Ben Douglas-Jones QC

Silk - 2018   |   Call - 1998
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Criminal

Ben Douglas-Jones QC is a specialist fraud, criminal and regulatory barrister.

He is highly recommended in Chambers and Partners. The Legal 500 for Criminal Fraud and Consumer Law, describes him as “extremely bright”, with “great intellectual strength” and “extremely able” with the ability to “marshal cases of the utmost complexity”.

Ben defends professional and corporate clients including public limited companies.

Ben prosecutes for the Specialist Fraud Division, Organised Crime Division, Appeals and Review Unit, Proceeds of Crime Unit and Welfare, Rural and Health Division (including the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) of CPS Headquarters. He also prosecutes for local authorities.

He practises in all serious and complex fraud, including corporate, financial, banking, mortgage, Excise, Hawala, advance fee (419), boiler room, MTIC, NHS, dental, pharmaceutical, Internet, car-ringing, gambling, banking, cheque clearing cycle and insurance fraud.

Ben is a member of the Fraud Advisory Panel and the Fraud Lawyers’ Association.

Ben’s regulatory practice extends to all areas of consumer law, with an emphasis on trade-marks and copyright law, criminal planning, food safety and environmental health.

Ben’s human rights and appellate practice has seen him appear in many leading and reported cases.  Recent appeals include:

R v VSJ and others [2017] EWCA Crim 36; [2017] 1 W.L.R. 3153; [2017] 1 Cr. App. R. 33; [2017] Crim. L.R. 817 (Special Court – serious offences committed by human trafficking victims; duress in relation to trafficking victims);
R v Mumtaz [2017] EWCA Crim 1843 (serious and complex fraud);
R v Robinson [2017] EWCA Crim 936 (double jeopardy);
R v PK [2017] EWCA Crim 486 (leave to appeal out of time);
R v Miharessari [2016] EWCA Crim 1733 (asylum seekers breaching Channel Tunnel security);
R v M [2016] 4 W.L.R. 146  [2016] 2 Cr. App. R. 20 (doli incapax);
R v Boateng [2016] EWCA Crim 57; [2016] 4 W.L.R. 70; [2016] 2 Cr. App. R. 5; [2016] Crim. L.R. 495 (complex immigration fraud);
R v YY [2016] EWCA Crim 18; [2016] 1 Cr. App. R. 28 (role of the CCRC in appeals concerning refugees);
R (Ewing) v Cardiff Crown Court [2016] EWHC 183 (Admin); [2016] 4 W.L.R. 21; [2016] 1 Cr. App. R. 32; (2016) 180 J.P. 153; [2016]
E.M.L.R. 18; [2016] Inquest L.R. 32; [2016] A.C.D. 44 Contempt of court; Live text-based communications; Notes; Permission; Refusal; Vexatious litigants);
Serious Fraud Office v Evans (the Celtic Energy fraud) [2015] EWHC 263 (QB); [2015] 1 W.L.R. 3595; [2015] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 223;
Serious Fraud Office v O’Brien (Supreme Court) [2014] UKSC 23; [2014] A.C. 1246; [2014] 2 W.L.R. 902; [2014] 2 All E.R. 798; [2014] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 401; Times, April 11, 2014 (Contempt of court; Extradition offences; Restraint orders; Speciality)
R v Mateta and others [2013] EWCA Crim 1372 (Special Court – asylum defences);
R v L and others [2013] 2 Cr. App. R. 23 (Special Court – human trafficking);
R (on the Application of A) v Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court [2013] E.M.L.R. 20; [2013] A.C.D. 72 (freedom of speech).

Ben is an editor of Southwell, Brewer and Douglas-Jones – Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Law in Practice. the 1st edition published by Bloomsbury professional in February 2018.

Ben is an author of the Blackstone’s Guide to the Consumer rights Act 2015.

Ben has co-written the 2018 CPS Guidance on charging and prosecuting victims of human trafficking He is one of the authorities of the current guidance (see Publications).

Ben prosecutes and defends in serious criminal cases, including murder, sexual and drug offences.

He has vast experience in restraint, confiscation and receivership proceedings.

Ben conducts second-opinion defence appellate work where he did not appear in the Crown Court and is instructed by the CPS Appeals and Review Unit in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

He also has significant expertise in miscarriage of justice work having represented Colin Stagg and secured his £706,000 compensation for Stagg’s wrongful indictment for the murder of Rachel Nickell.

Ben is also an attorney-at-law in Grenada, with rights of audience in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.

Ben is a qualified advocacy trainer for Gray’s Inn.

Notable Cases

Ben Douglas-Jones QC appeared for the Crown in R v Kolesnikova (CACD 18-12-18; Gross LJ; Cutts J and HHJ Lucraft QC) the Court held that:

(1) where victims of human trafficking commit serious offences, not only is the decision as to whether or not to prosecute fact-specific, but also a high level of compulsion is needed to extinguish culpability to inform a decision not to prosecute;

(2) the nexus of compulsion is a significant factor where the defendant has an opportunity to extricate herself from the offence;

(3) with expert trafficking evidence, where such evidence is generalised “country” evidence which could have been called in the Crown Court, it is generic evidence which should not be admitted in support of an appeal;

(4) a diagnosis of trauma induced “freeze response” brought about by traffickers’ control of the defendant as a victim did not form the basis for allowing an appeal.

Ben Douglas-Jones QC also appeared for the Crown in R v HHD (Court of Appeal: Gross LJ; Cutts J and His Honour Judge Lucraft QC (sitting as a Judge of the CACD) the court endorsed 4 issues to be highlighted in cases where victims of human trafficking (VOTs) and slavery are charged with criminal offences. The case was referred to the Senior Presiding Judge because of its importance:

(1) The latest version of CPS Guidance November 2018 includes a 4-stage test, which requires prosecutors to consider s.45, Modern Slavery Act 2015 at the evidential stage of the Full Code Test.  If there is insufficient evidence, having considered it, prosecutors should not charge or should discontinue on evidential grounds.  The CPS Guidance [re public interest] applies to all cases where statutory defence is not available.

(2) It is not necessary for there to be movement when someone is a VOT: practitioners should consider the definition of trafficking in Art 2 of Directive 2011/36/EU..

(3)  It is important that VOTs are identified as such before Court proceedings if possible.   CPS guidance requires that a request be made that a plea is not formally entered where indicators are present.  All should be alive to indicators published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Human Trafficking and United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking.  Should the issue be raised at 1st hearing judge should consider whether there is credible evidence of trafficking.  If so he should adjourn for the NRM procedure to be followed.  It should take 45 days [between RG and CG decision].  In practice it may take longer.  In such cases Better Case Management will not apply and stage dates will need to be amended.  Courts will need to be astute to avoid unmeritorious assertions that the a defendant is a VOT.  This Judgment will be sent to the Senior Presiding Judge.

(4) All concerned should be alive to trafficking in a number of situations, such as debt bondage.

BDJQC is prosecuting David Osborne, Ieuan Harley and Darran Evesham for the vigilante murder of David Gaut. Media coverage of this case can be found here and here.

MK v R; Gega v R [2018] EWCA Crim 667

Ben Douglas-Jones QC appeared for the Crown in this crucially important case which has resolved the burden of proof where a defence is raised under s45 Modern Slavery Act 2015.

R v Edwards [2018] EWCA Crim 595

Ben Douglas-Jones QC appeared for the Crown in this case in which the Vice President of the Court of Appeal handed down definitive guidance on the approach to sentencing defendants with mental illnesses.

R. v D [2016] EWCA Crim 454; [2016] 4 W.L.R. 122; [2016] 2 Cr. App. R. 18; [2016] Crim. L.R. 569

Ben appeared in an important appeal concerning defective indictments and the substitution of offences on appeal.

R. v M [2016] 2 Cr. App. R. 20

Ben appeared in an appeal concerning the presumption of incapacity of committing a crime in historical offences where doli incapax applied.  The presumption could only be rebutted by the prosecution by clear positive evidence, not consisting merely of evidence of the acts amounting to the offence itself, but that the appellant knew that his act was seriously wrong as distinct from mere naughtiness or childish mischief. Where such incidents formed bad character evidence then the presumption was irrelevant.

R. (on the application of Purvis) v DPP [2018] 2 Cr. App. R. 34

For the purposes of a right of appeal, a High Court decision on an application for judicial review of a prosecutor’s decision whether to prosecute a person was a decision in a criminal cause or matter.  A decision of the Court of Appeal Civil Division which should arguably have been made by the Supreme Court stood unless declared void.

R v GS [2018] EWCA Crim 1824

The change in law concerning the non-prosecution and non-punishment of human trafficking victims from 2007 to 2018 renders an application for leave to appeal against a 2007 conviction a change in law case and therefore the substantial injustice test applies.

Drug mules commit serious offences.  Notwithstanding evidence of  duress involving threats of serious injury or death to GS and her young son, if she refused to smuggle drugs, she had not been under such a level of compulsion that her criminality or culpability was reduced to such an extent that it was not in the public interest for her to be prosecuted. It had not been an abuse of process to prosecute GS.

R v Biglary-Ghalilou (24 October 2018; Gross LJ; Spencer J and HHJ Katz QC)

Under s.31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 (which creates defences based on Article 31(1) of the Refugee Convention) where the Secretary of State has refused to grant a claim for asylum made by a person who claims that he has a defence under s.31, that person is to be taken not to be a refugee unless he shows that he is (i.e. the legal burden of proof shifts from the Prosecution to the Defence).  Where a defendant is later granted asylum on the basis of sur place grounds (i.e. grounds which arose after the date of the offence, when s/he was in the UK), the burden of proof still lies with the defendant and not the prosecution.

R v Valiati and KM (1 November 2018; Sir Brian Leveson PQBD and McGowan J)

The Court emphasised that it is mandatory for “Immediately prior to the commencement of a trial, the legal adviser must summarise for the court the agreed and disputed issues, together with the way in which the parties propose to present their cases. If this is done by way of pre-court briefing, it should be confirmed in court or agreed with the parties.”

Where the contents of the PET form (in particular, section 8 of the form (issues, as opposed to section 9, agreed facts)) become relevant to an issue in the case:

“If circumstances arise in which it is sought to argue that the information provided on a PET form should have evidential significance, an appropriate application must be made and the hurdles both in relation to hearsay and s. 78 of PACE satisfied.”

I.e. it may be appropriate to apply to adduce the admission of an agent acting on behalf of a defendant as hearsay under the sixth rule preserved by s. 118(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

Appointments

Recorder of the Crown Court.

The Fraud Lawyers’ Association.

Fraud Advisory Panel

Accredited advocacy trainer for Gray’s Inn.

Ben is also an attorney-at-law in Grenada, with rights of audience in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal.

Publications, Training and Seminars

Ben is author and editor of Southwell, Brewer and Douglas-Jones QC – Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery Law in Practice; Bloomsbury Professional.

Blackstone’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015

Ben has co-written the 2019 CPS Guidance on charging and prosecuting victims of human trafficking, the Law Society Guidance on defending people who might be victims of human trafficking and the refugee defence and the Judicial College Guidance on trying defendants who might be victims of trafficking or slavery.

Ben has conducted human trafficking training with Beyond Borders in the Middle East. At these events, Ben trains public prosecutors, judges and ministerial officers – informing them of key legal issues concerning human trafficking and slavery.

Lexis Nexis Webinar Commercial Series – Consumer Rights Package; with Claire Andrews, Head of Gough Square Chambers, Ben delivered a webinar (transcript published) concerning the regulatory framework including the new Bill.

Conspiring to define conspiracy to defraud – an article published in The Lawyer concerning the changes in the law with regard to conspiracy to defraud.

The difference between civil and criminal contempt of court – a Lexis Nexis interview with Ben Douglas-Jones by Robert Matthews of Lexis Nexis.

Contempt is not a Crime: Written by Ben and Stuart Miller, managing partner of Miller Rosenfalck LLP, European Business Lawyers, and published in The Lawyer.

Lexis Nexis Webinar Commercial Series; Consumer Rights Directive (transcript published).

Trading Standards Institute Conference “Big Changes Around the Corner”- The Consumer Rights Bill. Seminar with Denis Barry – concerning the new Bill.

The CPS Guidance on charging and prosecuting victims of human trafficking – written by Ben, Specialist Prosecutor Carolyn Oakley, and Pam Bowen CBE, the CPS Policy Lead on Human Trafficking.

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/docs/policy_for_prosecuting_cases_of_human_trafficking.pdf

Trading Standards Conference; a seminar with Edward Jenkins QC about low cost RESA 2008

London Tobacco Control Conference: Tackling Irregular Access: a seminar on the underage use of cigarette vending machines (in the wake of Merton LBC v Sinclair Collis [2011] 1 WLR 1570 in which Ben and Ed Jenkins QC appeared for the prosecution).

Trading Standards Conference: Ben conducted a seminar concerning the Digital Economy Act 2010.

In Unsilent Witness (Commercial Litigation Journal, with James Stanbury, partner in RGL Forensics’ London office), Ben examined the factors which typically need to be considered when instructing a forensic accountant.

In an opinion piece for The Lawyer – Stagg payout: a unique amount for a unique case – Ben examined the demise of the ex gratia compensation scheme for miscarriages of justice (having represented Colin Stagg in his Home Office claim).

Ben completed a dissertation for his M Phil in 1999 on The Rights of the Foetus in Medical Procedures Affecting the Woman and Foetus.

 

Memberships

Fraud Lawyers’ Association

Criminal Bar Association

South Eastern Circuit

American Conference Institute ACI Anti-Corruption / FCPA: Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Experts

AMLAC – Anti-Money Laundering, Audit, Compliance and Fraud Forum

Caribbean Lawyer Network

Anti Counterfeiting Professionals

FCPA – Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – Anti-Corruption Compliance Group

Financial Crime Risk, Fraud and Security

Proceeds of Crime network

Professional Discipline Lawyers Group

Regulatory Compliance Association

The Annex

Recommendations

“a remarkable capacity to soak up large cases and present them with great effect for a jury”

– Legal 500

“an excellent communicator who is always immaculately prepared and shows outstanding attention to detail”

– Chambers and Partners

Legal 500 2018: ‘He has a fabulous acumen for seeing the point and exposing deficiencies in the other side’s case.’

Legal 500-2018: ‘Known for his work in Consumer Rights Act cases.’

Chambers and Partners 2018: “A great barrister – he is bright and diligent.” “Ben is exceptionally good at his written work.”

Chambers and Partners 2018: “Articulate, measured and someone whose drafting skills are good.” “His work rate is simply phenomenal. Lots of people work hard, but he works both hard and extremely productively. With him, work is always flawless.”

Publications

2018: Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery: Law and Practice

2015: Blackstone’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015

2015: Conspiring to define conspiracy to defraud; 2015 Article published in The Lawyer concerning the recent changes in the law with regard to conspiracy to defraud

2013: the CPS Guidance on charging and prosecuting victims of human trafficking – co-written with Carolyn Oakley, Specialist Prosecutor and Pam Bowen CBE, the CPS Policy Lead on Human Trafficking.

2009: Unsilent Witness (Commercial Litigation Journal 2009, with James Stanbury, partner in RGL Forensics’ London office), examining the factors which typically need to be considered when instructing a forensic accountant. 2008

Notable Cases

Ben has been in over 120 reported cases in the last few years; see: www.bendouglas-jones.com/cases/

Fraud

In R v Hunter, Ben led Rhodri James (of 23 Essex Street) in the representation of the first defendant in the landmark National Trading Standards prosecution of the officers of BZZ Ltd for reselling concert and event tickets using multiple names.

The case involved the evidence of Ed Sheeran’s manager and promoter. Ben led an abuse of process argument based on Regulators’ Code (Adaway consumer abuse) and the law concerning tickets and contractual webs involved in the ticketing industry; and unfairness to consumers in business-to-consumer contracts forming part of contractual webs. Ben led the argument on the law of fraud, fraudulent trading and dishonesty concerning consumer fraud in the secondary ticketing industry.

Meanwhile, Ben, leading Aparna Rao, prosecuting for the Specialist Fraud Division, secured convictions against four men who used the foundry website to distribute films, including The Expendables 3, illegally before their official release dates by torrent software and “seedboxes” for the “MiLLENiUM” release group, costing the film industry a minimum of £8.5 million.

In Operation Atlas Case 1 and Operation Atlas Case 2, Ben, leading Aparna Rao, prosecuting for the Specialist Fraud Division, secured convictions against Philip Bujak, the former CEO of Montessori, for two frauds on Montessori – an expenses fraud and separate fraud relating to the charity’s printing budget.

Ben led Anthony Hucklesby in R v Marcou and others – a multimillion pound alleged finance fraud committed through Abacus Trading Company Ltd against Barclays’ financing arm.

Ben led Jennifer Dannhauser in a case representing the first defendant in R v Moshfiq and others (Operation Park), an alleged multimillion pound cross-jurisdictional fraud involving mobile telephones.

Ben led Dominic Lewis in Operation Festival, which involved alleged fiscal fraud on a vast scale.  One of three related trials involved over 70,000 pages of evidence.

Ben, leading James Marsland, appeared for the Specialist Fraud Division before the Court of Appeal R v Mumtaz [2017] EWCA Crim 1843 (serious and complex fraud). In a judgment given by Hickinbottom LJ, the Court agreed with Ben that there was no prejudice in an amendment to the indictment which had secured the conviction of the Appellant.

Before taking Silk, Ben, led by Patrick Harrington QC and John de Waal QC, represented the first defendant, Eric Evans in SFO v Evans. The Defendants, a retired consultant solicitor, Eric Evans, his professional partner, Alan Whiteley, and assistant solicitor, Frances Bodman, had set up a complex commercial transaction involving opencast mining sites and restoration obligations. A fifth defendant, Stephen Davies QC, had advised on the legality of the scheme. Central to the scheme was Celtic Energy Ltd, South Wales’ most successful mining company, whose 100% shareholder, Richard Walters, and finance director, Leighton Humphreys, were also charged.

Mr Evans and Mr Humphreys had always vehemently denied having done anything wrong and were indeed keen to show that their conduct was commercially adept. The case was dismissed by a High Court Judge, Mr Justice Hickinbottom.

In Silk, Ben went on to represent Mr Evans successfully in Solicitors’ Disciplinary Proceedings.

Ben, led by Patrick Harrington QC and leading Simon Rogers, prosecuted the biggest mortgage fraud ever investigated in England and Wales: Operation Valgus, R v Lowry-Huws and others.  After a five month trial they secured six convictions. Later, a further seven defendants pleaded guilty. Appeals against conviction were dismissed: [2014] EWCA Crim 1762.

Facing allegations of creating and operating copycat government websites to defraud the public, Stephen Oliver was represented by Ben – who was led by Graham Trembath QC. The case was complex and substantial. After a trial, the defendants were acquitted of copycat website fraud and the prosecution abandoned further proceedings concerning consumer protection offences.  A second case has been discontinued.

Human Rights

Human Trafficking

Ben has appeared in many of the leading cases concerning the prosecution of victims of human trafficking.

Following L and others [2013] 2 Cr. App. R. 23, the Special Court judgment of the Court of Appeal (Lord Judge, Lord Justice Moses and Mrs Justice Thirlwall) in which Ben appeared for the Crown, he appeared for the Crown in R v S.

In R v S, the appellant was a victim of human trafficking. She had been deprived of her childhood and early adulthood by being held in domestic servitude and by being deprived of an education. There was no fault on any party for not identifying the defendant as a victim of trafficking when she was prosecuted in 2009. She had entered an unequivocal guilty plea.

Ben appeared in O [2011] EWCA Crim 2226 [O 2011] and R v LZ [2012] EWCA Crim 1867. He suggested in those cases that the Court of Appeal should allow appeals in respect of victims of sexual servitude notwithstanding that there had been no fault in failing to identify them as trafficking victims and where there were unequivocal guilty pleas.

The Court of Appeal agreed. In a departure from the fault based appeals following N and Le [2012] 1 Cr. App. R. 35; [2012] Crim. L.R. 958 (in which Ben Douglas-Jones also appeared for the Crown), for the first time after the judgment in L and others the Court of Appeal, in R v S, endorsed the O and LZ line of authority.

Ben appeared for the Crown in L and others [2014] EWCA Crim 1483, 5 conjoined appeals, in which the Crown was held right to concede appeals where victims of trafficking had been prosecuted. The criminality had been extinguished by their trafficking circumstances.

In R v L and others [2013] EWCA Crim 991; [2013] 2 Cr. App. R. 23, Ben appeared in a Special Court sitting of the Court of Appeal presided over by the Lord Chief Justice, led by Tim Owen QC and instructed by the Crown (CPS Appeals Unit) in which the Court set out guidance for the prosecution of victims of human trafficking.

In Regina v N and Le  [2012] EWCA Crim 189; [2012] 3 W.L.R. 1159; [2012] 1 Cr. App. R. 35; [2012] Crim. L.R. 958; Times, April 10, 2012, Ben, led by Tim Owen QC and instructed by Shuba Karan and Steve Alvarez of the CPS Appeals Unit, appeared for the Respondent in these conjoined appeals, heard by the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, sitting with Royce and Globe JJ. Convictions were upheld and the Court set out “a series of considerations of broad general effect” concerning Article 26 of the Human Trafficking Convention 2005.

Ben’s other notable cases include R v Dastjerti [2011] EWCA Crim 365 – cited where a trafficked victim has pleaded guilty on bad advice.  Ben’s approach to the safety of convictions in these cases gave its name to the “Dastjerti checklist”, applied by Leveson P in the R v K [2017] EWCA Crim 486 and R v LZ [2012] EWCA Crim 1867 – a trafficked adult subjected to repeated rape.

R v O [2011] EWCA Crim 2226 involved a victim trafficked with coercion from “JuJu magic” and who was exposed to sexual slavery. Ben’s legal argument on behalf of the Crown was accepted by the Court of Appeal. Ben argued that O’s appeal against conviction (her guilty plea) should succeed on Human Rights grounds: she was a credible victim of child trafficking, subjected to “JuJu Magic” rituals and forced into sexual exploitation.

Asylum Defence Cases

In R. (on the application of Khalif) v Isleworth Crown Court [2015] EWHC 917 (Admin), Ben appeared for the DPP. This is a leading case concerning when leave to appeal should be granted following a guilty plea in the Magistrates’ Court. In this case, the Court also analysed the application of the statutory defence in Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004.

In R v Ghorbani [2015] EWCA Crim 275, Ben appeared in this case where the analogy between victims of trafficking and asylum seekers was drawn in the context of the safety of convictions.

In Mateta and others [2013] EWCA Crim 1372, Ben appeared for the Crown (CPS Appeals Unit) in a Special Court sitting of the Court of Appeal in which Lord Justice Leveson set out to “kill [the issue of lawyers failing to identify clients with asylum defences in lower courts] stone dead”.

Ben’s other notable asylum defence cases include R v A [2013] [citation pending] – involving a refugee escaping persecution on grounds of sexuality and R v Sadighpour [2012] EWCA Crim 2669; [2013] 1 Cr. App. R. 20; Archbold News February 2013, a leading case concerning the application of burden and standard of proof in refugee-defence cases and the admissibility of FTT decisions in appeals against conviction.

R v C [2011] EWCA Crim 2911 concerned the application of Article 31 of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees in the context of s.31 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999). Ben successfully argued on behalf of the Crown that Article 31 of the Geneva Convention was not engaged in this case in such a way as to make a conviction for possessing false i/d documents unsafe.

Human Right to Family Life and Freedom of the Press

Ben appeared for the DPP in R (on the Application of A) v Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court [2013] EWHC 659 (Admin); (2013) 177 J.P. 377; [2013] E.M.L.R. 20; [2013] Crim. L.R. 763; [2013] A.C.D. 72. In this case, he persuaded the Court that it should not allow a restriction or super-injunction on the publication of the details of a Councillor found drunk in charge of a child.

Ben also appeared in R. (on the application of Ewing) v Cardiff and Newport Crown Court [2016] 1 Cr. App. R. 32, which concerned Article 6 and 10 rights in Crown Court cases.

Consumer and Restraint

In Operation Taylor, Ben – instructed by Kevin Hansford of the Specialist Fraud Division – prosecuted companies and individuals involved in the movement of hundreds of thousands of doses of temazepam and diazepam as well as medicinal products.

Ben also represented Stephen Oliver – the first defendant in Operation Cleo, an alleged multimillion pound fraud involving supposedly copycat “Government Gateway” websites. The cases received widespread national publicity as a flagship prosecution of National Trading Standards.

In Operation Albatross, Ben – instructed by Ayo Awoyungbo and Bryony Dean of the MHRA Unit of the Welfare, Rural and Health Division of CPS HQ – prosecuted the directors of a company for illegally importing counterfeit Durex condoms. The operation has been the subject of a BBC Fake Britain documentary due to the public health implications of counterfeit contraceptives.

In DBIS v Rees, Ben was leading defence counsel in criminal proceedings involving the alleged breaches of a director’s disqualification order in the context of two separate companies.

Ben and Edward Jenkins QC appeared for London Borough of Merton (instructed by Head of Civic and Legal Services, Merton London Borough Council) in Merton, LBC v Sinclair Collis Ltd [2010] EWHC 3089 (Admin); [2010] WLR (D) 286; [2010] All ER (D) 68 (Nov); [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1570; (2010) 175 J.P. 11.

They successfully argued that, notwithstanding the civil complaint procedure embodied in s 7(2) of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 (as amended), a sale of tobacco to a person under the age of 18 through a cigarette vending machine was capable of being an offence contrary to s 7(1) of the 1933 Act.

In Operation Citrus / Bedford County Council v M, Ben was retained to advise on complex restraint and management receivership issues in a multimillion pound advance fee / consumer fraud.

Ben was counsel for Merton LBC and the Central Fraud Group in Operation Cantonese – a successful prosecution of three men for conspiracy to defraud through betting tipster and advance fee frauds relating to bloodstock. The confiscation involved tracing assets in the Middle East and Cyprus.

Ben was also involved in Merton, LBC v Tesco as counsel for the Local Authority in a food safety case against Tesco, concerning its flagship store in New Malden. The case resulted in its highest fine ever for a food-safety offence.

Ben was Counsel for the Respondent in the largest civil recovery case of all time: Asset Recovery Agency v Green [2005] EWHC 3168 (Admin); 2005 WL 3719494; Times, February 27, 2006. This is a leading case defining “criminal property” in restraint (Part 5 of POCA).

Serious Crime

Murder

Ben was named The Times Lawyer Of The Week for his successful prosecution of Ieuan Harley for the murder of David Gaut, who had himself served over 30 years in prison for the murder of a baby.

Ben, leading Amy Jackson (of St Ives Chambers), represented a 19-year-old indicted for conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life in connection with a drive-by shooting in Birmingham in R v B, et al.

Ben also worked on R v C – a case involving a one-punch manslaughter.

Ben appeared in the High Court in a murder concerning the right of a deponent to claim the privilege against self-incrimination.

Baby smuggling

Ben, leading Sharon Bailey of Tuckers, is instructed in R v L – a baby shaking case involving experts in five disciplines.

Ben secured convictions when he prosecuted two “Miracle Baby” cases where the defendant “mother” in each case claimed that she had genuinely given birth to a baby smuggled into the UK having had Nigerian herbal treatment.

Ben, leading Aparna Rao, represented a defendant charged with two counts of conspiracy to bugger dating back to the 1980s when the defendant was alleged to have procured the buggery of a man by a vicar and healthcare worker.

In Operation Throughout, Ben secured the conviction of a defendant for importing 144 kilograms of ketamine from India.

Meanwhile, Ben was instrumental in Operations Cook, Siberian, Tuna and other related UKBA and Serious Organised Crime Agency operations.

Ben and Justin Cole (now HH Judge Cole) were judicially commended by HHJ Ross for their conduct of a complex and substantial drugs importation trial at the Crown Court at Reading.

The case brought together six separate investigations by the Serious Organised Crime Agency, the UKBA and Police. It involved over two tons of cannabis and 20 kilograms of cocaine. The six men indicted were all convicted, with the first defendant receiving a sentence of 24 years’ imprisonment.

Relevant Articles

  • Convictions in Manslaughter Trial.

    Ben Douglas-Jones QC and Justin Jarmola prosecuted Shannon Cronin in a socially distanced trial in the Crown Court at Birmingham. Following the jury returning...

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  • Ben Douglas-Jones QC and William Douglas-Jones appear in the successful appeal of a conviction following an allegation of an historic sexual offence

    Ben Douglas-Jones QC and William Douglas-Jones appear in the successful appeal of a conviction following an allegation of an historic sexual offence. Ben Douglas-Jones...

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