A SCRAP metal merchant who cleared his name last week has spoken of the strain the case has had on him and his family over the last two years.
Joey Smith, of the Smiths of Bloxham yard, last week had his conviction of handling dodgy metal overturned at the Court of Appeal.
He was prosecuted following an undercover police operation which saw his yard raided and him and his colleagues arrested in 2012.
Three other workers had charges dropped against them and another was cleared after a trial last year.
The 25-year-old, from Milton Road in Adderbury, said the case had caused stress to his family including his terminally ill parents.
He said his 70-year-old father Peter – who had charges against him dropped before the case went to court – is suffering from Parkinson’s disease and prostate cancer.
His 64-year-old mother Kathleen’s breast cancer returned and spread to a lung during the ordeal.
He said: “She got over it once and then all this started and it came back.
They just gave her the all- clear before we got raided.
“The case caused stress on my ill mother and father for such a long time, and a huge cost in money and health.”
Between December 2011 and May 2012, undercover officers visited the yard 33 times offering metal for sale, which they claimed Mr Smith bought believing it to have been stolen.
Following the operation, Mr Smith was convicted of attempting to convert criminal property and given a £1,750 fine, and a £2,500 costs order, after a trial at Oxford Crown Court in Decemer last year.
However, last week this was overturned by the Court of Appeal.
Mr Smith said the family would not be pushing for compensation, adding: “We will try to forget it all and get it back on track. After the raid people did not want to come. They thought we were bad people.”
But he said: “We have had a lot of support from local people.”
His solictor Robert Borwick said: “My client is delighted with the outcome of the hearing at the Court of Appeal.
“The prosecution brought huge strain to him and his family over the years and he is pleased they have now come to an end and that these matters, that he denied from the outset, have been concluded.”
Mr Smith’s older brother Tommy Smith was cleared by a jury of attempting to convert criminal property in the trial, but pleaded guilty to possessing prohibited weapons and having a shotgun without a licence.
Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman Jo Harwood said after the appeal hearing: “We continue, along with national colleagues, to carefully consider the judgment of the Court of Appeal and we are ensuring that we take this into account in current and future cases.”
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.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Friday 30th January 2015
THE family of man who escaped a mental hospital, fled abroad then hanged himself in a prison cell have said he was let down by Oxford Health.
12:06pm Thursday 29th January 2015
SNOW has been forecast for Oxfordshire over the weekend and a yellow weather warning is still in place for today.
4:14pm Friday 30th January 2015
A WOMAN charged with the attempted murder of a hospital patient today appeared in Oxford Crown Court.
3:50pm Friday 30th January 2015
A MAN has been accused of fraudulently pocketing £4.8m from the assembly and services division at the Mini plant in Cowley.
Oxfordshire County Council chief executive Joanna Simons to stand down in June - and will not be replaced
1:10pm Friday 30th January 2015
OXFORDSHIRE'S biggest local authority will scrap its top unelected position as part of a radical shake-up to save costs, it was revealed today.
1:13pm Friday 30th January 2015
A MAN has today appeared in court accused of three arson attacks in South Oxfordshire, including those that destroyed district council offices and a funeral parlour.