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Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association group claims families are suffering injustices
The relatives of offenders convicted in Bradford murder cases are urging others affected by a controversial law to get in touch to get support.
Support group JENGbA (Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association) held an event yesterday to raise awareness of the law, which sees people convicted by association with a serious crime.
They claim many Bradford families are suffering injustice because relatives have been convicted under the law of joint enterprise, which allows for a group of individuals to be charged with the same offence if they had the same intention and foresight of what was to happen.
Sarah Hall, whose brother Michael was given a life sentence with his then 22-year-old girlfriend Laura Mitchell and two other men in October 2007 for the murder of Andrew Ayres, 50, who was attacked in the car park of a pub in Halifax, spoke at the event.
The pair and a third defendant were sentenced on the basis that they were secondary parties to the death.
Mrs Hall said: “Michael and Laura’s case is on the periphery of this net, but is a very good example of the law the prosecution are using, which is joint enterprise, to catch people and convict.
“It also raises a lot of points raised by the Home Affairs Select Committee.
“It puts at risk people not coming forward because of the fear of being convicted. There are likely to have been, and will be, miscarriages of justice with these laws.
“We want to make people aware. Michael and Laura were a normal couple and were not part of a gang. They went out one evening and little did they know they would end up in prison serving a life sentence months later.”
Ishy Ahmed’s brother Abid Ashiq Hussain is one of the Bradford 3 who were given jail sentences totalling nearly 90 years after father-of-four Shazad Hussain, 21, was shot dead at point blank range in his car in an alleyway off Leeds Road in September 2004.
Mr Ahmed, who organised the Bradford event, said: “We need a group like this in Bradford because we need to raise awareness it is happening.
“You are just lost and you don’t know where to turn and if it helps one person wrongly convicted it is a big thing.”
For information about JENGbA, call Mr Ahmed on 07815 880446.