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Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK : The Case for Overturning his Conviction - Geoffrey Robertson

Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK

The Case for Overturning his Conviction

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Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. brings his forensic skills and a deeply felt sense of injustice to the case at the heart of the Profumo affair, the notorious scandal that brought down a government.

‘The conviction of Stephen Ward stands as the worst unrequited miscarriage of justice in modern British history, and it is now time it was overturned.’ – Geoffrey Robertson QC

Late in the afternoon of Wednesday 31 July 1963, Dr Stephen Ward was convicted at the Old Bailey on two counts alleging that he lived on the earnings of a prostitute. He was not in the dock but comatose in hospital. The previous night he had taken a massive overdose, because after the judge’s summing up, he said, ‘I’ve given up all hope’.

Many observers of the proceedings thought the convictions did not reflect the evidence and that the trial was unfair, and this new book will show that it breached basic standards of justice.

The funeral of Stephen Ward, at Mortlake Cemetery in August 1963, attracted only six mourners. This distinguished osteopath and skilled portrait artist, a favourite of London’s fashionable society throughout the 1950s, had died by his own hand. On the grave lay a wreath made up of one hundred white carnations and a card signed by Kenneth Tynan. It bore the simple inscription:

To Stephen Ward
Victim of Hypocrisy

About the Author

Geoffrey Robertson Q.C. was born in Sydney and grew up in the suburb of Eastwood. After graduating from the University of Sydney, and then Oxford University he moved to London where he founded Doughty Street Chambers, the world’s largest human rights practice. He has prosecuted Hastings Banda, defended Julian Assange and acted in the proceedings against General Pinochet. His books include Crimes Against Humanity – The Struggle for Global Justice; The Tyrannicide Brief; Statute of Liberty; Mullahs Without Mercy and an acclaimed memoir, The Justice Game. He lives in London with his wife the author Kathy

"GR floods a dark corner of legal history with brilliant light, exposing the lengths to which the Establishment would go to protect the old order and to cover for their own. A stunning expose." Helena Kennedy QC "Stephen Ward was a scapegoat and a victim both of calumny and a miscarriage of justice, which together drove him to suicide. In this compelling account, beautifully written and argued, Robertson rescues Ward's reputation from the lies and legal distortions that condemned him." A.C.Grayling "I could not sleep for excitement after reading it at one sitting. Stephen Ward Was Innocent, OK is written with punchiness, gusto, incisive forensic analysis, and deadly gallows humour befitting its subject. Anyone who wants a thumping, indignant read as an antidote to Yuletide complacence should be given this polemic in their Christmas stocking." Richard Davenport-Hines, The Guardian '[This] book makes a passionate case for a posthumous pardon.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times Culture 'Robertson concentrates with clarity and vigour on the legal shortcomings of the case - ' The Times "It is essentially a legal opinion and it shows Robertson at his most polished and considered, without exaggeration." The Sunday Morning Herald "The most elegantly written application ever to have been sent to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) [ - ]The book presents a compelling case for overturning the guilty verdict." Duncan Campbell, The Guardian "Brick by brick, Robinson builds up an unassailable case. This is no dry as dust legal document: It has dramatic pace, atmosphere and tragedy." West End Extra "[A] compelling case for appeal." Sydney Review of Books

ISBN: 9781849546904
ISBN-10: 1849546908
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 8th January 2014
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0  x 2.5
Weight (kg): 0.31