S was arrested by the Metropolitan Police on suspicion of money laundering and possessing a substantial quantity of almost 70% purity cocaine with intent to supply. Upon his arrest a large sum of money was seized from a bedroom at his address and a few weeks later from the foot well of his car. The total cash figure approached £40,000.
Although the indictment was eventually stayed prior to the trial at the Crown Court, the police successfully applied for the forfeiture of the money in the Hendon Magistrates Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
The Metropolitan Police relied on the fact that S had relevant previous convictions, that forensic tests showed the money was contaminated with multiple times as much cocaine as would ordinarily be found on UK bank notes in general circulation and that S failed to provide adequate explanation at the time of the seizures, this along with the value of S's various properties including property in the Caribbean.
Patrick Harte, who was instructed for the appeal, appeared in front of Ms Recorder Williams and two lay magistrates at the Crown Court at Wood Green, persuaded the Court after a two-day hearing that the money was not recoverable property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and obtained an order for its restoration to S.
Patrick was instructed by Baxter Brown McArthur.
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