“Proven” members of Stockwell Six after the 1972 conviction was overturned

A member of “Stockwell Six”, who was imprisoned in the words of a corrupt police officer about 50 years ago, said he was finally proved after his name was cleared by the Court of Appeals.

Cleveland Davidson was only 17 years old when he and his five friends, all young black men, were arrested on the London Underground while on the night out on the night of February 18, 1972.

Stockwell Six was accused of trying to rob Sergeant Derek Ridgewell, a British Transport Police officer who was dressed in plain clothes and previously worked for police in Southern Rhodesia, now in Zimbabwe.

Ridgewell claimed that six people on the train at Stockwell Station in southern London were arrested by a team of undercover agents in an attempt to rob him before fighting back.

They all pleaded not guilty, but all Bar 1 were convicted and sent to prison or prison, even though police officers lied and told the jury that they had been exposed to violence and intimidation. ..

Epoch Times Photo
Paul Green (left) and Cleveland Davidson outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. July 6, 2021. (Stefan Rousseau / PA)

Davidson, now 66, was convicted of an attempted robbery and sentenced to six months in prison.

On Tuesday, three members of Stockwell Six (now 66-year-old Davidson, Paul Green, and Courtney Harriot) finally cleared their name by the Court of Appeals, which ruled that their conviction was dangerous. it was done.

Sir Julian Frau, who sits with Judges Linden and Wall, said, “It’s most disappointing that it took nearly 50 years to correct the injustices these appellants suffered.”

The remaining two convicted members of Stockwell Six, Texo Joseph Johnson and Ronald Desouza, have not yet been tracked.

However, the Criminal Cases Review Board (CCRC), which referred the conviction to the Court of Appeals, said, “It is desperate to find another man who was part of this group of friends many years ago.” ..

After the hearing, outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Davidson said: I was still young at that time, so I didn’t do anything. “

“It was a complete stitch-up, it was a free frame-up,” he added.

“I don’t know how many other people Ridgewell has connected … it’s endless,” Ridgewell said, adding that Ridgewell was a “corrupt, evil and evil police officer.”

He said his beliefs had influenced him over the last 50 years and “ruined” his life.

He asked: “We got justice today, but it didn’t do it right-how can we do it right?”

Winston True, who was convicted of attempted theft and assault on police in 1972 by the Court of Appeals in December 2019, said he was “very happy” after the hearing.

True was also “equipped” by Ridgewell, imprisoned for two years and then shortened to eight months by appeal.

His book, Black For A Cause … not just for reasons. … A detailed history of Ridgewell’s “equipment” was used in a previous appeal to overturn another conviction based on evidence of a corrupt officer.

True told PA News Agency:

“Justice should not only be done, but it should be seen as it is done.”

Davidson, Green and Harriot were “fifty years of torture,” he said.

“They were convicted of young men going out at night and spent the next 40 years in the shadows of their lives,” he added.

CCRC Chairman Helen Pitcher said:

“Our attention is directed to the two men we have been trying to reach for some time, which were mistakenly accused many years ago.”

“We are desperate to find another man who was part of this group of friends many years ago.

“They were also convicted. By tracking them, we can take another step towards achieving justice and finally reveal their names.”

Adrian Hanstock, Deputy Secretary of the British Transport Police, said: “It’s a complete shame that the criminal activity of a former officer who lost the unit’s credibility more than 40 years ago led to these unhealthy prosecutions.

“I generously apologize for the pain, anxiety, and consequences. This would undoubtedly have caused people to be mistakenly convicted.

“We understand that the length of time they spend in detention, or the long-term effects it may have had on them, cannot be compensated.”

But he “examined all available records” of the investigation in which Ridgewell was the chief officer, so the unit “an additional issue we feel should be referenced for external review.” Did not identify. “

Ridgewell was involved in a controversial case that received a lot of attention in the early 1970s, leading to the acquittal of two young Jesuits, Tottenham Court Road 2, who studied at Oxford University in 1973. I did.

He was then transferred to an email bag theft investigation department, where he joined two criminals and shared the profits of the stolen email bag.

Ridgewell was eventually captured, imprisoned for seven years, and died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 37.

The Stockwell Six case is the third time Ridgewell’s corruption has been torted by the Court of Appeals.

In January 2018, Stephen Simmons’ 1976 conviction of stealing an email bag was abandoned after Ridgewell discovered that he was imprisoned for similar charges just two years after his conviction. I did.

In December 2019, three members of Oval Four, who were arrested at Oval Subway Station in 1972 and accused of stealing a handbag by Ridgewell’s “robbery”, also overturned the conviction.

Trew, Sterling Christie, and George Griffiths were all sentenced to two years in prison and then reduced to eight months by appeal after a five-week trial in Old Bailey.

In March 2020, the last member of Oval Four, Constantine “Omar” Boucher, also cleared his name and called for a “wholesale review” of all cases related to Ridgewell.

Sam Tobin

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