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15NBS Chambers

David Aaronberg QC and James Lofthouse secure convictions in “wrong man” conspiracy to murder case

By December 11, 2017No Comments

Following a 10 week trial at St Albans Crown Court, David Aaronberg QC and James Lofthouse secured the conviction of 4 men for conspiracy to murder. This was a complex case in which McLaughlin and Kerr were identified, charged and added to the indictment only a few months before trial and Usher only 4 weeks before. An application to dismiss for Usher was successfully resisted, although the trial judge noted it was “not the strongest case”. Subsequently, he was one of those unanimously convicted. The intended victim of the conspiracy absented himself from proceedings and much turned on the interpretation of cell-site, ANPR and, in particular, expert evidence regarding rare and distinctive shotgun cartridge wadding. In the course of the trial, 3 of the convicted Defendants sought to construct an innocent explanation for their calls and movements built around Holness’s undoubted prominence on the “Grind” urban music scene. This was effectively demolished over days of forensic cross-examination.

The case attracted national as well as extensive local press coverage. See following  links:

David and James were instructed by Charles White at St Albans CPS following an investigation (Operation Quill) by a team of officers from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit led by DI Justine Jenkins in conjunction with the Met’s Trident and Area Command.