News

R v B

Posted: 21 December 2017

Partner Mike Warren has had conduct of a £13 million Class A drug importation for the last 5 years with our client being charged in January 2011. It was alleged that substantial quantities of Cocaine were imported from Costa Rica on a shipment of Pineapples that were destined for our client’s fruit business. The case was classified as a Very High Cost Criminal Case (VHCC) by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) with statements and exhibits exceeding some 15000 pages. The case proceeded to trial in 2012 where the Jury were unable to reach a verdict. At the re-trial in early 2013 the Jury were discharged after the Prosecution accepted some fundamental disclosure errors.

At a third trial later that same year ill health of a co-defendant and more disclosure issues led to the jury again being discharged. Between September 2013 and November 2015 there was delay while medical reports were obtained and eventually the co-defendant was deemed unfit to stand trial. Arguments were then advanced for our own client that further proceedings would constitute an abuse of process in that our client could no longer receive a fair trial. The Trial Judge agreed with these submissions and the case was formally concluded with a stay of the indictment some 57 months after our client had been charged. Other co-defendants convicted of the same offence received prison sentences of over 16 years.

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