Following a 7-week trial at the Central Criminal Court, the jury convicted both defendants Paul Fontaine and Frankie Sinclair of conspiracy to murder and all 13 other counts, including conspiracy to possess firearms and ammunition, conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to supply counterfeit currency and money laundering.
This landmark case represented the first conviction following trial for conspiracy to murder arising from Operation Venetic - the UK law enforcement response to the exploitation of the encrypted telecommunications system known as EncroChat. The trial had also been seen as something of a test case, following various technical challenges to such evidence.
The convictions included that of Mr Fontaine for conspiracy to transfer the firearm used in the murder of Abdullahi Mahmoud by Khalid Hogan on 19 March 2020.
Sentencing will be on 27 May 2022.
The case has attracted media coverage in relation to the admissibility of Encrochat evidence and was also known as the 'James Bond' murder plot. Click here to read the coverage in the Independent and here for the Guardian's coverage of the case.
Kevin Dent QC is a highly persuasive advocate with a calm, measured, yet robust courtroom manner. Since taking silk in 2019, Kevin has built upon his heavyweight practice in the fields of financial and serious crime. Kevin is ranked in the Legal 500 in the field of Fraud - Crime.
Dan Jones is a specialist criminal practitioner who regularly acts for the prosecution and the defence in the most serious criminal cases. He also has a strong practice in civil proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act.