Despite ample authority that the Court may proceed with such proceedings in the absence of a Defendant, the Court were persuaded that in the circumstances of this case, where the Appellant’s absence was through no fault of his own, it was incorrect to have done so.
At the time of making the order, the learned Recorder had been misinformed that (a) the Appellant had absconded and (b) that the Appellant had the option of having the matter re-opened if the order made was incorrect. The Court were satisfied that had the Recorder been aware that neither of these issues were correct, he would not have proceeded in the way that he did.
The case has been remitted back to Stafford Crown Court for the Proceeds of Crime proceedings to be re-determined.
Related practice areas: Civil