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Trial was not unfair

28 April 2014
Issue: 4449 / Categories: Tax cases , Investigations , VAT

R v Pershad, Court of Appeal

The defendant was a barrister found guilty of failing to account for the VAT charged on his fees.

He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and applied for leave to appeal against conviction claiming the prosecution had produced documents of which he was unaware and the judge’s summing up was unfair and defective.

Two HMRC officers had visited the defendant’s home in September 2011 to deliver a letter asking him to attend a police station interview in relation to his failure to pay VAT.

One of the officers made a note that the defendant read the letter and said “It’s fine”. The note was not produced two weeks later at the interview where the defendant said he had been shocked when he read the letter.

The defendant said at trial that he believed that the VAT was paid by his chambers on his behalf and he...

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