Royal Commission on Criminal Justice: Gaps in the defence

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TREVOR Henry is serving a 10-year sentence for conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm on a former girlfriend, who was seriously injured when two unidentified men threw acid in her face, writes Heather Mills.

Henry, 36, maintained his innocence; there was no evidence against him and police could only suggest in court that he had the motive and means to launch the attack.

Lawyers say the case was so thin that the judge at his 1992 trial should never have allowed it to go before the jury. But his defence team at the time did not apply to have the case withdrawn, nor effectively challenge prosecution claims of motive and means.

The jury was not told of his previous good character. Neither was it told that following a previous attack on the victim, she had called Henry and it was he who took her to hospital and he who persuaded her to report the incident to police.

The solicitors' firm then handling the case, Toppin and Co of New Cross, south-east London, allocated a legal executive, not a solicitor, to it. The firm was criticised two weeks ago by the Court of Appeal for its part in the wrongful conviction of another of its clients, Ivan Fergus, and has since been suspended by the Law Society over a third issue.

(Photograph omitted)