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CPS helps in referral of Robert Hodgson case to court of appeal

18/03/2009

The Crown Prosecution Service helped to bring new DNA evidence in the case of Robert Hodgson - convicted of murder 27 years ago - to the attention of the Criminal Cases Review Commission who referred the case to the Court of Appeal. Today, the Court of Appeal has quashed the conviction as unsafe.

 The Crown Prosecution Service helped to bring new DNA evidence in the case of Robert Hodgson convicted of murder 27 years ago to the attention of the Criminal Cases Review Commission who referred the case to the Court of Appeal. Today, the Court of Appeal has quashed the conviction as unsafe.

Donna Rayner, Crown Advocate in the CPS Special Crime Division, based in London, said: "We are pleased to have been able to assist Mr Hodgson's defence team in overturning this conviction.

"It is not in the interests of justice or victims and their families to allow unsafe convictions to stand and now that the Court of Appeal has quashed this conviction, the CPS will not, in the circumstances of this case, seek a retrial.

"As soon as we were advised that further evidence may be available which could cast serious doubt on this conviction we took steps to hasten the further analysis of samples taken from the crime scene.

"Once aware of the results of the analysis, we worked quickly with the police and Mr Hodgson's solicitors to put the matter before the Criminal Cases Review Commission."

Mr Hodgson was convicted at Winchester Crown Court in February 1982, of the murder of Teresa De Simone. He had denied the charge.

Ms Rayner said: "The prosecution case in 1982 was presented on the basis that the man who had murdered the victim had also sexually assaulted her. The scientific evidence now proves that the man who sexually assaulted the victim was not Mr Hodgson. It is clear that the evidence now available would have affected the decision of the trial jury to convict, if indeed Mr Hodgson had been charged at all."

The CCRC has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, QC, to discuss the desirability of a project to identify and review similar murder cases arising from the time before DNA evidence was available. The CPS will now be considering this.

Ends

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