Prosecution Successes

Convicted by Emoji

An Emoji is an ideogram or a smiley used in electronic messages and Web pages. On 12 May 2015 the defendant Shyan Wright sent her friend, Natania York a WhatsApp message which asked her friend to hold onto something for her and her partner. When this message was viewed there was an Emoji for a hand gun in the text and that was what Wright was asking her to keep. The defendant had selected her friend as she had no connection to the police and considered her home a safe place. On 1 June 2015 police officers executed a warrant at the home address of York and recovered a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun and eight rounds of ammunition. She received five years imprisonment. The defendant had joked in a message to her friend "God forbid the children getting close...Lol" when York confirmed that she had stashed the gun and bullets in her room. Shyan Wright denied the offence of counselling and procuring the possession of a prohibited weapon, but changed her plea on the day of trial. She was sentenced to five years' imprisonment. 

Internet groomer jailed

In January 2016 West Midlands Police were informed that indecent images of a boy were on the internet. Officers identified the boy and he said that he had believed that he was communicating with a female of a similar age to himself. It was, in fact a 29-year-old man, Jamie Chapman, who had persuaded the victim to send indecent images of himself. Once the victim sent the images, Jamie Chapman threatened to distribute them. That threat forced him to meet the defendant and what followed included rape. He would have been from 10 to 12 years old at the time of the first contact and 14 at the time of the rape. Police inquiries led to the defendant and analysis of his computers identified a large number of victims over the previous decade with similar accounts of contact over the internet, being persuaded to send indecent images and threats to distribute them. They were aged from 11 to 17 years at the time of the offences. None of them got as far as meeting the defendant as a result of the contact. Chapman entered guilty pleas to 31 counts involving 18 complainants and he was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court on 22 May 2017 for offences of rape, inciting sexual activity and making and distributing indecent images. He was sentenced to an extended sentence of 22 years with the custodial period being 16 years.

Complex Casework Unit

The West Midlands Complex Casework Unit (CCU) is the second largest CCU in the country after London and it houses a team of very experienced specialist lawyers who are able to advise and guide the police during complex and major investigations.

The West Midlands CCU is headed up by Mark Paul and is based at our offices in Colmore Gate, Birmingham and it handles cases from the four police forces in the region - Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands.

The Unit comprises of lawyers, caseworkers and administration staff who work in collaboration with the police to tackle organised and serious cross border crime, and to robustly tackle and disrupt criminal enterprises in the four counties.

The bulk of the casework arises from serious and organised crime, particularly drugs importation and distribution, money laundering, organised crime group multi defendant homicide and serious fraud, usually involving a value of over £1million plus at least one element of complexity such as multiple defendants / companies / victims and/or complex financial / restraint issues.

Types of cases dealt with by the West Midlands Group Complex Casework Unit

  • substantial fraud and money laundering,
  • serious drug offences,
  • human trafficking,
  • complex or sensitive murders,
  • cross border crime,
  • historical cases,
  • assisted suicide,
  • serious sexual abuse,
  • major public disorder offences,
  • unusual aspects to the police investigation,
  • serious or complex misconduct by police officers,
  • sudden infant death,
  • major child abuse,
  • animal rights extremism,
  • major media interest cases.