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.

Click here to read Nick Robinson's profile.Nicholas RobinsonCall: 2006