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Last Updated: Friday, 28 November, 2003, 06:39 GMT
Robbery conviction quashed
A man who served eight years of a 15-year prison sentence for armed robbery has had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in London.

John Joseph Cummiskey, 49, from Coventry, was jailed in 1985 following an investigation by the then West Midlands Serious Crime Squad.

Mr Cumminskey claimed he was "fitted up" by officers from the discredited squad, and accused them of fabricating evidence against him.

Three judges ruled on Thursday that, if what was now known about the squad's activities had been available at the time of his trial, the jury might have reached a different verdict.

Sawn-off shotgun

Lord Justice Kay, sitting with Mr Justice Gibbs and Mr Justice Roderick Evans, said: "In reaching this conclusion, we are not making any finding of any relevant impropriety by any police officer in relation to this case."

Mr Cummiskey, formerly of March Way, Ernesford Grange, Coventry, was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court in July 1985 for allegedly taking part in the 185,000 armed robbery of a Post Office van in the city the year before.

The masked robbers abandoned their getaway car, leaving the money and a sawn-off shotgun inside.

Mr Cummiskey was arrested nearby.

His request for permission to appeal was rejected in April 1987 but, 12 years later, following other appeals involving the squad, he asked the Criminal Cases Review Commission to refer his case back to the Court of Appeal.

The prosecution did not oppose Mr Cummiskey's latest appeal and did not seek a retrial because of the lapse of time since the robbery.

Appeal set for robbery conviction
03 Oct 03  |  West Midlands

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