coerced then convicted

Jenny stands outside the Court of Appeal in November 2021.

Jenny (not her real name) spent five years in prison for a crime that she did not commit because she was a victim of domestic violence.


Armed with evidence, she and her team at APPEAL took her case to the Court of Appeal in November 2021.


Jenny had completed a full sentence in prison; life as she once knew it had already been broken apart. She was simply fiercely determined to clear her name.


However, in a regressive judgment, the Court of Appeal accepted the fresh evidence but upheld her conviction.




Jenny was convicted of harming her baby in 2016 and was given a ten-year extended sentence for the crime which was later reduced on appeal.


The Crown’s case at trial was that Jenny, in the course of an argument with her ex-partner, threw the baby forcefully on the ground, causing him serious injury. At the time of trial, she maintained that she had dropped the baby by accident after catching her cardigan. The medical evidence in the case contradicted this and she was convicted. Her ex-partner was acquitted.


The truth? The injuries suffered by the baby were the direct result of being punched in the face by her partner whilst she was holding her son. Upon being punched, she fell to the floor and lost her hold of the baby.




Jenny was in an extremely abusive and violent relationship with her ex-partner, a fact she only disclosed once she was already in prison. The extent of the abuse and coercive control she suffered was so severe, that it prevented her from providing accurate instructions to her legal representatives and properly presenting her case at trial. Diagnosed with PTSD in custody, and meeting other survivors in prison, Jenny finally felt safe and able to disclose the trauma she had been through.


To learn more about Jenny’s case, read this reporting in the Guardian.


“The Court of Appeal has not only slammed the door on Jenny but has risked silencing other women who have been wrongly convicted because they were too afraid to speak up about abuse.” — Naima Sakande, Deputy Director of APPEAL and Jenny’s Investigator

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APPEAL is the working name of the Centre for Criminal Appeals, a Charitable Company Limited By Guarantee and a law practice authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Registered Charity Number: 1144162 | SRA Authorisation Number: 621184 | Company Number: 7556168

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