Beds, Herts & Bucks

Family lose appeal in 1966 police theft case

The family of a Buckinghamshire police officer convicted of theft more than 40 years ago have lost their legal battle to clear his name.

An appeal against conviction brought on behalf of the late Frederick Charles Luckhurst was rejected by the Court of Appeal in London.

Luckhurst was convicted in September 1966 of stealing a bank wallet and sentenced to one year in jail.

In March 1967 his challenge against conviction failed.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges were urged to find that his larceny conviction was "unsafe" in the light of new evidence relating to identification.

But the judges dismissed the case ruling that doubt had not been thrown on the safety of the conviction.

'Nothing to gain'

The case had been referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission, the independent body which investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

A member of the public, who had found the bank wallet containing £139 in the street, identified Luckhurst at an identification parade as the officer to whom he had handed it.

The theft came to light after police inquiries revealed that neither the wallet, nor its contents, had been booked in by police or restored to the owner or bank.

The judges said they were aware of the importance of the case to the family of Luckhurst, who died in 1998.

But Lord Judge said that in cases where the issues had already been "fully and exhaustively" investigated there was "nothing to gain by raising false hopes in those who believe and always will believe that a miscarriage of justice has occurred".

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