Gilbert Spurling joins our crime team. Below are some of his notable cases:
2019 St Albans Crown Court – Million dollar fraud
The defendant was accused of being involved in a multi-million-pound fraud.. The fraud involved a fake investment scam covering several different jurisdictions, including China and South America.
The Crowns case was that the defendant was a party to the fraud as some of the proceeds could be traced to his accounts. The defence case was that although there was some evidence that the proceeds had gone through his account, he was not aware of the dishonest source of the funds and absent such knowledge was not involved in the conspiracy.
After a careful preparation the trial commenced. One of the co-defendants gave evidence. Before Gilbert Spurling’s client gave evidence, a submission was made of no case to answer. The submission was successful and the case against the defendant was dismissed.
2018 Southwark Crown Court – International fraud
The prosecution case in this eight week trial was that the Defendant was involved in a substantial fraud involving the setting up of fake companies. These companies would then hire expensive photography equipment from different jurisdictions, including the USA and South Africa. The fraudsters would then disappear with the equipment. The value of the fraud was put at millions of pounds.
There was strong evidence that the Defendant had travelled to the USA and attempted to collect photographical equipment from a company that thought it was dealing with a legitimate operation.
The defendant accepted that he had travelled to the USA to collect the equipment but stated that he was not involved in the conspiracy and did not know that the equipment would later be stolen.
The Defendant was found not guilty of all charges.
Harrow Crown Court – Firearms offences
Gil Spurling was both solicitor and advocate in this case which involved a conspiracy to transfer a firearm. The Defendant received a package which contained a firearm. The Defendant accepted this but stated that he did not know that the package contained a firearm and was not involved in a conspiracy. His account was undermined by admissions in interview that he had opened the package and felt the contents.
The jury could not reach a verdict in respect of the defendant at the conclusion of the trial. The prosecution indicated that they would not seek a retrial and a verdict of not guilty was recorded. The other three defendants in the case were found guilty.
Woolwich Crown Court – supply drugs conspiracy
The Defendant was accused of being involved in a substantial drugs conspiracy. The Crown’s case was that she was the girlfriend of one of the main players and that she had knowledge of the operation and assisted. The amount of drugs involved run to many millions of pounds.
The Defence case was that she was not involved in the conspiracy and that she did not know that money that went through her account was criminal property.
The Defendant was found not guilty after a trial.
Inner London Crown Court – possession with intent to supply
The Defendant was charged with possession of a substantial amount of cannabis with intent to supply. The Defendant maintained that the cannabis was for his own personal use and that he was heavy smoker. The defence called expert evidence going to the quality of the cannabis, it’s source and use.
The Defendant was found not guilty at the conclusion of the trial.
Woolwich Crown Court – drugs conspiracy
The defendant was accused of being involved in a multi-million-pound drugs conspiracy. He was driving a van away form Tilbury docks when arrested. A substantial amount of cocaine was present in the van and in a loading bay in the docks. The prosecution produced substantial quantities of surveillance evidence.
The defence case was that he had agreed to transport some items but that he had no knowledge that they were drugs.
The defendant was found not guilty of all charges after a trial.
Central Criminal Court – murdered by wifes lover
Gil was junior advocate in this case. The allegation was that the victim was murdered by his wife’s lover. The victim was killed in the flat that he shared with his wife. The cause of death was blows to the head by a large wooden pestle which was subsequently found in the kitchen.
The defence case was that the defendant had been called to the flat in the early hours of the morning by the deceased wife and that the deceased was already dead when he arrived.
The Defendant was found not guilty of all charges at the conclusion of the trial.
Central Criminal Court – Gang murder
Gil was litigator and junior advocate in this case which involved a group attack on a male who was stabbed multiple times and later died from his injuries. The incident was captured on good quality CCTV footage which showed the attack and the events leading up to the attack. There were also a number of eyewitnesses as the incident occurred on a busy street in broad daylight.
The deceased had approached the three defendants who were in a vehicle and sprayed a noxious substance through the car window. The three defendants had then got out of the vehicle and chased the deceased. They caught up with him after a short foot chase and left him lying on the street after a short but violent attack.
The Defendant accepted presence and involvement. His defence was that he was not involved in a joint enterprise and was not aware that one of the other males involved had used a knife. The CCTV clearly showed the Defendant repeatedly hitting the deceased with a crutch, one of his co-defendant’s repeated kicked the deceased and the final defendant repeatedly hit the deceased with a stabbing motion. The presence of a knife was not clear on the CCTV but the injuries suffered by the deceased were consistent with being repeatedly stabbed.
The Defendant was found not guilty of all charges at the conclusion of the trial.
Croydon Crown Court – arson death
This case involved arson leading to the death of an elderly lady that resided in the building. The defendant accepted that he had deliberately set fire to the building by pouring petrol through the letterbox. The Crown’s case was that he must have intended to cause serious harm due to the nature of his actions and the fact that there was a residential property above the property.
The defence case was that he had been instructed to set fire to the building under the threat of serious harm to himself and his girlfriend. He did not intent to cause serious harm as he believed that the building was a shop and was unaware that it was being used as a residence or that there was a further residence above.
The defendant was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter at the conclusion of the trial.
Isleworth Crown Court – attempt murder
Gil was the advocate in this case was a joint enterprise attack on a male in the street after the alleged participants had attended a nightclub. There were 9 defendants in total. There was CCTV footage of all of the defendants chasing the victim. The incident was not caught on camera but there were a number of witnesses who stated that all of the defendants had attacked the victim. The victim suffered severe injuries and was in a coma for two weeks.
The defendant was initially charged with attempted murder and GBH as an alternative. At a dismissal application on the attempted murder it was successful argued that there was insufficient evidence to show an intention to kill and this charge was dismissed.
At trial, the defendant accepted that he was present and that he chased after the victim. However, he denied being part of the subsequent attack on the victim. Detailed consideration of the CCTV evidence and the defendant’s movement resulted in forensic cross examination of the witnesses. The Defendant was then taken through his evidence carefully and character evidence was called on his behalf.
At the conclusion of the trial, the Defendant was found not guilty.
Central Criminal Court – murder of an informer
Conspiracy to murder involving the planned execution of an informer. The victim was found shot dead in a burned out car. The car had the words ‘snitch’ written on it. Cell site evidence placed the defendant at the scene. There was also phone evidence that he was in contact with his co-defendant who was in prison at the time. The prosecution case was that he had carried out the execution on the orders of the co-defendant.
The defence case was that the defendant thought he was taking part in a robbery, not a murder.
The Defendant was found not guilty of all charges after a trial. He was the only defendant to be found not guilty.
Central Criminal Court – axe murder
The defendant was charged with murder involving an attack with an axe. The defence case was that the Defendant was not present and not involved.
However, the evidence was substantial and included confession evidence. The defence was put in such a way that the jury were left with the option of convicting of manslaughter even if they did not believe the Defendant’s account that he was not wielding the axe.
Found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter on the basis of provocation.
You can contact Gil at [email protected] . If you have an emergency call 02808 986 8336 24 hours a day 365 days a year.