Paul Rooney secures the only acquittal in an Organised Crime Group drugs trial lasting 5 months

Feb 19, 2022

Paul Rooney leading Stephen Hamill of counsel, were instructed by Nick Musgrove of Meikles Solicitors to represent Mr Vassallo, the third defendant of nine, named on the indictment, accused of conspiracy to supply cocaine over an 18-month period.

The Prosecution placed Mr Vassallo as number three in an Organised Crime Group based in the North East of England. The case involved cocaine being brought to the North East from a Liverpool based Organised Crime Group. It was alleged that over 40 trips had taken place, the total value of the cocaine was in excess of £7 million.

Following a trial which lasted 19 weeks, Paul and Stephen were able to demonstrate that parts of the prosecution’s case was unreliable and certain statutory duties placed on the police had not been complied with.

At the conclusion of three days of deliberations the jury returned a not guilty verdict in relation to Paul and Stephen’s client. All the other defendants were convicted and will be sentenced at a later date.

Press links from the first hearing: The Chronicle, The Shields Gazette.