George Davis must wait over appeal

A MAN who has spent decades denying his involvement in an armed robbery in Essex must wait a while longer to find out if he has cleared his name.

Three Court of Appeal judges hearing George Davis’s conviction challenge, relating to a raid which took place almost 37 years ago, reserved their decision on Thursday to a date to be announced.

Davis’s case became part of criminal folklore after he was jailed in 1975 over a raid in April 1974 at the London Electricity Board (LEB) in Ilford.

Davis, now 69, has attended the two-day hearing throughout to hear his QC argue that his Old Bailey convictions for robbery and wounding with intent to resist arrest should be overturned.

It is submitted that evidence to show the convictions are unsafe “has been in the hands of the authorities since at least 1977”.

The convictions have been referred to the court by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), an independent body which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

Davis, who lives in London, was originally sentenced in 1975 to 20 years. That same year the Court of Appeal rejected a conviction appeal bid, but reduced his sentence to 17 years.

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His case attracted widespread attention in the 1970s, with Sham 69 writing a song about him, Roger Daltrey wearing a T-shirt proclaiming his innocence and his name being daubed across railway and road bridges.

Davis’s sentence was remitted by Royal Prerogative and he was released from prison in 1976. But he was arrested again in September 1977 and later pleaded guilty to his involvement in an armed robbery at the Bank of Cyprus in London. He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment, which was reduced to 11 years on appeal.

At the end of arguments presented by Richard Whittam QC,for the Crown, and Davis’s QC David Whitehouse, Lord Justice Hughes said it was “a story with a number of twists on any view”, and the court would “not attempt to give judgment now”.