A man is accused of attempted rape. He immediately offers to provide DNA samples to clear himself. This is rejected. Without that evidence, and because of "a disputed identity parade and a weakened alibi", he is found guilty.
His recommended prison sentence ("tariff") is seven years.
He continues to protest his innocence. He applies to the Criminal Cases Review Commission - twice - and is turned down both times.
In 2009, 13 years after the incident, DNA tests are finally run on the victim's blouse. The DNA is from a different man.
It takes another three and a half years to quash the conviction and release the prisoner. By this time, he has served an additional ten years over and above his tariff, because of his refusal to admit guilt..
"The Criminal Cases Review Commission's chairman... has apologised for the early inaction on the part of his body and... police has just re-opened the investigation into the attempted rape."
The ex-prisoner is driven to the station and given less than £50, with nowhere to sleep.
He applies for compensation for the loss of 17 years of his liberty. The "justice" minister refuses.
And now he is pursued for the £2,500 legal costs incurred in refusing him.
For more, read this week's Private Eye (# 1380, p.31), or this online article which is the source of the quotes in the above.
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