M25 gang evidence will not be heard

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The Independent Online
NEW EVIDENCE relating to the conviction of three men for the 'M25 gang' crimes will not be heard at their appeal, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.

After a three-hour hearing in private session the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Taylor, ruled that the material did not have to be disclosed to the defence. 'In the circumstances there is nothing further to be disclosed in the matters that have been addressed.'

Solicitors for the three believe the evidence relates to police interviews with two men, who admitted to burning stolen cars and handling stolen property, but were never charged.

After the hearing the Lord Chief Justice, Mr Justice Hutchison and Mr Justice Holland disbarred themselves from sitting at the men's appeal in January.

Raphael Rowe, 24, Michael Davis, 26, and Randolph Johnson, 27, all from Sydenham, south-east London, were convicted in March 1990 of murder, robbery, grievous bodily harm and firearm offences after a series of attacks on the night of 15 December 1988, in the Surrey area close to the M25.

John Bevan QC, for the prosecution, told the court the new evidence had presented a 'most difficult problem' for the Crown. 'If I was able to deal with the matter in open court, I would. The plain fact of the matter is I can't'

Although the defence barristers were allowed to hear the new evidence, they refused to do so because they would not have been able to discuss it with their clients.