Nick Robinson successful in defence of Mr Michael Henley-Smith at his Conspiracy to Blackmail trial at Bournemouth Crown Court
19th July 2018
Nick Robinson successfully defended Mr Michael Henley-Smith at his Conspiracy to blackmail trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. The trial lasted seven days and concluded when the jury, after three hours in retirement, unanimously acquitted Mr Henley-Smith.
The count faced by Mr Henley-Smith had been one of a number of counts on an Indictment containing offences of Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs against seven other defendants.
The drugs conspiracy stemmed from an extensive police investigation into an organised crime group supplying millions of pounds worth of Class A drugs on a national scale (Operation Firebug). Mr Henley-Smith was said to have contracted with the head of the OCG, to recover a substantial drugs debt owed by one of his dealers.
The Crown’s case was that Mr Henley-Smith made threats to kill the complainant and kidnap his family using a burner phone provided to him. They relied upon Mr Henley-Smith’s previous conviction for blackmail committed precisely two years earlier in what were strikingly similar circumstances.
The Defence relied upon there being a justified reason for making the telephone call during which it was said he made the blackmail threat. It was upon this evidence that he was found not guilty.