‘Careless’ question sees man’s jail term reduced

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh. Picture: TSPL
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A MAN has had a year taken off a five-year jail term after his conviction for a shop robbery was quashed because of a prosecutor’s “careless” question.

Salvatore Sivero, 30, was convicted of holding up at knifepoint an assistant in a filling station in Glasgow Road, Edinburgh, on 19 July, 2011.

He was also found guilty by a jury of holding a knife to the throat of a shopkeeper in MA Newsagents, Brunswick Road, Edinburgh , a few hours later.

However, the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh ruled last month that the conviction for the shop robbery should be overturned. The court heard that a detective had suggested in evidence that Sivero had a criminal record and had served a jail term in the past, neither of which ought to have been revealed to the jury.

The judges said the evidence had been in response to “an unnecessary and careless” question by the prosecutor at the trial.

Sivero had been jailed for five years, with three years’ post-release supervision, for both offences. In reconsidering the sentence for the filling station incident alone, the judges said they would impose four years’ imprisonment and a year’s supervision.