Gareth Jones from Trecastle, PowysCredit:WALES NEWS SERVICE The following evening the police arrived at his home. He handed over his unwashed uniform from the previous night’s shift before being arrested for sexual assault.”That’s when my life just crumbled,” he told the BBC. “I felt like my heart had just been ripped out of me.“I was shocked, all over the place. I’d done nothing wrong.”At trial, Mr Jones, who has a learning difficulty that impairs his understanding, found proceedings impossible to follow and did not understand what was going on.Court of Appeal judges considered new evidence before ruling that the conviction could not be considered safe, pointing to a lack of DNA evidence. “University projects are a sticking plaster only and cannot replace a properly-funded legal aid system.” The team, led by Dr Dennis Eady, get sent hundreds of cases from people desperate to expose alleged miscarriages of justice.But as they sifted through the documents concerning Mr Jones’s case, they quickly realised there was a realistic prospect of overturning the conviction. There was a lack of medical evidence and Mr Jones had not been treated as a vulnerable person in court. A team of university law students have succeeded in overturning the conviction of a care worker who was wrongly jailed for sexually assaulting a dementia patient.The astonishing victory was the culmination of six years of unpaid work by students, solicitors and barristers who were determined to expose the miscarriage of justice.Gareth Jones, who has learning difficulties, was jailed in 2008 for what was described in court as a “vicious and sadistic” attack on a vulnerable, elderly woman.He had always pleaded his innocence but was “depicted as a monster” before the jury and was jailed for nine years, a sentence later reduced to seven years on appeal.Gareth, 33, from Trecastle, Powys, spent three and a half years in Usk Prison and was forced to sign the sex offenders register.But his long-term carer, Paula Morgan was determined to prove his innocence and spent months searching for a legal team who would take up his case before coming across the Cardiff University Innocence Project. Cardiff UniversityCredit:James Davies/Alamy Stock Photo “The key thing about the new evidence was that (the patient’s) injuries could have been caused by a series of medical mishaps,” Dr Eady said. “There were other explanations. As a case to be taken on, it was a fairly obvious one.“It was an unfair trial but more to the point, Gareth didn’t do it.”Mr Jones was carrying out routine checks at the care home near Brecon when he realised the elderly patient in question was bleeding heavily, and so pressed an emergency call button for help.When colleagues arrived he left the room, as he could not stand the sight of blood but later accompanied the woman to hospital. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. They said if the case was heard today, Mr Jones would have been given support for his learning difficulties during the legal process and the jury would have been directed to take it into account during their deliberations.”The charged and rhetorical nature of the questions and some of Mr Jones’s responses would have been likely to leave the jury with the impression that he had no answer to the charge,” they said.The judges acknowledged the “significant contribution” the Cardiff University Innocence Project made to his appeal.It is the second time the Innocence Project, launched in 2006, has successfully overturned a criminal conviction and it remains the only such project in the UK to have done so.The team made history in 2014, after former gang member Dwaine George, jailed for life in 2002 after teenager Daniel Dale was shot dead in Manchester, had his murder conviction overturned.The inocence project allows students who are passionate about investigating alleged miscarriages of justice to work on cases of long-term prisoners who maintain their innocence of serious crimes for which they have been convicted.Professor Julie Price, Head of Pro Bono at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics said: “The appeals system is problematic and needs to change. Even if you can afford lawyers, the system is stacked against you.