Report on ex-police officer’s Leeds assault conviction says ‘there may have been a miscarriage of justice’

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A “miscarriage of justice” may have occurred in the assault conviction of a former West Yorkshire Police officer, it has been claimed.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson has suggested that an independent report into an alleged conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by officers who gave evidence against Danny Major supports the claim.

Mr Major, a former West Yorkshire Police constable, was jailed for 15 months after being found guilty of assaulting a drunken teenager in custody at Millgarth police station, in Leeds, in 2006. He served four months of his sentence.

His family have been campaigning to have his conviction overturned since he was released from jail in 2007 and an independent report commissioned in January 2013 was finally delivered today.

Mr Burns-Williamson said he needs time to review the report in full and consider any next steps but added that it was “important” no early judgements were made.

He said: “What the report does say is that, in the opinion of the investigating team, the evidence supports the premise that there may have been a miscarriage of justice and that there is sufficient ‘fresh evidence’ to support the case being referred back to the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC).”

The family’s earlier challenges at the Court of Appeal and CCRC were unsuccessful before a document produced last year over the independent probe, carried out by Greater Manchester Police, said the evidence of three key witnesses would be reviewed.

It said: “Danny Major and his family have steadfastly maintained his innocence to this date, that key evidence and material has been withheld or disregarded and the issues of concern have not been thoroughly investigated.”