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‘My dad died believing I was guilty’: Stockwell Six man tells of 50 years of ‘trauma’

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One of the three black men who has had his wrongful conviction from the 1970s overturned has told Sky News his father died believing he was guilty.

Cleveland Davidson was one of six men who became known at the “Stockwell Six” when they were arrested on suspicion of robbing a police officer at the underground station in south London in 1972.

They stood trial at the Old Bailey where the case relied largely on the word of corrupt British Transport Police officer Detective Sergeant Derek Ridgewell.

Paul Green (left) and Cleveland Davidson
Image: Best friends Paul Green (left) and Cleveland Davidson

Mr Davidson, Paul Green, Courtney Harriot, Texo Johnson and Ronald De’Souza were all convicted while Everet Mullins was acquitted.

Mr Davidson, Mr Green and Mr Harriot have now had their convictions quashed at the Court of Appeal, with a judge saying it was “most unfortunate” it had taken so long.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice Mr Davidson told Sky News: “It’s a vindication that we were innocent at the time. We was only young men. We were on a night out, me and my best friend Paul, and this is what happened. We didn’t expect that at all.

“It was a total stitch up. We were totally stitched up. We were framed up for nothing.

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“For 50 years it affected me and I know it affected Paul as well. I haven’t been the same. My family didn’t believe me. No one believed me.”

He said his mother and father were no longer alive but that his father had believed he was guilty of the robbery right up until the day he died.

“Can you imagine the trauma I’ve been going through for 50 years? Who’d want to go through trauma like that for 50 years? It’s a long time.

“Not all policemen is bad,” he added. “We just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time with a bad, corrupt police officer at the time.”

“I’m just overwhelmed that justice has played out in the end.”

The Criminal Cases Review Commission was unable to trace Mr Johnson and Mr De’Souza.