'When Justice Fails' - YLAL lecture

On 13 September 2018 Thom spoke to the Young Legal Aid Lawyers on the subject of his appeals work and miscarriages of justice, together with Suzanne Gower, the Managing Director of the Centre for Criminal Appeals.

Thom and Suzanne were joined by Liam Allan, who spoke about his new project, ‘Innovation of Justice’.

The talk was kindly hosted by 39 Essex Chambers.

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Thom secures acquittal in £0.5m fraud trial

Thom acted for the defendant, TG, in a complex fraud trial involving alleged losses of nearly half a million pounds.  TG was found not guilty by the jury after the three week trial at Guildford Crown Court.

The prosecution alleged that TG had moved in with his elderly mother following the death of his father.  He was said to have set out to systematically defraud her of her life savings by obtaining a power of attorney over her financial affairs.  Nearly half a million pounds was taken from her savings, with hundreds of thousands of pounds being spent on expensive renovation and building work.  Large sums were withdrawn in cash without any account of where they were spent.

The case involved a three-day cross-examination of the central prosecution witness in the case and presentation of complex financial evidence to the jury.  TG was acquitted of all charges.  Thom was instructed by Harrington Myers Solicitors.

James Thacker and Thom Dyke: £7½ million fraudsters sentenced to 33 years' imprisonment

Fraudsters at the heart of a sophisticated global conspiracy to defraud over £7½ million have been given sentences totalling 33 years' imprisonment. The four co-conspirators were prosecuted by James Thacker and Thom Dyke, instructed by the CPS Complex Casework Unit. They fell to be sentenced after convictions were secured following a five week trial at Wood Green Crown Court before HHJ Perrins and a jury.

The conspirators targeted victims ranging from multinational companies to vulnerable elderly people. VS, US and AS were convicted of 19 counts in total including Conspiring to defraud elderly victims in New South Wales, Australia of their life savings, Conspiring to defraud Eli Lilly, the global Pharmaceutical company, Conspiring to launder the proceeds of criminal conduct, possessing articles for use in the course of or in connection with fraud, and possessing identity documents with improper intention.

SG pleaded guilty prior to the jury being sworn and faced additional counts of Conspiring to defraud Brockton Capital LLP, a private equity company, Conspiring to launder the proceeds of criminal conduct and Fraud by false representation in respect of a hijacked email account defrauding an elderly couple of their life savings.

VS received ten years' imprisonment. US and AS each received eight years' imprisonment. SG was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment.

In passing sentence, HHJ Perrins observed that:

"This was quite clearly an extremely well planned fraud, targeting people who were especially vulnerable…The impact on the elderly victims will have been profound, robbing them of their financial security at an age when they are unable to make good their loss…You were each at the very heart of the conspiracy."


Noting the roles played by each defendant, HHJ Perrins said:

"What the evidence shows, without any question, is that in the case of each of you fraud and dishonesty was at the very centre of your lives. You were each available to facilitate or participate in whatever fraud was suggested by other conspirators not before this court. You thought little or nothing of the consequences for others. It must follow that you were closely connected with other criminals who were able to identify vulnerable targets not only in this country but also overseas."

Court of Appeal success for Thom in sentencing appeal

The Court of Appeal today overturned a sentence imposed for serious and repeated breaches of a restraining order.  Mr O’Hagan, who was represented by Thom, sought to appeal his sentence on the basis that, in light of the recent case of R v Holgate [2017] EWCA Crim 638, it was manifestly excessive for the judge to have taken a starting point of 27 months’ imprisonment.

The Court of Appeal agreed with Thom’s submissions and reduced Mr O’Hagan’s sentence to one of 12 months’ imprisonment, which means that Mr O’Hagan will no longer be subject to further licence conditions.

The appeal was heard before Lord Justice Irwin, Sir Kenneth Parker and HHJ Aubrey QC.

Thom was instructed by GT Stewart Solicitors.

Thom is instructed frequently to both advise and represent clients in appeals to the High Court and Court of Appeal.  For more information as to his appellate practice, click here.