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"Rough Justice" was a ground-breaking BBC TV series in the early eighties. It produced evidence that innocent people were being imprisoned. It helped pressure the government into forming the Criminal Case Review Commission. The originator of "Rough Justice", Peter Hill, has revived it on this site because there is still a need for it today. Some films have been made specifically for this website. They are not produced by the BBC - and are not subject to the editorial judgements of any of the main terrestrial TV companies.  Other films from the original series of ROUGH JUSTICE are placed here at the discretion of the BBC for use by students and researchers.


In 1985 Rough Justice was attacked by Lord Chief Justice Lane in an extraordinary outburst in the Court of Appeal. He took the outcome of the Rough Justice case about Antony Mycock (whose conviction he quashed) as a pretext for seriously defaming the journalists involved. The BBC was in a quandary. Their men had done everything right, but they felt that they dare not take on the Lord Chief Justice. The production team was disbanded and the programme changed to a less incisive format. Because of strong opposition inside the BBC to this policy, the programme  was moved by the Managing Director Bill Cotton  to a different BBC department.  The full story of this outrageous action is reported on this website.


The History of the Justice reform group. (50 mins)


This is a documentary made by producer Peter Hill with reporter Martin Young, who together created the TV series "Rough Justice". It shows the many reforms that "Justice" brought about in the past six decades.


This is a programme transmitted by the BBC in 1983. It is placed here at the discretion of the BBC to aid students and researchers . It will be taken off this site if the BBC so wishes. This is the case of Margaret Livesey convicted of killing her son. This programme gained her an appeal, but her appeal was dismissed, but she was released on parole. She has since died.


The audience figure for this programme was 11.2 million - a record. This programme took the audacious step of actually naming a murderer while he was still alive and roaming the streets of Manchester. Two innocent men had been convicted of having murdered their brother. They were released after the programme was transmitted. The Greater Manchester Police were furious about this programme and took revenge on "Rough Justice" in the infamous Mycock case - seen elsewhere on this website.



Using an actual case, this programme explains how the Scottish police have convicted many innocent people in the past. The Supreme Court recently expressed surprise that nobody thought that there was anything wrong with the procedures the police were using. However, the Scottish legal authorities have different views. They do not wish to change - so innocent people are still in danger of falling foul of this system. Meanwhile, those who have suffered in the past from what the Supreme Court considers is "no longer good law" are having great difficulty in getting their cases re-heard in the light of the Supreme Court's decision.



This is a programme transmitted by the BBC on April 3rd 2011. It is placed here at the discretion of the BBC to aid students and researchers. It will be taken off this site if the BBC so wishes. The programme covers the turbulent 25 years during which the programme re-investigated miscarriages of justice.

 BBC ROUGH JUSTICE - The Case of the Confused Chemicals. (40 mins)

Courtesy of the BBC. This is a classic case of miscarriage of justice. The only black man in a small northern town is convicted on false evidence of murdering a white girl. The leading judge at his appeal was a former Mosleyite  Blackshirt. The importance of evidence proving his innocence was simply ignored. If this were a drama it would not be credible. But in fact it is the truth about how bad English justice can be. After an outrageous appeal, Clarke was later advised by his solicitor (who was in tears) to admit that, although he had not killed the girl, he knew more than he was telling. He was then granted parole. Original evidence on this case can be seen in the library below.


The Case of the Perfect Proof.

The remarkable case of Antony Mycock, convicted for a crime that actually did not take place.

This is the case that caused such controversy in 1985. Lord Chief Justice Lane had had enough of Rough Justice getting cases back into the Court of Appeal. He decided to believe the lies of the supposed victim in the case Anne Fitzpatrick. She claimed that Hill and Young had threatened to expose her lesbianism if she did not confess to their cameras that she had concocted the story of the crime for her own purposes.

The other two judges on the Appeal Court bench did not agree with Lord Lane - particularly  after  Hill [produced a transcript of the conversation in question. The transcript proved that Fitzpatrick had willingly entered into the interview and that other parts of her accusations against the BBC men were lies. There had been no coercion, no threats to expose her lesbianism.

Nevertheless, while quashing Mycock's conviction, Lord Lane persisted and spent most of his judgement in berating Hill and Young. The BBC was in total confusion over this issue. Their men had worked in close contact with lawyers throughout the case and there was nothing incorrect in what they had done. In the end internal politics inside the BBC took over and the Rough Justice programme ceased to exist in its original form.  The full story of this can be read elsewhere on this website.



The Story of Alf Fox, convicted of killing his wife and his mother-in-law in Yorkshire. This programme revealed "Rough Justice's strengths in that it concentrated on the forensic evidence in the case - the adhesive tape used to gag the victims. Unfortunately, when the case eventually came before the Appeal Court, the defence decided that this evidence should not be used - relying instead on the timing evidence.  The appeal failed and Fox was eventually released on parole.





An explanation of one of the most significant recent advances in fighting miscarriages of justice - the techniques used to spot false confessions. This programme contains the only interview shot on the subject with the originator of suggestibility scales - Professor Gisli Gudjonnson.



A sensational account of the background to this ground-breaking case - by Alastair Logan, the courageous solicitor who represented one of the victims. This talk was originally given to students at the Inns of Court in 2001. It was filmed in cooperation with the Inns of Court School.


An exclusive look at  three cases in Scotland - those of Luke Mitchell, Shirley McKie and Edward Milne.

 The case of Luke Mitchell ( 20 mins)

(his film is also incorporated within the "Justice in Scotland" film elsewhere on this site.)

This is the story of a young man found guilty of murdering his girl friend because of a series of unwarranted presumptions. He is currently still in prison for the crime. It is still the subject of great controversy in Scotland.


This is an exclusive interview with the former Director of JUSTICE on what may the biggest legal change in the next few years.


Courtesy of the BBC, this is the film which first brought the outrageous case of George Beattie to the attention of the Scottish public. That George Beattie still has not been cleared of the murder in Carluke is to the shame of the entire Scottish legal and judicial system - and to the the police forces involved. This film is listed here in response to public demand and for the use of researchers of miscarriages of justice.

 George Beattie - The National Campaign (18 mins)

This is the story of a twenty year long fight by a Member of Parliament - and a suggestion that a new law reform group should be formed in Scotland.

 The Defeat of Justice (The George Beattie Case - 39 mins)

This is an analysis of the Scottish judicial system and its failure to consider police malpractice.


The Case of the False Fish (Anthony Steel)

This is the original BBC film by Peter Hill that caused the Bradford Police to publically confess for the harm that som eof their officers caused. Steel was released in 2003 and has since died.


 The Voice from the Grave ( The Tony Steel case - 14 mins)

This is the story that this victim of a miscarriage of justice could not tell whilst he was alive - how the police beat a confession out of him. This was specially recorded for transmission after his death.

Dealing with the Criminal Case Review Commission (11mins)

This is a unique opportunity to hear how to deal with the Criminal Case Review Commission in England - from  the solicitor who has had most success with petitions to it, Campbell Malone..

Taking a miscarriage of justice case to the Court of Appeal (39 mins) - by Michael Mansfield Q.C.

England's top Q.C., now retired after a distinguished career,   talks about the difficulties of winning criminal appeals.

Interview with former Criminal Case Review Commission Commissioner Laurie Elks.(20 mins)

Preparing a petition to the CCRC? Hear from an ex-commissioner what they want from you.

A  History of Miscarriages of Justice - James Morton. (25 mins)

James Morton has a vast experience of miscarriage cases. He tells how the Appeal Court was created - and how ordinary people, particularly journalists, forced the judicial system to reform.







In 1984 an independent film company, Griffin Productions, made a programme with Tom Sargant for Channel 4. This is the only occasion when the most influential figure in fighting miscarriages of justice in Britain recorded his opinions for the benefit of future researchers. This programme is copyright Channel 4 and placed on this website with the express permission of the Head of Channel 4 in 1984 - Sir Jeremy Isaacs.


 "Panorama" James Hanratty (43 mins)

In 1966 this historic programme was made on one of the most famous cases of the last century. It is on this website at the discretion of the BBC.


In 1989 England's leading solicitor Sir David Napley, gave the first Tom Sargant Memorial Lecture. Sir David devoted his lecture to a call for an independent tribunal to consider cases of miscarriage of justice - prior to them being referred back to the Court of Appeal. This idea was later considered by the Royal Commission on Criminal Justice under Lord Runciman. Eventually the Runciman Commission's report helped create the Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC).

This speech was the first public demand for such a body. What is particularly interesting is the variety of ideas that were in circulation in the late eighties - ideas which might today help add to our ideas on what the CCRC should be. Interesting too is the number of important public figures who attended the lecture - these include the top barrister George Carman Q.C, "Taffy" Cameron the world-famous pathologist, journalist Robert Kee, barristers Patrick O'Connor and Nicolas Blake and many others.

This speech proved to be a historic turning-point in the correction of miscarriages of justice in England.





What to do if you are wrongly convicted

Fair Compensation  (read this if you have had your conviction quashed and want compensation  Better still - read it before your grounds of appeal are prepared!)


The battle between Rough Justice and the Lord Chief Justice

A brief history of Rough Justice

A library of books and articles on miscarriages of justice.

This is the original official site of the Annual Tom Sargant Memorial Lectures  and it contains many historic speeches given at this annual lecture.


The Tom Sargant Lectures are now organised by JUSTICE



About the author of this site - Peter Hill

Site copyright - Raybrook Ltd 2009.