The case against the defendant was overwhelming. There was stolen merchandise in his yard and in his mobile home. His dad was his only alibi. But still he wouldn't confessby Alex McBride / November 23, 2008 / Leave a comment
“Bugger won’t plead guilty,” said the beleaguered-looking defence counsel with a weary sigh. “I’ve got absolutely nothing to say. Might as well have brought my bongos.” Thank God I was prosecuting. I was giddy with relief that I wasn’t the one stuck with the “no questions” trial. This is what the trade calls a case where the evidence against your client is so overwhelming that you can’t think of any questions to ask on his behalf.
How had it come to this? Malcolm and his crew weren’t slapstick junkie burglars snagging themselves on windows and dripping blood (not to mention DNA) all over the place. They were professionals. They chose their targets carefully—like the warehouse in a secluded industrial estate, a few months before. They came in over the roof, cutting the cables that connected the alarm to the police station. They dropped down into the warehouse, lifted the internal security doors off their runners and broke into the storeroom. From there they loaded their Luton van with £90,000 worth of upmarket pens.
Everything went beautifully—so much so that the gang used the same strategy a few weeks later when they broke into a mobile phone company. This time they took the company’s delivery van too, disabling its tracking device. They loaded it up with £250,000-worth of mobile phones and were gone. What chutzpah! The plods would never catch them.
The gates to Malcolm’s yard were pure Gerrards Cross stockbroker, but once you were inside, the style was “traveller baronial” all the way. A squad of policemen headed for the deluxe mobile home in its far corner. Deep in his dream, Malcolm heard knocking. It’s probably something out on the road, he thought, tucking the duvet up around his chin.
“Open up,” shouted a voice. Malcolm opened his eyes. “Police! Open up.”
Malcolm leapt out of bed. He started dashing around, hiding anything incriminating. There was a lot to hide.
“I’m just getting my jeans on,” said Malcolm, buying some time.
PC Mostyn watched through the window as Malcolm stashed two mobile phones in a cupboard. Next he tore the IMEI number, a unique code which identifies a mobile, off a Sony Ericsson box. A few calming breaths later, Malcolm opened the door to an officer waving a search warrant. PC Mostyn made straight for the cupboard.
“Whose are these?” he asked, pulling out the phones.