CPS North West Successes - 2012

The sentence of David Heslop is increased from 17 years to an Indeterminate Sentence for Public Protection for attempted murder

Paula Wilcock, Cumbria Paralegal Officer and Stuart Pattinson, Cumbria Senior Crown Prosecutor

David Heslop stabbed Emma Wilson numerous times with a kitchen knife causing her near fatal injuries after confronting her at her home address. Her six year old son and two of his friends were also in the house at the time. The defendant admitted in police interviews that he had stabbed her and caused the injuries but denied that in doing so he intended to murder her.

Paula Wilcock, paralegal officer, who works three days a week, worked on her days off to prepare the case for trial. She spent one of those days collating bad character evidence and on other days attended court hearings at short notice.

She ensured the case was brought before the judge at the earliest opportunity when the defendant changed his defence team. She also made sure that the evidence was served to the new defence team in a tight timescale avoiding any unnecessary delays to the start of the trial.

Stuart Pattinson, the reviewing lawyer, considered that the sentence was unduly lenient. He asked counsel to provide advice in accordance with the legal guidance on unduly lenient sentences. The case was then referred to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC, who presented the case himself at the Court of Appeal.

Paula Wilcock said: "This offence was a horrific crime which has had a devastating effect on the victim. I hope that the conviction and increased sentence provides her with a measure of justice that will help her to move forward in her life."

Stuart Pattinson said: "I took the view that this was a very grave crime and the defendant presented a very serious risk to the public. The increased sentence now imposed means that David Heslop will remain in prison indefinitely to protect the public. He will not be eligible for parole for at least 14 years, and will not be released from prison as long as he is considered to be dangerous."

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18 cases finalised at Bolton Magistrates Court in a morning session as part of the Stop Delaying Justice Initiative

Howard Sloane, Associate Prosecutor at Bolton CPS

At Bolton Magistrates on Friday 10th February Howard Sloane dealt with no fewer than 30 cases, 18 of which were finalised, in a single morning session. The cases included theft, harassment, prostitution, criminal damage, driving over the drink drive limit, breach of restraining order, possession of drugs and public order offences.

The Stop Delaying Justice initiative was launched to reduce the amount of time it takes to conclude cases at Magistrates Courts.

Howard Sloane said: "It was a particularly busy but a successful day for speedy justice. Overall the initiative is a good idea and certainly had the desired effect on this day. If cases are finalised on the first court appearance it has benefits for all the criminal justice agencies. Probation will have no outstanding reports to prepare, CPS will have no extra actions to complete, and the court lists will be reduced. The defendants are also aware of their sentence on the day that they enter their plea and don't have the sentence hanging over their heads."

Ian Rushton Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West said: "This is a great response to the 'Stop Delaying Justice' initiative and a fabulous effort by one of our Associate Prosecutors. It is entirely consistent with the commitments the service has made to work enthusiastically with CJS colleagues to promote improvements in the efficiency of our Magistrates Courts. Howard has clearly taken on board the guidance and training we have provided around the 'Stop Delaying Justice' scheme launched in January. I hope to hear of other such sterling efforts from around the North West over the coming weeks."

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Cowboy Builders jailed for 20 years and ordered to pay back £1.3m to elderly victims

John Dilworth, Head of CPS North West Area Complex Casework Unit, Mohsin Patel, Administrative Officer and the whole Complex Casework Unit (CCU) team

Frank Tomney Snr and his sons Frank Tomney Jnr, Brian Tomney and Thomas Tomney were jailed for a total of 20 years at Preston Crown Court for fraud after they targeted homes across Lancashire, Manchester and Hertfordshire. They charged extortionate amounts of money to carry out work on the properties. The work was shoddy and often caused further damage incurring additional costly 'repairs'. Video footage of them pouring milk, which they passed off as sealant, on a driveway was played at the sentence hearing.

Brian Tomney was also sentenced for duping an elderly lady into selling him her £60,000 house for just £17,000.

John, Mohsin and the team worked closely with Police, Trading Standards and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs during the investigation. Tax offences were also dealt with at the same time.

Mohsin Patel was the main contact for all enquiries. He ensured that all evidence was received and served on time. He prepared evidence bundles consisting of over 600 statements, almost 3,000 exhibits and approximately 160 photographs. He also attended many Crown Court hearings.

The team worked together with Lancashire and Greater Manchester Police to vary the original restraint order. This allowed the seized cash to go back to the victims, including civil case victims, who had reported the conmen to Trading Standards.  It is believed this is the first time Proceeds of Crime legislation has been used in such a way to reimburse the victims in criminal and civil cases.

John Dilworth said: "As well as bringing the Tomneys to justice for their wicked exploitation of the victims in this case we have worked closely with the Lancashire and Greater Manchester Police forces to strip them of their assets and compensate all of their victims. This outcome is the final piece in the jigsaw and I am extremely pleased that all of the victims will now get their money back."

Mohsin Patel said: "Bringing the Tomneys to justice was hugely gratifying after months of work from the police and the whole CCU team. This result ensures justice for dozens of elderly people who were conned out of their savings and will now be compensated. The defendants showed no remorse for the crimes they committed. I believe this successful outcome can be attributed to the dedication and commitment of everyone involved."

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350 years in prison for £9.8 million drugs and firearms gang

Joanne Cunliffe, Crown Advocate, Sharon Hicks and Sam Baxter Paralegal Officers and Jenny Haworth A2 for North West Complex casework Unit

In December 2012, the 28th defendant in Operation Greengage, Dion Lee, was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment taking the total to 350 years. He was one of the masterminds behind one of the largest cases of its type to come before a British court.

From Autumn 2006 to Spring 2008 the gang smuggled firearms and cocaine in hidden compartments in vehicles. Some of them also acted as human couriers or drugs 'mules' to bring at least 35 Kilos of cocaine of 100% purity into the country. The drugs were worth £9.8million.

Joanne worked closely with Lancashire Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit, Dutch, South American, Belgian and Scottish authorities. European arrest warrants were sought for those in Poland and the Netherlands, and Dion Lee was extradited from Nigeria.

Sharon, Sam and Jenny worked tirelessly to collate and reproduce the 10,000 pages of evidence, 29,000 pages of electronic telephone evidence and 25,000 intercepted calls. There were 370 witnesses in total.

Joanne Cunliffe said: "Dion Lee was the final piece in the complex jigsaw of this case. It is a measure of how committed we are to prosecute those who try to profit from smuggling drugs and firearms onto the streets of our towns and cities. This gang's criminal activities will no longer endanger the public."

His Honour Judge Mark Brown commended the work of CPS staff in the prosecution of this case: "Joanne Cunliffe, Sharon Hicks and Jenny Haworth of the Crown Prosecution Service had a crucial role in preparing the case for trial. This has been a very substantial and complex enquiry involving evidence gathering on a monumental scale. The fact that the defendants pleaded guilty shows what a formidable case was assembled against them all."