Justice 4 Jordan Towers
In May 2007, Kevin Johnson was stabbed by either Tony Hawkes or Dean Curtis, each blaming the other in what was a spontaneous event. It is common ground that Jordan Towers took no part in the stabbing, as relayed by the trial judge during sentencing, and even Mr Johnson’s father has accepted publicly that Jordan is not a murderer. Yet he is currently serving a life sentence for just that with a minimum tariff of 13 years.
Jordan has never had an appeal, leave to appeal being refused. The Criminal Cases Review Commission went further, stating that there was no evidence that Jordan knew about the knife or that it would be used by either Tony Hawkes or Dean Curtis, something which would be necessary given that it was a spontaneous event to justify a murder conviction under the Joint Enterprise Doctrine. They did however overlook the clear and obvious conflict of interests created by his trial solicitor also representing a co-accused who was undeniably involved to some extent, thus precluding Jordan’s barrister from being instructed adequately in relation to questions which could have been asked of his other client in Jordan’s defence. Those conflicts of interests were acknowledged by the courts during a Judicial Review of the CCRC’s decision not to refer his case back to the court of appeal, however the court chose to go against previously successful appeal rulings by stating that Jordan having a different barrister preserved the fairness of trial. Previous rulings have considered that “wishful thinking”, even in cases where the party with which the conflict arose was not being represented in the same court at the same time.
There is no way of knowing whether a jury would reach a different decision if they were presented with an uncompromised defence of the charges against Jordan, but justice demands that he be afforded his right to a fair trial - his defence has never been tested before them. The integrity of the justice system is not preserved if all mechanisms intended to act as protections against miscarriages of justice acknowledge failings but actively block any route to an effective remedy.
We the undersigned call on the Justice Secretary to review the decisions and conduct of all parties, with a view to making appropriate recommendations, in order that Jordan be afforded his right to an effective remedy, a fair trial and justice.