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Decision to Charge

Once the Police have completed their investigations, they will refer the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for advice on how to proceed. We will then make a decision on whether a suspect should be charged, and what that charge should be.

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Former Essex cricketer charged with fraud

16/09/2010

The Crown Prosecution Service Central Fraud Group has authorised a charge of conspiracy to defraud against former Essex County cricketer Mervyn Westfield.

Antony Swift, reviewing lawyer for the CPS, said: "I have advised that Mervyn Westfield should be charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud for intentionally playing other than to the best of his ability, contrary to his contractual obligations. It is alleged that he dishonestly agreed to bowl his first over to allow the scoring of a certain number of runs at a match between Durham and Essex on 5 September 2009.

"I have made this decision after careful consideration of a file of evidence from Essex Police. There is sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr Westfield and it is in the public interest to do so."

Mr Westfield was charged this morning at Rayleigh Police Station and will appear at City of London Magistrates' Court on Thursday 23 September at 10am.

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. It is alleged that Mervyn Westfield conspired to defraud the club's members, his teammates and spectators at the match on 5 September 2009.
  2. Conspiracy to defraud is an indictable common law offence. The Criminal Justice Act 1987 set the maximum sentence at ten years imprisonment and/or a fine.
  3. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  4. The DPP has set out what the public can expect from the CPS in the Core Quality Standards document published in March 2010.
  5. The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). These are organised into 12 Groups, plus CPS London, each overseen by Group Chair, a senior CCP. In addition there are four specialised national divisions: Central Fraud Group, Counter-Terrorism, Organised Crime and Special Crime. A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales.
  6. The CPS employs around 8,316 people and prosecuted 982,731 cases with a conviction rate of 86.8% in the magistrates' courts and 80.7% in the Crown Court in 2009-20010. Further information can be found on the CPS website
  7. The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media