Sallie Bennett Jenkins QC Successfully Opposes Application to Quash Acquittal for 1984 Murder
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC appeared for PR, to oppose an application to quash his acquittal for murder of 7 year old child who was abducted, raped and murdered in 1984. PR had stood trial in 1985; whereby the initial jury could not agree whether PR was guilty beyond reasonable doubt, and he was acquitted after a retrial. His pleas of guilty to a number of counts of rape were not admitted in evidence.
Cellar material from the deceased’ fingernails and genitalia was able to be re-examined following scientific developments in 2001 of DNA testing. The test examined 17 areas of DNA and provided compelling evidence that the DNA of PR was present.
The Director of Public Prosecutions gave consent to the application to seek a retrial. However, complications arose as PR has been in Broadmoor since 1985, and in January 2017 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and his death was now imminent.
The CA considered a “determination” under the Criminal Procedure (Insanity) Act 1964 of whether PR, who was mentally unfit to stand trial, could be a “retrial” in the meaning of sections 77 , 78,79 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
The Court rejected the application and adopted the points raised by Sallie, that there could be no prospect of PR being retried and it was therefore not in the interests of justice to allow the application to quash the acquittal and order a retrial.
Sallie was instructed by Gregg Stewart of GT Stewart Solicitors.