Saunders Law advises on successful appeal to the Privy Council for Jenny Holt
19th February 2014
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, the highest Court of Appeal of the Isle of Man, has today quashed the convictions of Manx advocate Jenny Holt for money laundering and falsifying documents, after a four year battle to clear her name.
Jenny Holt had been the most junior advocate in the defence team of Trevor and Wendy Baines, and was arrested in 2009 following the discovery that legal fees sent by the Mr & Mrs Baines to Jenny Holt's then employers Moroneys had been stolen by them.
Although it was accepted that she played no part in the theft, nor benefitted from it, that the money was then paid by Moroneys to English defence counsel, Jenny Holt alone was prosecuted.
The Privy Council found that the Deemster's (Judge's) directions to the jury were deficient and fatal to the safety of the convictions. In giving judgement Lord Hughes said:
...."The jury might well have thought this an unlikely scenario if she was acting dishonestly in support of suspected crime by Baines. Moreover, the jury might well have thought that to take active steps to enquire about security for a loan, to ascertain the terms as to interest, and to draw up a formal agreement all once again involving her colleague Ms Dudgeon, were events more consistent with a lack of guilty knowledge than with its presence.....It does not appear to have been suggested that Ms Dudgeon knew or suspected criminal origin of the lb400,000. The appellant had after all been taken in by Baines just as the bank had."
In dealing with comments made by the Deemster to the jury, Lord Hughes said -
"The comments on the styles of counsel were unfortunate and misplaced, but this addition did carry the risk that the jury, sensitive to the judicial view, might divine from it that the Judge thought that conviction was likely to follow. It should not have been said"
Jenny Holt has always maintained her innocence and thanked her defence team and all those who have supported her over these difficult 4 years.
James Saunders and Matthew Purcell of Saunders Law instructed Joel Bennathan QC and Danielle Cooper for Jenny Holt at the Privy Council: Richard Halsall of BridsonHalsall instructed Anthony Berry QC in the Isle of Man.