Thursday, August 29, 2019
Success in reopening Newton Hearing and suspended sentence in Trading Standards Prosecution
Quentin was approached by Mr AS who was before the Harrow Crown Court for sentence in respect of a trading standards prosecution. AS was unhappy with his current representation and sought a second opinion from Quentin as to the approach taken and whether there was anything that could be done to improve his current position.
Quentin met AS in his Chambers for a conference, the case was discussed and a detailed plan of action was proposed by Quentin. As a result of the advice he received, AS instructed Quentin in place of his current representatives.
As soon as he was instructed Quentin set about trying to improve AS’s position. AS had previously undertaken a Newton hearing, a mini trial of issue in which he was unsuccessful. Quentin made an application to the Court to re-open the Newton hearing, to call further evidence and make further legal submissions. This was resisted by the prosecution who submitted that this was not a course that was legally permissible. This issue was argued before a Judge at Harrow Crown Court who ruled in favour of Quentin’s client and the Newton hearing was reopened.
At the renewed Newton hearing new evidence was called and the defendant gave limited evidence. The judge considered her previous ruling and decided that she was bound to alter it in a limited but important way. The case then proceeded to sentence. The prosecution had originally put the loss to consumers at around £350,000 which would have led to a starting point custodial sentence of 5 years imprisonment for Quentin’s client. However, by the time the sentencing hearing came around Quentin had secured agreement from the prosecution and the Court that the sum upon which AS was to be sentenced was £127,000, around half of the original figure.
At the sentencing hearing Quentin made submissions that the Fraud Sentencing Guidelines should not be rigidly applied to AS and made a number of powerful points in mitigation on behalf of his client. As a result the Court only imposed a suspended sentence order for AS meaning that the defendant would not serve any prison time as long as he remains out of trouble for a period of 2 years.
Quentin Hunt is a Criminal Barrister with an excellent track record in sentencing cases and considerable experience in the field of trading standards law. If you require assistance in these areas you may contact Quentin for a no obligation discussion about your case.