The family of a Bradford man convicted of being the getaway driver in the Barry Selby acid attack murder will attend the relaunch of a campaign against the principle of joint enterprise at Westminster tomorrow.
Andrew Feather, 27, was jailed for a minimum of 26 years in 2014 after being convicted of murder under joint enterprise, a ruling that allows secondary participants to be found guilty.
Feather, of Heysham Drive, Holme Wood, maintained he was elsewhere in his car at the time of the murder, however, the prosecution presented CCTV evidence to prove his gold Vauxhall Astra was at the scene.
Along with his three co-accused – Lee Calvert, Robert Woodhead and Joseph Lowther – Feather had an appeal against his sentence thrown out last year, but the men did have their minimum jail terms cut, with Feather’s reduced to one of 20 years.
Feather’s family are hoping to present a case to the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) next year, and have been supported previously by the JENGbA (Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association) group.
The group is hosting its relaunch event at the House of Commons, where supporters will hear from a panel including MPs, barristers, and ex-prisoners convicted under joint enterprise.
In February 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that joint enterprise had been wrongly interpreted by criminal trial judges for more than 30 years, stating that it was not right that someone should be guilty merely because they foresaw that a co-accused might commit a crime.
Speaking about the relaunch, a spokesman for JENGbA said: “JENGbA is the grassroots campaign that was instrumental in helping The Supreme Court reach a landmark decision. This acknowledged that joint enterprise had been misinterpreted by the courts for 32 years.
“This was a legal victory, and vindication for all those who had campaigned against this serious problem with the law.
“With this victory in mind, we believe there are still serious issues that now merit the full attention and support of parliament.
“Hundreds of men, women and children are supported by JENGbA. We believe that rather than attempt to take each case independently to the Court of Appeal there should be a full independent judicial inquiry.
“An inquiry of this sort would uncover the magnitude of the flaws that JENGbA have been highlighting for many years and, hopefully, put balance and fairness back into the criminal justice system.”
Feather’s mother, Michelle Feather, said she would be attending the event as JENGbA had supported the family over her son’s case.
She said that solicitors were drawing up an appeal to go before the CCRC “hopefully some time in the new year.”
She said: “JENGbA know a lot about Andrew’s case.
“He would not have been convicted without joint enterprise, the evidence just wouldn’t have been there.
“We have fresh evidence to show that it was not his car.
“I wouldn’t mind if he had been involved, but he wasn’t.
“It affects everyone in our family. We fight, fight, and fight, and every single day we’re going through paperwork.
“We’ve got a solicitor who is drawing up the case and hopefully he’ll get an appeal.
“It’s just a waiting game really.”
But his family says it has uncovered fresh evidence that demonstrates the timings on some of the CCTV was incorrect, discrediting the footage.