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Colin Witcher of Chambers Crime and Regulatory Team represented the first defendant NH at a fully contested hearing, over the course of three days before the Bristol Crown Court. The Crown had sought significant hidden assets against the defendant, said to be large cash withdrawals and the purchase of Gold Bullion.
The defendant was alleged to be the principle defendant and beneficiary of an audacious fraud. The defendant, who was convicted after trial, together with three others (who all pleaded guilty) directed and arranged the sale of a substantial country property, without the true owner’s knowledge. Thereafter, part of the sale proceeds were withdrawn from a bank account and used to purchase Gold Bullion in London. The defendant, after convicton, instructed new solicitors who retained Mr Witcher to represent the defendant in respect to PoCA proceedings.
During the course of those proceedings the defendant and two of the three other defendants gave evidence. All other defendants placed the leading role on NH and denied that they had benefited from their involvement in the crime save for a little over a £1,000 each. In respect to one of those defendants, he was challenged on NH’s behalf, and a cut throat emerged.
Mr Witcher further had to deal with issues flowing from the defendant previously having given evidence before the Jury which was rejected, and admitted false PoCA statements served prior to Mr Witcher’s instruction.
After hearing all the evidence and final submissons the Judge, who had also conducted the trial, found favour with Mr Witcher’s submissions in respect to hidden assets. The Judge further found that the second defendant had benefited as alleged by NH.
The defendant was at risk of a significant default term, which was properly avoided due to careful preparation and case presentation.
Mr Witcher was instructed by Kamal Channa of Brooklyn Solictors, St Martins Le Grand, London.
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