This year’s Tom Sargant Annual Memorial Lecture was given last night by Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders CB. Her lecture, The Crown Prosecution Service: Protector of victims’ and defendants’ rights, provided insights on the historical development of support for victims of crime, while ensuring safeguards were in place to main the defendants fair trial rights.
Tom Sargant was JUSTICE’s Secretary – broadly equivalent to today’s Director – from its foundation in 1957 to his retirement in 1982.
As a result of his commitment, persistence and determination, JUSTICE played a key role in taking up the cause of miscarriage of justice cases. His tireless campaigning resulted in some 25 people being released, or released early, from prison. He was instrumental in many of the cases featured in the BBC Rough Justice series.
Tom also played a major role in bringing about other key measures such as the creation of the office of Ombudsman and the establishment of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme.
He died in 1988.
You can read more about Tom Sargant and his work in this blog by Jon Robins.