Crown court proceedings in commercial scale cannabis production case stayed as an abuse of process

Friday 11 February 2022

Lee Sergent and Elena Papamichael, both of the Garden Court Criminal Defence Team, acted for two of the defendants instructed by GT Stewart Solicitors.

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Three Vietnamese nationals received positive conclusive grounds decisions confirming their statuses as victims of trafficking. The Crown declined to discontinue proceedings.

An application for disclosure was made under s.8 of the CPIA 1996. The resulting disclosure crucially supported the application to stay proceedings and was referred to in the ruling of the court.

In light of AAD 2022 EWCA Crim 106 [paras 119-120] and Brecani [para 9] an application to stay proceedings was made on the basis that the Crown did not have a good reason to depart from the conclusive grounds decision and the decision to proceed with the prosecution was, therefore, irrational and unreasonable. The court agreed and stayed the proceedings as an abuse of process, under the second limb, that it would be unfair to try the defendants. 

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