Robert Newcombe, barrister at Church Court Chambers, represented a defendant in Operation Emerald, (5 handed conspiracies to supply class A drugs). Two co-accused in this complex drugs conspiracy were also defendants in Operation Shelter.
A combined hearing for defendants of both operations took place before HHJ Moreland to determine whether the use by the police of a CHIS (Covert Human Intelligence Source) known as XY amounted to an abuse of the court process by bringing the administration of justice into disrepute. The hearing lasted for 4 weeks in the autumn of 2016. There were numerous complex issues for all parties to make submissions upon.
XY gave evidence and was cross-examined by Mr Newcombe (as leading junior counsel) and many other counsel in a court closed to the public (but with members of the press in attendance). The learned judge ruled in favour of the Crown. The trial of Operation Emerald then took place in the Spring of 2017 and resulted in a conviction and 15 year sentence for Mr Newcombe’s client.