Did internal politics and a culture of confusion at the FCA fail P2P investors?

A trove of normally secret documents have revealed a comprehensive catalogue of missed warnings about the so-called peer-to-peer lending sector after disclosure in a recent case at the Employment Tribunal.

This substantial investigation, exclusively carried out by the mouseinthecourt, shows that for a number of years significant concerns were raised – and seemingly not acted upon – at all levels within the organisation.

Continue reading “Did internal politics and a culture of confusion at the FCA fail P2P investors?”

Collateral investors given green light to receive £5.5m payment, court rules

Investors in the peer-to-peer lending platform Collateral (UK) Limited are set to receive their first pay out, over four years after the firm collapsed in early 2018.

Some £5.5m has been identified by the Joint Liquidators, with payments expected to start within a matter of weeks.

Continue reading “Collateral investors given green light to receive £5.5m payment, court rules”

Great Green Art Fraud – How FundingSecure lenders were scammed

In 2016 an art dealer took out a series of short-term loans supposedly secured against valuable works of art. Over 1,400 members of the public collectively crowdfunded the money using the now-failed peer-to-peer lending platform FundingSecure.

In what is a truly remarkable story the art works promptly disappeared and the art dealer splurged the money, fled to Spain and was declared bankrupt, with seemingly no prospects of the loans being repaid to the member of the public who had invested.

Continue reading “Great Green Art Fraud – How FundingSecure lenders were scammed”

Civil Procedure Rule Committee propose major curtilage of Open Justice

The CPRC have launched what I’m describing as “one of the biggest attacks on the principle of Open Justice in recent times” as they seek to remove the public from public hearings held remotely.

Continue reading “Civil Procedure Rule Committee propose major curtilage of Open Justice”

FundingSecure face new threat over alleged ‘secret commission’ payment

Failed P2P platform FundingSecure faces a new threat of litigation over an allegation of a ‘secret commission’ payment.

A photo that accompanied the listing on the FundingSecure website

The ‘secret commission’ allegation is expected to be added as a counterclaim in on-going legal action listed for trial this Autumn. 

Continue reading “FundingSecure face new threat over alleged ‘secret commission’ payment”

Heathrow Express worker offended by fake bomb loses appeal

A Muslim employee who worked on the Heathrow Express train service has lost his appeal following a tribunal decision that the use of the words ‘Allahu Akbar’ placed on a fake terrorist bomb did not amount to direct discrimination.

Continue reading “Heathrow Express worker offended by fake bomb loses appeal”

House Crowd investors given three weeks to have voices heard

The House Crowd was a so-called peer-to-peer lending firm which was founded in 2012 by Frazer Fearnhead and Suhail Nawaz. The company facilitated the crowd funding of loans made by members of the public secured against property and other assets.

Continue reading “House Crowd investors given three weeks to have voices heard”

Open Justice at the Rule Committee

The Civil Procedure Rule Committeewas set up under the Civil Procedure Act 1997 to make rules of court for the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the County Court.

The principle of Open Justice has been discussed at a number of meetings and passages concerning various topics have been amalgamated below.

Continue reading “Open Justice at the Rule Committee”

Lendy’s Head of Development gives evidence to the High Court

Alan Darling joined the peer to peer lending firm Lendy in May 2016 as their Head of Development. His role was to grow and head up the development loan side of the business as prior to then Lendy had only facilitated so-called bridging loans.

Continue reading “Lendy’s Head of Development gives evidence to the High Court”

Muncaster and Knowles apply to correct Duff order in Mederco Cardiff case

Seems to be a bit cursed this administration isn’t it” began His Honour Judge Saffman. Indeed it is. The mouseinthecourt covered an almost identical application just over a year ago at the same court in respect of the same company.

Continue reading “Muncaster and Knowles apply to correct Duff order in Mederco Cardiff case”

Collateral Currie brothers appear in court following FCA action

Two former directors of Collateral (UK) Ltd, Peter Currie, 57, and Andrew Currie, 56, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court earlier today following action taken by the FCA.

Mr Peter Currie, pictured outside court after the hearing
Continue reading “Collateral Currie brothers appear in court following FCA action”

Unbolted: Court refuses to take “treacherous shortcut” across minefield without a map

In 2016, Mr Andrew Jonathon Milne, described in court papers as “an experienced practising solicitor in the City of London”, took out a series of crowd funded loans facilitated by Open Access Finance Ltd t/a Unbolted.

Behind these loans were 612 ‘unique lenders’ within which at least 604 were ordinary members of the public.  A question mark hovers over the exact status of the remaining eight lenders.

Continue reading “Unbolted: Court refuses to take “treacherous shortcut” across minefield without a map”

FCA commences criminal proceedings against Collateral Directors

The FCA has commenced criminal proceedings against the 2 former directors of Collateral (UK) Ltd, Peter Currie, 58, and Andrew Currie, 57, who each face 2 charges under the Fraud Act 2006 and 1 charge under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Continue reading “FCA commences criminal proceedings against Collateral Directors”

Open Justice at Sheffield’s ‘Fully Remote Court’

One professionally embarrassed barrister, a man sentenced after telling ex-partner he was “going to slice her up” with a machete and a sad notification that a defendant has passed away –  Just a few of the cases the mouseinthecourt observed at Sheffield’s ‘Fully Remote Court’ on a Friday morning.

Continue reading “Open Justice at Sheffield’s ‘Fully Remote Court’”

Insulate Britain protestor successfully purges contempt

Following an injunction order granted by Lavender J on 21 September 2021 the claimant National Highways Ltd were successful in an application to commit Benjamin Buse, 36, to prison for breach of that order. This was part of the high profile ‘Insulate Britain’ protests widely reported on at the time.

Continue reading “Insulate Britain protestor successfully purges contempt”

Lendy asks court to ‘grasp the nettle’ in multi-million pound loan dispute

In July 2016 the peer-to-peer lending company Lendy Ltd facilitated a loan to Q.E.D. Developments Limited.  Lendy were acting as agent for some 4,900 retail investors who collectively financed a facility of £14.3m, secured by a First Charge against a site known as the former Sunbeam Factory in Wolverhampton.  The loan description on the Lendy website describes the site as:

Continue reading “Lendy asks court to ‘grasp the nettle’ in multi-million pound loan dispute”

Stephen Port inquest – The Coroners Summing Up

In November 2016, following a trial at the Old Bailey, Stephen Port was convicted of murdering four men – Anthony Walgate, Gabriel Kovari, Daniel Whitworth and Jack Taylor.

They were aged between 22 and 25 years old died in Barking between June 2014 and September 2015. Stephen Port was also found guilty of sexually assaulting a number of other young men. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole life order.

HHJ Sarah Munro QC was appointed as HM Assistant Coroner on 1 May 2019 to conduct fresh inquests into the deaths of Mr Kovari and Mr Whitworth alongside the resumed inquests into the deaths of Anthony Walgate and Jack Taylor.

Evidential hearings started in the Barking Town Hall on 5th October 2021.

After 34 days of hearing evidence Her Honour Judge Sarah Munro QC summed up the case to the jury. This is what she told them:

Continue reading “Stephen Port inquest – The Coroners Summing Up”

Lendy CFO reported ‘serious financial irregularities’ before sacking, tribunal finds

Kieran O’Connor, former Chief Financial Officer of FCA Regulated firm Lendy, is pursuing a claim at the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal said to be as a result of disclosures concerning “serious financial irregularities” at the company.

Continue reading “Lendy CFO reported ‘serious financial irregularities’ before sacking, tribunal finds”

Lendy Administrators seek repayment of so-called ‘Brankesmere Dividend’

The Joint Administrators of Lendy seek repayment of so-called ‘Brankesmere Dividend’ said to be worth over £861k as it is revealed £1.5m of FCA Remediation payments remain outstanding to members of the public involved with failed P2P firm Lendy.

The Administrators of Lendy were recently given permission to join Brankesmere Limited as a defendant in the ‘Lendy v Brooke and others’ litigation which has been ongoing since June 2020.

Continue reading “Lendy Administrators seek repayment of so-called ‘Brankesmere Dividend’”

Moneything Action Group given 6 weeks to organise

Some 2,494 investors who had participated in crowd-funded loans on the failed P2P platform Moneything were joined to this High Court action as respondents on 16th September 2021.  This was their opportunity to comment on directions prior to a trial scheduled for February 2022.

Continue reading “Moneything Action Group given 6 weeks to organise”

3 Day High Court trial adjourned as solicitor omits to find counsel

A three-day High Court trial was due to begin today with Judge Clive Sheldon QC asked to consider whether a borrower on the failed P2P platform Lendy, is liable for over £3m of fees and penalties.  In written filings made to the court prior to today, the borrower was expected to argue that she was improperly induced into the loan and that Lendy sold the property at an under value.

Continue reading “3 Day High Court trial adjourned as solicitor omits to find counsel”

Court authorises new start for man in supported living

At this attended hearing before District Judge Mark Mullins, the Court of Protection granted an application by the London Borough of Hackney that it is in a man’s best interests to reside in supported living accommodation.

Continue reading “Court authorises new start for man in supported living”

Police Officer “embarrassed & ashamed at the pathetic and nauseating nature” of e-mails sent to victim

Serving Detective Chief Inspector James Mason, 43, received a final written warning after a Police Misconduct Tribunal found his behaviour towards a victim of crime amounted to gross misconduct.

Continue reading “Police Officer “embarrassed & ashamed at the pathetic and nauseating nature” of e-mails sent to victim”

P2P Lender Assetz was ‘innocent victim’ to Fraud as borrowers declared bankrupt

Deputy ICC Judge Paul Greenwood granted a bankruptcy petition against two borrowers who obtained a £1.89m crowd-funded loan from P2P firm Assetz Capital. The borrowers were said to have been “knowing parties to a mortgage fraud exercised on the Assetz companies, which were innocent victims of that wrong“. An application for disclosure of the lenders details was dismissed as “no more than a fishing expedition

Continue reading “P2P Lender Assetz was ‘innocent victim’ to Fraud as borrowers declared bankrupt”

Soldier has appeal against rape sentence dismissed

A soldier who was serving at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Salisbury has had his appeal against sentence for attempted rape and sexual assault of two women dismissed at the High Court earlier today.

The court was told that between 3-4am on October 25th 2019 Soldier Tevita Raseru Logavatu, 21, had crept through an open window into the residence of a female who was asleep. 

Continue reading “Soldier has appeal against rape sentence dismissed”

Home-owning resident of 50-years faces intervention by Council

A man whose identity is protected by court order faced temporary removal from his home of 50-years at the Court of Protection earlier today to enable building work and medical treatment to be carried out.

Continue reading “Home-owning resident of 50-years faces intervention by Council”

Machete wielding teen involved in fatal Oxford Circus stabbing loses appeal

Court report: 24/08/2021 at Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in courtroom 4 before His Honour Judge Zeidman QC sitting with two magistrates, Ms C Crampin JP and Ms G Pierre JP.

This was an appeal against a 24-month-sentence following the conviction of Mr Ocean Rowe, 18, of Borough at Highbury Magistrates Court in December 2020. The original conviction was covered by Southwark News at the time.

Continue reading “Machete wielding teen involved in fatal Oxford Circus stabbing loses appeal”

Lendy borrower faces £3m claim as she hunts missing ‘Mr Mohammad’

Lendy Ltd was a so-called peer-to-peer lending company which facilitated the crowd funding of loans by members of the public secured against property and other assets. It was placed into administration following action by the FCA in 2019.

One such asset was a property formally “the gatehouse to Stoke Park, a former country mansion which is now one of the most prestigious hotels and golf clubs in Buckinghamshire” and “has been altered, extended and adapted to create a modern contemporary 4 / 5 bedroom house which has been finished to a very high standard.

Continue reading “Lendy borrower faces £3m claim as she hunts missing ‘Mr Mohammad’”

An appeal against a sham marriage at the Immigration Tribunal

I’ve spent the morning at Taylor House, the London home of (among other things) the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal.  The security personal at the front desk were rather surprised to see a member of the public and they had to check to see whether I was allowed in. 

Continue reading “An appeal against a sham marriage at the Immigration Tribunal”

Court considers how to operate against patient’s will

“I don’t want the family to think I have made the decision as a paper exercise.  The medical evidence is clear to me”.  So said The Honourable Mr Justice Hayden, Vice President of the Court of Protection, as he explained that it was in a man’s best interests to have his lower leg amputated despite his objections.  Exactly how this resisted operation should be carried out became the main focus of this hearing.

Continue reading “Court considers how to operate against patient’s will”

Lendy Directions – The Background

Lendy Ltd was a so-called peer-to-peer lending company which facilitated the crowd funding of loans by members of the public secured against property and other assets. 

The company collapsed in May 2019 following action taken by the Financial Conduct Authority and RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP were appointed as administrators. The Administrators filed an application for directions at the High Court in Birmingham on 10th July 2020 which was heard week commencing 28th June 2021.

Continue reading “Lendy Directions – The Background”

‘No Entry’ – Open Justice at the RCJ

“It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’”

So reads the infamous line from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to justify the assertion that the all-important plans had indeed been on public display.  I was reminded of this quote as I was traipsing around the Royal Courts of Justice looking for a Committal Hearing that purported to be held in public earlier today. 

Continue reading “‘No Entry’ – Open Justice at the RCJ”

Court considers ‘pollution’ of a P2P loan agreement

Today’s hearing was an application by the Peer-to-Peer lending platform Open Access Finance Ltd (T/A Unbolted) for determination of a Preliminary Issue prior to trial.  The issue concerned the consequences resulting from the potential status of eight so-called corporate lenders who had participated (along with some 600 individual retail investors) in lending some £148k to the claimant, secured against valuable chattels.

Continue reading “Court considers ‘pollution’ of a P2P loan agreement”

DDJ Campbell dismisses claim against the Arriva bus company

This was an application by a Mr Veselin Ivanov against Arriva Kent Thameside Ltd for damages following a road traffic incident that occurred in Dartford, Kent in June 2018.

The court was told that the incident took place at the end of a road known as Sharp Way when an Arriva bus, driven by Mr Robert Small, was performing a right turn into this road from Trevithick Drive.

Continue reading “DDJ Campbell dismisses claim against the Arriva bus company”

Man acquitted of Jodie Chesney murder: “I want to turn my life around”

Manuel Petrovic, 22, appeared remotely at the County Court in Romford seeking to set-aside a County Court Judgement (CCJ), originally issued because of an unpaid parking ticket.  The respondent to the application, ParkingEye, did not appear at the hearing and Mr Petrovic appeared unrepresented.

Continue reading “Man acquitted of Jodie Chesney murder: “I want to turn my life around””

Duff & Phelps apply to correct Duff order in Mederco Cardiff case

In September 2016 the peer-to-peer lending company Lendy Ltd facilitated a loan to Mederco (Cardiff) Ltd.  Lendy were acting as agent for some 3600 retail investors who collectively financed a facility of £6.4m, secured by a First Charge against a site with the benefit of planning permission in Mynachdy, Cardiff.  The loan description on the Lendy website describes the site:

Continue reading “Duff & Phelps apply to correct Duff order in Mederco Cardiff case”

Landlord who “knowingly committing criminal acts” faces bigger penalty at Tribunal

Court report: 03/02/2021 @ The Upper Tribunal Lands Chamber

This was an appeal following the decision of Judge Nicholas Nicol at the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber made back in June 2020.  That hearing concerned an application made by four tenants of a property in Malden Crescent, London NW1, for the repayment of rent following alleged breaches of the law.

Continue reading “Landlord who “knowingly committing criminal acts” faces bigger penalty at Tribunal”

A mother abroad and a family dispute – Part 2

Court report: 11th January 2021 @ The Court of Protection

As a follower of the Open Justice Court of Protection Project on Twitter I took advantage of their daily publication of upcoming Court of Protection hearings and e-mailed in my request to observe a case.

A previous hearing in this matter, held some 11 days earlier, had been observed and blogged about by Kristy Regan, a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Sunderland.  Her well-written write-up entitled “A mother abroad and a family dispute” provided some useful background to the case and for continuity I intend to use the same aliases as she did for the parties. 

Continue reading “A mother abroad and a family dispute – Part 2”

Nagging doubt at the Court of Protection

Court Report: 7th January 2021 @ The Court of Protection before DJ Beckley

“Rest assured absolutely everything that could have been said on your behalf was” – I recall these words directed at a defendant by a Judge of the Crown Court whilst handing down a rather hefty sentence.  Indeed, both barristers had done a fine job in leading the court through every twist and turn of the facts possible.  I left the court confident that not only had justice been done but it had also manifestly and undoubtedly been seen to be done

Continue reading “Nagging doubt at the Court of Protection”

Fundingsecure director Richard Luxmore created “false and fraudulent documentation so as to conceal” payments of £8.15m, court papers claim

Following lengthy correspondence, a cache of court documents was finally released in the matter of Fundingsecure Ltd v Mark Damian Clarkson, a claim currently progressing at the Business and Property Courts in Manchester.

Continue reading “Fundingsecure director Richard Luxmore created “false and fraudulent documentation so as to conceal” payments of £8.15m, court papers claim”

Papa John’s employee who filmed himself assaulting lone females jailed for 9 months

Court Report: 09/12/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I am in Courtroom 14 before His Honour Judge T Greene for the sentencing of Filip Sedlacek, a 29 year old Czech national.

The court is told Mr Sedlacek was working as a Papa John’s delivery driver who on three occasions over the period of a month sexually assaulted three women in the Stratford Area.  Because of the nature of the offence, all three women are automatically granted life-long anonymity and so have been renamed accordingly.

Continue reading “Papa John’s employee who filmed himself assaulting lone females jailed for 9 months”

Defendant given June 2022 Trial date

Court Report: 17/11/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I am in Courtroom 4 before His Honour Judge M Zeidman QC (The Honorary Recorder of Redbridge) for a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing. 

The court is told on the 8th June 2019 the defendant was in a car which was subjected to a stop and search by police.  The defendant was found to have the Class A drug Diamorphine, and the Class A drug Crack Cocaine both contained inside a package within his pocket.  It was the position of the Crown that he both possessed these drugs and intended to supply them to others.

Continue reading “Defendant given June 2022 Trial date”

Assetz lenders face joinder to borrowers claim

This hearing concerned an application, made by the peer-to-peer lender Assetz SME Capital Limited, to bankrupt two debtors. The court was told Mr Steven James Budd and Ms Jean Shrimpton had debt outstanding from a mortgage secured against a residential property.

ICC Judge Barber explained that at a non-attended pre-trial review in April 2020 ICC Judge Jones felt that the debtors position “lacked clarity and needed articulation” in order that the application could either be disposed of today or benefit from further directions.

Continue reading “Assetz lenders face joinder to borrowers claim”

HHJ Zeidman QC: “I’m keeping you as my project”

Court Report: 12/11/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 4 before His Honour Judge M Zeidman QC (The Honorary Recorder of Redbridge) for a 2pm Sentencing hearing.  Readers may recall a previous blog post regarding HHJ Shanks’ attitude to this defendant and the matters concerned, declaring “I won’t be here and I can’t say I’m that disappointed” when adjourning the hearing.

I ended that blog post with “One hopes the next judge is slightly more enthusiastic.”  I’m pleased to say HHJ Zeidman QC certainly was – “I’m keeping you as my project” he tells the defendant.

Continue reading “HHJ Zeidman QC: “I’m keeping you as my project””

Application by Lendy Ltd struck out as an abuse of process

This was an application by the borrowing companies’ director Des Philips to set aside a Statutory Demand served upon him by Lendy Ltd (In Administration).  The court was told loans advanced by Lendy Ltd had defaulted and they sought to rely upon the Personal Guarantee offered by the director to repay them.

Continue reading “Application by Lendy Ltd struck out as an abuse of process”

150 Mederco investors stand to lose whole of investment

In April 2017 the so-called peer-to-peer lending company Lendy Ltd facilitated a loan to Mederco Block A Ltd. Lendy were acting as agent for some 3500 retail investors who collectively financed a facility of £5.2m, secured by a First Charge against a property in West Yorkshire. The loan description on the Lendy website describes the site:

Continue reading “150 Mederco investors stand to lose whole of investment”

Judge: “I’m very happy to let someone else take this on”

Court Report: 27/10/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I am before His Honour Judge M Shanks for the 2pm hearing of man due to be sentenced on three counts.  The court is sitting unrobed today and the absence of wigs during a crown court hearing is quite unusual.

Continue reading “Judge: “I’m very happy to let someone else take this on””

Man who attacked wife with hammer given 11 Years

Court Report: 27/10/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 5 before His Honour Judge L.J West-Knights QC for the sentencing of man who cannot be named due to reporting restrictions.  

The court is told that on October 19th 2019 the victim, who had been married to the defendant for some 15 years, was getting her 5-year-old daughter ready for some afternoon classes. 

Continue reading “Man who attacked wife with hammer given 11 Years”

‘Cashino’ Robber gets 29 months

Court Report: 26/10/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 5 before His Honour Judge L.J West-Knights QC for the sentencing of 39-year-old Mr Ilidio Bacai, a Lisbon national born 03/06/1981.

He is being sentenced today for three offences he’s pleaded guilty to including robbery, ABH and a failure to surrender at court.

Continue reading “‘Cashino’ Robber gets 29 months”

Directions for FundingSecure Limited – Part 1

Court Report: 16/10/2020 @ Manchester Civil Justice Centre

This was a directions hearing concerning the matter of the so-called Peer-to-peer lending company FundingSecure Limited (in administration). FundingSecure acted as an agent in the facilitation of loans between borrowers and often many hundreds of retail investors. In October 2019 the company entered entered administration leaving some £80m to 3,500 investors outstanding.

Continue reading “Directions for FundingSecure Limited – Part 1”

Judge criticises the “political decision” that has left “listing and admin team … severely depleted”

Court Report: 16th October 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

Following the adjournment of his previous sentencing (which I covered in part 1) I’m back in Court 20 for the sentencing of 19-year-old Mr HK who has been produced before His Honour Judge A Gordon.

Continue reading “Judge criticises the “political decision” that has left “listing and admin team … severely depleted””

Crown Court Judge: “it seems no one at the CPS can do their job properly”

Court Report: 15/10/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 9 before Her Honour Judge Canavan for the sentencing of case subject to reporting restrictions.

The judge asks Ms Jaja of Blackfriars Chambers, prosecuting for the crown, why the court cannot find an Enhanced Draft Restraining Order on the courts electronic digital case system. 

Continue reading “Crown Court Judge: “it seems no one at the CPS can do their job properly””

“Persistent” and “Prolific” offender hits 50th conviction

Court Report: 22/09/2020 @ Inner London Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 10 before Her Honour Judge Newbery for the sentencing of 44-year-old Thomas Mockler of no fixed abode.

Having previously racked up some 49 convictions for 120 offences this defendant is about to hit the big 5-0.

Continue reading ““Persistent” and “Prolific” offender hits 50th conviction”

1-hour in custody for drug user

Court Report: 22/09/2020 @ Inner London Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 10 before Her Honour Judge Newbery for the sentencing of 19-year-old Ali Diakite of Glanville Road SW2 on two counts.

The court hears that on June 4th 2020 at around 5pm Mr Diakite was travelling as a passenger on an erratically driven moped around the Elephant and Castle.  This caught the attention of the police who pulled them over.  The defendant was found to have two bags of cannabis worth £30 and 1 bag of cocaine. 

Continue reading “1-hour in custody for drug user”

Woman who stabbed trick or treater through letterbox walks free

Court Report: 22/09/2020 @ Inner London Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 10 before Her Honour Judge Newbery for the sentencing of Sophia Tashawar, 44, of Warrington, Lancashire for an offence that took place almost 11 years ago.

The prosecution tells the court that the complainant, a 13-year-old boy who I shall call “WR”, was out trick-or-treating in East London on Halloween 2009.  WR arrived at the defendants house as part of a group and he was wearing what was described as a “Scream Mask”.

Continue reading “Woman who stabbed trick or treater through letterbox walks free”

Man who dealt Class A “Party Packs” to friends gets suspended sentence

Court Report: 21/09/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 8 before Her Honour Judge G Amakye for the sentencing of Mr Richard Yassin, 50, who has pleaded guilty to two drug related matters at the magistrate’s court. These are before the Crown Court for Sentencing today.

Continue reading “Man who dealt Class A “Party Packs” to friends gets suspended sentence”

Judge calls for enquiry after police failings

In a rare trip outside London I’m at Maidstone Crown Court before His Honour Judge Gratwicke for the ‘Plea and Trial Preparation’ hearing of Mr Akram Uddin, 27, of HMP Elmley.

Readers of the children’s adventure book ‘Sawson’s Quest’ may recognise the Judge’s name as the Author (as previously reported by the BBC).  What transpires in Courtroom 7 this morning however is much more unbelievable than any fiction I have ever read.    

Continue reading “Judge calls for enquiry after police failings”

Open Justice at the not-so-secret Court

Court Report: 10/09/2020 @ The Family Court at Guildford (Heard Remotely)

Followers of the ‘Open Justice Court of Protection Project’ will be aware that they do an excellent job in promoting public observation in what The Telegraph once called “the most secretive court in Britain”.

The project publishes a daily list on their website highlighting so-called ‘Featured Hearings’ and encourage members of the public (including one hopes court room mice) to access and observe proceedings. 

Continue reading “Open Justice at the not-so-secret Court”

“Pinnacle of the family” killed by dangerous driver, court told

I am in Court 5 at Snaresbrook Crown Court before His Honour Judge Saunders for a Plea and Sentence hearing of a 22-year-old Mr Karolis Andriukaitis, of Harrow Road.

Mr Andriukaitis has been charged with three offences:
Count 1 – Causing Death by Dangerous Driving
Count 2 – Failing to Stop
Count 3 – Failing to Report an accident

Continue reading ““Pinnacle of the family” killed by dangerous driver, court told”

The case of Sergio Esposito and Tobias the Decoy

Court Report: 8th September 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I am in Court 5 before His Honour Judge M Zeidman QC (The Honorary Recorder of Redbridge) for the 11am sentencing of a 31-year-old Mr Sergio Esposito, (2010 Politics graduate of Queen Mary University). 

This is another case where there is one charge of attempted sexual communication with a child under the age of 16.  Readers with a good memory may recall the previous case which was heard in this very courtroom albeit before a different judge.

Continue reading “The case of Sergio Esposito and Tobias the Decoy”

One More Chance for ‘ML’

Court Report: 08/09/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Court 11 for the sentencing of a Ms ‘ML’.  It’s a 0945 sitting before His Honour Judge L.J. West-Knights QC.

The defendant is a no-show but the court hears this might not be her fault.  The instructing solicitor wrote her a letter after a previous adjournment but only specified the date and not a time.  As Mr Livingstone for the prosecution surmises he is “not too surprised she’s not here”.

Continue reading “One More Chance for ‘ML’”

‘KA’ and the Zombie Knife

Court Report: 07/09/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Court 20 before His Honour Judge A Gordon for a 10am ‘Breach of Order’ hearing involving a Mr ‘KA’.

The court hears that he was found to have what was described as a ‘Zombie Knife’ on his person while attending a plumbing course at his local college.  His sentence was 40-weeks custody suspended for 2 years with unpaid work of 200 hours imposed (among other things).

Continue reading “‘KA’ and the Zombie Knife”

Refused to show did he?

Court Report: 07/09/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m before His Honour Judge A Gordon for an unsuccessful 11.30 sentencing hearing of a Mr ‘TA’ in Court 20.

The defence submit that Mr ‘TA’ was due to be produced but according to reports from the prison he has “refused to attend”.  Counsel recall anecdotes whereby reasons for a no-show have not always been accurate.

Continue reading “Refused to show did he?”

A Day at the Magistrates

Those with an interest in Open Justice will be pleased that HMCTS have started to publish Magistrates Lists online and today (Sept 1st) is the first day that the public has been able to remotely access the list by visiting courtserve.net

Almost every criminal case passes through the Magistrates Courts either being dealt with here or sent up to the Crown Courts.  Despite their importance there is almost no reporting of the proceedings by media.

Continue reading “A Day at the Magistrates”

Judge: I won’t be here and I can’t say I’m that disappointed

Court Report: 28/08/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

We’re before His Honour Judge M Shanks for the sentencing of a rather difficult case.  A case so difficult even the judge doesn’t want to deal with it.

Counsel and the defendant are all due to attend remotely using the Skype for Business platform.  Things are not off to a good start as the Judge cannot activate his webcam and the Prosecutor cannot activate his microphone. 

Continue reading “Judge: I won’t be here and I can’t say I’m that disappointed”

Suspended Justice

Court Report: 20th and 28th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

Two cases of dangerous driving for consideration here and both were heard on different days before different judges.  There is no doubt that each warranted a custodial sentence but the question that the court had to grapple with is whether that sentence should be suspended or not.

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HK the iPad Stealer (Part 1)

Court Report: 20th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

Today we have 19-year-old Mr HK who has been produced before His Honour Judge K Inyundo in Court 17 for sentencing. 

There are several indictments to be sorted out in this hearing mainly relating to thefts from bags and coats that have been left unguarded in pubs over several occasions.

We are told a number of these offences were committed whilst the defendant was serving suspended sentences for similar crimes and potentially faces “a serious prison sentence”.

Continue reading “HK the iPad Stealer (Part 1)”

“LS” the Street Robber

Court Report: 18th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Court 5 before His Honour Judge M Shanks and there’s a couple of hour-long sentencing hearings lined up.

To begin we have Mr ‘LS’ who has pleaded guilty on two indictments:

Count 1 occurred at about 6pm on 21/12/2019.  The defendant approached a man at a cash point and demanded £30.  The victim was threatened with being stabbed but in fact no knife was present. 

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‘IO’ and the Brutal attack in Sainsbury’s

Court Report: 10th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Court 12 before Her Honour Judge C English for the Sentencing of a Mr ‘IO’.  He pleaded guilty to two counts in July 2019 and sentencing was been delayed until today for reports to be carried out.

Count 1 is Actual Bodily Harm against a Ms “BN”
Count 2 is Assaulting police officers

It’s May 20th 2019 at 5.30pm and Ms BN is shopping at the Sainsbury’s in Stratford.  She’s walking down an aisle and the defendant is walking towards her.  He has his elbows out and knocks her as he passes.  

Continue reading “‘IO’ and the Brutal attack in Sainsbury’s”

The No-Show of GV

Court Report: 10th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Court 17 before Judge Ms Recorder M Loram QC for her second hearing of the day – this time it is the sentencing of “GV” at 10.45.

Recorders are part-time circuit judge that are expected to sit for between 3 and 6 weeks per year.  (Not to be confused with Honorary Recorders who are Senior Circuit Judges!)

Unfortunately, the admin gremlins have scuppered this hour-long-hearing.  

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Restricted Reporting – The matter of R v TA

Court Report: 2020 @ A London Crown Court

Sometimes hearings will be open to the public but will be subject to reporting restrictions.  In the interests of justice an order can be made by the court preventing naming of the victim.  Given the nature of the crime such an order was granted here.

The facts:

Counts one and two: Disclosing private sexual images without consent (“revenge pornography”), contrary to section 33 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

Continue reading “Restricted Reporting – The matter of R v TA”

Sorry Mr DJ – “You’re here by mistake”

Court Report: 6th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Court 17 this morning before His Honour Judge T Greene for the 10.30 sentencing of a Mr ‘DJ’.  

While waiting for the hearing to begin my eyes are drawn to an object on the Judges bench that readers who have ever ordered cheap sports kit online will recognise.  It’s a novelty oversized ‘Sports Direct’ mug holding an assortment of pens.

Going back to DJ – the indictment relates to a charge from 2014 which the judge admits “may have already been dealt with”.  DJ looks confused but the Judge continues “I’m sorry you’ve been brought here … you’re here by mistake”.

Continue reading “Sorry Mr DJ – “You’re here by mistake””

Hapless Hearings in Court 9

Court Report: 3rd + 6th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m in Courtroom 9 before Her Honour Judge S Canavan and first up we have a sentencing to witness in the matter of Mr ‘IS’. 

The CPS have requested a behavioral order that would prevent the defendant accessing the entirety of the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington.  Regrettably, no evidence is advanced in support of this rather ambitious restriction.  The judge describes the requested order as a “very large hammer to crack a nut”.

Continue reading “Hapless Hearings in Court 9”

Delayed Justice: R v ZD

Court Report: 6th August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m before His Honour Judge P Southern in Court 5 for the 11am Sentencing of Mr ‘ZD’.

At first glance this seems like it’s going to be fairly straightforward.  The case has already been opened and fully mitigated and all parties agree it’s a category 2B Street Robbery (one ponders for a second how often the line 2B or not 2B is used in court).

Continue reading “Delayed Justice: R v ZD”

The case of ‘RE’ and Dolly the Decoy

Court Report: 3rd August 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

It is 10am and I’m before His Honour Judge P Southern in Court 5 and the sentencing hearing of a man with the initials ‘RE’ is about to begin – I’ll explain why he’s not being named at the end.

The case before me is one count of attempted sexual communication with a child contrary to section 15A of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.  ‘RE’ has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Continue reading “The case of ‘RE’ and Dolly the Decoy”

The Farce of Mr Preda Eugen

Court report: 28/07/2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

I’m at the Sentencing of a Mr Preda Eugen in Courtroom 5 before His Honour Judge P Southern.

Readers may recall the issue I had accessing the case of Mr ‘DP’ as the court could only accommodate a maximum of one public observer. Whilst waiting for the court to call this case I eagerly looked around for family members or anyone else who could usurp my position in the queue. I was relieved to see no one waiting, indeed – not even the defendant shows up (although I’m reliably informed that doesn’t free up a chair).

Continue reading “The Farce of Mr Preda Eugen”

Open Justice at Snaresbrook Crown Court during Covid

Court Report: 28th July 2020 @ Snaresbrook Crown Court

The principle of Open Justice as Lord Chief Justice Hewart infamously described, “…is not merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done”.

With the social distancing measures of Covid-19 still affecting day to day life, this week we donned a face mask and became the Mouse in the Snaresbrook Courtrooms to see how Open Justice is maintained in the Crown Courts in 2020.

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Lendy Directors involved with “misappropriation of funds in excess of £6.5 million” court told

Two directors of the failed peer-to-peer fintech company Lendy Ltd have been hit with a world-wide-freezing injunction after the High Court heard evidence of “sham invoices” and “dishonest conduct”.

Continue reading “Lendy Directors involved with “misappropriation of funds in excess of £6.5 million” court told”
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