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Trawling to be reviewed as conviction is squashed



The court of appeal today quashed the conviction of a former care home worker jailed for sexually abusing boys in his care, paving the way for a review of more than 100 similar cases.Anver Sheikh, who has served almost two years of an eight-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting boys in 1980, was freed after new evidence threw doubt on the reliability of his conviction.The appeal court will consider next month whether Mr Sheikh should face a retrial.The test case was brought by the Historical Abuse Appeal Panel (Haap), established by a group of lawyers last year to probe whether around 120 former care workers and teachers have been falsely convicted on the testimony of unreliable witnesses seeking compensation.Haap is also concerned that false abuse claims have been followed up too enthusiastically by the police.A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which did not contest Mr Sheikh’s appeal, said: “The conviction was quashed. The defence came up with new evidence that threw doubt onto the initial witness statements….