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Dwaine George's Murder Conviction Overturned Thanks To Cardiff University Law Students' Project

10/12/2014 11:31 GMT | Updated 10/12/2014 11:59 GMT

A man who spent 12 years in jail after being wrongly found guilty of murder has had his conviction overturned thanks to the work of a group of law students at Cardiff University.

Dwaine George was jailed for life for allegedly shooting 18-year-old Daniel Dale in Manchester in 2001 and was freed from jail last year. The students, who are part of the university's Innocence Project, investigated George's case, and, thanks to their work, overturned his conviction which was deemed "no longer safe".

George was originally convicted on the basis he had used a pistol to kill Dale, with prosecutors arguing a small amount of gunshot residue had been found on a jacket in George's home.

George was found guilty in April 2002 of murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life after a trial at Preston Crown Court.

However the students contacted a US-based gunshot residue expert, who helped them appeal the sentence by casting doubt on the residue being used as evidence - adhering to new guidelines issued in 2006.

According to the judgement, if those guidelines were followed, "the number and type of particles of residue found on the coat were so small so as to be at or near the level at which they could not be considered to have evidential value", the Guardian reported.

In a statement, George said he had lost a large part of his life, but wanted to move forward.

"First and foremost, my thoughts go out to Daniel Dale’s family. He lost his life in this tragic event and I always said I wasn’t responsible for that.

"Today I have got the result I wanted – I have lost a lot of my life that I can’t get back, but I just want to get on with my life now. I hope the Cardiff Innocence Project will get all the recognition it deserves for this. I want to thank all those who helped me – the students and staff at Cardiff, my solicitor David McCorkle, James Wood QC and Tunde Okewale from Doughty Street Chambers."

Professor Julie Price, who helps run the Cardiff project, said the students had worked for hundreds of hours on the case, adding: "We hope this case will draw attention to the real problems with the appeal project, but are very conscious that a young man was killed and his family will have to go through more suffering and that has to dominate our thoughts."

Sir Brian Leveson, one of the judges who quashed the conviction, praised the students, saying they had "diligently" pursued the case, Wales Online reported.