At Tank Jowett, we have always believed that the client’s needs are paramount. One lawyer will take on the case from start to finish with one aim in mind: to give the client the best possible service.
Murder & Other Homicide Cases
The lawyers at Tank Jowett Solicitors have defended in over 100 murder cases which have resulted in trials over the last 20 years. That figure ignores the police investigations with clients who have not been charged, which would result in several hundred further cases.
The majority of these cases have received substantial press attention, with some on the front pages of national newspapers.
At any given time, the firm will be representing defendants facing murder charges at some court throughout the country.
Such cases inevitably require a high degree of specialism concerning issues such as:
- Joint enterprise
- Mobile phone evidence
- Computer science
- Forensic testing
- False confessions
- Historic ‘cold’ cases
- Gang related and organised crime
- International evidence
Tank Jowett Solicitors have defended in numerous cases where defendants have been acquitted after long trials, where the pressure on the authorities to catch the perpetrators may have resulted in flawed decisions to prosecute.
We understand the pressure and responsibility that such cases involve. Each murder case will involve a senior experienced solicitor of over 20 years qualification heading the defence, and a team of lawyers working on the case.
Usually two barristers, one a very senior Queens Counsel will be instructed to appear at the trial and any hearings beforehand.
We can promise that our clients will receive the best representation possible. A look at our case histories, will show countless examples of the work we do in the proceedings.
HISTORIES - 40+ CASES
R v W (2000) Organised crime murder
Murder charge dropped after strong defence put forward
R v M (2001) St.Albans Crown Court
Arson attack resulting in murder – Proceedings dropped against our client after strong defence put forward.
R v T (2002) Old Bailey
Beating and burning resulting in murder
R v T (2003) Double Murder trial at the Old Bailey involving gang related attacks
9 month trial
R v J (2005) Old Bailey - Bodiless domestic murder trial
Reduced sentence (client now released)
R v S (2004) – Old Bailey - Stabbing, later reduced to Manslaughter after negotiation with Crown
Defendant released after 18 months
R v F (2005) Old Bailey
Somalian 20 year old male charged with stabbing in West London. Client acquitted
R v M (2005) Nottingham Crown Court
Defendant faced murder charges, later dropped after pressure from Defence.
R v P (2006) Gang fight resulting in murder
Defendant eventually acquitted
R v D (2006) Old Bailey - Stabbing reduced to manslaughter
Defendant released after 3 years
R v S (2007) Court of Appeal
Farmer accused of bodiless murder. Investigatory appeal work
R v P (2007) Old Bailey
Murder with mental health issues, hospital order made
R v P (2007) Court of Appeal
Stabbing. Appeal argued over flaws in original trial
R v M (2008) Old Bailey
Robbery resulting in murder - Defendant unhappy with representation, changed to Tank Jowett, acquitted
R v P (2009) Ipswich Crown Court
Gang beating resulting in murder, reduced sentence, client now released
R v M (2009) Court of Appeal
Honour killing with fresh evidence
R v T (2009) Court of Appeal
Original legal team failed to investigate defendant’s cognitive difficulties
R v M (2010) Court of Appeal
Murders of three generations of one family commonly referred to by the media as the “Clydach Massacre” and the largest ever murder investigation in South Wales
R v T (2010) Maidstone Crown Court
Traveller gang fight resulting in murder
R v M (2010) Old Bailey
Shooting in NW London, eye witness evidence, client acquitted
R v D (2010) Old Bailey
Defendant sacked his legal team half way through trial, took over with 1 day’s notice
R v P (2010) Court of Appeal
Domestic murder, sentence reduced on appeal
R v M (2012) Snaresbrook Crown Court
Traveller family dispute (2 hung juries)
R v S (2012) Warwick Crown Court
Murder involving 10 defendants, public interest immunity, informants, undercover police officers, telephone intercepts. Largest ever murder investigation by Warwickshire police. All defendants acquitted.
R v B (2015) Old Bailey
Shooting in South East London involving eye witness evidence, main defendant represented
R v B (2015) Warwick Crown Court
‘Cold case’. Our client was charged with the high profile abduction and murder of Nicola Payne in 1991 where the body was never recovered. Case reported in all major news outlets. Defendant acquitted.
R v H (2016) Old Bailey
Plot to kill soldiers, police and civilians as part of Islamic State inspired drive by shootings. Large terror plot exposed by M15. 80,000 pages of material, including complex computer and telecommunications evidence. Client acquitted.
R v T (2016)
Manchester Crown Court - Corporate and personal manslaughter case involving death of a construction worker, breaches of safety regulations.
R v M (2017) Old Bailey
Child death - Defendant acquitted of most serious charge of murder
R v F (2018) Old Bailey
Conspiracy to commit murder of political cartoonist who was shot in central London in 1987. Alleged assassination by members of ‘Force 17’ group, off shoot of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) following an offensive cartoon image depicting Yasser Arafat.
R v V (2019) Old Bailey
Conspiracy to commit murder. Contract killing.
R v A (2019) Old Bailey
Represented one of 12 in a conspiracy to commit murder, with over 30,000 pages of evidence.
No ongoing cases are mentioned here but by the end of 2020, the firm represented defendants in over 12 separate murder cases within the space of 12 months alone, at various stages of the criminal justice system. Every single one of those cases have come to Tank Jowett through recommendations and referrals.
I was arrested having present at the scene of a murder in 2005. Tank Jowett Solicitors represented me, and never stopped fighting my corner. They managed to secure me bail, which meant that I did not have to spend 9 months in prison waiting for my trial. Eventually before the trial began, they made detailed representations to the Crown Prosecution Service and the case against me was dropped. I will forever be grateful to them for the dedication they showed in defending me.
I was arrested for murder in 2010 and had a solicitor from another firm. I was then rearrested for the same murder in 2012. I was terrified. Someone told me to go to Alison Morgan and I did. She was my solicitor and advocate in court. This woman literally saved my life and I have told her this. She visited me in Belmarsh, and went through everything with carefully. She instructed the right QC for me. At the end of the trial I was acquitted in 29 minutes, which was one of the quickest verdicts in the Old Bailey. I thank Alison for all of this and am forever indebted to her. She was kind to my family and supportive. My family really respect her and go to her for everything legal now.
I was charged with murder in 2005 after a shooting in Nottingham, as part of a wider gang fight, and after a huge effort, Rajesh Bhamm managed to secure me bail. The case dragged on for 9 months, and the trial started. Rajesh instructed William Coker QC to represent me at trial, and he was outstanding. He negotiated with the Prosecution and eventually I pleaded guilty to Affray, and was given community service. I will forever be indebted to Rajesh Bhamm and William Coker QC for what they did for me.
I was arrested in relation to an allegation of conspiracy to commit murder. I was arrested from my home early in the morning and taken to Acton Police Station. I asked for Rajesh Bhamm to act for me, as he had previously acted for me successfully in relation to less serious matters. The allegation was that I had arranged the stabbing of the victim by directing the knifeman to his location. The police alleged I had made on the date of the murder over 30 telephone calls to the knifeman's girlfriend who in turn called the knifeman. They suggested I had the motive to murder. Rajesh represented me in the police station, secured my release from custody and ultimately I was not charged with murder. Obviously I was delighted with his service which saved me from potentially facing a lengthy murder trial and the possibility of life imprisonment.
I was sitting in Belmarsh prison in 2008 on remand for robbery and murder. I had accepted being involved in the robbery. But in no way was I responsible for killing anyone on a joint enterprise basis as they said. No one had looked into my intellectual issues. I was recommended to Simon Jowett and he together with Alison Morgan took over my case. Alison was fantastic. She instructed a top psychologist who looked at my IQ. At trial, the psychologist gave evidence, and I was found not guilty. The co defendant was found guilty of murder, and received 22 years! That could have been me. Thank you to Alison and Simon
No firm in London deals with more serious drugs cases than Tank Jowett Solicitors. Having the right lawyer advising you in such cases is crucial.
For the past 25 years, the lawyers at Tank Jowett have been preparing drugs supply and importation cases.
We have one rule – to act in the best interests of the client.
The law in drugs cases is mostly covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Tank Jowett Solicitors are leading lawyers in the field of drugs offences, and can guide you through and represent you at any level of the proceedings in all levels of seriousness of offending.
The key aspect to serious drugs cases is that they can involve extremely high sentences in the most serious of cases. The defendant in such a case must remember that it is not just the crime – but how he conducts himself in the proceedings which can in some cases, act to double his sentence. In such cases, getting unrealistic advice from a inexperienced lawyer can be disastrous.
The sentences imposed in such cases are governed by the Drugs Sentencing Guidelines see here.
There are 2 factors in each case relevant to drugs supply: Quantity and Role. In other words, what is the quantity of the drugs that the defendant is alleged to have been involved in supplying, and what was his role, ie what part did he play?
Many cases involve overwhelming evidence, and the aim in such situations is to ensure the lowest possible sentence. Of key importance is to address the limits of the prosecution evidence, to ensure that our clients are not treated unjustly, or punished in excess for what they have done. Representation in such situations can often involve the instruction of a very senior barrister to represent our client at the point of sentence. Read our case summaries to understand our work in this area.
Every defendant featured below came to this firm through being recommended:
R v Z - Sheffield Crown Court - 2011
Multimillion pound drugs trafficking group involved in over 10 large scale cannabis cultivation factories.
R v A - Southwark Crown Court - 2015
Multi handed conspiracy to import and supply over 40 kilos of cocaine and ammunition. The network stretched from Mexico, the USA and Canada to the streets of London.
R v I - Luton Crown Court - 2021
Complex encro chat case involving 1000 kilos of cocaine and heroin, supplied in only 3 months. Expert analysis used to reduce our client's role and quantity supplied.
R v C and others – Birmingham Crown Court – 2017
Several members of the same family represented in a high stakes case. Queens Counsel instructed for sentence hearing.
R v T and others - Wood Green Crown Court - 2016
40 kilos a week of cocaine were distributed through the streets of North London. Tank Jowett represented the main defendants in this conspiracy.
R v T – Kingston upon Thames Crown Court – 2014
Large scale drugs conspiracy.
R v M – Kingston upon Thames Crown Court – 2007
Ten defendants faced a 4 month trial accused of importing cocaine using couriers hiding cocaine in suitcases flying from Grenada and other Caribbean islands
R v M – Kingston upon Thames Crown Court – 2004
Large scale drug importation conspiracy
R v B - Old Bailey - 2000
Extensive investigation by the then Regional Crime Squad, involving large scale drug importation and supply throughout London and the South East of England.
R v A - Cardiff Crown Court - 2018
A was a taxi driver convicted of carrying cocaine, and had been convicted by the time he came to Tank Jowett. We successfully appealed his conviction, due to unfairness in the trial process. The CPS insisted on a fresh trial, but A was released on bail. At the retrial, A was found not guilty.
R v C - Birmingham Crown Court - 2017
C pleaded guilty to supplying over 15 kilos of cocaine to the Birmingham area. The prosecution argued that he should be placed at leading role, with a starting sentence of 20 years. C was well represented by a senior QC, received a starting sentence of 15 years which was reduced by 33% to 10 years, of which C would serve 5 years.
R v P - Blackfriars Crown Court - 2017
P pleaded guilty to supplying cocaine in a category 1 case, but the Crown alleged that the notes found in his home address represented £1m of drug dealing. P insisted these notes related to poker games. The Crown would not accept this, and hence detailed evidence was gathered of the poker games played in P's community. The Prosecution withdrew their claim, and P was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment.
R v H - Harrow Crown Court - 2020
H was stopped in a car with 20 kgs of cocaine and £300,000 in cash. After detailed representations by a QC, the Judge accepted that the defendant should be sentenced as 'lesser role'. H received 6 imprisonment
I was charged with supplying cocaine and money laundering in 2017. I was recommended to Simon Jowett. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and not part of any drug deal. The cash found at my house belonged to my landlady. Winning the case was everything to me, as my girlfriend was pregnant, and I would have gone to prison if I had been convicted, and then would have been deported. After a 5 day trial, when I was represented by Ed Henry QC and Tom Orpin-Massey from QEB Hollis Whiteman chambers, I was found not guilty by the Jury. Shortly afterwards my son was born, and I regularly send Simon pictures of us together. Simon cared about my case and fought for me. The barristers were fantastic. They even fought (successfully) for my landlady to get her money back. I would recommend these lawyers.
I had already been convicted of conspiracy to supply class A drugs, and serving 8 years in prison,by the time I was recommended to Simon Jowett. He successfully appealed my conviction, with the help of Victoria Meads, counsel from Garden Court Chambers. She persuaded the Court of Appeal judges that my conviction was unsafe. Victoria was very thorough in preparing my retrial - she genuinely cared - and I was acquitted! Huge thank you to Simon and Victoria.
Tank Jowett Solicitors have substantial experience in representing those facing extradition proceedings. We represent persons facing both Part 1 (European Arrest Warrant) cases, and Part 2 Non European Arrest Warrant) cases.
In short, extradition means the transfer of a person to a country outside of the UK if they are accused of, or are convicted of, a crime in that country.
Tank Jowett represent persons following extradition requests from most countries around the world.
We regularly consult with foreign lawyers around the world in order to liase with the prosecuting authorities in those countries in relation to the charges faced.
Some clients require advice before any extradition proceedings begin.
Work done in contesting extradition requests can involve the making of a bail application, before considering whether human rights considerations apply, such as the right to family life (see our case histories), the right to a fair trial, and the right not to suffer inhuman or degrading treatment. Other arguments to put forward can include the passage of time.
It is essential that you consult a lawyer as soon as possible. Call our offices now should you fear an extradition request, or should you have a family member or friend who needs assistance in extradition proceedings.
R v E – Westminster Magistrates Court – 2013
This high profile extradition case, saw Jeffrey Shine eventually being successful in preventing the extradition of his client who was wanted for people trafficking, arguing that the need to care for her mentally disabled daughter provided a sufficient Article 8 argument.
R v M – Westminster Magistrates Court – 2021
In this case, Jeffrey Shine successfully argued that M should be discharged and released, after persuading the Court that to extradite M to Poland would be in breach of his Article 8 rights, due to mental health issues.
Tank Jowett Solicitors have substantial experience in preparing, and obtaining successful outcomes in, all types of fraud cases.
Our main areas of our fraud specialism are:
- Tax investigations and HMRC prosecutions
- MTIC (Missing Trader Intra Community) Frauds
- Money laundering
- Trading Standards Investigations
- Immigration Fraud
- Unexplained Wealth Orders
- Restraint Orders
R v S – Isleworth Crown Court 2012.
The Defendant endured a 3 year investigation followed by prosecution by HMRC into his tax return business which began in 2009, alleging over £1m of fraud. After 18 months, he changed his lawyers and instructed us. We quickly instructed forensic accountants, and worked together to turn the tide in our client’s favour, arguing that HMRC had failed to fully understand his business model. The case was dropped in December 2012.
R v P – Maidstone Crown Court 2014.
This case involved allegations of conspiracy to evade excise duty on tobacco on an international scale. We were required to consider over 18,000 pages of evidence, electronic data and fought to show the weaknesses of HMRC disclosure processes and protocols. The proceedings were stayed after substantial legal arguments.
R v S – Southwark Crown Court 2014.
The Defendant faced allegations of a multi million pound conspiracy to defraud Central Clearing banks.
R v A – Nottingham Crown Crown 2013.
Multi-handed Fraud involving Luxury motor vehicles, described as a “complex and highly-organised" operation.
R v S – Southwark Crown Court 2009.
Multi- Million pound Fraud involving exportation of construction plant machinery and prestige motor vehicles to Dubai. Proceedings were brought under Proceed of Crimes Act 2002 involving millions of pounds of hidden assets.
R v V – Southwark Crown Court – 2013.
Multi- Million pound Fraudulent Trading with an International Element. Acted for the Financial Director of the company.
R v V – Leicester Crown Court – 2015.
Multi- Million pound Money Laundering allegations involving proceeds of crime into a high value business.
R v R – Leicester Crown Court – 2012.
Conspiracy to make/ distribute and sell counterfeit clothing on an industrial scale, involving the following brands; UGG, Timberland, Mackenzie, Adidas, Lacoste, G- Star and Henleys.
R v N Director of a Los Angeles based Film Company, charged with Cheating the Public Revenue for a vast amount of money.
R v M: Multi-Million pound Trading Standards Prosecution. Described as the largest counterfeiting fraud operation ever uncovered on Ebay.
R v R: £40 Million MTIC (Missing Trader Intra-Community) Fraud / Carousel Fraud.
R v K: Multi-Million pound Conspiracy, involving the supply of illegal immigrants to companies in the construction industry, and associated money laundering charges.
R v S: £20 Million Mortgage Fraud. Acted for an Accountant in the conspiracy.
R v K: Multi-handed Serious Fraud Office Prosecution of Corruption, Bribery, Fraud and Money Laundering within a County Council.
R v M: Banking Fraud. Allegations of defendants acting as Police Officers from Scotland Yard. The case also appeared on BBC CrimeWatch.
R v C: Charges brought for money laundering which involved a Mortgage Advisor at a leading Corporate and Investment Bank, who it was alleged bypassed security measures to assist transfer criminal property.
"In 2011 I was already 2 years into a £1m fraud case, and at my wit's end. I was not sleeping at night, and I felt that my lawyer was not helping me. I was recommended to Simon Jowett. He took over my case, and gradually we started to turn the case around. We instructed a forensic accountant and all worked together to push back on the charge of 'Cheating the Public Revenue', with the alleged loss being £1m. I started to believe that I could win the case. The Judge was listening to my legal team, and made crucial pre - trial rulings against the Prosecution. Finally after detailed representations by my legal team, headed by Simon, the Crown Prosecution Service capitulated. The case against me was dropped, and I could finally breathe again. I will always be grateful to Simon for his hard work in securing my acquittal."
There are different categories of assault, ranging from low level assault (common assault) to the most serious offence of s.18 GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm with intent).
Each allegation, no matter the penalty, can have a disastrous impact on the person facing the allegation, leading to loss of job, livelihood, and in the more serious cases liberty. Even the lowest level assault allegation can cause immeasurable stress on the person facing the allegation.
Key to winning cases is careful preparation, and ensuring that the best possible advocate is available to represent you.
We are here to defend you and ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Possible offences include
- Common Assault/Assault by beating
- Causing Actual Bodily Harm (ABH)
- Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) without intent
- Causing Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) with intent
- Attempted murder
R v M – Hendon Magistrates Court 2015
Our client became involved in an argument in the street with another person, who assaulted him. When the police arrived, that person complained instead they had been assaulted. Our client was charged with assault. Our client owned a restaurant in North London, was worried about his liquor licence, and his immigration position. In his words, ‘this was the only thing I thought about for 6 months’. We understood the strain on our client. We prepared the case thoroughly even undertaking site visits, and obtaining local cctv. Our client was acquitted at trial by the magistrates.
R v F – Croydon Crown Court 2017
Charges of attempted murder were lowered to endangering the life of a child, and after 9 months of very stressful proceedings our client faced a jury, and was found not guilty
R v N – Romford Magistrates Court 2019
A drunken argument between a couple resulted in assault charges against our client, despite there being no complaint from his partner. The Crown Prosecution Service continued with the case. A full trial took place and after organising an experienced barrister to attend, our client was acquitted after a trial by the magistrates.
R v S – Exeter Magistrates Court 2020
Our client faced 2 charges of common assault arising from relationship which ended after the complainant made allegations of assault. But the complainant had clearly lied to the police, and left out significant information in her complaint. Our client believed that the allegations were malicious. The stakes were extremely high for our client, as a conviction would have cost our client his job, and his career. It was a must win case. After over 60 hours of work, the case came up for trial. An experienced barrister represented our client, did an outstanding job, and after a full day’s trial, the magistrates acquitted our client.
R v W - Isleworth Crown Court 2015
Our client faced a charge of GBH with intent, involving a dispute at work. If convicted the client could have received 7 years imprisonment. But the complainant was not a reliable witness, and after separate allegations were made against him, and he was charged, we successfully argued that he could not be relied on by the Crown as a man of truth - he was denying criminal allegations in another court. Pressure was applied to the Crown, who relented, and discontinued the GBH charges against W.
R v S - Woolwich Crown Court 2016
S came to Tank Jowett Solicitors having already been convicted, and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). Yet the trial had been grossly unfair, due to flaws in the behaviour of the trial judge. We appealed his conviction, which was overturned in the Court of Appeal. On the retrial, S was acquitted.
I was parking my car in North London in early 2015. Suddenly there was banging on the car window. A woman had been walking on her phone and hadn't noticed me parking my car, and my car nearly hit her. I got out to object to her behaviour, and she smashed me in the face with her car keys. I then flagged down some police officers cycling past, and they went and spoke to her. She lied and said that I had assaulted her first, and that she was defending herself! I couldn't believe it - I was arrested and charged with assault on her word alone! I asked Simon Jowett to represent me. He gathered CCTV and spoke to witnesses that the police had ignored, and eventually my trial date came up and I was acquitted. This case was the most important thing in my life for the whole year. My whole livelihood was at stake. People might think this was a minor charge, and Simon told me there was no danger of prison, but for me, the thought of getting a conviction was just awful. Simon understood my stress, and promised me that he would do everything possible to prevent a conviction. The case is over now, and I have put it behind me. But if you need a lawyer to fight for you, I would definitely recommend this firm.
General Criminal matters
The lawyers at Tank Jowett have defended in almost every criminal prosecution imaginable from a charge of impersonating a police officer to keeping a dog dangerous out of control. There is one common theme in every case: and that is that in almost every case, the person facing the charges is under a great deal of stress. At Tank Jowett, we do the best we can to alleviate that stress with one clear message - that your case is in safe hands, and that everything that can be done will be done. Read some of our case histories, to understand how we do that.
R v X 2019
In this case, the charge was at first sight particularly minor. The penalty was hardly worth a mention. But the consequences of a conviction were life changing. Thus the pressure on the solicitor, Rajesh Bhamm, was immense - to win the case at all costs. X was a person of good character and a trainee solicitor of a reputable corporate practice. X was alleged to have used her sisters blue badge fraudulently, having parked in a disabled bay without her sister present. X had made full admissions in a roadside interview under caution with the fraud inspector. At trial, Rajesh successfully put forward that although X had parked in the disabled bay without her sister being with her, as she was going to drop her sister home some hours later, no offence had been committed. The trial largely hinged on the successful cross-examination of the fraud inspector, who admitted that his note of the roadside interview was not verbatim. If convicted, X would have almost certainly have been denied onto the roll of solicitors, as the offence is one of dishonesty.
R v C 2007
The Defendant had been involved in a toxic marriage break up, and his estranged wife had made a number of allegations against him including harassment and a low level assault. At the point of instructing Tank Jowett Solicitors, C had been at his wits end; his solicitors in Gloucester seemed disinterested in his case, and he was facing 2 separate magistrates court trials. Simon Jowett took over his case. What was immediately apparent was that it was impossible to ignore the benefits to his estranged partner in the family proceedings, in preventing him from seeing his children, that the criminal proceedings were ongoing. Upon analysing the evidence, it became clear that the alleged victim had made conflicting allegations, and had left out major gaps in her accounts. In short, this was an unpleasant war between two parties in a sad marriage breakdown, and the complainant was clearly using the police to advance her own agenda. Detailed written representations were made to the Crown Prosecution Service. A senior prosecutor reviewed the evidence - and discontinued both charges.
The lawyers at Tank Jowett solicitors have defended in all forms of sexual offences over the last 20 years.
To be accused of a sexual crime can be enormously stressful, with the potential punishment and social stigma that follows.
We understand the pressure a defendant faces, and can offer the best possible representation available at this particularly difficult time.
This firm takes on cases from the least serious, such as sexual touching, to the most serious, including rape and like offences.
Every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and sadly, this firm has experience of cases where undoubtedly false allegations have been made.
Sexual offence cases can involve:
- Complicated issues surrounding consent
- False and/or malicious allegations
- Mobile phone evidence
- Forensic evidence
The lawyers at Tank Jowett understand the need to vigorously defend cases in the right circumstances and can assist at short notice to ensure the best possible representation.
R v C (2000) – Old Bailey
Allegation of gang rape by teenagers on teenagers in North West London. All defendants acquitted after 6 week trial.
R v C (2002) – Old Bailey
Allegation of rape in casual encounter. Issues of consent were central to this case. Defendant acquitted.
R v S (2015) – Southwark Crown Court
our client faced allegations of conspiracy to traffick prostitutes into the UK. We meticulously prepared our client’s case over a period of one year, with 17,000 pages of evidence to go through. We interviewed witnesses, and ensured that no stone was left unturned in the preparation of our client’s defence. Of 10 persons charged, our client was the only person to be found not guilty.
R v C (2016) – Old Bailey
The Defendant was accused of touching a woman on a bus. Our client was was a pensioner who had never been in trouble in his life. After 2 trials, the first ending in a hung jury, the Defendant was acquitted.
ROAD TRAFFIC OFFENCES
Road Traffic law is a complex area of law, and it is essential that you get the right advice from a specialist. The loss of a driving licence can cause huge damage in terms of loss of job, financial loss, and loss of freedom of movement. At Tank Jowett Solicitors we ensure that you exercise your legal rights to challenge evidence wherever necessary. Below are the main areas of driving law. Early advice is essential.
Drink Driving is a serious offence. The legislation governing Drink Driving is complex and highly technical, and yet the penalties involve a minimum ban of 12 months and in extreme cases up to 6 months in prison. Depending on the facts, there may be several possible challenges to the evidence. Representation in this area of driving law includes addressing:
- Breathalyser equipment
- The question of driving or attempting to drive
- Alternative offences which do not require a compulsory ban
- Whether the drink drive procedure was properly carried out
- Possible 'special reasons' for not imposing disqualification
Failing to provide a specimen of breath
If the police have reasonable grounds to suspect that you were driving or in charge of a vehicle, and you refuse to provide a breath specimen when asked to do so by a police officer, either at the roadside or at the police station, you may be guilty of an offence - unless you have a reasonable excuse.
You can be arrested and taken to a police station, and required to provide a sample of breath, blood or urine.
Failing to provide a sample is generally regarded as more serious than drink driving itself, and carries a mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months.
The law regarding speeding is covered by the Road Traffic 1988 and the magistrates court have sentencing guidelines to follow when imposing penalties, which range from points on your licence to a driving ban, and financial penalties. Representations can reduce the penalties imposed. Before accepting a speeding conviction it can help to seek advice on whether it is possible to challenge the evidence.
Driving a vehicle without insurance is a criminal offence and usually carries a penalty of between 6 points and a driving ban, depending on the circumstances. The police have equipment enabling them to tell if a car has insurance, and the usual penalty can only be avoided in very limited circumstances including:
- an employee driving his employer's car which does not have insurance
- it may be possible to argue that there are 'special reasons' for not imposing disqualification, including, but not limited to, a reaonably held belief that the insurance was in place, or that there were other extenuating circumstances as to why the car was driven.
Dangerous and Careless driving
Dangerous driving can include racing, driving aggressively, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, using a defective vehicle, using a mobile phone whilst being distracted, or not being fit to drive, and the penalties include up to two years in prison and a minimum one year ban. The question of whether driving was dangerous can be addressed by representations.
Careless driving occurs when the defendant's driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver. This is a lower standard than dangerous driving, but can still lead to a driving ban, and proper representation is essential.
Causing death by dangerous/careless driving
The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years imprisonment; for causing death by careless driving the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment.
Over the past 20 years, the lawyers at Tank Jowett Solicitors have dealt with countless such cases. The death of a person on the road is a tragedy, but these cases can also cause immense stress for the driver facing such charges, and the pressure on that person, in terms of feelings of guilt, upset and stress can also be life changing. Tank Jowett offer robust representation in the most difficult of circumstances to ensure justice for all parties.
Early advice and representation at the pre charge stage is essential, before a prosecutor has made up their minds as to which charge to prefer, or even whether to charge at all, and successful representations at the beginning can affect the process at the outset.
Examples of our past cases can be seen in our case histories.
Driving whilst disqualified
The Courts take a tough approach to persons found driving on a ban. The maximum sentence is 6 months imprisonment. The Magistrates often impose such penalties, on the basis that the defendant completely ignored a court order. Additional aggravating features include the fact that by virtue of the disqualification, any driver will automatically be driving without insurance, placing other road users at further risk.
Issues can often include whether the person knew they were disqualified, passage of time since the original ban, or whether there were any aggravating features to the driving.
The above are the more usual offences dealt with by Tank Jowett Solicitors but further offences regularly seen, where representation should be sought include:
- Mobile phone offences
- Failing to provide driver information (s.172 offences).
Contact our offices for a consultation.
R v Z 2020
Z was arrested having been found in his vehicle, over the drink drive limit. There was no evidence of his driving whilst over the limit, and he insisted that he had only drunk whilst waiting for his vehicle to be towed. He was charged with drink drive, which would have resulted in a minimum 18 month ban due to his reading. Negotiations took place with the prosecutor at court, who agreed to substitute the lower charge of 'drunk in charge', and after a plea of guilty, Z received a 4 week ban from driving, much less than the 18 months originally faced.
R v S 2016
S was charged with causing death by careless driving as a result of a tragic incident involving a collision with a pedestrian on a zebra crossing. The case went to trial, and S was convicted - but - representation by Robin Griffiths of 2 Dr Johnsons Buildings led to S avoiding prison.
R v T 2019
T was a director of a large business, charged with driving without insurance. A 'special reasons' argument was put forward on his behalf that he could not have known about the lack of insurance on his car. The magistrates agreed, and T received no points on his licence, which prevented him from being disqualified under the totting up procedure.
R v S 2018
S ran a car showroom and was prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving. The argument was advanced that the mobile phone was not being used for 'an interactive communication function'. The District Judge agreed, and our client was acquitted.
After I was charged, I was looking at an 18 month ban. This would have been a disaster for me and my business. My lawyer negotiated with the prosecution, and I pleaded guilty to being drunk in charge, a lower charge, and was banned for 4 weeks.
KIDNAP, BLACKMAIL & FALSE IMPRISONMENT CASES
The Court artist’s impression of the ‘Royal Blackmail’ Trial of 2008 in Court 14 of the Old Bailey. Ian Strachan and Sean McGuigan sit in the dock.
Mr Justice Cooke presided over the case, and sits in the foreground. Tank Jowett Solicitors represented Ian Strachan.
Kidnapping and False Imprisonment are common law offences, and as Lord Lane said in 1983, where abductions were planned, and the victim was used as a hostage, or where ransom money was demanded, sentences would seldom be less than 8 years, with much longer sentences justified where violence or firearms were used.
Blackmail means ‘demanding money with menaces’ and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment. The demand has to be unwarranted, in other words, without justification, and it must be accompanied by menaces, meaning threats or conduct designed to pressure the victim into complying with the demand.
Tank Jowett Solicitors have been representing defendants over the last 20 years facing such offences; see our case histories for a sample of our cases.
A common feature of such cases is that the alleged victim is often far from legitimate or honest themselves, or acts in such a way as to cause any reasonable person to question their behaviour.
In defending persons charged with such offences, it is essential that the alleged victim’s account is properly scrutinised, and every line of evidence is challenged where appropriate.
R v W - Kingston Crown Court 2016
Organised crime Kidnap and False Imprisonment case involving the abduction of an international criminal by former associates. Over 30,000 pages of material served, including phone and cell site evidence. Client acquitted after the Crown Prosecution Service were persuaded to offer no evidence.
R v D - Wood Green Crown Court 2021
Drug gang related Kidnap went to trial, but Crown Prosecution Service persuaded to accept lower charge. Over 10,000 pages of material served
R v B - Old Bailey 2000
Organised crime gang kidnap, false imprisonment and murder case.
R v K - Harrow Crown Court 2016
Drug and money related kidnap and false imprisonment of a youth by 15 gang members
R v D - Harrow Crown Court 2017
Albanian cannabis farm dispute led to kidnap and false imprisonment over a period of several days. International enquiries were necessary and the lawyer, Simon Jowett, travelled to Albania to interview witnesses in Tirana, as well as travelling to Shkoder Police Station to gather evidence from the Chief of Police in relation to the alleged victim's criminal past.
R v S - Old Bailey 2008
'The Royal Blackmail case'. Simon Jowett represented IS, who was the first individual to be prosecuted in over 100 years for blackmailing a member of the Royal Family. The case was reported on the front page of every national newspaper in the country.
Above are a selection of the Kidnap and False Imprisonment cases dealt with by Tank Jowett Solicitors. Every case featured came as a result of our client being recommended to this firm.
I was arrested by 32 anti terrorist police officers, faced the entire might of the Metropolitan Police force, and was prosecuted by the No 1. prosecuting barrister in the country all for what I will always claim was a misconceived and false blackmail allegation by a member of the Royal Family. Despite that, Simon was the rock of my defence. He was totally unfazed by the press obsession with the case, or the prosecution resources levelled against me, and worked tirelessly to achieve justice for me. I will forever be grateful to him for his efforts and would always recommend him.
Civil Cash Forfeiture Cases
The law regarding Civil Cash Forfeiture is governed by the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. At any given time, the firm will have approximately 50 ongoing cases, many of which proceed to trial in the magistrates court, and many proceed further to an appeal in the Crown Court
Tank Jowett Solicitors have substantial experience and success regarding the return of money seized by the police.
Such cases are made more difficult by the fact that the Courts apply the civil standard of proof to such cases, where cases are decided on the balance of probabilities. So many of our clients find that although they may have been arrested for possession of criminal property (money laundering) but the criminal case is not proceeded with, the police still apply to forfeit the cash found, as it is easier to prove on the balance of probabilities that the cash seized has either come from crime or was intended to be used for crime.
Costs are always an issue in such cases. Legal Aid is generally not available to fund such cases, and our clients are forced to fund their cases privately. Tank Jowett Solicitors always take great care to minimise the costs to the client in fighting such proceedings.
Many of our cases are resolved with the police, where detailed representations are made to the police to return the money, which results in a saving of time and resources to our clients.
Read our Case Histories above for examples of the success we have had in securing the return of our clients' money.
Civil Cash Forfeiture Cases
R v M - Westminster Magistrates Court 2019
M had £110,000 in her house, and tenant accused of drug dealing and money laundering. After we successfully secured his acquittal after a criminal trial in Isleworth Crown Court, the Police refused to return M's money, and made an application for forfeiture in the Magistrates Court. Detailed work went into the history of the cash over many years. M was ultimately successful and secured the return of her cash in May 2019.
R v I - Westminster Magistrates Court 2018
I was stopped driving his vehicle with £13,000 in cash found inside the car. I insisted on the legitimacy of his money. Detailed representations were made to the officer in the case, and the funds were returned within 8 days.
R v W - Westminster Magistrates Court 2015
W was stopped driving a vehicle in Central London, and in the vehicle the police found £13,000. Representations and evidence was presented to the officer in the case, and the money was returned shortly after the first hearing.
R v Z - Portsmouth Magistrates Court - 2020
After £9000 was found in his car, the police searched Z's house, and found a further £37,000 in cash. Detailed representations were made to the police backed up with evidence of Z's legitimate business dealings. The money was returned by a payment into Z's bank account after 9 weeks.
R v T - Westminster Magistrates Court - 2020
After a flawed prosecution against her brother, following £77,000 found in her house, we made detailed representations to the police to return the money showing evidence to support its legitimacy. T received her money back in full.
Please note that all of our cases came to Tank Jowett Solicitors by personal recommendation.
My brother and I were represented by the duty solicitor. All I can remember is complete disinterest and not being able to get hold of him. By the time I was recommended to Simon Jowett, I was desperate - my brother was in prison wrongly accused of money laundering, and the police had detained £77,000 of legitimate cash. From taking over the money laundering prosecution, it took Simon 3 weeks to get it dropped and secure my brother's release. After that, it took another 4 weeks of detailed representations to the police both by email and telephone call, and my money arrived in my bank account.
Simon Jowett represented my tenant who was acquitted of criminal charges, but then the police would not return my money. After the police refused to return my money, Simon instructed Edward Henry QC to contest the application for forfeiture in the magistrates court. We won and I was delighted to receive my money back.
Encro Chat Cases
Explanation of EncroChat evidence
This explanation of EncroChat cases, and the preparation of such cases has been prepared by Tank Jowett Solicitors, who currently act in over 30 such cases.
At the beginning of July 2020, the UK authorities made a dramatic announcement, namely that they had managed to infiltrate the EncroChat network, and had been monitoring it for a period of 3 months, since March 2020. Such an announcement would have immense consequences for both law enforcement and organised crime, as it was the biggest most significant development in crime detection arguably since DNA evidence gathering advances, in terms of the scale of the arrests which would follow.
What made the development additionally so significant was the scale of the evidence that would follow. Many criminal networks who had been operating ‘under the radar’ suddenly had 3 months of their communications exposed for law enforcement to see, and the implications for those arrested was the emergence of very damning and extensive evidence of criminal conduct.
The EncroChat network was an encrypted network which had been in operation for several years, with servers based in France. Communications would take place between encrypted devices and were impossible to infiltrate by law enforcement agencies. The devices themselves were expensive to acquire, not available through conventional retailers, and used, the UK law enforcement agencies concluded, almost exclusively for crime.
Across the world, it was estimated that there were 100,000 users, each with their own device and username or ‘handle’, with 10,000 alone in the UK.
Once the announcement occurred, arrests began, on a significant level, and they are still ongoing. The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Cressida Dick, has said that it may take 2 years to arrest all those involved in criminal activity recorded through the EncroChat evidence gathering.
Defendants began to be arrested, and the legal challenges almost immediately began.
Under the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, live communication intercepts are not admissible in evidence in criminal cases. The argument put forward at Liverpool Crown Court, in one case was that this evidence was exactly that; live communication intercepts.
Not so, said the Judge, who concluded that this was stored evidence.
This Judgment made it to the Court of Appeal, who came to the following conclusion:
‘We have concluded that the only substantial question which the judge was required to
answer was whether the EncroChat material was stored by or in the telecommunications
system when it was intercepted. Like him, we consider that these communications were
not being transmitted but stored at that time. That being so, the appeal is dismissed.’
Therefore, the current legal position regarding EncroChat material is that it is admissible in criminal proceedings.
Defending EncroChat cases
Tank Jowett Solicitors act in a large number of such cases, and therefore are able to explain in some detail the way in which these cases are prosecuted, and more importantly, in this section, defended.
It is essential at the very outset to split the evidence into 2 parts:
Firstly, what is the evidence of criminality within the EncroChat material? Is it clear what it relates to? Can this be challenged? If there are translations, are they accurate? If for example the evidence relates to drug dealing, does the evidence actually relate to drug dealing, or efforts to drug deal? The realities of drug dealing must come into play here, as it must be considered that many drug deals do not bear fruit, and therefore the actual scale of the criminality may be much less.
Secondly, can the EncroChat device be properly linked to the Defendant? This is otherwise known as Attribution. EncroChat devices, when operating, would have sim cards, and would connect to the nearest phone mast, or mast with the strongest signal, in the same way that a conventional phone would. Therefore, it would be possible to see the movement of that EncroChat device when the user travelled around. Can that movement be properly linked to the Defendant? Many Defendants might have another mobile phone, perhaps a contract phone, and many EncroChat prosecutions have involved evidentially tying up the device to a personal mobile phone, or, a car’s movements through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), surveillance or other evidence.
All of Tank Jowett’s cases are currently ongoing in the courts.
All of Tank Jowett's EncroChat cases are currently ongoing
Terrorism involves the use of violence and intimidation, both in and outside the UK, especially against civilians, which is designed to influence any international government organisation or to intimidate the public. It must also be for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or idealogical cause.
The most common types of terrorism in the UK involve acts to intended to cause serious violence or death, or extensive damage to property.
Cases are prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division (SCCTD).
In recent years, there have been a number of pieces of legislation which have tightened the law in this area, including, The Terrorism Act 2000, The Terrorism Act 2006, The Counter Terrorism Act 2008, and the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019.
The main terrorism offences prosecuted by the SCCTD include:
- Preparation of Terrorist Acts (s.5 TA 2006) - it is an offence for a person to engage in the preparation of acts of terrorism, or to assist others in preparation of acts of terrorism.
- Collecting Information (s.58 TA 2000) - it is an offence to collect or make a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.
- Dissemination of terrorist publications (s.2 TA 2006) - it is an offence to distribute a terrorist publication with the intention of encouraging acts of terrorism.
Other common terrorism offences include Membership of a Proscribed Organisation (s.11 TA 2000), Supporting a Proscribed Organisation (s.12 TA 2000), Wearing a uniform (s.13 TA 2000), Finance and Money Laundering in relation to terrorist acts (s.15-17 and s.18 TA 2000), Weapons Training s.54 TA 2000), Directing a Terrorist Organisation (s.56 TA 2000), Possession of an article for Terrorist Purposes (s.57 TA 2000), Encouragement of Terrorism (s.1 TA 2006), Dissemination of Terrorist Publications (s.2 TA 2006), Providing or Receiving Instruction or Training for Terrorism (s.6 TA 2006) or Attendance at a place for Terrorist Training (s.8 TA 2006).
The lawyers at Tank Jowett Solicitors have a proven track record in defending serious allegations including terrorism offences. Read our case histories for further information.
R v NH 2016
Baljit Tank was the supervising solicitor in charge of the represention of NH, who was acquitted of charges of conspiracy to commit murder and the preparation of terrorist acts. The Prosecution alleged that NH planned with others to travel to specific locations, shooting soldiers and police officers. The case alleged that NH was inspired by Islamic State to commit such acts. Had NH been convicted he was advised that he would have received life imprisonment, with a minimum term of 40 years in prison.
R v X 2003
Baljit Tank represented a suspected Chechen terrorist throughout his police station detention, handling strategic decisions in relation to the answering of questions. The case did not proceed beyond the arrest stage.