The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the conviction of Geoffrey Monks to the Crown Court.
Mr Monks was convicted before a Magistrates’ Court in October 1999 of six offences under the Food Safety Act 1990. He pleaded guilty to one offence and contested the remainder. He was fined a total of £25,500 and ordered to pay £8,300 costs. He appealed his conviction and sentence.
In October 2000 the Crown Court upheld Mr Monks’ conviction for the offences but reduced his fines to a total of £13,500. He applied to the Commission in 2007.
Having considered the case, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Monks’ conviction because it believes that there is a real possibility that the Crown Court will stay the proceedings or, on a rehearing of the case, reach a different verdict on some offences.
The referral is made on the basis that Mr Monks was later prosecuted for offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 in respect of two other food premises operated by him but a Crown Court in 2003 stayed those proceeding as being an abuse of process. The Commission considers that although not binding on any subsequent Crown Court appeal hearing for the 1999 convictions, that later ruling bears a sufficient similarity to the 1999 proceedings that it may lead the Crown Court to rule likewise in regard to the offences in 1999. The Commission considers that there is also new information that may lead the Crown Court on a rehearing of the case to reach different verdicts on some of the offences.
Mr Monks was assisted in his application to the Commission by barrister Dr Michael Arnheim, Chambers of Dr Michael Arnheim, 101 Queen Alexandra Mansions, Hastings Street, London WC1H 9DP.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 232 0906 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for editors
- The Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are currently 12 Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The Commission usually receives around 1,500 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Typically, around 3.5%, or one in 29, of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.
- The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.