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Author Topic: Pardon for Michael Shields  (Read 4471 times)

Offline Juan

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Pardon for Michael Shields
« on: September 09, 2009, 11:28:30 AM »
Great news but its such a shame it took this long to get him out.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/8245760.stm

Liverpool fan Michael Shields has been pardoned by Justice Secretary Jack Straw after being detained for four years over an attack in Bulgaria.

The 22-year-old, from Liverpool, was released after Mr Straw ruled he was "morally and technically innocent" of the attempted murder of a barman.

He was found guilty in 2005 after his team's win in that year's Champions League final.

Mr Shields and his family were said to be "absolutely ecstatic".

Mr Shields' parents, Michael Snr and Maria, have campaigned for his release since he was convicted.

In a statement, Mr Straw said that during the last meeting with the Shields family on 28 August he was told about a visit by two members of the Shields family to the home of another man alleged to be responsible for the crime.

   
At first he couldn't believe it after all these years and knock-backs
John Wheate
Michael Shields' solicitor

He said: "I was told that in the course of the visit that man made an oral confession to the crime in front of several other people.

"When looked at alongside all the previously available evidence, (it) has now satisfied me that Mr Shields meets the high test set by the court."

Mr Straw added that he believed Mr Shields to be "morally and technically innocent".

Mr Shields has been held in Thorn Cross young offenders institution in Warrington after serving the initial part of his sentence in Bulgaria.

The 22-year-old's solicitor, John Wheate, said the jailed fan was "absolutely ecstatic" when he was given the news earlier.

He said his client was told by the prison governor that he would be a free man and his family were informed by Mr Straw over the telephone.

'Miscarriage of justice'

Mr Wheate said: "At first he couldn't believe it after all these years and knock-backs.

"But now he is absolutely ecstatic and so are his family."

The pardon follows a campaign by the Shields family, MPs, clergymen, Liverpool players and others who believe he is innocent.

Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside, who has been campaigning for Mr Shields' release since he was convicted, said: "I am overjoyed at Jack Straw's decision.

"Michael has suffered a gross miscarriage of justice, incarcerated for four years for a crime he did not commit and for which another man has confessed.

"I pay tribute to Michael's family and the people of Liverpool for their remarkable courage and persistence."

Mrs Ellman added: "Jack Straw has brought justice to an innocent young man.

"This is a day for celebration."

Offline Kopite999

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Re: Pardon for Michael Shields
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2009, 04:19:27 PM »
Great news. Frightening to think that this could have happened to anyone of us.

Hope he makes an appearence at Anfield Saturday