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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 15:47 GMT
Miscarriage of justice man freed
Thomas Rooney
Thomas Rooney arriving at court, where he was granted freedom
A man jailed for nine years for killing a taxi driver has had his conviction quashed on appeal.

Judges ruled Thomas Rooney, 44, suffered a miscarriage of justice.

A jury found Mr Rooney guilty of the culpable homicide of James Higgins, 43, at the victim's home in Knapdale Street Glasgow, on 10 March, 2004.

He appealed against the conviction and maintained the verdict returned by the jury was one no reasonable, properly directed jury could have brought in.

It was argued: "The quality, character and strength of the evidence led in support of the charge was such that the jury should have entertained a reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the appellant."

'Savagely stabbed'

Mr Rooney, of Erradale Street, Glasgow, was originally charged with murdering Mr Higgins.

He was found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

Trial judge Lord Dawson said: "Mr Higgins was dragged from his own house into the dark back garden and there cruelly and savagely stabbed to death."

Mr Rooney was acquitted of a further charge of assaulting Mr Higgins's son Scott and attempting to murder him.

Lord Osborne gave the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

He said they were driven to conclude that the verdict of the jury over the charges of attacking the father and son "lacks rationality".

"Standing his acquittal on the charge (of assaulting the son), we consider that the verdict against the appellant on the culpable homicide charge, in particular, must be regarded as one which no reasonable jury, properly directed, could have returned," he said.




SEE ALSO
Pair jailed for fatal gang attack
11 Oct 04 |  Scotland

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