Paul Williams secures acquittals in two long and complex trials

Author: Reporter
In: News Published: Wednesday 15 January 2020


In the first case, R v S, Paul Williams secured the acquittal of a man who was charged with being involved in an £11 million international money laundering conspiracy after an 8 week trial at Leicester Crown Court.

The evidence included the alleged creation of vast numbers of false invoices from fake clients of the money transfer business which was at the heart of the alleged money laundering enterprise. The Defendant was alleged additionally to have been part of a mortgage fraud conspiracy to launder some of the alleged criminal proceeds from the money transfer business. The Defendant spoke no English at all - only Gujarati - and, because of the nature of the prosecution evidence, had to give evidence at the trial before the jury. The case also involved a vast volume of documentary evidence and unused material - much of it banking documentation relating specifically to the Defendant.

In the second case, R v C, Paul Williams secured the acquittal for a man who faced conspiracy charges of kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail after an 8 week trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

The case was a Met Police investigation by the specialist kidnap department of the Flying Squad. It was unusually serious because the alleged victim was rescued after being held hostage for 36 hours from the kidnap stronghold in South London by an armed Police intervention. It was made more complex due to serious failures of disclosure throughout the trial - including the failure to disclosure material in the possession of the Police until after the two principal witnesses and alleged victims had given evidence before the jury that they were themselves both heavily involved in illicit drugs supply. ​

Much of the forensic work in the trial involved cross examination of experts by counsel of large volumes of cell site telephone evidence. The prosecution’s case relied heavily upon this data to show the co-location of the alleged conspirators at significant times during the build-up and period of the alleged kidnap and false imprisonment. A highly unusual feature of the case involved the alleged use of a "spoofing" phone which concealed the phone number of the caller making the ransom demands and replaced it with another, entirely random and false, number. This phone was attributed by the prosecution to the Defendant due to purported patterns of phone usage involving the Defendant's other two accepted phone numbers - the defendant denied the attribution of the "spoofing" phone at trial and appropriate cross examination of the experts was required.

For enquiries about Paul Williams's professional availability, contact 33 Bedford Row's clerks on +44 (0) 20 7242 6476.