The Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred the case of David Mark Hackett to the Court of Appeal.
At Maidstone Crown Court in September 2005, Mr Hackett pleaded guilty to two counts of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of duty chargeable on goods: count one concerned an offence committed on 19th January 2000 and count eight concerned an offence committed on 27th August 2004.
He subsequently admitted the breach of a suspended sentence of 12 months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, which was imposed on 7th April 1999 for a similar offence.
He was sentenced to 10 weeks' imprisonment to run concurrently on both counts of evasion of duty and a consecutive sentence of 3 months' imprisonment for the breach of suspended sentence. He was ordered to pay compensation of £20,402.91 to HM Revenue and Customs and to pay £15,000.00 towards prosecution costs. A confiscation order was made in the amount of £645,050 with £200,000 to be paid within 28 days and the balance within six months. A default sentence of 4 years' imprisonment was imposed.
Having considered the case in detail, the Commission has decided to refer Mr Hackett’s sentence to the Court of Appeal. The principal reason for the referral is that the Commission believes that there is a real possibility that the Court of Appeal will conclude that the assumptions contained within s72AA Criminal Justice Act 1988 should have been disapplied in relation to a property which had been owned by Mr Hackett's mother, a property which should not have been included in the scope of the confiscation order when it was imposed. Accordingly, the Commission has reached the view that there is a real possibility that the confiscation order will be reduced.
Mr Hackett is represented by Sternberg Reed Solicitors, 102-106 South Street Romford, Essex. RM1 1RX.
This press release was issued by Justin Hawkins, Head of Communication, Criminal Cases Review Commission, on 0121 633 1806 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
- The Criminal Cases Review Commission is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.
- There are ten Commissioners who bring to the Commission considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.
- The Commission receives around 1,000 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Typically, around 4%, or one in 25, of all applications are referred to the appeal courts.
- The Commission considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal. Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are 'exceptional circumstances'.
- If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.