Op Razorback Receives National Recognition

25/02/2013

Operation Razorback has received national recognition after 18 people are sentenced for their role in a wide-spread conspiracy to breach the UK’s immigration law through ‘sham marriages’ in Pakistan. After being recognised as a CPS “Success of the Month”, both the lawyer Clare Stevens and Paralegal Officer Steve Jackson will be thanked by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Operation Razorback began when Clare received a file from UK Border Agency relating to a man in West Yorkshire who had been found in possession of numerous passports and identification documents. She quickly realised that the owners of these documents who had claimed he was helping them with their travel arrangements for holidays may actually be suspects in a South Yorkshire case she was handling.

Pulling the two cases together she unearthed a wide spread conspiracy to breach UK immigration law.

Clare worked with South Yorkshire Police and the UKBA providing advice on an almost daily basis to build the strongest case possible working her way through 16 lever arch files of written evidence.

This was a complex issue which required detailed understanding and preparation which could then be presented in a clear and logical manner for any jury to compute.

With the support of paralegal officer Steve Jackson who also worked tirelessly to prepare the case, Clare brought 21 defendants to court. 18 have been convicted so far and received a total of 26 years imprisonment. Two are wanted on bench warrant and one is being medically assessed. In addition following further enquiries a further seven alleged brides have recently been charged.

Steve said: "Clare did an absolutely fantastic job from my point of view. This was a really large case, which could have been a nightmare if not organised properly. Clare has put in a huge amount of work and her knowledge and organisation of the case has been brilliant from start to finish. I have had a lot of very positive feedback from all parties involved and the case has gone extremely smoothly. I will certainly be thanking her for making my job so much easier than it could have been."

Head of the Complex Casework Unit Peter Mann said: "There is no doubt that without Clare's work this complex and voluminous case would never have got off the ground. The degree of supervision and direction the investigators needed was such that at times it seemed as though Clare was the SIO and disclosure officer as well as the reviewing lawyer. In terms of case preparation Clare was also extremely proactive in taking steps to ensure that this case could be both prepared and served digitally on disc. This avoided the need to have 50 paper bundles copied - amounting to about half a million sheets of paper. The way in which Clare arranged the papers digitally meant that neither the trial judge nor any defence representatives sought paper copies. This was the first time the unit had conducted a trial entirely digitally. This approach resulted in a cost saving to the unit of over £20 000."