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National or international in scope, drug-case clients seeking one of the very best drug barristers in the UK, beat a path to Howard Godfrey QC’s door for his depth of expertise and breadth of experience in this often quite technical area.
Most often, serious drug-related cases are “multi-handed”, in so far as there are several accused parties being tried at the same time, having been accused of acting together in concert.
These cases are often typified by the existence of an informant, and the use of undercover police officers. Where an informer has been used, the weakness in a prosecution case can sometimes relate to his or her reliability. In other words. what have they been offered in return for their co-operation and testimony. Where one or more undercover police officers have been used, the weakness in a prosecution case can sometimes relate to the issue of “entrapment”.
In both scenarios, Howard’s skill as a master strategist and tactician, is key to his remarkable successes, and his in depth pressing of the prosecution for disclosure of information has resulted in cases being stopped in their tracks (stayed as an abuse of the process of the court). The key point here is that the eventual disclosure of material embarrassed the prosecution and revealed unlawful behaviour on the part of the police or customs officers.
Some Sample cases:
Drugs Sting - Not Guilty[F & OTHERS] A solicitor F was caught with drugs cash in Mayfair. This was a Metropolitan Police ‘sting ‘ operation using undercover police in London and Gibralter. The police set up a fake bureau de change in Mayfair, London, and encouraged F to import bags of drug cash from Gibralter to London. After many weeks of legal argument in court, the judge halted the trial because of the police’s illegal activity in re-financing the drug trade. A verdict of ‘not guilty’ was entered and F was discharged.
Unlawful Arrest on High Seas - Case Dismissed [C & OTHERS]
A converted trawler was used for drug running from North Africa to the UK, crewed mainly by retired SAS and SBS soldiers. The ship was arrested by a British Navy destroyer in the Atlantic, at the request of British Customs. We mounted a successful International Law argument that the arrest was unlawful and the judge dismissed the case as an abuse of the process of the court. The defendant was discharged.
Hidden Drugs Consignment - Acquitted by the Jury [ G ]
The client met the lorry at a pre-arranged warehouse depot for unloading. Unknown to him, customs officers had followed the lorry from the docks. His defence was that he was there to unload legitimate goods from the lorry, and knew nothing about the drugs. He was acquitted by the jury.