Phillip Hall, 52, has been jailed for five years for planning to make and sell fake tobacco. He led a gang that traded and smuggled counterfeit cigarettes illegally manufactured in the UK. The scam was discovered after customs officers put him under surveillance, and found that he was linked to several multi-million pound plots.

The scam involved manufacturing plants being set up throughout the Black Country and elsewhere to turn the imported tobacco leaf into rolling tobacco sold as Golden Virginia. Machinery was also imported, and bogus businesses were created to conceal the scale of the fraud.

Thirteen others have also been sentenced for their involvement.

No5 barrister Ecky Tiwana represented two of them. Kelly Sowden, 30, who helped to buy some machinery and also packed the counterfeit tobacco pleaded guilty and received a three-month suspended prison sentence and 120 hours unpaid work. Vicky Hall, 27, was given a three month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months for her involvement of allowing her bank account to be used.

Please click here to read the full story as reported in the Express and Star and My News Desk.

Please click here to view the profile for Ecky Tiwana.