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R v B & Others
Mohammed Ullah represented Mr Bajaj, who was accused with other defendants, who operated a car repair and sales business, of being involved in 'ringing' high performance cars on a massive scale and selling thousands of parts through e-bay accounts.
The Crown intended to prove that the parts were stolen by reference to information contained within the Police National Computer, which was extracted and provided to the defence on the first day of trial. No hearsay application had been made prior to the trial in reference to this material and no approach was made to the DVLA to attempt to establish from that agency the source of the parts in question.
Having carefully analysed the material, we were able to establish discrepancies between the serial numbers of a number of the parts seized by police and alleged to have originated from stolen vehicles and those listed in the material extracted from the Police National Computer. On the basis of these discrepancies we were able to successfully argue (i) that the material extracted from the Police National Computer upon which the Crown wished to rely was unreliable and the source unclear; and (ii) bearing in mind how late the material itself had been provided to the defence, the Crown ought not to be allowed to rely upon it in any event.
Following legal argument on these issues, the judge refused to entertain the Crown's hearsay application on the basis that the material was served late and its reliability could not be established. The Crown was forced to offer no evidence in respect of all defendants.