Matthew Bagnall leading Mustapha Rashid (3 Bolt Court), instructed by Solomons, on behalf of the first defendant and Peter Guest leading Sean Summerfield, instructed by Bark & Co, on behalf of the third defendant secure unanimous acquittals after a nine week trial at Leicester Crown Court.
The defendants were charged, along with three others, with playing a leading role in a conspiracy to convert criminal property by the acquisition of stolen car parts for international exportation on an industrial scale – the value of those parts stretching into many millions of pounds.
As part of a two-year police investigation into the defendants, three warehouses full of car parts were uncovered, and multiple shipping containers destined for ports worldwide were identified. Ferrari and Bentley parts were amongst those found.
The case involved over 220 witnesses and circa 300,000 pages of evidence. The trial involved extensive legal argument over the admissibility of evidence related to covert markings used to identify car parts and the prosecution took several weeks to present their case to the jury.
Each defendant maintained that he had no knowledge that any of the parts in his possession were from stolen cars and the jury unanimously acquitted each of them after just 2 hours and 40 minutes in retirement.