Following a transfer of legal aid, we acted for our client in enforcement proceedings before Liverpool magistrates’ Court. Our client had a confiscation order made against him with a benefit figure of 6,423,400.00 and an available amount of £103,963.50.
By the time of our instruction, a debt of £101,663.50 remained outstanding on the confiscation order and our client was facing imposition of the default sentence of 12 months imprisonment. This outstanding debt was for the value of the defendant’s 75% interest in his home address. The prosecution successfully obtained a restraint order over this property.
Due to the pandemic and other personal circumstances, the defendant’s wife had been unable to re-mortgage to purchase our client’s 75% share and remain in the property. We compiled a full chronology of the efforts she had expended to re-mortgage and the obstacles faced by her and our client since the imposition of the confiscation order. On receipt of our chronology and application, the Court agreed to adjourn the hearing and allow our client more time to pay, despite the length of the delay and previous extensions.
Our client obtained an offer undervalue from a private buyer who agreed to rent the house back to his wife so she could remain in the property. We obtained a statement from this buyer and submitted it alongside representations to the Crown regarding the hardship that would be faced by our client’s wife if the property were sold outright. The Crown requested further valuations of the property, and in response we were able to submit a higher offer from the same buyer and further representations. The Crown accepted the offer and consented to further adjournments of the proceedings so that our client could progress the sale of the property.
Unfortunately, the buyer fell through. We were able to persuade the prosecution to accept a further offer from a separate private buyer and the property was finally sold in satisfaction of the capital amount of the confiscation order in December 2021.
Several thousand pounds of accrued interest remained as an outstanding debt on the order. We submitted an application to vary the confiscation order on behalf of our client, confirming he had no further assets available to him to satisfy this debt. His confiscation order was subsequently varied so he was not required to pay the accrued interest and his enforcement and confiscation proceedings finally bought to a close.
Our client took great care in expressing his thanks:
“Upon numerous consultations discussing my case and confiscation, [Amy Cox and Phoebe Coleman] were kind and sympathetic to me as it was clear I had been treated unjust. I faced the daunting prospect of losing my family home, left to me by my late parents… […my wife] and my family of pets would have had to find somewhere to live during these especially difficult times.
Phoebe and Amy worked tirelessly, negotiating with the CPS and successfully agreeing a settlement which both enabled the order to be satisfied and my wife and I to remain at the property. None of this would have been possible without them.”