Full Name: Stephen Watson
Office Location: Stuart Street , Luton
Contact Telephone Number: 01582 544370
Fax Number: 01582 417517
Expertise: Case Manager, Complex Crime, Proceeds of Crime Department
Steve Watson known as “Chipie” to both colleagues and friends alike is our dedicated Proceeds of Crime Act case manager.
Having joined Noble Solicitors back in 2002 he has 25 years in the legal profession. Steve has developed his experience from the Crown Court department and then in our Complex Crime Unit, dealing with high profile complex cases he now heads our expanding department, due to his in depth knowledge and expertise.
A dedicated and pro active individual he is seen by clients and colleagues alike to be totally committed to this challenging area of law and the serious ramifications if matters are not dealt with professionally from the very outset.
Steve Watson’s preparation of Crown Court cases have include the following :
R v SB
Steve played a pivotal role in the preparation of this murder case known as the “jigsaw murder”. He demonstrated our client could not have been at the murder scene. Although the co-defendant was sentenced to 36 years, it was accepted our client’s culpability was much less and she received only 4.5 years for perverting the course of justice.
R v GBD
An allegation of triple murder. A lengthy investigation, which required Steve to travel to Ghana to carry out investigations, providing evidence of our client’s long standing mental illness, which assisted in the Crown accepting a plea of manslaughter.
R v GLC
Steve’s client was alleged to be high in the hierarchy of an international snake head organisation involving the smuggling of illegal immigrants into a life of slavery within the UK. A voluminous case with many complex issues Steve carried out enquiries in several cities in China to provide the necessary evidence. The trial collapsed after several weeks.
R v RN
An allegation of the murder of a baby. This tragic case involved complicated evidence of “shaken baby syndrome”. A very complex case during which Steve managed the defence preparation instructing 18 medical experts. The murder trial at the Old Bailey was successfully defended as was the subsequent manslaughter trial. In the whole Steve dealt with the case over a 3.5 year period.
Although the majority of cases he deals with are as a consequence of Crown Court convictions he deals with an increasing Proceeds of Crime cases work load as a result of recommendations by clients to others in similar dire circumstances.
Steve comments “The POCA legislation has always been unfair to the defendant, but this adversity can be overcome with a proactive approach, which will minimise the impact upon clients and their families. The prosecution always adopt a principled approach as they have the law on their side, therefore a thorough defence investigation with a pragmatic outlook must be taken”.
Steve Watson’s most recent and successful POCA cases include the following:
R v AA
A serial fraudster Mr A had been convicted of organised fraud at the highest level. The Crown alleged he has amassed hidden assets of £815,255.32. Steve led the enquiries in Turkey, which ultimately provided the necessary clear and cogent evidence to support the client’s instructions and the defence assertions. A high volume of documents were obtained, which although taking many months finally convinced the Crown Court at Sheffield that the prosecution’s case was flawed. Ultimately, the defendant was ordered to pay only £63.41.
R v G N
An allegation of an organised Vietnamese crime syndicate. A Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation took place involving over many months re several cannabis factories. The Crown’s POCA case initially alleged that Mr N had benefited in excess of £1 million following argument and service of defence papers the final agreement brought the Crown’s allegation tumbling down to £2,000.
R v RD
Our client Mr D was convicted as the head in an organised crime group lucratively producing counterfeit DVD’s. The Crown’s case alleged that the total benefit figure was in excess of £14.7 million and our client had substantial sums available.
Following representation at the Old Bailey agreement was made that he benefited £2,120,278.38 and his liability was substantially reduced. Steve’s enquiries included under cover work.
R v KC
At St Albans Crown Court, Steve was commended by HHJ Griffiths for his professional preparation and presentation of the POCA defence case.