Who? Mark Newby, solicitor-advocate at QualitySolicitors Jordans.
Why is he in the news? Representing a man seeking ‘miscarriage of justice’ compensation after his sentence was overturned.
Victor Nealon, who served 17 years for attempted rape, applied for compensation alongside Sam Hallam, who served over seven years for murder. Both men were released after appeal judges ruled that fresh evidence made their convictions unsafe.
But the Court of Appeal dismissed their compensation claims on the grounds that they had not proved their innocence beyond all reasonable doubt as a result of fresh evidence. Their cases were the first to be tried under a new test for compensation. Under the previous test, the standard of proof was whether, had fresh evidence been available at the start of the trial, no jury properly directed would have found them guilty.
Thoughts on the case: ‘People have no hope of claiming compensation under this test set by the secretary of state. It won’t just narrow the number of applications, it will take them to the point of vanishing.
‘We are seeking permission to go to the Supreme Court. We have to pursue this as far as possible. Under the old test both men would have qualified for compensation. The new test means that virtually no one will succeed.’
Dealing with the media: ‘It was difficult for the media to get their heads around the fact that someone can be exonerated on the basis of new evidence and then be denied compensation.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I have always been concerned about society and [whether] the right things are happening. Being a lawyer is a way to play your part in making sure society and the justice system work properly.’
Career high: ‘Every time I succeed in quashing a miscarriage of justice and get someone out of prison and back to their families.’
Career low: ‘Every time I fail to get someone out of prison when I think they should be released.’