Winston Trew

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Winston Trew

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Winston Trew said his life fell apart after he served eight months in prison

Three men who were jailed nearly 50 years ago on the evidence of a corrupt police officer have had their convictions quashed.

Winston Trew, Sterling Christie, now both 69, and George Griffiths, 67, were accused of stealing handbags in 1972.

The group known as the Oval Four were jailed for eight months for assaulting a police officer and attempted theft.

The Court of Appeal overturned the convictions due to the unreliability of a detective’s evidence.

The judge described it as “a very unhappy story”.

The men, who belonged to a political organisation representing black people in London, were aged between 19 and 23 at the time.

They were arrested with another man, Constantine “Omar” Boucher, at Oval tube station in by officers who accused them of mugging women.

A plain clothes police operation was set up on the Northern Line led by Det Sgt Derek Ridgewell, who was later jailed for seven years for conspiracy to steal.

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Winston Trew

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Winston Trew forged a career as a university lecturer

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