Our Cases

Our criminal defence solicitors and the rest of the Conspiracy Solicitor criminal defence team have been involved in many significant cases. That’s why we have the experience to be able to give you reliable advice.

This is a selection of serious criminal defence cases Conspiracy Solicitor have been involved in:

Conspiracy Solicitors Update!

We’ve been involved in many of the recent prosecutions for major conspiracies in the Midlands and nationwide:

Operation Breadbun
Conspiracy Solicitor advocate Chris Milligan was instructed by a large Nottingham Firm to represent one of the Defendants in a multi-defendant Kidnap and Blackmail case involving a serious and organised crime group.
This was a Nottinghamshire Police case which spanned nearly 3 years.
The prosecution case alleged that an underworld figure from the Vietnamese community had been kidnapped and falsely imprisoned and then subjected to torture whilst large sums of money were demanded.
The case involved detailed examination of cell site data, ANPR images and data and telephone CDRs.
The case was tried 4 times, eventually resolving at Stafford Crown Court.
Chris Milligan dealt with the appeal in the case and was the only advocate who successfully obtained permission to appeal to the full court.

Operation Lineal

Conspiracy Solicitors represented 3 Defendants in this multi-handed drugs conspiracy which focused on 2 OCGs (Organised Crime Groups) trafficking class A drugs in 2012.
The case involved the trafficking of massive amounts of cocaine over a period of a year.
The case was prosecuted by the East Midlands Central Casework Unit and the prosecution at Nottingham Crown Court finished in 2014.
Chris Jeyes and Chris Milligan from Conspiracy Solicitors represented 2 of the Defendants.

Operation Deadlock
Conspiracy Solicitors instructed in large scale drug trafficking case.
Prosecution alleges that the mastermind behind the conspiracy was directing operations from his prison cell and whilst on “home leave”.
Chris Milligan defending a female who was prosecuted for trafficking in class A drugs within the conspiracy and successfully argued that the Prosecution could not prove what class of drugs she was involved in transporting.
This case involved the detailed examination of cell site analysis data, mobile phone records, ANPR data and surveillance records.

Operaton Bivan
Conspiracy Solicitors instructed by 5 Defendants in a large scale conspiracy to traffic class A and class B drugs, including heroin, cocaine, Mcat and Amphetamine.
This is an East Midlands CPS CCU case concerning the activities of Organised Crime Groups.  The case was primarily based upon surveillance, ANPR records, call data records and enforcement action by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Serious and Organised Crime Division(EMSOU-SOC).
The case involved “massive” amounts of drugs being trafficked from Manchester, West Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire into Lincolnshire.
Conspiracy Solicitors are dealing with the leading Defendants.
The case is ongoing.

Operation Quartz
Conspiracy Solicitors instructed by 2 Defendants in a large scale conspiracy to traffic class A drugs.
This is an East Midlands CPS CCU case concerning the activities of Organised Crime Groups.  The case was primarily based upon surveillance, ANPR records, call data records and enforcement action by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit – Serious and Organised Crime Division(EMSOU-SOC).
The case involved large amounts of drugs being trafficked from London and the Home Counties.
Conspiracy Solicitors are instructed in this 18 handed case.
The case is ongoing.

Railway Thieves jailed

Bird & Co Conspiracy Solicitors recently acted for the defence in an enormous railway metal theft case.

The defendants targeted cabling at Network Rail installations all over the midlands, causing losses in excess of one million pounds.

The Conspiracy Solicitors team is experienced at dealing with the most complex of conspiracy cases, involving complicated and voluminous evidence and documents.

For more information on this case see Lincolnshire Echo cable theft story.

 

 

Operation Ogham – the Family from Hell Case

Conspiracy solicitors were involved in a Conspiracy To Murder case involving what the press deemed “The Family From Hell”.

The body of a young female was found in the extensive parkland grounds of Newstead Abbey, a historic site in Nottinghamshire (once linked with Lord Byron).

The murder conspiracy trial in the Crown Court heard how she had been tortured, insulted and humiliated by the family of her husband after she had moved in with them. Her horrifically battered body was found face down in mud, near a lake, just 17 months after her wedding and she had suffered more than 60 injuries at the hands of her attackers in the week before she died.

She had also suffered cigarette burns, scalds and heavy bruising as a result of countless attacks with a baseball bat and pieces of wood. At one stage she had been required to record a video message.

Conspiracy solicitors represented her brother in law, who faced the allegation of Conspiracy To Murder. The case involved extensive investigation into pathologist reports, expert reports and causation of the injuries.

Our client was cleared by the Judge following a half-time submission of no case to answer, whilst the remaining five family members had to remain in the trial.

They were ultimately convicted of murder, and received sentences of life imprisonment with lengthy minimum terms, together totalling in excess of 85 years.

R. v. M & A – Production of Cannabis

We successfully secured acquittals at Lincoln Crown Court for two Clients who were alleged to have produced Cannabis on a commercial scale. The cannabis factory, which was located inside a former 17th Century Coaching Inn, had all of the hallmarks of professional crime. Police executed a search warrant under s.23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and found 5 people leaving the premises via a rear door. Two of those arrested subsequently instructed us to conduct their defence.

The Police had valued the cannabis crop as having a yield n excess of £100,000.00. A complicated hydroponic system had been installed, together with multiple lighting rigs and timers. The electricity had been by-passed and was being illegally abstracted from a source near the main road. Large amounts of cannabis were found drying in one of the rooms at the former Coaching Inn together with in excess of 150 cannabis plants.

The 5 arrested suspects were prosecuted under s.4 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in relation to producing the cannabis at the farm, near Colsterworth in Lincolnshire.

We dealt with the seizure of the Defendants’ assets in relation to contemplated proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and were able to secure the return of the Defendants’ Property well in advance of trial. This included expensive electrical goods and a Porsche 911 Turbo motor car.

At trial the Defence persuaded the trial Judge to exclude important prosecution evidence in relation to a search which had been secured in circumstances which gave serious cause for concern. Successful submissions were made at the end of the Prosecution Case that there was “no case to answer” and the Judge agreed, directing the jury to find both Defendants not guilty.

Needless to say, both Clients were elated that the case was thrown out by the Judge and their names had finally been cleared.

Operation Danks Corner

This case involved a conspiracy to defraud the Metropolitan Police, in events arising from the investigations into the July 7th 2005 London Bombings.

Following the London bombings a number of SO19 police officers from the Metropolitan Police Force were deployed to Leeds to undertake covert investigations, in the aftermath of the 2005 attacks as part of Operation Theseus, a widespread investigation into the bombers’ background.

Scotland yard officers were initially put up in hotels after being deployed to Leeds but were later moved to apartments. We represented the brother in law of one of the officers deployed, who had arranged for a lettings firm to provide four apartments which were smaller and not fully serviced, unlike the legitimate apartments provided for the other team of officers.

Following an 11 day trial at London Southwark Crown Court a serving counter terrorism officer and his wife were found guilty of conning the Metropolitan Police Force out of more than £93,000.00.

Our client pleaded guilty to his part in the conspiracy at a very early stage and received a lenient sentence equating to a third of that of the officer.

Needless to say, the evidence in this case was voluminous and consisted of many files and documents relating to what had taken place. There was also a significant level of interest in what had happened because the alleged offenders were largely police officers serving in elite units, who had been engaged in investigating some of the most serious and high-profile offences of recent years.

Our advice enabled our client to maintain the correct tactical approach to the case, leading to a suitably shortened sentence.

Boston United Fraud Prosecution

This case was a complex fraud allegation, and involved the prosecution of various personnel employed at former Division Three Club, Boston United brought by the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office. Appearing on the Indictment were the Club’s Manager, Chairman, Two Accountants and our client, the General Manager.

The case arose as a result of a high profile Football Association investigation supervised by the Head of The English Football Association into the activities of the Club and its staff, in particular the Manager and the Club’s Chairman. That investigation resulted in the Manager receiving a lengthy ban from English Football.

The matter was set down for trial in London’s Southwark Crown Court with a time estimate of six weeks.

The Manager ultimately pleaded guilty along with the Chairman to the specialist tax fraud offence of cheating the public revenue out of £250,000.00 over a five year period.

The cheating had been so successful that the Club gained promotion into the Football League in 2002 with a squad of players of whom many were being paid inflated wages written into secret contracts.

The jury heard during the trial in the Crown Court that the Club operated a shadowy system of parallel contracts and secret payments which enabled them to recruit the best players, who they would have not otherwise have been able to afford. The Club even employed the services of former England International Paul Gascoigne. We should add that there is no suggestion that any of the players, or staff other than those who were convicted, committed any offence.

The then star striker, Ken Charlery told the trial he was given one contract which promised him £620 per week plus a £16,000.00 signing-on fee.

Neither the Football League nor The Inland Revenue was ever shown this contract.

The General manager represented by us, along with the two accountants, were acquitted on the Judge’s directions, whilst the Manager and Chairman both received suspended sentences.

This was a complex fraud case which obviously had a high level of public interest, both in the sense that the public wanted to know what had happened, and in the sense that there is a public interest in the proper regulation of sport and tax affairs. We were delighted that our client was able to leave the proceedings with no stain on his character at all, the case against him having been thrown out at half-time (and with no own goals or penalties!)

Operation Hornbeam

This was a 15-handed conspiracy to evade excise duty, or in other words a smuggling operation.

The case was exceptionally high-value, as it was valued at £28 million.

The evidence was both sizeable and complex, including police and customs surveillance, analysis of telephone traffic, evidence relating to a number of international flights, and experts of various disciplines.

The case was so complex that trials were to take place in three separate groups, to make the evidence more manageable for the juries who would have to consider them.

We successfully obtained a discontinuance of the case before trial, with a Not Guilty verdict for our client.

Operation Galaxy

Operation Galaxy was another huge drugs conspiracy, and is again of interest because it became apparent that there had been secret covert recording of conversations in police custody.

Like in Operation Wheel the prosecution was stopped by the Trial Judge as a result of large-scale police malpractice in wrongly recording legally privileged confidential conversations.

Operation Wheel – R. v. Sutherland

Operation Wheel was a five-handed conspiracy to murder case. It was alleged that a young man in the midlands had been “executed” by two hitmen, specially hired from Scotland, who shot him in the rear of his head at close-range.

The case is particularly interesting because it revealed the practice of the police installing covert recording devices in and around the custody areas of police stations in order to record conversations the various defendants had whilst in police custody.

When it became apparent that this had occurred an application was made to the High Court Judge conducting the trial to stay it as an abuse of process (in other words to halt the proceedings because they were so unfair).

The application succeeded as a result of the police malpractice and all defendants were acquitted on the direction of the Judge.

Operation Atlanta and Operation Ridion

These two operations were both significant allegations of conspiracy to supply Class A controlled drugs, both cocaine and heroin.

The case was prosecuted by a regional police Special Operations Unit and concerned the nationwide distribution and supply of drugs by a large number of people over a two-year period.

Like most conspiracies the evidence consisted of telephone traffic, mobile cellsite, and extensive surveillance and probe recording evidence.

This was a case which we successfully took to appeal. Three judges of the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) agreed with us that the sentence imposed by the Judge had been wrong, and that the Judge had failed to properly consider the principle that regard must be had to the totality of the sentence. As a result our client’s sentence was reduced by 18 months.

Operation Cairn

Operation Cairn was an allegation of perverting the course of justice in the course of a murder investigation. The defendant accused of murder sought to lay the blame on our vulnerable youth defendant.

The matter proceeded to trial in the Crown Court and following a successful submission of no case to answer (at the halfway point in the case) our client was acquitted of the offence on the direction of the Trial Judge.

Operation Alpine

Operation Alpine was an exceptional case relating to the worldwide distribution of indecent images of children. From computer servers based at times in the United States the defendants were alleged to have run internet “Usenet Newsgroups” which permitted like-minded individuals to swap information and images in a wholly uncensored forum.

This case was totally novel in that it was not alleged that the defendants had themselves posted indecent images nor had they necessarily openly encouraged that. Their actions had not gone beyond offering an uncensored internet service and turning a blind eye to whatever went on.

There had never been a case of its type before and we led the way for the defence by arguing that no crime had been committed due to the provisions of the European Directive on Electronic Commerce. That, we argued, provided a defence because the defendants had only ever acted as a conduit through which the material might pass, but had never had involvement with the material themselves.

We further argued that the interpretation of the relevant law, which had been passed by Parliament in 1978, long before the days of the internet, did not cover distribution in the way alleged.

The case was so complicated that we and the other defence teams instructed QCs to argue the point, but in the event our in-house advocate presented the points in front of a High Court Judge. Although the Judge ruled against us it was notable that he referred to the majority of our written argument in his judgment, and the points we raised had been adopted by the silks (QCs) appearing for the other defendants.

The evidence was exceedingly technical, as was the legal submission, with witnesses appearing by video link from all over the world, and 10,000 pages of evidence to consider. It was also necessary to consider large quantities of European law and cases from other jurisdictions, because the law is still developing on a case by case basis in this area.

In the event the only defendant to be acquitted in the case was one we represented.

Operation Latious

This was a multi-handed conspiracy to supply cocaine throughout the East of England, but with a nationwide distribution network. Our three clients were part of a group of 21 who were prosecuted for this serious offence.

Like many conspiracy cases, the evidence in this case was exceptionally complex and detailed, with vast quantities of police observation material and huge reams of telephone records and mobile phone cellsite analysis.

The Prosecution were represented by leading counsel (a QC) but we maintained our course with one of our clients being the last remaining defendant to hold out for a trial when everyone else in the case had pleaded guilty.

In the end the Prosecution were not satisfied that they would be able to prove that our client had known what he was involved in, so they offered no evidence and he rightly walked free.

Operation Hauberk

Operation Hauberk was a three-handed joint enterprise murder. We represented the youngest of the three defendants, who were running cut-throat defences, each alleging that the others had committed the murder and they themselves had not been involved.

On the day of trial the other two defendants both belatedly entered guilty pleas to murder and indicated that they would give evidence for the Crown against our client.

Nevertheless, the defence team held its nerve and a two week Crown Court jury trial followed, during which time we cross-examined the two turncoats. We also successfully undermined the Prosecution CSI/SOCO scientific evidence and showed that it did not prove that our client had been involved in the fatal acts.

At the end of the trial the Jury, after two days of deliberation, were unable to agree whether our client had committed murder, and were discharged.

The following week our client pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and the Prosecution offered no evidence on murder. He received a sentence which would enable him to be released in the very near future.

The other two defendants both received sentences of life imprisonment, with tariff recommendations that they serve a minimum of 16 and 19 years respectively.

Operation Crosscut

Operation Crosscut was a multi-handed conspiracy relating to the activities of an organised crime group who operated throughout the midlands and as far afield as East Anglia.

We represented the two leading members of this gang, who were involved in stealing ATMs (cash machines) and their contents from banks and shops. The group would identify deserted farm buildings, steal a selection of vehicles including 4x4s and low-loaders, and then ram-raid the bank in order to forcibly remove the ATM from the wall. This would then be loaded onto a truck and taken to the deserted barn where it would be cut into and the contents stolen. In the morning local residents would find a large hole in the wall of the bank, and a nearby farmer would find deserted vehicles and a damaged cash machine.

The evidence in this case involved a large number of different events at different locations, scientific evidence including footprints, DNA and fingerprints, and mobile phone and cellsite evidence, all of which had to be carefully assessed.

This case was particularly poignant because we represented several of the group in 2010 when they were previously sentenced for the same type of offence.