Scrap metal dealer caught in undercover police operation has conviction overturned

Scrap metal dealer caught in undercover police operation has conviction overturned

Scrap metal dealer caught in undercover police operation has conviction overturned

First published in News

A SCRAP metal merchant convicted after a sting by undercover police has had his name cleared today.

Joseph Smith, of Smiths of Bloxham scrap merchants, was convicted of attempting to convert criminal property and hit with a £1,750 fine, and a £2,500 costs order, at Oxford Crown Court in December last year.

Between December 2011 and May 2012, undercover officers had visited the yard 33 times offering metal for sale, which they claimed Mr Smith bought, believing it to be stolen, although in fact it was not.

Mr Smith, 25, of Milton Road, Adderbury, denied any wrongdoing.

And today, Lord Justice Davis, Mrs Justice Thirlwall and Mrs Justice Andrews, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, overturned his conviction.

The court heard how the undercover cops offered stripped power cable and a vehicle to Mr Smith at his scrap yard which he bought.

He was later arrested and prosecuted on the basis that he had understood the goods to be stolen - although they were in fact not - but had proceeded with the purchases nevertheless.

Mr Smith's lawyers today pinpointed flaws in the trial judge's directions to the jury relating to his state of mind at the time.

Allowing the appeal, Mrs Justice Thirlwall said jurors could have been left in doubt as to "the mental element required for a criminal offence."

Crown lawyers made no application for a retrial.

Thames Valley Police spokesman Chris Kearney said: “Thames Valley Police accepts the decision made by the Court of Appeal today and will now review the investigation to see what learning can be taken and implemented from this.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed

Our top stories

East of Woodstock homes consultation ‘should be including Oxford Airport bosses’

Oxford Mail: west oxfordshire district council

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

AIRPORT bosses should have been consulted ahead of plans to build up to 1,500 homes east of Woodstock, a resident told councillors yesterday.

Developers to be asked to return cash for A40 road project at Witney

Oxford Mail: Ian Hudspeth

8:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A COUNCIL boss wants to retrieve millions of pounds handed back to developers for a new junction on the A40 at Witney.

Badger cull protest in Oxford to be held this weekend

Oxford Mail: Badger (11754077)

6:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A protest against the culling of badgers will go through Oxford on Saturday.

‘Yes’ to plan for 24k more homes in Cherwell District Council area

Oxford Mail: Cherwell district council logo

6:40am Thursday 23rd October 2014

THERE could be 24,445 new homes built across the Cherwell District Council area after councillors voted to approve modifications to the local plan.

Judge criticises CPS after trial postponement

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

6:30am Thursday 23rd October 2014

A JUDGE has criticised a “catastrophic failure” by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which caused a trial to be put off until next year.

Oxfordshire finds cash to meet cost of free school lunches

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

CASH to balance the books on bringing in free school meals for all primary school pupils has been secured.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:53pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Myron Blatz says...

Surely this is a miss-print - shouldn't it have said 'metal element' relating to the sting (or was it entrapment) in this tale of the pressures, trials and tribulations of simply being a recycling businessperson in the 21st century?
Surely this is a miss-print - shouldn't it have said 'metal element' relating to the sting (or was it entrapment) in this tale of the pressures, trials and tribulations of simply being a recycling businessperson in the 21st century? Myron Blatz
  • Score: -6

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree