Proceeds of Crime success
Operation Wessex was an investigation conducted by Merseyside Police into the wholesale criminal activities of a Merseyside based Organised Crime Group (OCG) involved in the supply and distribution of class A and B controlled drugs throughout the UK.
Our client was sentenced to 22 years 6 months’ imprisonment for his lead role in this conspiracy.
The Crown alleged his benefit figure was £3.3m and his identified available assets included his family home, where his three young children still reside with his partner. The Crown significantly further alleged that our client, as with others at the higher end of this conspiracy, had ‘hidden assets’ which, if proven, could have meant he would have been liable for the full benefit figure and a consecutive sentence in default of payment of up to 10 years.
We successfully challenged the Crown’s drug valuations by instructing an independent expert and succeeded in arguing that our client’s benefit figure ought to be limited to his direct involvement. We were able to present clear and cogent evident which comprehensively set out our client’s finances and disproved any assets were in fact ‘hidden’.
The Court determined that our client’s benefit figure was £719k and ordered £61k to be paid, with 12 months’ imprisonment set in default. The family home was not included as an available asset.
This case was prepared by David Bloom, assisted by Natasha Lake. Barristers Nigel Power QC and Nick Cockrell of 7 Harrington Street were instructed.