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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions >> Jurecka & Ors v R  EWCA Crim 1007 (18 July 2017)
Cite as:  EWCA Crim 1007,  WLR(D) 518,  4 WLR 205
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201603356 C5, 201603322 C5
ON APPEAL FROM THE CROWN COURT AT MAIDSTONE
His Honour Judge Joy
T20157008, T20150077, T20157005
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
SIR ALAN WILKIE
HIS HONOUR JUDGE DICKINSON QC
(Sitting as a Judge of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division)
| (1) Aniela Halina Jurecka
Charlotte Elizabeth May Johnson
David Edward Smith
|- and -
Mrs R Becker (instructed by Foxes Solicitors) for the Second Appellant
Mr R Barraclough QC and Mr C Wray (instructed by Bond Joseph) for the Third Appellant
Mr D Connolly (instructed by The Crown Prosecution Service) for the Respondent
Hearing date: 27 June 2017
Crown Copyright ©
The Facts and the Proceedings
i) Jimmy: purchased by Emma Stephens in October 2008.
ii) Marcello: purchased by Rosalind Sykes in December 2008.
iii) Charlie: purchased by Diane Hogben in August 2009.
iv) Snip: purchased by Jacqueline Lowe in January 2010.
v) Jack: purchased by Natasha Bartlett in July 2010.
vi) Belle: purchased by Oliver Chinery in October 2010.
vii) Ollie: purchased by Janet Dellaway in January 2011.
viii) Bentley: purchased by Susan Leigh in April 2011 (statement read).
ix) Ali G, aka Bentley: purchased by Frances Taylor in June 2011.
x) Oakley: purchased by Stacey Boy in June 2011.
xi) Ringo Cody: deposit paid by Andrea Vizzard in June 2011 who withdrew after further inspection; then sold same month to Vanessa Harris-Magri.
xii) Blake aka Bruce: purchased by Emma Boughton in October 2010 and Elizabeth Molyneux in September 2011.
xiii) Christopher: purchased by Samantha Drummond-Hay August 2011.
xiv) Ben, aka Salvador Dali: purchased by Delia Silver December 2011.
xv) Duchess: purchased by Jonathan Sidwell in January 2012.
xvi) Smithy: purchased by Joanne Harris-Hughes in January 2012.
xvii) Skye: purchased by Emily Henton in July 2012.
"It was not a secret from the customer. If it was a nice quiet pony I would say so. I would not sedate horses that were dangerous for novice riders. Maria was happy to sedate horses for customers and she never questioned it."
This last was a remark which the Judge characterised as "an admission that Maria was told to sedate horses for customers". Jurecka went on to say:
"I am not denying systematic doping of horses for customers. It is not uncommon. I admit I sold Pluto and there was talk about Luke and the false history and it was wrong but unnecessary. The wrong photograph of a horse, Bilbao and I was told by Stephen Hendry to do this. Luke would ask me to lie for him, and it was dishonest but not thoroughly dishonest."
"to lie that she owned Dollar. He wasn't her family pet for three years. Dollar was similar to Smithy. I was getting her to pose as the previous owner of the horse; it wasn't totally honest. I did get Charlotte to say things that were not true, a lie about the history of the horse, and to talk posh and telling her what to say, to lie that she owned the horse." (Summing up, 305G/306B)
"I agree it was wrong her giving a false history to give customers. Charlotte never refused to lie on my behalf. She asked me to make up the testimonial."
"I would sometimes say he was coming when he wasn't. It was a lie. I found it easy to convince people."
"I admit I have told little lies but not to make people buy the wrong horse. I have told lies about the history of horses as it is what people do."
"… riding out with a 74 year old lady, nor true that he had team dressaged, nor that it was true that he had been out with the bloodhounds being ridden by a novice. It was not true that he had been at cob classes, nor working hunters. It was not true that he had been at a family-run riding school …. It was not true that he was a much loved family horse. It was not a private sale, that was a pretence".
She had told the eventual purchaser of Blake:
"… a pack of lies …. I can't remember why I lied. One thing led to another. No-one told me to say these things; I kept the lies going" (summing up, page 328D/F)
The Ground of Appeal
"The vet noted that the bar was too heavy for the horse. Whether she had this note or not it is inconsistent with any contention that DS was behaving fraudulently. By the time she had the horse examined by her vet David McDonald on 27.10.09 it was lame. It was examined by Emma Boyd on 30.9.09. Whatever the problems, this horse was as described in January and was being ridden in February and neither the vet nor the osteopath was recalled to see the horse. It must have recovered. It just needed gentle massage and release of muscle."
"Boughton bought him mid October 2010. Boughton says quiet and slower paced, calm. Not over schooled. Right temperament so could train him. Seemed quiet on a hack.
In June 2011, sold him to Charlotte Foreman for £700.
He is a big horse, Irish draught. Ended up under the bar of a vehicle some time in October. He was then sore until New Year. Happy with him in January. The photographs at Div 13 pp 38-42. Photo 38 taken before 12.1.11. "Real sweetie". Page 41/2 dated 30.10.10 not long after accident. Looked okay with children. Good with children. … Only vice was that could not catch. Would not have sold him but for the illness of her mother. Needed to spend time with him."
"a) In the 20 years Ms Walker has known the appellant there was never a problem with her horses (transcript, p2E);
b) How snow wouldn't be an impediment to have a sale as there was a tarmac yard (transcript, p5C);
c) How Annie would take very good care of her horses (transcript, p5E);
d) How all horses will potentially buck or rear in their life as it's a natural characteristic (transcript, p6E);
e) How a horse may react after being kept in a stable or due to an inexperienced rider (transcript, p6H);
f) How complaints are an occupational hazard (transcript 10F);
g) How customers may exaggerate their riding ability (transcript, p11D);
h) When in reality it's a customer riding ability, but customers complain that it is the horse that is difficult or not behaving (transcript, p12A) and sometimes blame the seller for mis-describing the horse (transcript p13C);
i) How some vets are more pernickety than others in recommending horses for sale (transcript, p14C);
j) How customers sometimes save money on call-out costs by having the same vet vetting different horses on the same day (transcript, p16G);
k) How Karen Coombe was in her opinion a particularly pernickety vet (transcript, p17D);
l) How sedatives (Sedaline and ACP) are kept in the witness's own yard and used for emergencies (transcript, p19D);
m) How Ms Walker would use a sedative if the horse was stressed, shoeing (transcript p21A), for transportation (transcript, p21G) and how hauliers from Ireland carry it in their cabs (transcript, p22B);
n) How, as a previous owner of Jimmy Ms Walker states she had no problems at all with the horse (transcript, p24B);
o) How Jimmy was used for riding clubs on children's holidays because it was a particularly quiet and well mannered (transcript, p24D);
p) How the advert used to sell the Jimmy (relied upon by the prosecution as misrepresentation) was accurate (transcript, p24H);
q) How, when the other ponies were "spooked" by a large hole in the sand or a sand-kite Jimmy simply walked back with a child on his back (transcript, p28F)."
"SUE WALKER confirmed the evidence of MANTELL. Some PPE vets she said are nervous or pernickety about vettings; they are reluctant to pass horses sold by a dealer. It is easy to fail a horse. It is not uncommon she said for a PPE vet to do more than one vetting. The call out charge will be shared. The vet may have three vettings on the same day. As a dealer she said she has seds/ACP/Ibubrofen available in the yard, for emergency, if horse is stressed; for clipping; for transport (hauliers from Ireland carry them in the lorries); they can be used when the horse is being ridden by someone new, who might ride badly; they are used a lot on the continent. She had known DS for 25 years. She spoke of his ability and judgment; that he is honest in his vettings; that he quickly assesses a horse on a vetting more quickly than younger vets."
"To assist the jury to focus on the issues during retirement, save where the case is so straightforward that it would be superfluous to do so, a judge should provide:
- A reminder of the issues;
- A summary of the nature of the evidence relating to each issue;
- A balanced account of the points raised by the parties; and
- Any outstanding directions.
It is not necessary for the judge to recount all relevant evidence or to rehearse all of the significant points raised by the parties."
"judgement on the facts that you must rely upon and not mine. That cannot be emphasised strongly enough" (summing up page 4D)
He repeated similar comments at different points in the summing up, indicating that he would not seek to repeat all of the facts, as indeed would have been impossible. He informed the jury expressly that he would not be reminding them of the evidence of Jeremy Mantell, Sue Walker, and that of two other witnesses David Jones and Carol Kenneally. He stressed that they were still important witnesses to whose evidence they should have regard if they saw fit.
"It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the judge is under no obligation, when summing up, to rehearse all the evidence or all the arguments."
"It is not essential that the trial judge should make every point that can be made for the defence ... The fundamental requirements are correct directions on points of law, an accurate review of the main facts and alleged facts, and a general impression of fairness."
Our Conclusions on this Ground
Hearsay evidence of Susan Lee
The Working Documents or Summaries
"There can be no absolute bar to a document such as this being given to the jury. Indeed it happens often with documents such as schedules of telephone calls. It is therefore an issue of judicial case management, and of ensuring fairness to all parties. Provided the Judge directed the jury, as he did (transcript volume 9, pages 92-93) that they did not amount to evidence but were simply submissions, it is hard to see what prejudice would be caused. [Jurecka's] counsel had the opportunity to do as Smith's counsel did and prepare a counter-document. Any disputes or errors could be pointed out by your counsel in closing submissions, and the jurors asked to write a note on their copies of the document to that effect."
Smith: Submission of No Case to Answer
Abuse of Process and Contamination of Witnesses: Late Applications
"Is it 17 horses! Allegedly! Drugged to disguise health problems or 17 in total? I think there are more than 17 horses involved in the case, surely, with 60+ witnesses. And how many "private" sellers! can manage to sell so many horses? 350+ in 5 years?
"quite possible that the '350+ sold' were simply a few who kept being returned and sold on again!"
Johnson's Appeal against Sentence
"In relation to the two female defendants, you both acted closely together, selling horses together, acting fraudulently together, and I am satisfied on all of the evidence that both of you were as seriously involved as each other. I reject completely the argument that has been put forward in writing on behalf of Charlotte Johnson that somehow she was less involved. The reality is that sometimes buyers were just not sure who they were dealing with between the two of you. One witness said you were always together. Well, that's a figure of speech, but the text messages clearly show that you were acting as a team together and the effect of the evidence of both you and the First Defendant was that each was selling horses acquired by the other, or loaned, or on sale, or acquired by the other, and each of you pretended that you acted separately; that seems to me quite clear. Sometimes one bought a horse and the other sold it, and you each shared the gains. Each of you, particularly Charlotte Johnson, was always ready with the easy lies, I call it, and the false pretences; the false history such as the horses were private sales, that the horse had been owned by you or a relative or a friend for years, that it had done things it had not done: won awards which it did not; that it belonged to a friend who was pregnant or now had a job in London and how it had been ridden by an old lady who had cancer, but did not in fact exist and was a complete fiction with a completely non-existent address."
"Clearly, the First Defendant, as I say, is the driving force and is in a particularly serious position. I take into account all of the documents that have been handed in on her behalf and I take into account her family circumstances and the fact that she is a mother and I reflect this in coming to the appropriate sentence. In relation to the Second Defendant I also take account of the letters handed in on her behalf and the points made in her written submissions made on her behalf."
"In the end, each Defendant has convictions and I intend to deal with each Defendant in the same way. That is because the roles that each of you played, as well as all of your individual circumstances, all seem in the end to balance each other out and because in the end that in the end is the fairest result. In the case of the first two Defendants I have been addressed about the welfare of your children. I have taken very much what has been said in writing and in the references and documents into account."