A man previously convicted of murdering a former policeman from Old Dalby has had his conviction set aside today (Thursday) after a landmark Supreme Court judgement regarding the law of secondary liability for crime, known as ‘joint enterprise’.
Ameen Jogee was sentenced to a minimum 20 years in jail after he was found guilty of murdering Paul Fyfe (47) in June 2011.
A jury agreed he had ‘egged on’ accomplice Mohammed Hirsi, who killed Mr Fyfe by stabbing him once in the chest with a large kitchen knife.
Jogee’s sentence was later reduced to 18 years on appeal.
Supreme Court justices had been considering whether foresight of a mere possibility that Hirsi would use the knife intending to cause at least serious bodily harm to Mr Fyfe was enough to find a conviction of murder against Jogee.
Today the court unanimously allowed Jogee’s appeal against his conviction.
It will now have to decide whether he should be re-tried for murder or whether his conviction for murder should be replaced by a conviction for manslaughter.
The legal issue in the case concerned the mental element of intent which must be proved when a defendant is accused of being a secondary party to a crime.
The court’s judgement deemed that the correct rule is that foresight is simply evidence (albeit sometimes strong evidence) of intent to assist or encourage, which is the proper mental element for establishing secondary liability.
A Supreme Court spokeswoman said: “In this case the conviction for murder must be set aside because the law was wrongly understood and the appeal was brought in time.
“It was argued on Jogee’s behalf that he ought not to have been convicted of either murder or manslaughter and that his conviction should simply be quashed. That argument was quite unrealistic.
“On the evidence and the jury’s verdict he was unquestionably guilty at least of manslaughter, and there was evidence on which the jury could have found him guilty of murder on a proper direction.
“The court will ask for written submissions from both parties whether there should be a re-trial for murder or whether the conviction for murder should be replaced by a conviction for manslaughter.”
Mr Fyfe’s widow, Tracey, her three daughters and other family members had previously expressed their fears that if Jogee’s appeal was successful 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.
More to follow.