Category: News

Prolific burglar imprisoned for three years

Anna Pope of Linenhall Chambers successfully prosecuted a prolific burglar who targeted houses in the Wrexham area following his release from prison. After hearing submissions from Miss Pope the Judge sentenced the Defendant to 3 years imprisonment stating that “there is little worse than having people’s security damaged by knowing there has been a burglar in the property”. View news article on Leader Live … Read More

Michael Barrow successfully defends bank’s claim to enforce legal charge

Michael Barrow recently successfully defended HSBC’s claim for possession of a farm seeking to rely upon its legal charge. The case was defended on the basis that the bank had not complied with its obligations following Barclays Bank PLC V O’Brien and Royal Bank of Scotland PLC V Etridge. The case reference is: HSBC Bank PLC V Catherine Mary Brown (2015) EWHC 359 (ch). Read more here. Read More

Woman victim of human trafficking

Ben Douglas-Jones, acting for the Crown in R v Y, conceded that a conviction for using a false passport was unsafe where her legal team in the Crown Court failed to identify her as a possible victim of human trafficking. She had been subjected to years of exorcism “treatment”, Ju-Ju magic rituals and repeated rape in Nigeria. She was trafficked by a stranger to the UK and sold as a domestic and sex slave. The passport offence had been committed to enable her to escape from her trafficking situation. Read More … Read More

Woman convicted of smuggling a child into Britain

Ben Douglas-Jones secures conviction in “miracle baby” case. In R v Ediae, a woman who faked her own pregnancy after years of infertility was convicted of smuggling a child into Britain after buying it from a Nigerian “baby farm” and passing it off as her own. The conviction followed two recent High Court cases in which judges were satisfied that putative mothers had been duped by Nigeria herbal “doctors” into genuinely believing they had given birth. View news article on The Independent and The Daily Examiner … Read More

SFO faces £6m bill for “cataclysmic” changes causing Celtic Energy prosecution to collapse

The High Court has today ordered the SFO to pay the Defendants’ costs of the failed Celtic Energy prosecution. The costs exceed £7 million. They will be assessed by the High Court. The Defendants, a retired consultant solicitor, Eric Evans, his professional partner, Alan Whiteley, and assistant solicitor, Frances Bodman, had set up a complex commercial transaction involving opencast mining sites and restoration obligations. A fifth defendant, Stephen Davies QC, had advised on the legality of the scheme. Central to the scheme was Celtic Energy Ltd, South Wales’ most successful mining company, whose 100% shareholder, Richard Walters, and their finance director, Leighton Humphreys, were also charged. Mr Evans and Mr Humphreys had always vehemently denied having done anything wrong and were indeed keen to show that their conduct was commercially adept. Read More … Read More

Falsely Accused sex offender appeal success

Matthew Curtis of Linenhall Chambers successfully appealed against a conviction of sexual assault following the wrongful conviction of a taxi driver. The taxi driver was convicted of the offence in October 2014 and faced a prison sentence. Following advice from Mr Curtis and due to new expert evidence showing that the accused could not have been the assailant, Mr Curtis persuaded the Court that the taxi driver’s conviction should be quashed. The taxi driver was relieved that his appeal was successful, and his name had been cleared, but was also concerned that the real perpetrator was still at large. View news article on BBC News … Read More

Father jailed for cheating sons out of inheritance

Matthew Curtis of Linenhall Chambers successfully prosecuted a father who had “despicably stolen” two homes from his sons. The Defendant hid from his sons that he had divorced their late mother and gained inheritance to the value of £110,000 to which he was not entitled. The trial took place in Caernarfon Crown Court. Following a successful prosecution, Judge David Hale told the Defendant that he had “made a calculated decision to claim that you were still her husband and made a calculated decision to take over and enjoy those properties”. The Defendant denied three offences of obtaining property by deception but was convicted of all three counts receiving a prison sentence of 15 months. View news article on Daily Post … Read More

Mercy shown to wife in turmoil

Mark Le Brocq’s recent defence of a wife who stabbed her cheating husband with a 10 inch knife, which went right through his left arm and protruded the other side, made headline news in the Daily Post this week. Despite the seriousness of the attack the Judge imposed a sentence of just 20 months imprisonment after hearing mitigation from Mr Le Brocq. View news article on Daily Post … Read More

Accused acquitted of £150,000 cannabis production

Matthew Dunford successfully defended a client at Caernarfon Crown Court who had been alleged by the prosecution to have taken part in a cannabis production facility valued at £150,000. The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on 15th January 2015 following a four day trial. The trial featured infra-red video footage taken by the police helicopter. Read More

Ben Douglas-Jones

Ben Douglas-Jones, led by John McGuinness QC appeared for the Crown in the conjoined appeals of R v Issa, Mulugeta and Firouzi [2015] EWCA Crim 6. The Court (Macur LJ giving the judgment) restated the principles in R v Mateta [2014] 1 WLR 1516, the recent leading case where a defendant’s representatives in the Crown Court fail to advise him that he has a defence to a document offence on the ground that he is an asylum seeker. BD-J also appeared in Mateta. Firouzi raises an important point of principle: where a defendant asserts that he should have been enabled to run an s.31 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 defence in the Crown Court, it is not necessary in the Court of Appeal to adduce evidence in support of certain limbs of that defence. Read More