Wed, 06 May 2015
David Mason QC, Michelle Heeley, Mathew Brook and Richard Gibbs have completed a landmark set of prosecutions of 24 individuals before Birmingham Crown Court who have been jailed for a combined total of 163 years. The convictions all stem from intelligence lead policing operations aimed at dismantling serious organised crime groups operating in the West Midlands. The 24 defendants were involved in a mixture of conspiracies to supply firearms, explosives and ammunition; a conspiracy to commit a robbery of a diamond dealer, conspiracies to supply class A and class B drugs and conspiracies to import drugs into the United Kingdom.
A number of trials were conducted before Birmingham Crown Court from September 2014 up until the first quarter of 2015 and resulted in the 24 being convicted and sentenced to the combined total of 163 years imprisonment. Under the code names Operation Headline and Operation 1026, a lengthy and complex police investigation spanning a number of years culminated in some of the lengthiest and most complex trials seen before Birmingham Crown Court in recent years. Two of the sentencing judges, HHJ Henderson and HHJ Farrar QC praised the bravery, professionalism and commitment of the police officers involved and the comprehensive and compelling way in which the cases were presented by the No5 counsel involved.
The way in which these trials were constructed and conducted together with the nature of the operations carried out by law enforcement agencies are now likely to form the benchmark for cases of this kind in the future and have resulted not only in the complete dismantling of a serious organised crime group, but also in a number of firearms being removed from circulation together with the passing of lengthy prison sentences for those involved in the same and supply of serious drugs, firearms and explosives.