back to the appeal court."
l Oliver is now out of prison on license. His solicitors have applied for a Judicial Review of the CCRC's decision. There are leaflets and petitions about Oliver's case on www.yre.org.uk/olivercampbell. If you would like to organise a meeting about Oliver's fight for justice please contact Naomi Byron for more information and speakers on 020 8988 8792 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 13 October 2005: