My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

An appalling story...

How's this for a miscarriage of justice?
A man who spent 25 years in jail for the attempted murder of a nine-year-old boy had his conviction overturned yesterday.

Paul Blackburn, dressed in a T-shirt bearing the legend "Free at Last", stood on the steps of the High Court and said he planned to "just get drunk" after serving one of the longest terms for a conviction found to be unsafe.

He was 15 when he was jailed for the attempted murder of the boy, who was kidnapped, stabbed and sexually assaulted. Mr Blackburn served 25 years in 18 prisons, but always insisted on his innocence.

The Court of Appeal did not address the issue of his guilt or innocence yesterday, but Lord Justice Keene, sitting with Mr Justice Newman and Mr Justice Walker, accepted that he did not receive a fair trial at Chester Crown Court in 1978 and that his conviction was therefore unsafe.

Mr Blackburn's lawyer, Glyn Maddocks, said it was a major miscarriage of justice. "It is a disgrace. How can this happen in a civilised society?

"The trial judge said Paul should serve six to 10 years. Well, he was still there 16 years later. He got lost in the system. It is appalling."