At Oxford Crown Court we represented a client in relation to an allegation of Conspiracy to Supply Class A Drugs (10 KG of Cocaine). This case was investigated by the National Crime Agency. It was alleged that the Defendant had conspired with others to supply 10 Kilos of cocaine from London to Oxford.
This case was part of the first wave of prosecutions in UK involving Encrochat evidence after police forces across Europe had been able to infiltrate the Encrochat phone network which was known to be used by criminal gangs.
The crown heavily relied on cell site, ANPR and Encrochat Evidence to imply that the defendant was part of an organised crime group.
The Defendant maintained his innocence throughout and was the only defendant to be acquitted after trial.
Another fantastic result for SVS Solicitors in yet another high profile case.
This matter related to the murder of an 18 year old in Newham, London, who died of multiple stab wounds on 26th August 2019.
A 16 and 14 year old were identified for the physical act of committing the murder.
Our client was subsequently identified by police as an additional primary party who encouraged and assisted the commission of the murder. In this case, it was suggested that our client instructed the two principals to commit the offence as retribution for a serious stabbing incident he was the victim of six days earlier. The crown alleged that he facilitated the murder by providing the pair with a stolen car used to drive to/from the attack site, paying for their taxi journey to collect the car and then subsequently sheltering one of the principals in the days after the crime. Extensive phone evidence was served detailing the calls, messages and movements of the defendants, which the crown used to support their case. After a lengthy two month trial, our client was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.
Our client was only defendant that was charged with murder to be acquitted.
Date: 9th December 2020
The Managing Director of this firm, Mr Sasha Sidhu regularly undertakes legal visits with clients to advise on their cases. This includes at HMP Belmarsh where a number of the clients are awaiting trial on very serious cases.
During this pandemic, on a number of occasions Mr Sidhu was prevented from conducting conferences with his clients for not wearing a face covering. Notwithstanding him being exempt due to medical reasons under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 (‘the Coronavirus Regulations’).
In response to this perceived impropriety our firm lodged a Pre-Action Protocol Letter before claim on the Secretary of State for Justice and HMP Belmarsh. It was our contention that this letter before action should result in the institution correcting matters and avoiding the institution of litigation in the form of an application for judicial review.
Within 7 days, HMP Belmarsh confirmed that they would accede and would permit Mr Sidhu to conduct in-prison legal visits, in the absence of wearing a face covering, in a safe manner.
As a result of our actions, communications have been issued via HMPPS GOLD Command to all establishments reminding them of the exemptions contained in the Coronavirus Regulations and clarifying their applicability to official visits.
A satisfactory result all round.
Date: 9th December 2020
We represented a client at the Central Criminal Court who was charged with Murder, manslaughter and possession of firearm with intent to endanger life.
It was alleged that our client was involved in an altercation whereby the victim had passed away after suffering a gunshot wound to the head.
Ms Anna Hogg, Trainee Solicitor of this firm worked tirelessly on this case while Mr Sasha Sidhu, Managing Director, oversaw proceedings.
Our client was represented in Court by Michael Holland QC and Andrew Frymann, both of Furnival Chambers. After a 4 week trial our client was unanimously acquitted after deliberations that lasted less than one day. This was despite there being CCTV evidence which clearly showed the victim being shot in the head and the client admitting to being responsible for the shooting albeit citing an accident as the explanation for what had occurred.
The outcome was in keeping with the established practices of the firm and our firearm related specialism.
Prison Inspector’s given Urgent Notification Process
The Justice Secretary, David Lidington, has introduced a process so Chief Inspectors of Prisons can alert the Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State where there are urgent and significant concerns about the performance of a prison.
The Secretary of State must then publish his response within 28 days with a plan of action. There will then be a long term plan for sustaining improvements. The procedure is set out below.
Defendant’s required to disclose nationality
Changes to the newly introduced Policing and Crime Act 2017, following the Criminal Procedure (Amendment no. 4) Rules 2017, came in to effect on 13th November 2017. According to section 162 of the act, all defendants must reveal their name, date of birth and nationality at their first hearing at the magistrates’ court.