‘No passport’ conviction quashed by Crown Court after CCRC referral

25 Apr 2024 08:47 AM

A conviction for failure to have an immigration document at an asylum interview has been quashed after being sent back to court by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). 

The case involved Ms D, who entered the UK at Heathrow Airport in March 2021. She immediately claimed asylum but didn’t have a passport with her.  

She told the UK Border Agency that she fled Iran in fear of political persecution.  

Ms D applied to the CCRC in July 2021, and it was referred to the Crown Court as it was decided she had a reasonable excuse for not having a passport with her when arriving at Heathrow airport.  

The Crown Court quashed the conviction on 19 April 2024, and it was referred by the CCRC on 5 March 2024.   

Notes to Editors: 

  1. The CCRC has anonymised this press release on the basis that there are safeguarding concerns in respect of Ms D.   
  1. The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently investigating suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.      
  1.  There are currently 10 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.  The Chairman, who is also a Commissioner, is not involved in the casework decision-making process.       
  1. The CCRC usually receives around 1,600 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.      
  1. The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.      
  1. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.      
  1. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at www.ccrc.gov.uk. The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc