In a criminal trial the burden is upon the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt. Juries are directed that unless the evidence makes them satisfied so they are sure of guilt, their verdict must be one of not guilty.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt

At the end of a three-week trial a jury decided - on the basis of purely circumstantial evidence - that Derek Christian should serve a life sentence for a crime of which he is innocent. It decided - beyond reasonable doubt - in a mere two hours and ten minutes.

Derek is now serving a mandatory life sentence at HMP Frankland. Convicted of murder not only on the strength of circumstantial evidence, but also in the face of conflicting - and in part very doubtful - prosecution evidence.

Derek Christian has always protested his innocence. He will continue to do so. This decision will, in all probability, cost him any hope of ever being granted parole. Of that there can be very little doubt.

We also firmly believe that Derek is innocent. We wish to see that justice is done. Rather than being seen to be done. In this regard, we can only echo the words of the Lord Chief Justice - "This is such a strange and obscure story that it is difficult to recommend any punitive term with complete confidence."

His leave to appeal having been refused, the only way forward for Derek Christian is through the Criminal Cases Review Commission. We are submitting an application to the CCRC, requesting that his conviction be examined and the case referred to the Court of Appeal.

Reversing a miscarriage of justice is a difficult and lengthy process. One which can take decades rather than years, as is demonstrated by the cases of Andrew Evans, Stefan Kiszko and James Hanratty, to name but three of countless others.

If, after reading the following articles and viewing the evidence, you are left with any reasonable doubt as to Derek's conviction, we - and he - would greatly appreciate your support. Should you feel that you are able to help in any way whatsoever or should you wish to make known your feelings on the case, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Download the booklet 'Beyond Reasonable Doubt' (pdf)

Number of days Derek Christian
has now spent in prison

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