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Students praised for helping overturn murder conviction

11th Dec 2014

A group of law students from Cardiff University have been praised by a UK judge for helping to clear Dwaine George’s name.

George, 30, an ex-gang member, was convicted of the shooting of 18-year-old Daniel Dale in 2001, and given a life sentence in prison in 2002. Always maintaining his innocence and denying murder, he was ordered to serve a minimum of 12 years in jail, before being released last year on a life licence.

George unsuccessfully appealed in 2004, and after this, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred the conviction to the court of appeal for a second time.

Law students at Cardiff University prepared his appeal case, working under the university’s Innocence Project, set up within the law school to consider cases where there was a potential miscarriage of justice.

George’s conviction was quashed a few days ago by Sir Brian Leveson, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, along with Mr Justice Green and Mr Justice Goss, who deemed it no longer safe.

Leveson expressed his gratitude towards the CCRC and the work of the Innocence Project and Cardiff Law School’s pro bono unit for their roles in the appeal, praising the students for pursuing the case ‘so diligently’.

Dale was shot in 2001 while talking to friends in the street in Miles Platting, and was later found collapsed in an alleyway. He was due to be called as a witness in the trial into the killing of his friend Paul Ward, who had been stabbed to death in Cheetham Hill in January of the same year in an unrelated case.

George was found guilty of murder and attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life in 2002.

His case was referred for appeal after the CCRC obtained scientific evidence that showed there was a possibility that the gunshot residue used as evidence ‘does not attract the value attributed to it at trial’, and the eligibility of voice identification evidence was also questioned.