A Fulwood man has been cleared after he was wrongfully convicted for a crime he didn’t commit in 2014.Advertisement
Hanif Patel’s email address was used by a family member in 2010 to set up a carbon credit company.
It was later used for theft and fraud without his knowledge.
Speaking to Blog Preston, Hanif said he was ‘ambushed’ into a trial six weeks before an official hearing with not enough time to prepare.
Hanif was found guilty at Preston Crown Court of encouraging or assisting in the theft of over £5 million of carbon credits from the Carbon Emission Registry in the Czech Republic.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison and ended up serving three and a half years.
Read more: Preston men jailed for multi-millon pound carbon credit fraud
After he had served his time, Hanif sought help from two new barristers.
They sent his case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), the statutory body responsible for investigating alleged miscarriages of justice in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Hanif’s case centred around a failure by the trial judge (missed by trial counsel) to give an essential direction to the jury in the summing up.
On 11 March this year, Hanif’s conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in just one hearing as the opposition – prosecution, judge and his original barrister Andrew Jeffries – did not fight the appeal.
A CPS spokesperson said: “We respect the judgment of the court at the appeal hearing.”
Hanif has expressed his frustrations and believes the jury was misled.
He said: “The case should have been struck out at halftime, and in March without much ado they granted the appeal and the conviction was quashed.”
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines