Friday, 14 November 2014



Kev Thakrar called me today and I know he is always relieved to catch me at home. You see Kevan is in the Closed Supervision Centre in HMP Woodhill and the only time he is allowed of his cell is to use the phone. He is not allowed to go to the Library, exercise yard, gym and he is not allowed to talk to any other inmates. He is locked in a small cell for mostly 24 hours a day.
The CSC were set up by the good old Labour Government in 1998 “to remove the most significantly dangerous, challenging and disruptive prisoners and manage them within a small and highly supervised unit”. The system is supposedly “therapeutic not punitive” claimed Director General Richard Tilt, and the aim was to rehabilitate the ‘difficult’ prisoner and return them to the normal wing after a year or so.  So why then has Kevan been in the CSE for four and a half years?
The CSE own manual states its aims are “to provide multi-disciplined risk management approach to deal with highly disruptive and high risk prisoners who have demonstrated or evidenced a propensity to demonstrate violent and/or disruptive behaviour”.
Most prisoners in the system know why Kevan Thakrar is in the CSE.  It is entirely because he was brutally attacked by officers in HMP Frankland – they then took him to court claiming he had attacked them but THEY lost the case.  A judge and jury decided he was not guilty and the officers lost their jobs. Kevan has been systematically tortured by the prison establishment ever since holding him in the CSE awaiting a course for post traumatic distress disorder resulting from the attack in Frankland.  However, each time it becomes apparent that the therapy he is awaiting should actually be happening, they simply move him to another CSE Unit; he has been to Whitemoor, Manchester and Woodhill (twice) in the four and a half years he has been waiting for therapy. 

The CSE manual also states “When a team is considering referral to the CSU they need to record whether a prisoner’s mental health could be adversely affected by placement within the CSU, which is a restrictive environment”.  No shit Sherlock.  CSU are nothing other than a form of torture. In which laws of this land does it state that talking to people is a crime?  In which manual does it state that if a prisoner is beaten up by prisoner officers (and this happens much more frequently than people would like to think) should he/she then be tortured by being closed off from mainstream prison for their own protection!  Kevan was proven INNOCENT in court, yet his property is repeatedly destroyed each time he is transferred and then the Press make a fuss that he is paid compensation because he will not back down and demands justice which he is awarded in courts.

On a visit to Kev, which I had to wait for nearly 2 years clearance for (because they said I would write about it!) Kevan was brought to a small room about 10ft by 10ft. He is not allowed to wear his own clothes and the prison tracksuit isshabby at best. All the time during this visit we were flanked by four officers listening to our every word. Four! Constant supervision? This is constant harassment and a direct affront on anyone’s human rights.  Kev told me that the only way people tend to get out of CSU is they are sent to max security mental health hospitals (Broadmoor and Ashworth) because the torture of being isolated had sent them actually mad. Kevknows of about 60 inmates who have ended up in these insane asylums after spending time in the CSUs. 
As long as any Prisons have these torture units at an enormous cost to the British Tax payer we can no longer claim Her Majesty’s Prisons respect human rights, and we can certainly not claim they are for rehabilition, not in Kevan’s case a least this one is clearly, undisputedly ‘punitive’.

JENGbA intend to do a protest outside HMP Woodhill in the near future with mini buses leaving from London and the North.  Please contact if you would like to have an update to attend

Support Kevan Thakrar A4907AE by writing to him, Nick Hardwick Chief Inspector of Prisons and your MP demanding a full enquiry/closure of all CSU’s immediately. 


Gloria Morrison Campaign Co-ordinator JENGbA

Thursday, 13 November 2014


Thank you for your recent newsletter (issue 30).
Reading about the Justice Select Committee Inquiry sounds really promising and I cannot thank you all enough for your support.
You may be aware that my first appeal with the single judge was refused but thankfully my QC Max Hill and Jnr Barrister put forward my second appeal in February even though that legal aid could have been refused, which it was!  Due to the first judge.
I am writing to you to update you all that I have a date for my appeal against conviction which has been listed before the full court on WEDNESDAY 19TH November 2014 at 10.30am in Court Room 9.
I am not required to attend which is fine by me due to my anxiety and the decline in my mental and physical health since being in custody.
However I was wondering if one of your campaigners could attend on my behalf just so I can get an independent view by someone else on how it went. 
I really hope that I win this appeal along with other people who have been wrongfully convicted. But the thing is if I don’t win this what will I do?  The only strong support I have outside is my Nan and I don’t want her to end up burying me as I can’t stay here much longer and I will feel like there is no way out to be there for my Nan with people such as friends and relatives passing away and I know she isn’t coping. 
I will be so very grateful if someone could be there on this date and if someone can write to me with their honest view or opinion. And if I do win this appeal I would owe you my life and time for you when I am free as I could not of done it without you as if it wasn’t for you at JENGbA then I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge and understanding about this law.
So thank you so much
Yours thankfully
Emma Hall A3134CP –AS
HMP Holloway


Thursday, 30 October 2014


On 22nd October 2014 Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Mike Penning MP (Justice Minister) gave evidence to the Justice Select Committee’s follow up Inquiry into Joint Enterprise charging and prosecutionsJENGbA had previously given evidence in the first session in 2011 and also to this further inquiry on 3rd September 2014 
The change in the atmosphere with the Committee this time was palpable.  In 2011 most of the MPs on the Committee had not heard of joint enterprise until our campaign forced it onto their agenda.  Certain Committee members were even agitated that we had the audacity to suggest that miscarriages of justice were a common occurrence in our justice system.  You see for a country like ours, who prides itself on having one of the best justice systems in the world, any exposure that this is indeed a myth is deeply troubling. 
For this session the Justice Select Committee asked us to look at two areas into the use of joint enterprise; firstly whether the DPP Guidance (issued in 2012) on charging decisions and prosecutorial policy has made any difference, and secondly whether the Law Commission’s proposals relating to joint enterprise in its ‘Participating in Crime report’ should be implemented by reforming the law into statute.   
The DPP was up first and it is honestly difficult to work out whether Alison Saunders is deluded or disingenuous.  She pointed out to the committee that she was a civil servant and also an Under Secretary of State, not really sure why, unless it was perhaps to clarify that the opinions given were not necessarily her own.  Apparently the aim of the Guidance was to “help prosecutors in their role” and “improve the way they behave”.  Who exactly is she talking about here? Highly educated lawyers who hardly need any “help” in our adversarial court system determined to get a result. She claimed that there is robust procedures in place to ensure that the ‘test’ to go ahead with a prosecution is based on ‘evidence’.  Really?  JENGbA’s own cursory examination of cases taken to court this year alone shows many, many cases where, mainly, young men are held on remand for up to a year and which do not result in a conviction, which means that the ‘test’ is evidently not strong enough. We know of a case where three young men were charged with a murder, the ‘evidence’ against two of them was that they received a phone call from the suspected principle after someone had been shot. The Judge in that case berated the prosecutor by telling him that he needed to prove exactly what it was that the defendants were supposed to have done in committing the murder and his answer to the judge was “Not in joint enterprise”.  Luckily for those two boys the judge was having none of it, unlike many others, and they were acquitted otherwise they would have been sentence to the minimum mandatory of 30 years.  However, one of those lads Ijah’s mum died five days before he was acquitted and he has been constantly harassed by the police ever since.  
The DPP also stressed that they do not prosecute people on the periphery of a crime, that there has to be evidence that you participated or encouraged in the offence.  What if you are not even there like the previous scenario or as in lots of the cases JENGbA represents. This idea that innocent bystanders will not be prosecuted is again a nonsense when the Police’s film that they take round to schools to educate children about joint enterprise states, that “if you are there and you do nothing to stop a crime occurring you too can be charged. Dangerous and unhelpful advice when in the instance of a spontaneous outburst all present can be charged because they should have known better than to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.  That is the reality of joint enterprise charging. 
The DPP went on to suggest that the Guidance gave prosecutors the “thought process” they should go through when deciding whether to charge.  However defence practitioners tell us that ten, fifteen years ago they simply would not progress with a prosecution based on little or no evidence but now even some defence solicitors want cases to go to trial as it is a way of ensuring they make the most money. Shocking you might think but this was reiterated by Dr. Matt Dyson in his supplementary evidence.  
The DPP cited the Steven Lawrence case as a good example of how joint enterprise can work – since they did not know who wielded the knife, two of the five men charged are now serving Life for his murder.  Joint Enterprise charging was in place 21 years ago when Steven was murdered. Why was it that all five were not charged with his murder since all present can be convicted of murder?  Yet it takes twenty years, a massive campaign by the Lawrence family to expose the endemic racism and corruption in the Met, reversing double jeopardy and the lazy doctrine of joint enterprise to get two of them Result! And every member of the establishment who holds joint enterprise in esteem as a bastion of wrongdoing will use this case to claim it is a vital tool of law enforcement.  If police corruption had not been part of the initial investigation then they could have actually charged all five and probably found evidence of who participated in the attack. And no-one should be surprised that police corruption, withholding of evidence, using testimony of actual criminals, changing witness statements, paying huge amounts of money to witnesses to corroborate the Police version of events, are all constant common denominators in joint enterprise convictions.  
When asked whether the Guidance follows the test for young people and those with disabilities the DPP said the Judges do take into consideration the age of children and whether they have disabilities or not. Well that explains the very recent case in Liverpool where one child was just 14 years old with severe ADHD, who was not the principal but is now serving a Life sentence along with three other children, because he was there when another boy stabbed the victim in the leg.  
JENGbA have many cases of, in particular young boys, with Asperger’s (one currently in Broadmoor because the YOI he was in did not know how to cope with him) Autism, severe Learning difficulties and ADHD.  Which begs the question, how in the instance of a spontaneous violent attack often over in seconds, can a child with any of these disabilities process what his intentions or foresight would be.  Having said that, in a spontaneous attack, how can anyone share the same foresight and intention that something seriously wrong might happen. It is a nonsense and Alison Saunders knows it.  She even said that Judges throw out cases when they feel the prosecutors have not presented enough evidence to justify a case.  Oh really? Like in the case last year where ten young men, all Afro Caribbean were in the dock.  There had been a stabbing in a nightclub in Manchester and because the CPS could not identify from CCTV footage when the stabbing occurred they rounded up these ten and charged them all.  The Judge looked at the footage for 3 days, the prosecutors could not identify any of the individuals, the Judge attempted to throw the case out through lack of evidence but the CPS challenged that decision by Judicial reviewing it in the Royal Courts of Justice.  The decision to throw the case out was overturned because even though the Learned Judge could not make any sense of CCTV footage, nor could the experienced Prosecutors, the Judge decided that the Jury could decide.  All ten were found guilty and are now serving 137 years between them 
She also stated that the CPS “do not look to charge the most serious offence – we look to charge the most appropriate offence”.  Since JENGbA know of cases where it is simply easier to charge large groups without any real evidence against individuals but the ‘group’ is deemed ‘criminal’ by its numbers, this too is simply not true.   
The most galling part of what we listened to from the DPP and then Mike Penning is that they think the general public (and JENGbA families) are stupid because we cannot possibly understand the complexities of the law so we should accept what they say as fact. Mike Penning kept talking about joint enterprise as ‘legislation’.  He used that term throughout his evidence until the Chair Sir Alan Beith corrected him that joint enterprise was not legislation but a legal doctrine.   Mr Penning responded, “he was not very legalistic.  Why is he a Justice Minister then?  Oh wait, Chris Grayling; the Coalition do not worry that the most senior positions of the Ministry of Justice should have any legal background or even legal expertise themselves.  Which brings us on to Mr Penning’s two legal advisers either side of him who besides introducing themselves said next to nothing.  Could this possibly have been that if they tried to defend the use of a legal doctrine that is not only racist but also able to criminalise innocent people for crimes they did not commit and give them mandatory Life sentences, then their own credibility as legal professionals (or even humans) would have been questionable at best.  
I couldn’t stay to listen to all of the Justice Minister evidence in person as we had promised to support a case in the Appeal Court being heard at the same time. Hollie Robinson was 16 years old when her father had been stabbed by her sister’s boyfriend. She had already been turned down by the single judge on conviction and 20 year sentence. Her legal team were so convinced by her innocence they took the case to the three judges making strong legal arguments against her participation and the flawed use of joint enterprise. She did not murder her father nor did her sister who got 22 years. They had gone to their family home to retrieve their mothers jewellery, albeit while he slept. The argument was that it was not joint enterprise murder because they had gone with a different plan, to retrieve their property.  They also argued that since Hollie was only 16 at the time she would not have properly understood what joint enterprise was and the foresight element was not present as their intention was totally different to the outcome.  
Hollie was naïve, it was a naïve plan and one that went horribly wrong and ended in the death of her father but she did not kill him nor did her sister but they are serving 20 and 22 years and have to deal with the added tragedy of the loss of their father.  The three judges knocked her back.  I have attended countless appeals and cannot fathom how these judges sleep at night, so bizarre are some of their decisions in the face of natural justice.  So when Alison Saunders and Mike Penning both suggested the ‘right’ decision is being made to charge in the first place, because they secure convictions and both were satisfied that the appeal court agrees with the judicial process, they know exactly why this is.  This is the establishment not allowing any precedent through with joint enterprise because as soon as someone proves that it is not possible to have ‘possible’ foresight the doors will open for other appeals. The legal arguments in joint enterprise appeals are based on the fact that no evidence existed in the first place and it is hardly surprising that 22% of appeals in 2013 were joint enterprise but since 2004 only 1 conviction has been quashed after a referral from the CCRC.   
When asked if this doctrine is not in danger of contaminating our Justice System, Mike Penning said he was not convinced.  Obviously this is the Government line and the current tragedy of joint enterprise miscarriages of justice are not entirely the Coalitions fault.  That goes straight back to the previous government who follow that same old mantra to be ‘tough on crime’ and win votes.  Labour brought in the mandatory sentencing, which the public are still not aware of.  They have no idea that you do not need any mens rea (mind to kill) or actus rea (act of killing) to be convicted to a Life sentence. But the public are learning because JENGbA exists and we are relentless in our pursuit for justice for our loved ones.  All the campaigners who attended the Select Committee came to the Royal Courts of Injustice as soon as the evidence hearing was over to support Joanne, whose two daughters are Hollie and Ashleigh.  Although there were some tears, there is a sense that if they keep knocking us down we will get up stronger, and as we grow in numbers and sadly we are, the government will have to take stock and do something to restore the public faith in the Police and the CPS that natural justice must exist for every member of society and not just for those who can afford it.  
Gloria Morrison, Campaign Co-ordinator 
Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA)