After two days of legal argument a drugs conspiracy involving 9 defendants collapsed in Mold after Hugh Barton successfully argued that the entire proceedings were a nullity.

The prosecution had alleged that conspirators from Wales and Manchester were shipping cannabis up to Scotland. The Court found that as such the prosecution engaged section 1(A) of the Criminal Law Act 1967 as it involved criminal activity outside England and Wales and that the consent of the Attorney General was required before the proceedings were instituted. This had not been done and so the entire prosecution was declared a nullity and all the defendants were discharged (including 4 who had pleaded guilty on an earlier date). It is thought that the implications of this decision will be far ranging and that there may be as many as 50 other prosecutions (including cases with convictions, prison sentences and confiscations) where the same error has been made. Hugh Barton was instructed by Olliers.
This result follows on directly from an 8 week trial in Sheffield, for conspiracies to supply firearms and class A and B drugs. Hugh Barton’s client was the only one of 11 defendant’s to be acquitted by the jury after it was successfully argued that the police had planted crack cocaine in his car. Hugh Barton was instructed by Tranters.