Criminal Law Specialists
Middleweeks fight for the justice of our clients. In a number of cases clients have been brought before the courts, unfairly for something they haven't done or 'being at the wrong place at the wrong time'.
Many prosecutions involving more than one defendant are based upon the law often described as 'Joint Enterprise law'. This is centuries old and is often confused by not only lawyers but also judges. This was recognised by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of R v Jogee [2016 UK SC 8]. The Supreme Court recognised that for decades the law had been misapplied. This clearly sent shock waves through the legal justice system as many serious prosecutions including murder are presented by the prosecution on this basis.
In essence, the law seeks to hold equally responsible more than one person for a particular crime, for example, in the case of a robbery on a bank, the getaway driver who is waiting for the bank robber is equally liable as the person who holds the bank up. However, what is the liability of the getaway driver, if the robber ends up shooting and killing someone in the bank? These are the difficult types of scenarios which have led the courts to struggle with a consistent approach in various cases. In many cases, people have been convicted of serious crimes such as murder when they were not present at the scene, or were at the scene but did not contribute in any way in the violence.
Success Story: Conviction Quashed
In 2017, Middleweeks Solicitors took over the appeal of a young university student who had been convicted after a trial for an allegation of Section 18 Grevious Bodily Harm. He was of previous impeccable character but yet still received a term of imprisonment of 12 years.
The appeal required a complete analysis of not only complex issues surrounding the flawed medical evidence relied upon by a prosecution forensic pathologist but also a complex and critical understanding of the principles associated with Joint Enterprise. We worked alongside a professor of law at Oxford University who had also worked on the Supreme Court case of R v Jogee.
Following detailed grounds of appeal being submitted to the Court of Appeal and against all odds, the court quashed the conviction. Middleweeks Solicitors had instructed numerous neuroradiologists and forensic pathologists following which the prosecution had no alternative but to agree that the injury to the victim was not caused by our client.
However, the prosecution still maintained the conviction was safe due to the law of Joint Enterprise. Middleweeks undertook an exhaustive analysis of the law and were able to the demonstrate to the Court of Appeal that the Crown Prosecution Service were wrong in their assessment of the law. This was despite, the fact that the prosecution were represented by senior Queens Council. This led to the successful outcome and the client being subsequently released from prison and able to resume his normal life.
It is important for any client arrested for any crime on this basis to consult Middleweeks Solicitors immediately for a thorough assesment of the correct law in this complex and difficult area.
Notable Criminal Cases
Over the years, we have been instructed in many of the most serious and complex criminal cases throughout the country. Due to our vast experience and knowledge of the law, we have been able to challenge cases to the highest courts in the country including the House of Lords (now the Supreme Court). Below is a selection of our notable cases.
R v GPP
This was a complex investigation and subsequent prosecution brought by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). Our client was an architect charged with Conspiracy to Defraud involving six construction projects. At the time, the trial was thought to be the longest in British history.
R v J and DS
A two-year operation which took investigators to Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Austria and France as they pursued the gang for flooding the Midlands with £35m contraband cigarettes. In total 18 people were charged. Our client was acquitted of all charges.
R v C
This was a complex international money laundering case involving Hundi/Hawala banking. The prosecution alleged that millions of pounds were laundered via Dubai and Pakistan. The defence necessitated detailed enquiries by travelling to Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. This followed a bail application which was successful in our clients release from custody.