Tom Dunn secures acquittal of lorry driver accused of £1.5 million cigarette importation following 4 day trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

January 30, 2019

Tom Dunn, instructed by Oliver Kirk of Old Bailey Solicitors, has secured the acquittal of a 27 year old Northern Irish male accused of attempting to smuggle more than 5 million cigarettes into the UK. The contraband load, which if declared would have attracted in excess of £1.4 million in duty, was concealed within pallets of frozen food. The case was brought by HMRC and the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS.

The case involved the analysis of complex tachograph data, technical data relating to refrigeration units, mobile phone data as well as expert evidence concerning the creation of template CMRS. The case also included evidence obtained pursuant to formal Letters of Request from 3 foreign jurisdictions namely Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland. The Defendant suffered from substantial learning difficulties and thus it was necessary to adduce medical evidence before he was called upon to give evidence in order that the jury could weigh up his performance in an appropriate context. Tom was instructed the night before the trial was due to start – although his client had been unable to face giving proper instructions at any earlier stage and thus the defence statement did not address the extent/weight of the highly damaging evidence against him.