On 7 October 2009, the appellants were convicted of conspiracy to import intoJersey 180 kg of cannabis, a class B controlled drug. The drugs had a street value inexcess of £1m. Curtis Warren, who masterminded the conspiracy, was sentenced to13 years’ imprisonment. John Welsh, whose involvement it will be necessary todescribe in more detail, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. James O’Brien wassentenced to 10 years’ and the other appellants each to 5 years’ imprisonment.2.
In March 2008, there had been a preparatory hearing before Sir Richard Tuckersitting as a Commissioner. The appellants applied for a stay of the proceedings on thegrounds of abuse of process. The basis of the application was that crucial evidence onwhich the prosecution wished to rely had been obtained as a result of seriousprosecutorial misconduct. The Commissioner heard evidence and argument over aperiod of 4 days and on 20 March dismissed the application. The appellants then madean application for a ruling that the evidence obtained by the use of the audio deviceshould be excluded under article 76(1) of the Police Procedures and CriminalEvidence (Jersey) Law 2003 (“the 2003 Law”) which provides:“Subject to paragraph (2), in any proceedings a court may refuse toallow evidence on which the prosecution proposes to rely to be given if it appears to the court that, having regard to all the circumstances,including the circumstances in which the evidence was obtained, theadmission of the evidence would so adversely affect the fairness of theproceedings that the court ought not to admit it.”3.
This application was heard by the Commissioner on 29 April 2008 anddismissed on the same day. The Court of Appeal of Jersey heard a renewedapplication for leave to appeal against both decisions and dismissed both applicationson 14 August 2008 (reasons being given on a later date).4.
The appellants now appeal to the Board, but only against the refusal of a stay.A successful appeal would inevitably lead to the quashing of the convictions.