NOT GUILTY in Liverpool Duty Evasion Trial
S was charged with Conspiracy to evade excise duty between October 2013 and December 2014 . The case involved the sale of laundered red diesel to the public from 3 service stations in the Midlands and North West to an overall value of nearly £500,000.
During the course of the trial it became apparent that the Officer in the case had a large amount of material contained on a laptop that had never appeared on a unused material schedule.
The Judge, HHJ Trevor–Jones, conducted a Voire Dire in which it became apparent there had been an extended failure to observe and act upon the continuing disclosure obligations from the beginning of the investigation in 2013 up to and during the trial a period of some 4 years .The material was located on the officers laptop and had never been moved across to the designated disclosure officers.
The judge described it as “ negligence to a lamentable degree” and went on further, stating in relation to the officer “ he appears to have been recklessly unaware of his obligations both as a member of the investigative team but also his role of Officer in the case".
Each of the defendants had Not Gulity verdicts entered and on behalf of our client a defendant’s cost order was awarded.
The case attracted much media attention:
Unfortunately one defendant pleaded Guilty at an early stage in the proceedings and is currently submitting applications to withdraw his Guilty Plea.
Case represented by Phillip Priestley, Opus Law.