Jordan Dixon granted appeal over conviction for Ben Gardner Halloween murder in Sutton
10:55am Friday 20th July 2012 in News
A teenager jailed for life for killing Ben Gardner in Sutton's notorious Halloween murder has won the right to an appeal against his conviction.
Jordan Dixon, 18, was one of three men found guilty at the Old Bailey in 2010 of beating and kicking the 30-year-old IT worker from Sutton to death.
Mr Gardner was set upon in Sutton Town Centre on October 31, 2009, after he asked one of the group of youths to give back his girlfriend Allanna Devine's Halloween hat, which they had taken from her as she celebrated her birthday.
Dixon, of Selby Road, Carshalton, was told he would serve a minimum of 14 years when he was sentenced for murder along with Daniel Ransom and Ross Collender.
Mr Gardner died in the early hours of November 1, 2009, from "catastrophic brain damage".
It was impossible to say who caused the fatal injury to Mr Gardner and all three killers were found guilty under the law of joint enterprise.
Dixon's barrister, Joel Bennathan QC, took his case to the Court of Appeal yesterday after a previous refusal of permission for a hearing by another judge.
He said that, given Dixon's low intellect and his ADHD condition, the Old Bailey trial judge should not have allowed the jury to hold the teen's decision not to give evidence against him.
Reports showed Dixon has an IQ of only 68 and the language skills of a seven or eight-year-old. He did not even understand the meaning of terms like "jury", "evidence" and "defence", the court heard.
Mr Bennathan said, new evidence showed that it was "oppressive" for the trial judge to allow such "adverse inferences" to be drawn against Dixon for not giving evidence.
Lord Justice Aikens, sitting at the court of appeal on Thursday, July 19, with Mr Justice Burton and Mr Justice Keith, said the points were "arguable" and justified a full appeal.
He continued: "We don't for one moment say that they are going to succeed on a full appeal.
"We think that there is, perhaps, difficulty, not to say considerable difficulty, in relation to the fresh evidence application.
"But we do feel that these are points which should be ventilated before the full court."
Dixon's appeal is likely to take place at the end of this year.