The man at the centre of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling earlier this year on joint enterprise has been found guilty of manslaughter following his retrial for murder.
Amen Jogee previously had his murder conviction quashed after the Supreme Court ruled that the law on joint enterprise had been wrongly interpreted for the last 30 years.
Jogee was originally convicted with his co-defendant Mohammed Hirsi at Leicester Crown Court in 2012 for the murder of former policeman Paul Fyfe. Although Hirsi delivered the fatal stabbing to Mr Fyfe, under the law of joint enterprise Jogee was also found guilty of murder by having “egged” on Hirsi to harm Mr Fyfe, thereby foreseeing that it was probable Hirsi would use his weapon to murder Mr Fyfe.
However, earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the law on joint enterprise had been incorrectly applied since 1984. Previously, to be guilty of murder by way of joint enterprise, the prosecution needed only to show that someone foresaw the person they were with might kill or inflict serious harm. Delivering the Supreme Court judgment in February 2016, Lord Neuberger stated it was wrong to treat “foresight” as a sufficient test to show the requisite criminal intent. The Court said jurors should view “foresight” only as evidence to be taken into account, not as proof.
However, although the Supreme Court set aside Jogee’s murder conviction – meaning the verdict in his original trial no longer stood – the ruling did not mean Jogee walked free as the Court was satisfied that there remained a prima facie case to answer of murder or alternatively manslaughter.
In August 2016 Jogee was retried for murder with the included alternative of manslaughter. During the two-week retrial at Nottingham Crown Court the jury were presented with the same facts as those heard at the original murder trial. However, under the new test of joint enterprise the jury were directed to consider foreseeability as a factor to take into account rather than proof of intent.
At the conclusion of the retrial, this jury on this occasion did not find that there was sufficient evidence to convict Jogee of murder, instead they returned a guilty verdict for the alternative charge of manslaughter. Sentencing is due to take place one 12 September 2016.
Chronology of Jogee case:
March 2012: Convicted for murder of Paul Fyfe under the old joint enterprise law. Jury accepted that Jogee had foresight of his co-defendant’s intention to kill and had encouraged him to attack Mr Fyfe.
18 February 2016: Supreme Court rules that law on joint enterprise has been wrongly interpreted for last 30 years. Foresight is not a sufficient test to show the requisite criminal intent. Jurors should view ‘foresight’ only as evidence to be taken into account, not as proof of their guilt.
7 April 2016: Supreme Court makes orders for Jogee’s conviction for murder to be quashed and for him to be re-tried on the charge of murder (with the included alternative of manslaughter).
15 August 2016: Retrial for murder begins at Nottingham Crown Court on the basis of the new joint enterprise test.
5 September 2016: Jury return a not guilty verdict for murder but convict Jogee of manslaughter under the new joint enterprise law.
Those who campaigned to change the controversial law have welcomed this result viewing it as a significant development. The outcome will no doubt give hope to those considering appeals against their joint enterprise convictions for murder or those facing investigation or trial on similar facts.