Conviction quashed in 20-year-old abuse case

February 6, 2004

A CARE worker at a children’s home who was jailed for eight years for sexually abusing two teenage boys had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal yesterday. However, Anver Daud Sheikh, 53, who was convicted and jailed by York Crown Court in 2002 for offences dating back more than 20 years, was told that he may be retried. Lord Justice Kennedy adjourned the case until next month, when the court will consider fresh interviews with the alleged victims — to be taken on video by a senior police officer — before deciding if the case should go before a new jury. Lawyers who have formed the specialist Historical Abuse Appeal Panel to fight miscarriages of justice resulting from care home investigations, said after the hearing that there were up to 200 cases in which people had been falsely convicted, some of whom may now appeal against their sentences. Mark Newby, Mr Sheikh’s solicitor and director of the newly formed panel, attributed the miscarriages to the compensation culture and to police methods. Mr Sheikh, who is married with four children, emerged from the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday to be greeted by his family. He said that it took “a few short minutes” on May 9, 2002, for a judge to send him to prison. “Today, happily, it took Lord Justice Kennedy a similar time to give me back my freedom for a crime I did not commit. “As I walk out before you I have very mixed feelings. I am elated to be going home and want to thank a lot of people for ensuring this happened.” Mr Sheikh, from Leicester, added: “As I leave today to restart my life, which was ripped away from me 20 months ago, my thoughts rest with many other men and women who I know have been wrongly convicted.

 

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