Robert Fitt succeeded before the Court of Appeal this week in overturning his client’s convictions for using false identity documents to flee persecution and torture in Uganda. The client had presented a false passport and birth certificate at Manchester Airport in September 2007 having escaped from her home country and in the course of travelling through the UK en route to Canada.
Mr Fitt’s client had pleaded guilty to two offences of possession of a false identity document with intent, contrary to section 25(1)(a) of the Identity Cards Act 2006 (repealed on 21st January 2011). The appeal was based on a change in the law since the date of conviction, meaning that the client had a defence available to her that she had not known about when entering her pleas. The Court of Appeal was persuaded that it was likely the defence would have succeeded at trial and that there was a real and substantial injustice in allowing the convictions to stand. The court allowed the appeal and quashed both convictions.
The case was a referral from the Criminal Cases Review Commission under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. Mr Fitt was instructed by Mary Monson Solicitors.