Opus News

Opus Law Receives a Plethora of New Instructions

In the last two weeks we have been instructed in a number of new serious cases in Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool, Bradford, Newcastle, London, Leeds and Portsmouth. Seven of the new instructions relate to complex fraud allegations and involve investigations by The Royal Mail Fraud Team, The North West Specialist Fraud Division, The Insolvency Service and the Serious Fraud Office.

One instruction is a serious crime matter of immense public importance.

Contact us should you require assistance when investigated or if you require advice and assistance during an interview under caution.

Out of Jursidiction Instruction for Opus

Ben Jones, Director, has been instructed to advise on a consultancy basis on a case in the Isle of Man. The instruction arises due to the charges comprising a complicated fraud. The case alleged is one of international money laundering, and our client has been charged after a lengthy period on bail. We had initially been instructed whilst the matter was under investigation.

Both Ben Jones and counsel Simon McKay will travel to the island this week to advise our client and his Manx lawyers, and to add our expertise to theirs.

NOT GUILTY Verdict in Sheffiled Murder Trial

Ben Jones, Director, represented F who was charged with a murder along with his brother and another. F vehemently denied the allegations and a trial was listed.

The evidence on CCTV showed 3 men leaving an area close to the Defendants flat, and travelling to the home address of the deceased. It was alleged the men broke into his home and tortured him to death. A short time later the same 3 men could be seen to return to the area of their flat. Further evidence showed that F was not using his mobile phone or social media at the time the men could be seen on the CCTV- whilst he was using it before and after. Also, blood of the deceased was found in mixed DNA profiles in the flat he owned and resided in.

We quickly set about dismantling the limbs of the prosecution evidence and utilised experts in the field of DNA, CCTV imagery and also a computer and telephonic expert. Large chunks of the prosecutions case were eroded and the expert evidence upon which the Crown relied was strongly rebutted.

Armed with compelling defence material we were able to cross examine the prosecution witnesses and discount  a number of their assumptions. The vital telephone evidence was turned in our favour after the police witness and expert accepted that their charts were unreliable and misleading.

Our Defendant gave evidence and presented an alibi, stating he was not one of the men captured on CCTV.

The jury returned with not guilty verdicts for our client and the other two defendants were found guilty and received life sentences with recommendations of 30 and 27 years before they are considered for parole.

Siobhan Grey QC and Alphege Bell of Carmelite Chambers were instructed in this case.

Read more about the case below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-41503009

http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/news/view,murderers-tell-court-theyve-got-it-wrong-as-they-begin-life-sentences_24085.htm

http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/pair-jailed-for-life-for-murdering-man-in-his-south-yorkshire-home-1-8787917

http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/news/view,breaking-two-guilty-and-one-cleared-in-steven-fretwell-murder-trial_24083.htm

NOT GUILTY Verdict in Serious Bristol Assault Case

Phil Priestley of Opus Law represented I, a defendant who stood trial at Bristol Crown Court charged with a serious offence of  Section 18 Wounding. The complainant suffered multiple stab wounds and it was alleged that I also stamped  on the neck of the complainant.

The defence case was meticulously prepared and a pathologist instructed to deal with the injuries described by the prosecution expert.

The Jury was sworn and a 4 day trial took place, during  which the defendant ran self-defence. The jury deliberated for only 3 hours before returning a unanimous verdict of NOT GUILTY.

Afterwards the defendant who had been in custody for 6 months and his family thanked his legal team for their superb efforts.

Counsel: Gerard Hillman of Carmelite Chambers London

NOT GUILTY in Modern Slavery Allegation Case

Ben Jones, Director, was instructed by a man and wife who appeared as co-defendants before the Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court charged with offences of modern slavery. Both defendants were professional people of previous good character.

It was alleged by the prosecution that the couple had intentionally arranged or facilitated the entry of an Indian girl into the UK and then held her in slavery or servitude by her acting as an au pair for their one child.

The allegations were vehemently denied and the matter listed for trial. In the course of the preparation of their defence, two lengthy and detailed defence case statements were served along with a vast amount of exhibits. A number of defence witnesses were traced and statements taken from them.

A tactical decision was made to “show our hand” to the prosecution and all defence evidence was served. As a result of this course of action the prosecution offered no evidence and NOT GUILTY verdicts were obtained for our clients.

Throughout proceedings our clients were the subject of onerous restraint orders and we assisted them with making the orders as manageable as possible to allow them to lead as normal lives as possible.

Below are a number of articles published upon our clients arrest:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/12156748/Man-and-a-woman-charged-with-slavery-offences.html

http://news.sky.com/story/man-and-woman-charged-with-slavery-offences-10167529

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-35574470

Opus Law Instructed in Further Serious Operations

Opus Law have recently been instructed in a raft of new and serious investigations.

Three new cases have started life before Crown Courts in Leeds, Maidstone and The Central Criminal Court. They are known as Operations Italite, Spruce and Decan respectively. All cases are of the upmost public importance.

We have also been instructed by persons alleged to be involved in Operation Fasti, a conspiracy investigation in North Wales.

Further details will be published in due course.

D Avoids Prison in Large Cash for Crash Conspiracy Case

D instructed Ben Jones, Director, in relation to a 37 defendant conspiracy to defraud case before the Carlisle Crown Court. The case, known as Operation Atrium, was so large that the sentencing hearing took place over two days and needed two courts to house the multiple defendants and legal teams.

D pleaded guilty following the commencement of her trial and was later sentenced to a suspended sentence meaning she did not serve an immediate term of imprisonment.

Sanjeev Sharma of Equity Chambers represented the accused.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-38026224

http://www.itv.com/news/border/2016-11-18/crash-for-cash-ringleader-sentenced-to-prison/

https://www.cumbria.police.uk/News/News-Articles/2016/November/Police-smash-600k-cash-for-crash-fraud-operation.aspx

http://www.cumbriacrack.com/2016/11/18/cumbria-police-smash-600k-cash-crash-fraud-gang/

NOT GUILTY Verdict in Cash For Crash Case

Ben Jones, Director, acted for G before the Nottingham Crown Court in relation to a large cash for crash case named Operation Skipsea. G appeared before the court along with 13 co-defendants charged with a conspiracy to defraud. At an earlier hearing G pleaded not guilty and Opus Law set about preparing her case for trial.

A robust defence case statement was served along with a lengthy list of disclosure requests, which we felt would undermine the prosecution case against our client specifically. Once further unused evidence had been extracted from the prosecution we formally asked the CPS to carry out a full review of the evidence against our client. This was done and the prosecution made a decision to formally offer no evidence and not guilty verdicts were recorded.

Roxanne Morrell of Carmelite Chambers was instructed to represent G.

C Avoids Immediate Jail Term in Large Publishing Fraud

C was represented by Ben Jones, Director, in relation to Operation Spinnaker before the Nottingham Crown Court. C was prosecuted by Trading Standards, along with 11 others,  following an investigation into a large organization which was in the business of selling advertising through regional telesales offices. It was alleged that sales were achieved through “breath taking dishonesty on an industrial level”. The dishonest gain alleged was well over £1 million.

C pleaded guilty and submitted a basis of plea. A strong mitigation was produced supported by character and expert evidence. Due to this hard work our client was one of the few defendants to escape an immediate jail term.

The prosecution sought a Proceeds Of Crime Act order of over £1 million. A forensic accountant had been instructed at a very early stage and allowed us to agree, at sentence, a POCA order of £121,000.

Grahame James of Carmelite Chambers was instructed along with Forths Forensic Accountants.

Read more about the case here…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-37797738

http://www.itv.com/news/central/2016-10-28/company-md-which-mis-sold-millions-of-tv-adverts-jailed/

http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/multi-million-pound-fraudsters-jailed-for-total-of-more-than-15-years/story-29849483-detail/story.html

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/exposed-massive-multi-million-pound-12087306

Opus Begins Lengthy Trial at Southwark Crown Court

The trial of 5 defendants accused of conspiring to cheat the Revenue of £60 million of tax has recently started. The case is listed at Southwark Crown Court for 3 months. Both Sarah Batty and David Golden have been working full time on this complex and voluminous case. We act for a chartered accountant and Finance Director.

You can read more about the case in the following links:-

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/scientist-accused-of-lending-name-to-60m-tax-fraud-j7zfcd9hb

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/worldfamous-conservationist-was-part-of-60m-ecoprojects-tax-scam-a3349231.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/20/renowned-conservationist-was-involved-in-60m-tax-dodging-scheme/

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