After the recent retrial at Nottingham Crown Court, Ameen Jogee has been found guilty of the June 2011 manslaughter of Paul Fyfe, a former police officer and father of three. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, however it is likely that he will serve half of this before being released on licence. Furthermore, the five years that Jogee has already served following his earlier conviction for murder will count towards his current sentence. He was found not guilty of murder. The jury were told that Mohammed Hirsi delivered the fatal blow and the prosecution’s case is that Jogee allegedly encouraged Hirsi. Jogee’s defence counsel, Felicity Gerry QC, argued that Jogee was surprised by Fyfe’s death and that he was in ‘the wrong place at the wrong time’.
This trial follows Jogee’s appeal in the Supreme Court in February 2016 which changed the law on joint enterprise. Jogee and Hirsi had previously been convicted of murder prior to the appeal. Joint enterprise had previously been available to convict accomplices of the same crime as the person who inflicted the fatal act. This was particularly common in gang-related offences. The Supreme Court ruled that there had been a wrong turn in the earlier case of Chan Wing-Siu and that foreseeing the possibility that a person might commit the offence without intention is not the sole threshold to find that that person is liable for the same crime. The effect of this was that a person cannot be guilty of an offence unless there is proof that they positively intended that it should be committed; foresight alone is not sufficient for liability. This change in the law does not apply retrospectively and others convicted under joint enterprise will only be able to appeal if they can demonstrate that they have suffered ‘substantial injustice’.
Judge Gregory Dickinson warned against reading too much into the case’s outcome as, in his opinion, the different verdict at the re-trial was due to a difference in the evidence as well as with the change in the law.