Tag Archives: wrongful conviction

What next for Sally Metcalfe?

In a dramatic climax the jury returned guilty verdicts in the case of R v Sally Metcalfe, the hapless Coronation Street Councillor caught up in fraud, money laundering and bribery.

As viewers will know, poor Sally appears to be a victim of Duncan’s cunning plan to divert blame elsewhere.

Her fate now lies in the hands of the trial judge, but a custodial sentence appears to be a real possibility.

sally metcalfe

But, what options does Sally Metcalfe have in relation to appeal?

Sally and her legal team must move quickly as an appeal against conviction must be lodged within 28 days of the verdict. An application to appeal can be made ‘out of time’ but there must be a good reason for any delay.

Since we can be rightly critical of her legal team, one of the first decisions may well be whether to instruct new solicitors and counsel to advise.

But whatever the decision made in respect to legal representation, it is important to note that appeals are not to be viewed as an automatic ‘second bite of the cherry’.

sally metcalfeThe Court of Appeal will only overturn a conviction if it is ‘unsafe’, so Sally’s legal team will need to identify something that went wrong in the trial process; if nothing did go wrong then an attempt at appeal would simply be futile, raising false hopes.

Sally’s best bet will be to continue the battle to clear her name in the hope of finding evidence that points towards Duncan and his framing of Sally.

This is referred to as ‘fresh evidence’ and must be genuinely new evidence that was not available to Sally and her lawyers at the time of trial.

sally metcalfe
The Court of Appeal

Of course, the case of Sally Metcalfe isn’t real, and we can expect the scriptwriter to exercise some editorial licence when it comes to explaining the intricacies of the law, so don’t take too much notice of the legal wrangling as it inevitably unfolds in future episodes.

In the real world, a wrongful conviction is a most dreadful experience for both defendants and their families, exacting the cruellest toll.

How can we help in your case?

If you require advice in relation to any appeal matter it is imperative that you act quickly. Our team of experienced lawyers are here, ready to take you through the process.

You can read more about how to appeal a Crown Court sentence here.

You can find your nearest office here.

sally metcalfe
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:



The forensic testing scandal – is my conviction safe?

The forensic Testing Scandal – Is My Conviction Safe?

New details have emerged about forensic testing deficiencies at two of the country’s leading laboratories. The police are currently investigating the circumstances.  As a result of this investigation a number of people have been arrested.  People will be asking themselves ‘Is my conviction safe?’

is my conviction safeRandox Testing Services (RTS) and Trimega Laboratories handle samples for some of the most high-profile criminal and family law cases.  As a result the accuracy of the tests are of paramount importance to people facing criminal prosecution for offences ranging from drink driving to murder.

Home Office Minister Nick Hurd told parliament:

‘Most drug tests from RTS between 2013 and 2017 are being treated as potentially unreliable. RTS was mainly commissioned by individual police forces when investigating criminal offences.’

It is believed that the results from as many as 10,000 tests could be under review.

Is Your Conviction Safe?

If a conviction in your case rested wholly or partially on the reliability of forensic tests, it is essential that you seek further legal advice immediately.

While the Crown Prosecution Service will be carrying out a review into criminal cases this will take a considerable period of time.  Some reports are mentioning a three year time frame.  Many will be is my conviction safe?questioning in any event whether the body that brought the prosecution in the first place is ideally placed to make decisions as to the safety or otherwise of a conviction.

Criticisms of the laboratories have previously been raised over the years, but it appears that the police and the prosecution continued to be content with the results produced.

Those who might be affected by an analysis by these laboratories will, therefore, wish to consider whether any further forensic testing ought to take place, and even whether or not there are grounds to appeal. All convictions involving these laboratories will need to be considered on a case by case basis.

Even if your cases did not involve the two laboratories currently under investigation, this scandal throws a spotlight on the hidden world of forensic testing and may call into doubt results from other forensic testing providers.

How we can assist with an unsafe conviction?

Regardless of whether VHS Fletchers handled your case initially our experienced team of criminal defence lawyers has the expertise to ensure the safety of your conviction is beyond question.

If you believe that inaccurate forensic testing may have led you to be wrongfully convicted (and that includes pleading guilty to an offence), please contact your nearest office to speak to one of our expert criminal lawyers.

is my conviction safe
Vhs Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Alternatively you can use the contact form below to request a call back.  We can help answer your question ‘Is my conviction safe?’