About the case
On 6 June 2012, a young man, of dual heritage, was sent to prison for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. His ‘crime’ was simply to be associated with people who committed a crime and to be in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
In August 2011 Wayne Collins-Taylor spent a couple of days visiting a friend in Birmingham whom he had met on holiday. On the evening that he was due to return home to Luton, he found himself amongst a group of people, only one of whom he knew. Some of them started smashing and then burning a pub in the vicinity and took part in a violent public disorder. The police arrived within minutes, and the group ran away from the scene. At that moment firearms were discharged at the police and the group ran off, Wayne amongst them. These incidents were captured clearly on CCTV and this shows that Wayne never used any violence, never went into the pub or damaged anything, and that whilst he remained with the group he, seemed lost, and was walking at times with his hands in his pocket. He was running off and was several meters away when the firearms were discharged.
Wayne’s presence at the crime scene and association with the person he met on holiday was enough to get him convicted under a controversial law known as Joint Enterprise. Indeed during the trial it was agreed that there was no forensic evidence that linked Wayne to any firearm and CCTV footage showed him to be only standing around and running. When sentencing him the trial judge, HHJ Davis, said, “you played no active role” in the events in the pub and its aftermath, and that “you had no firearms” but, still slammed 18 years against Wayne.
The legislation around Joint Enterprise has come under severe criticism, from lawmakers, academics, politicians and affected families, over many decades. Lord Philips, the previous highest judge in the country, challenged its fairness in 2008. And again, the Chair of a House of Commons Select Committee. Sir Alan Beith MP, examining the impact of the legislation concluded that this legislation could confuse juries and deter witnesses giving evidence in court. Given these concerns, Parliament has now asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to issue guidelines to deter possible miscarriages of justice and wrongful convictions. But this has come too late for Wayne Collins-Taylor.
Wayne Collins-Taylor is determined to get his conviction quashed and be set free as soon as possible. Until the events of August 2011, Wayne had never been in any serious trouble. A barber by profession, Wayne is a caring and passionate person who is strongly governed by values and love of his family, friends and communities.
For further details contact
Wayne Collins-Taylor Family Campaign on
Debe Taylor: 07885 762 659 or/and
Suresh Grover: 07816 301 706