On This Day 2004
On December 20, 2004 the Court of Appeal quashed the convictions of Graham Huckerby and James Powers.
Huckerby and Powers were co-accused and wrongly convicted in 2002 of being involved in the armed robbery of about £6million in cash and cheques from an armoured car in Manchester, 1995.
In January, 2005, the prosecution announced it would not seek to retry Huckerby or Powers.
We repost the following piece from the Guardian. The original article can be found HERE.
Guard wins appeal against armed robbery conviction
Graham Huckerby, 45, had served nearly three years of a 14-year sentence after he was convicted for his role as inside man in the robbery of cash and cheques from his Securicor van in Salford in 1995, Britain’s largest cash raid.
Mr Huckerby has been freed on bail while the prosecution decides its next move. Among his supporters were Paddy Hill, of the Birmingham Six, and the campaign groups Innocent and the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation (MOJO.)
He said at the time of the incident that he had cooperated with the raiders and allowed them onto the van as he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following a previous raid on his van in which a colleague was stabbed.
Following his conviction, he suffered from depression for two years in jail and needed medication to control it.
Yesterday, in a judgment handed down by three judges at the appeal court in London, his conviction was quashed. Judge Lord Justice Potter said it was “in the interests of justice” to consider new medical evidence given at the appeal about Mr Huckerby’s state of mind during the robbery.
“Having done so, we are not satisfied as to the safety of the conviction,” the judge said.
An acquaintance of Mr Huckerby’s, James Power, 62, from Bury, who was also jailed for 14 years as an accomplice, also had his conviction quashed. The court also set aside confiscation orders made against the men of £50,000 each or 15 months in prison.
“My mum already looks 10 years younger,” said Mr Huckerby’s sister Susan Kelly yesterday as she fought back tears. “She thought she was never going to see Graham in her house again.
Mr Huckerby’s solicitor, Maslen Merchant, said he was absolutely overjoyed at the outcome, following three years’ work on the case. But he said his client was still extremely anxious about a possible third trial a decade after the event. Mr Huckerby said in a statement: “I am excited and overjoyed at my release, especially this close to Christmas. Not only is Christmas just days away, two of my children celebrate their birthdays over the next week – this will be the best Christmas our family ever had.”
No one else was ever convicted for the raid, nor any of the stolen money recovered.
The prosecution said he had received a £1,000 bribe before the robbery – but he said it was money his mother Ruth, 76, had given him to buy furniture.
Greater Manchester Police claimed Mr Huckerby had been financially stretched before the raid, yet enjoyed a change of fortune afterwards, paying off debts and taking a series of holidays.
Mr Huckerby, from Prestwich, north Manchester, was first arrested in 1999 but convicted seven years after the robbery, in a retrial in 2002.
He has not seen his daughter, now 21, for five years, after his former wife gave evidence for the prosecution, and has never seen his grandson.