Paul Blackburn Court Case
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Assistant Chief Constable Matt Burton said: “We remain concerned that Mr Blackburn served a term of imprisonment in light of the fact that the Court of Appeal went on to rule the convictions unsafe based on the duration and style of the interview.
“The Constabulary respects this ruling and instruction of the Court, it should also be noted that the ruling stated that the task of the court was not to say whether or not Mr Blackburn committed these offences, but whether the convictions against him were unsafe.
“Following the ruling the Constabulary undertook a comprehensive review of all the available evidence in the case and spoke to the victim concerned and we are satisfied that we do not need to reopen the investigation.
“An independent investigation into the conduct of the officers involved in this case was also undertaken in 1996 which concluded that there was no evidence of any misconduct nor was there any evidence to pursue criminal proceedings against the officers concerned.
“This case was investigated more than 40-years-ago at a time when the procedures and rules around the questioning of suspects and the submission of evidence were very different to that of today. The 1986 Police & Criminal Evidence (PACE) Act introduced fundamentally changed the way we treat and interview suspects.
“Since that time we have continued to improve our treatment of detainees in police custody, particularly those who are vulnerable or young. This includes the involvement of appropriate adults, professionals from Social Services and the provision of free independent legal advice, all of which is intended to ensure that detainees are treated in a respectful and fair way.”