POCA Success: Prosecution withdraws £1.26 million Confiscation Order application
Our client instructed us in March 2023, having lost faith in his original solicitor. He had been a man of good character prior to pleading guilty to cannabis cultivation and possession with intent to supply cannabis. He had told his original solicitor that he had not benefitted financially from assisting his co-defendant. Despite this no basis of plea was advanced. Additionally, no drug expert was instructed. In November 2022, he was sentenced to 32 months immediate imprisonment.
In a lengthy financial statement, the prosecution asserted a benefit figure of £1.26 million, which included £87,000 referrable to the drugs and the balance arising from the lifestyle assumptions, and an available amount of £220,000, which was largely comprised of his share of the family home.
Our client’s 24-page POCA statement was accompanied by more than 2,000 pages of supporting material. This included an independent expert drug report prepared by Allen Morgan and forensic account’s report prepared by Mark Fairhurst, as well as critical (unserved by the prosecution) business and personal banking records. We also prepared and served nine witness statements and evidence that assisted in the identification and explanation for credits into our client’s bank accounts.
We were able to evidence conclusively just how badly let down our client had been by his original solicitor and comprehensively disproved factual errors in the prosecution’s statement, including on our client’s purchase of his home and sale of plot of land. Crucially, we were able to rebut the criminal lifestyle assumptions and explain more than £1 million passing through our clients’ bank accounts from hundreds of disparate sources.
In November 2023, the Crown agreed to withdraw their application in its entirety and so no Confiscation Order was made. Our client and his family are naturally overjoyed.