Justice for Collins! #collinsVScps
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On December 8th 2017 my brother Collins Adesoji was wrongly found guilty of a crime he did not commit due to the joint enterprise law.
Collins has always been a model student and a valued member of the community. Since leaving his secondary school, Lillian Baylis Technology College, in 2014, he makes regular visits to encourage other students to do better. He has been involved in creating a path for the generation after him and was selected in 2010 to discuss the knife crime with Prime Minister Gordon Brown as part of the 'Count Me In: Together We Can Stop Knife Crime' campaign.
Outside of that, my brother took part in the National Citizens’ Service, studied A-levels at college, has had multiple internships at IBM and has had a part-time job since turning 16, first at Halfords and then at Vodafone. I say all this to give you a picture of Collins as a person and not the "typical black boy from Brixton" image that the media and the police are intent on portraying.
Throughout the investigation we endured various forms of intimidation and mistreatment at the hands of the Metropolitan Police – specifically, DC Patrick White of the Trident and Area Crime Command – both in London and in Cambridge where he was studying Psychology at university. They insisted on labelling him a gang member after the courts had officially ruled it out.
During trial, the prosecutor stated that she knew both Collins and his co-defendant were innocent but still insisted they plead guilty to a charge that held a custodial sentence of two years, something that would affect his future career plans. She also let him know that she would have let him go but that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) would not allow her to. Why is my brother expected to get a criminal record and serve time to help CPS meet their stats?
CPS proceeded to withhold exculpatory evidence that would have lead to a ‘not guilty verdict’ and introduced evidence that has a suspicious chain of custody half way through trial. They also played on the jury’s prejudices in order to convince them that Collins was less than the young black man who had done everything in his power to avoid becoming a statistic. During trial we could see them struggling with the fact that this young black man from South London had the support of the community in court with him and was truly of good character, something that even the prosecution were unable to deny.
Why then would someone who grew up in an environment rife with negativity, avoid it all for 18 years and go off to university in Cambridge, come back to London specifically to commit a crime that would destroy his life and make all his hard work go to waste? He wouldn’t.
The person the police believe to have done the stabbing was caught but then dropped from the case in a way so sinister that the judge herself has requested that the Crown Prosecution Service write a report and appear in court to explain their reasoning. I believe that the judge will find errors in their conduct but that does not help Collins right now. My brother is yet to be sentenced and we want his case to be looked into because we are confident that the conviction will get overturned.
The Metropolitan Police and Trident in particular are known for being unfairly prejudiced towards ethnic minorities and their reprehensible tactics of intimidation and institutional discrimination are what lead to the 2011 Riots as a result of the death of Mark Duggan. We see many cases of convictions being thrown out due to the CPS’s evidence disclosure failings after the victim of their misconduct has lost many years of their life to prison. We don’t want that to be Collins’ story, we want to fix this now! Please sign this petition to help us to do that.
We are also raising funds to help cover the legal costs of this process and to ensure he has the best representation to make this happen so if you can, please donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/collinsvscps
We know Collins is not the first to have been treated this way and we are hoping that fighting for him will give others the courage to fight too; these injustices need to stop.
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