R v. MS – Liverpool Crown Court.
MS was a young man who had no previous convictions. He had no employment and was recruited by a serious crime group who were involved in running a lot of drugs between Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. The gang had hired some drivers to take drugs between the various cities. MS had been recruited as one such driver. He had been followed by the police and arrested in Liverpool. He pleaded guilty and had received a seven-year term of imprisonment for his part in the conspiracy which had 32 other defendants.
Confiscation proceedings were instigated, and the prosecution asserted that he had benefited to a value of £32 million. This was a grossly inflated and inaccurate figure as MS had merely been involved as a courier for the organised crime group. He had no share in the drugs or any profits to be made out of them.
At the outset, we identified our client's role and provided evidence that supported our assertions. Unfortunately, the prosecution would not agree with our clients s.17 response, and it was only the day of the final Poca hearing that they relented after they realised that they could not make out their case. The prosecution agreed that the defendant's benefit was merely £1500 and that his realisable amount was approximately £700.
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