Martin Foran to get second 'injustice' appeal

Martin Foran
Image caption A second case involving Martin Foran has been referred to the appeal court

A man who says he is one of a handful of double miscarriage of justice victims has had a second case referred for appeal.

Martin Foran, 69, who is terminally ill with cancer, was convicted of robbery in 1978 - a crime he denies.

The Court of Appeal will rule on that conviction after a referral by the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC).

A second 1985 conviction of robbing a Birmingham pub was declared unsafe by the appeal court in April.

'Won't give up'

Mr Foran, who lives in Manchester, said he was "very pleased". He served six years of a 10-year sentence for four counts of robbery.

"If it is successful, it will go down in history as a double miscarriage of justice, but I will have to wait and see," he added.

"It has been a long, hard battle to get to this point and I have waited 38 years."

Although he is dying, Mr Foran said he was determined to "hang in there" for justice. "I won't give up," he added.

He told the BBC his dying wish was to go to his grave an innocent man.

Police 'credibility' questioned

The CCRC said it referred his 1978 case to the Court of Appeal because it "considers that new evidence raises a real possibility that the court will now quash those convictions".

"The commission's referral is based upon evidence relating to the credibility of officers of the West Midlands Police Serious Crime Squad, who were involved in the case against Mr Foran."

The squad was disbanded in 1989, but a substantial number of convictions arising from investigations it conducted have been quashed over concerns about the practices of some of its officers, the CCRC added.

Tracy Gibbon, from Olliers solicitors, said: "Martin has never given up hope... We hope that justice will prevail once more and that Martin can have some peace at long last."

In Mr Foran's second case, Lord Justice Leveson said the conviction was unsafe after doubts emerged over the credibility of the principal police witness.

Speaking previously, Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Rowe, of West Midlands Police, said: "The officers involved in the case have since retired or left the force and a number of lessons have been learned since the original investigation was undertaken in 1985.

"The public should be reassured that West Midlands Police expects the highest standards of professionalism from its officers and staff and as such we have robust management and anti-corruption measures in place."

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