Jeremy Barton successfully defended a man charged with possession of 4 kilos of Heroin with intent to supply. The defendant was jointly charged with one other, both of whom were alleged to have been part of an operation to transport and supply drugs from West Yorkshire to Scotland.
The evidence in this case involved a sophisticated converted van, (equipped so that drugs could be hidden under a hydraulic platform), surveillance evidence recorded covertly by a number of undercover police officers, encro chat mobile phones, DNA profiling and satellite navigation software.
DNA matching the defendant was found on the handles of a plastic bag that contained the drugs. This bag was found hidden inside the van which had driven from Scotland that same day and was intercepted by police as it made its way back up to Scotland with the drugs. The satellite navigation software within that van contained the post code for the road where the defendant lived.
Photographs were taken of a vehicle that was parked on the driveway of the defendant’s house as it moved a short distance to where the transfer of the drugs from one van to another was said to have taken place. One van then drove back to the defendant’s house where it was parked again on the driveway, whilst the other van drove to Scotland with the drugs. The issue was whether it was the defendant who drove the van that was parked on his driveway and whether he was involved in the supply of drugs?
Expert evidence was heard from two forensic experts on the issue of direct and indirect transfer of DNA and the implications of weak, mixed DNA profiles. The defence point was secondary transfer and the limitations of what DNA evidence can actually tell us, even when found in suspicious circumstances.
The defendant declined to answer most questions during interview nor did he give evidence at trial. He was unanimously acquitted by the jury.