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            2. Stockwell Six: Texo Johnson's conviction quashed at Court of Appeal

              Published
              Image source, PA Media
              Image caption,
              Paul Green (left) and Cleveland Davidson had their convictions overturned in July

              The conviction of a fourth member of the so-called Stockwell Six, wrongly jailed for allegedly attempting to rob a corrupt policeman, has been quashed.

              Texo Johnson, 67, was one of five young black men arrested after leaving Stockwell station on 18 February 1972.

              Mr Johnson's solicitor Jenny Wiltshire said: "Texo has lived his entire adult life with this hanging over him and time has not lessened his ordeal."

              She added: "He has said that the pain of what happened still lingers and that it is something he will take to his grave. This didn't need to be the case."

              Mr Johnson, who now lives in the US, was not present at the Court of Appeal hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday.

              Sir Julian Flaux, sitting with Lord Justice Dingemans and Lady Justice Andrews, said it is "most unfortunate that it has taken nearly 50 years to rectify the injustice suffered".

              The men, all aged between 17 and 20 at the time, were accused of trying to rob British Transport Police (BTP) officer Derek Ridgewell, who was in plain clothes.

              They were travelling on the London Underground from Stockwell station in south London, when Ridgewell claimed they attempted to rob him, before he fought back and arrested them with a team of undercover officers.

              Although each of the six pleaded not guilty, five were convicted and sent to jail or borstal, a youth detention centre, despite telling jurors that police officers had lied and subjected them to violence and threats.

              The sixth member, Everet Mullins, was acquitted because it was shown that his reading ability was not good enough for him to have read and fully understood his signed statement, which was written for him by Ridgewell.

              Courtney Harriot, Paul Green and Cleveland Davidson, also now in their late 60s, saw their convictions ruled unsafe by the court in July.

              Image source, PA Media
              Image caption,
              Paul Green (left) with Cleveland Davidson who branded it a "total stitch-up"

              The Stockwell Six case was the third time Ridgewell's corruption had led to wrongful convictions being overturned by the Court of Appeal.

              Ridgewell was involved in a number of high-profile and controversial cases in the early 1970s, culminating in the 1973 acquittals of the "Tottenham Court Road Two" - two young Jesuits studying at Oxford University.

              He was then moved into a department investigating mailbag theft, where he joined up with two criminals with whom he split the profits of stolen mailbags.

              Ridgewell was eventually caught and jailed for seven years, dying of a heart attack in prison in 1982 at the age of 37.

              In December 2019, three members of the "Oval Four" - who were arrested at Oval Underground station in 1972 and accused of stealing handbags by Ridgewell's "mugging squad" - also had their convictions overturned.

              The final member was cleared in March 2020 prompting calls for a "wholesale review" of all cases linked to Ridgewell.

              Ms Wiltshire added: "The British Transport Police knew about Det Sgt Ridgewell's corruption in 1973 but it took until this year for the force to undertake any review of this officer's cases.

              "Considering this huge delay - and the potential it created for material to get lost - it is unsurprising that the force's available records have revealed no further mischief to be unravelled.

              "I sincerely hope that the police's internal review of Det Sgt Ridgwell's actions was as thorough as it could have been and that there aren't other victims who had to yet to achieve the justice they deserve."

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