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Calls by MP to review convicted murderer's guilty verdict

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin and solicitor Glyn Maddocks are to meet with the justice minister over the case of Oliver Campbell. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin and solicitor Glyn Maddocks are to meet with the justice minister over the case of Oliver Campbell. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Archant

An Ipswich man's conviction for the murder of a London shopkeeper should be urgently reviewed, a minister is to be told.

Sandy Martin MP  Picture: NK Photography.co.ukSandy Martin MP Picture: NK Photography.co.uk

Oliver Campbell, now aged 49, spent 11 years in prison - including time at Hollesley Bay, near Woodbridge - after being jailed in 1991 over the killing of a shopkeeper in Hackney.

But Ipswich MP Sandy Martin told parliament earlier this year: "Oliver simply was not capable of carrying out such a crime."

Mr Martin told a House of Commons debate: "There was no forensic evidence linking him to the scene of the crime."

A confession to the murder should also not have been used as evidence, Mr Martin argued in his speech, because of Mr Campbell's "limited mental capacity" from a brain injury he suffered as a baby.

During the debate he also pointed to witness statements which described two short men at the crime scene, when Mr Campbell is black and 6ft 3in in height.

Now Mr Martin and Glyn Maddocks, Mr Campbell's solicitor, are set to meet justice minister Wendy Morton to urge the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to take a second look at the case.

Mr Martin said ahead of the meeting: "Oliver's ambition is to clear his name."

The MP added that, in his view: "If you were to meet him you would work out that he's not capable of being able to do that he's supposed to have done."

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A BBC programme called Rough Justice in 2002 challenged Mr Campbell's conviction, even bringing in a ballistics expert to look at the evidence.

Mr Maddocks and barrister Michael Birnbaum later made a lengthy submission imploring the CCRC to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.

At that time, the CCRC decided there was nothing new to form the basis of a fresh appeal.

But after Mr Martin's speech in parliament earlier this year, then parliamentary under-secretary for justice Edward Argar said he would meet the Labour MP to discuss the case.

Mr Argar has now been replaced by Mrs Morton, but Mr Martin said: "We got a good reception from the previous minister. He absolutely committed to take this seriously and I hope the new justice minister will do the same.

"I feel sure we can get her to look at it seriously and start to take things forward."

Mr Martin plans to present her with the evidence and ask for her view on what should happen next.

Mr Maddocks said in his opinion the conviction was a "disgrace" and added: "It's embarrassing for our criminal justice system that someone like Oliver could be convicted of doing something he's probably incapable of doing."

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was approached for comment.

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