Convicted of: Human Trafficking and False Imprisonment
Sentence: 20 years. Year of Conviction: 2011
In November 2010 Anthony Harrison, a Nigerian immigrant and long-time resident of the UK, was arrested and subsequently convicted on two counts of human trafficking and two counts of false imprisonment on Thursday 7th July 2011.
Harrison was introduced to two Nigerian women by his close friend and former housemate, John Glory (whose real name is Charles Pepple). On two separate occasions, John Glory contacted Harrison and asked him to temporarily assist his sister, on the first occasion, and his niece, on the second occasion. Both women stayed with Harrison for a short time. The prosecution’s case was that, during their stay with Harrison, he prostituted, raped and threatened to kill the women, using Juju ‘magic’ to ensure their compliance if they refused his orders. Neither complainant mentioned the use of Juju until the release of a Channel 4 Documentary about Juju practices in Nigeria. The investigative journalist in the documentary was later called to give expert evidence at the trial, along with a second expert.
The testimony of these two experts were used primarily to bolster the credibility of the two complainants rather than contribute to the truth-finding nature of the trial. The introduction of expert evidence on the practice of Juju shifted the focus of the trial from whether there was truth in the prosecution’s case to whether Juju was practiced in rural parts of Nigeria.
Additionally, prior to the admission of expert evidence neither the prosecution nor judge conducted a thorough analysis of what the complainants said in their interviews about Juju practice to determine if expert evidence was essential to the trial. Thus, this was an incomplete and unjustified assessment. A review of the complainants’ interviews shows that they both made no mention of Juju or their fear of the police when they were interviewed before the documentary was shown on TV. Further, the expert evidence detailing the practice of Juju was not examined alongside the complainants’ details of the practice to assess whether their descriptions matched that of the expert witnesses. When compared, the practice is described differently by the respective parties which raises concern about whether the two women did experience Juju. The expert evidence placed disproportionate weight on the prosecution’s case that Juju was practiced in Nigeria which was not a fact in issue. It went outside the scope of the expertise to comment on the complainants’ credibility.
The prosecution also claimed Harrison travelled to Nigeria to bring one of the complainants to England for prostitution and trafficking. However, at the time in question, Harrison reported weekly to a government agency. His telephone records also cast doubt on the complainant’s claim as they confirm that all calls in the relevant period were made to and from London. None of the calls were to or from Nigeria. At the close of her evidence, the complainant retracted this statement.
During cross examination, Harrison’s assault charges from 2007, which were subsequently dropped, were brought into court, as was his citizenship status and fact he lived with a man who was sentenced for trafficking offences. The Judge did not disallow this bad character, despite the points not falling strictly within bad character evidence.
A number of erroneous decisions were made in court which led to Harrison’s wrongful conviction. An application has been made to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). Anthony Harrison remains in prison serving a 20-year sentence.
WRONGFUL CONVICTION DAY
2 OCTOBER 2019
This year’s Wrongful Conviction day is 2 October 2019 and one of the IPL cases is featured in the global awareness campaign.
What is Wrongful Conviction Day?
International Wrongful Conviction Day is a day to raise awareness of the causes and remedies of wrongful conviction and to recognise the tremendous personal, social, and emotional costs of wrongful conviction for innocent people and their families.
Wrongful Conviction Day began as an effort of the Innocence Network, an affiliation of organisations dedicated to providing pro bono legal and investigative services to individuals seeking to prove innocence of crimes for which they have been convicted, working to redress the causes of wrongful convictions, and supporting the exonerated after they are freed. This is the fifth annual day.
What can you do?
For many wrongfully convicted people, their freedom story began with a letter they sent from prison with the hope that someone would hear them and do something.
To create awareness of Wrongful Conviction Day you can write a letter to help someone have their case reviewed, or simply send your support with some kind words. Let people know you’re listening and you want to right the wrongs of wrongful conviction.
On December 12, 2006, Conroy Smith (pictured below) was found guilty of murder under the doctrine of joint enterprise, a British law meaning a person may be found guilty for another person’s crime. He was convicted with two other defendants.
On August 30, 2004, Lee Christopher Subaran was shot twice at Notting Hill Carnival. One shot was fatal and he died at the scene. At approximately 10:10 pm on the night he died, Subaran caught the attention of three black men due to a disrespectful comment that had been made.
Shortly afterwards several more black men joined them, one of which was Conroy Smith. The group confronted Subaran in a small park where several shots were fired as Subaran attempted to run out of the park. He collapsed and died as he was leaving the park.
The prosecution asserted that the shooting was carried out by members of the “Mus’ Love Crew,” for which Conroy Smith was a member.
An eyewitness identified Conroy Smith in December 2005, 16 months after the initial incident. She was interviewed four days after the incident and provided names for people she knew who were at the scene of the incident; Smith’s name was not mentioned.
The eyewitness is a covert human intelligence source, who was run by a police handler. She sold drugs to Smith and was effectively his dealer for two years before the incident involving Subaran so she knew Smith well. She also made advances towards Smith, which he said he rejected.
Smith denied all charges against him and denied being involved in the murder. An individual has since come forward and said that he fired the weapon that killed Subaran and that Smith was not at the scene or involved.
Please help us secure justice for Conroy Smith.
Write to the Director of Public Prosecutions to ask them to review joint enterprise cases involving young black men. Joint enterprise is a British common law doctrine meaning a person may be found guilty for another person’s crime.
Download your letter here: http://www.intlwrongfulconvictionday.org/letters/