‘Joint enterprise’ injustice must end

Jengba campaigners at Downing Street
Jengba campaigners at Downing Street

A CAMPAIGN group founded by a Wigan-born mum is hoping for public support to get a controversial law reviewed in the Supreme Court.

Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association (Jengba), which was founded by Janet Cunliffe who is originally from Pemberton, is looking to crowdfund £10,000 in legal fees for the hearing in October.

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a Nottingham case of joint enterprise, the law by which associates of people who commit crimes can be found guilty if they encourage the act or do nothing to prevent it when they are able to do so.

The hearing opens up the possibility other joint enterprise convictions, including that of Mrs Cunliffe’s son Jordan who was found guilty of murder for his role in the death of Warrington dad Garry Newlove, could be looked at again. Mrs Cunliffe said: “One of the questions the Supreme Court will be asked is if joint enterprise over-criminalises secondary parties, which is basically what our campaign is all about.

“We’ve got all the information but it needs to be properly presented by lawyers, so we need to raise about £10,000 to pay them and cover the legal fees.

“We’ll be presenting several cases to the Supreme Court if we can and obviously Jordan’s will be one of them.

“This could lead to major law changes and that’s why I’m tweeting so furiously trying to rally support.”

Jengba faces a race against time to get to the £10,000 target but is already almost half way to its goal with just under three weeks of crowd-funding still to go.

Mrs Cunliffe has always denied her son was in any way responsible for Mr Newlove’s death, maintaining he was nothing more than an innocent bystander.

Jengba recently staged an unusual interactive workshop at The Old Courts in Wigan town centre, with a range of campaigners visiting to put the concept of justice in the dock, and Mrs Cunliffe hopes the borough will once again support the campaign.

She said: “We’ve been supported by the Wigan Diggers Festival and the event we put on wouldn’t have been possible without contributions from local people.

“Hopefully Wiganers will all chip in again to help us.

“At the end of the day it’s not just about one case, there will be hundreds of people affected in the future.

“The most important thing for me is that this injustice stops and people don’t have to go through what we’ve gone through.”

To find out more about Jengba’s campaign to crowd-fund £10,000 for a Supreme Court hearing on joint enterprise in October or pledge support, visit www.crowdjustice.co.uk/case/changing-the-law-on-joint-enterprise