Three innocent black men who were jailed nearly 50 years ago over a corrupt police officer’s claims they tried to rob him have had their convictions overturned by the court of appeal. Courtney Harriot, Paul Green and Cleveland Davidson, all aged between 17 and 20 at the time, were arrested on the tube in London while travelling from Stockwell station in February 1972.
The trio, now in their late 60s, and three friends – who became known as the Stockwell Six – were put on trial at the Old Bailey, largely on the word of British Transport Police (BTP) officer DS Derek Ridgewell, whom the force now recognises as discredited. The Stockwell Six were accused of trying to rob Ridgewell and all bar one of them was convicted and sent either to jail or to borstal, despite telling jurors that police officers had lied and subjected them to violence and threats. At a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday, the court of appeal cleared Harriot, Green and Davidson’s names, nearly five decades after they were convicted.