UK

Police Reject Judge’s Call To Apologise Over Wrongful Conviction of Paul Blackburn

Police have refused to apologise to a man wrongly jailed for 25 years because officers lied at his trial, even after the now-retired appeal court judge who quashed the conviction told the Guardian that the force should say sorry. Cheshire police said that while they were “concerned” at the wrongful jailing of Paul Blackburn, who was convicted as a teenager in 1978 for the attempted murder and sexual assault of a young boy, no apology was needed as procedures at the time of the investigation were “very different”. Blackburn, then in a reform school in Warrington, Cheshire, was arrested shortly after he turned 15. The only notable evidence against him was a confession he signed after four hours of questioning by two senior officers, with no parent or lawyer present. The appeal court, which quashed the conviction in 2005, two years after Blackburn was released on license, said the police claim he wrote the confession unaided “can now be seen to have been untrue” after linguistic analysis showed it was littered with police jargon almost certainly unknown to a poorly-educated teenager. The ruling said this cast doubt on other police claims.

Read more: Peter Walker, Guardian, https://is.gd/FuDeaO

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