The relatives of three Yorkshire men convicted under the controversial legal principle of ‘joint enterprise’ will today join a march in London as part of a campaign for an urgent review.
The march organised by the group Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) will end in a petition with more than 10,000 signatures being presented at 10 Downing Street.
Among those protesting will be the families of Andrew Feather, Joseph Lowther and Robert Woodhead, who last year were jailed with another man, Lee Calvert, for the murder of father-of-three Barry Selby in Bradford after a ‘joint enterprise’ prosecution.
Families from around the country will meet at Victoria Coach Station at 2pm before a group of six campaigns, including film-maker Jimmy McGovern, go into Downing Street at 3pm.
Joint enterprise allows the prosecution of members of a group or gang for murder when it cannot be proved which member of the group inflicted the fatal blow.
Defendants can be convicted if a jury finds they had foresight that another member of the group “might” kill or inflict serious harm. But JENGbA says the doctrine has led to many miscarriages of justice.
It said: “The day is about highlighting the injustice of joint enterprise and the unfair mandatory life sentences given to those who, at trial, are proven innocent of the actual murder yet still convicted of murder.
“Over- zealous prosecutors insist cases are a joint enterprise even when an incident is clearly spontaneous and unplanned. We are representing over 500 prisoners who are maintaining their innocence but we believe this is the tip of the iceberg.”
In the Bradford case, Mr Feather, Mr Lowther and Mr Woodhead denied murder and after having an initial appeal rejected by a judge, are set for an oral hearing in front of three Court of Appeal judges later this year.
Rebecca Wright, 28, the sister of Andrew Feather, said: “My brother was not even at the scene, he proved his case and he was done for murder.
“I think joint enterprise needs massive review. I understand that in some cases, if you are at the scene and are involved you are guilty but they are using it willy nilly now. That is why I am so passionate about it.”