A Melton family has this week been at the centre of a court hearing which could influence verdicts in all future murder cases and trigger appeals by convicted killers.
Tracey Fyfe, together with her three daughters and other relatives, was in the gallery at the Supreme Court yesterday (Wednesday) and the day before, to hear a second appeal by one of the men convicted of murdering her husband in June 2011.
Ameen Jogee was sentenced to a minimum 20 years in jail after a Nottingham Crown Court jury agreed he had ‘egged on’ accomplice Mohammed Hirsi, who killed former policeman Paul Fyfe by stabbing him once in the chest with a large kitchen knife.
Five judges have been sitting in the Supreme Court, in London, where the prosecution must prove that Jogee, in encouraging Hirsi to harm Mr Fyfe, foresaw it was ‘probable’ rather than ‘possible’ that his friend had picked up the knife to commit murder.
If they decide in Jogee’s favour the verdict could impact on the cases of hundreds of other people convicted under ‘joint enterprise’, where more than one defendant is charged with murder but there is no onus to prove all members of the group intended to kill.
Listening yet again to the details of how her husband of 28 years died - she also attended the initial court hearing and a subsequent appeal which upheld Jogee’s conviction but reduced his sentence to 18 years - has been harrowing for Mrs Fyfe.
She said: “It was absolutely horrible. We thought after all this time we would have been able to put it all behind us but we have had to listen to it all over again.
“The court was packed and it is difficult to predict which way it will go - I am just hoping we get the verdict we want when it is announced in 12 weeks.”
Mrs Fyfe was in court with the couple’s three daughters, Emma, Tara and Jess, as well as her own sister and Mr Fyfe’s sister.
Also at the hearing were a large number of supporters of the organisation Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA), which campaigns for the legal rights of more than 500 prisoners convicted under the ‘joint enterprise’ law,
Mrs Fyfe said: “It’s frightening to think what will happen if he wins this appeal - I don’t think people are aware of the implications. Hundreds of people convicted of murder could be released.”
The family are hoping they finally get closure over the tragic death of Mr Fyfe, who died following an altercation with Hirsi and Jogee at a house he was staying at in Leicester.
Mrs Fyfe added: “I will be nervous now waiting for the verdict. We have all got to get through Christmas not knowing what is going to happen.”