London

Appeal granted to George Davis for 1970s conviction

'G. Davis is innocent' slogan
Image caption Graffiti appeared across the country after the conviction

A man who was the subject of a public campaign to prove him innocent of a robbery in the 1970s has been granted an appeal against his conviction.

George Davis was jailed for 20 years for armed robbery and wounding in 1975.

In 1976, following a number of high-profile protests, he was released on the orders of the then home secretary.

But the case was never re-examined by the courts and his conviction was never quashed. Now the case is to go to the Court of Appeal.

It began after a robbery committed at the London Electricity Board in Ilford, east London, on 4 April 1974.

Cricket pitch protest

Davis was initially tried alongside three co-defendants, none of whom was convicted but he was found guilty.

He received consecutive sentences of 17 years and three years.

Subsequently his supporters waged an increasingly public series of protests in support of an appeal culminating in the digging up of the pitch at Headingley during a cricket test.

The then Home Secretary Roy Jenkins set him free after he was granted a Royal Prerogative of Mercy.

Yet the conviction was never officially overturned.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has now ordered that the conviction be re-examined.

Davis was subsequently jailed for another robbery, but that conviction is not being challenged.

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