I recently attended the retrial of my brother Rikko Marks for joint enterprise for Murder, we were sure he would be found not guilty when the prosecution's main witness testified that my brother was not present when the fight between the assailant and his co-defendant started, and that when my brother appeared on the scene he heard him shout "stop this", "there's no need for this" then the fight stopped. Also when he stated that he heard my brother say to the assailant "come in and shut the door behind you" providing further evidence that my brother was not aware of the fatality of the now deceased.
I was filled with joy when the prosecution called for evidence from a pathologist who confirmed that even the assailant may not have been aware that he had been stabbed as the bleeding would have been internal.
I was reduced to tears when the deceased family came over to us and said that they wish us the best of luck and hold nothing against us!
And filled with more hope when the police came over to us and said we are a lovely family and that they think we will probably get the result that we want and that they just ask that we don't celebrate too much as it wouldn't be fair on the family!
So when the jury had to decide if my brother was guilty of murder, manslaughter or not guilty of either, I thought the evidence would allow only 1 verdict.... not guilty!
They came back with a guilty for murder verdict! How? And why?
I question if it was due to the fact that all the jury in the trial held at Nottingham crown court were over the age of 45 and white? Surely that doesn't provide a true reflection of Nottingham or today's multicultural society? Or is it just that they are baffled by this joint enterprise law, and can't get their head around the fact that police would charge an innocent person with murder for just being there.
I question why, after my brother was cleared of murder at the court of appeal, was he retried again for murder and not manslaughter? And why this trial was held in Nottingham and not Worcester were the incident took place and the original trial was held.
I question, question, question! And will continue to question.
Myself and family will not stop fighting to not only prove my brother's innocence! But to also campaign to have this joint enterprise law reviewed - it saddens me to think that we live in a society where so many don't care that so many innocent people are being locked away for crimes they didn't commit.
I pray that there will be some change! I for one will not stop until there is.