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

Cuts and rising care demands putting more children at risk

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th June 2015

THE man in charge of the county’s children’s services has warned a surge in cases on the back of Operation Bullfinch and other child abuse scandals is leading to huge pressure on his department.

Update: Tunisia beach massacre victim being treated at Oxford hospital after being flown back to RAF Brize Norton

Oxford Mail:

10:36am Tuesday 30th June 2015

ONE of the victims of the Tunisian beach massacre is being treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Mourners pay their respects to much-loved Aown Dogar

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

A TEENAGER who was the “life and soul” of his family was given a heartfelt farewell from hundreds of mourners yesterday.

Get the suncream ready as a heatwave hits Oxfordshire

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

A MINI heatwave will hit Oxfordshire this week, with temperatures set to reach 30C tomorrow.

Police call on charities for help supporting victims

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Tuesday 30th June 2015

CHARITIES and voluntary organisations could increasingly help Thames Valley Police tackle crimes such as rape in the future, the force’s new chief constable has said.

Ceremony honours veteran ‘whose colour saved his life’

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 30th June 2015

A BLACK RAF veteran who said his skin colour saved his life in Nazi-occupied Europe will be remembered at a ceremony in Thame today.

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