On 27 November 2007 in Manchester Crown Court the appellant, Mr K, pleaded guilty to possessing a false passport contrary to section 25 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. He was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment. Almost 10 years later, Keir Monteith of Garden Court Chambers represented Mr K at his appeal.
In their judgment the Court of Appeal agreed with Keir Monteith’s submission that Mr K had not been advised that he had a defence under section 31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. In fact, Mr K was a refugee and had come from a country where his life or freedom had been threatened.
The court further agreed that this defence would have ‘quite probably’ succeeded and, exceptionally, the conviction was quashed.
Mr Justice Leveson gave judgment on 28 March 2017. The full judgment is available.