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No grounds for appeal in Hazel Stewart's case

Published 23/02/2016

I write in relation to your headline (News, February 19) that Hazel Stewart could "walk free" after the Supreme Court's decision in Jogee and Ruddock. That is clearly not the case.

Indeed, the Supreme Court was anxious to warn that it was not putting in jeopardy convictions such as this.

The Supreme Court decided that the law has been wrongly interpreted in cases sometimes referred to as "departure from common purpose" cases. This decision will not give any scope for Stewart to appeal.

There was no departure from a common purpose; Hazel Stewart and Colin Howell agreed that he would carry out the killings. She, therefore, intended that he would commit murder.

It remains the law that where A and B jointly agree that A will commit murder, B is also guilty.


Selwyn College, Cambridge

Belfast Telegraph

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