THE wife and children of a man convicted of a violent crime he says he did not commit have put banners proclaiming his innocence outside their home as part of a campaign to free him.
Mother-of-six Jaime Collishaw believes the evidence against her husband, Mark, was flawed and is fighting to have his case examined by the Criminal Cases Review Commission.
She put banners outside her family home in Corporation Road, Darlington, to highlight her concerns about his case and to raise awareness of her situation.
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Mark Collishaw was jailed in 2012 after being found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm for his part in an unprovoked attack on a former squaddie, who was kicked in the head after first being hit in the face, possibly with a bottle.
He denied the charge and insisted during his trial that although he had been present, he had not kicked the victim.
He was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to ten years in prison by a judge who described the attack as “a deplorable act of barbarity”.
Two other men were also convicted for their roles in the Haughton Road attack, with one jailed for 12 years for wounding with intent, while the other received a suspended sentence for affray.
Mrs Collishaw, 36, claims that the police investigation into the incident was flawed and that although her husband was guilty of affray, he had been wrongfully convicted of the more serious charge.
The banners outside the house highlight Mrs Collishaw’s claim that there was no DNA evidence connecting her husband with the attack and that witness statements were contradictory and confused.
She hopes her campaign will help others in a similar situation and has set up a Facebook page with the help of a friend where others who feel they have been the victim of an injustice can share their experiences.
Mrs Collishaw, whose children are aged between two and 17-years-old, said: “Mark was there and admits that. But the statements from witnesses are confused – one said Mark was six foot tall and blond when he’s 5ft 9ins with dark hair. There’s no forensic evidence.
“I’m just a single mum with six kids. I’ve been fighting for two years and no-one will listen to me. I put the banners up to make people aware of what’s going on.
“I don’t want other people to go through this. It’s like banging on a brick wall.”
Mrs Collishaw said she hopes to hear from the CCRC later this month to confirm whether her husband’s case will be reopened.
Her campaign on Facebook can be found by searching for ‘Wife and kids fight for hubby/fathers freedom’.