Tom Wilkins a “competent and professional barrister” with “exemplary patience and attitude”, “a great credit to Pump Court”, these are the words of a Detective Sergeant of the Met Police who has worked with Tom since 2013 and on Tuesday (21st March 2017) successfully convicted Mr Paul Monk who was the head of a £31 million international drug trafficking network, he was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment at the Old Bailey.
In May and November 2013 three persons were arrested, following a proactive operation, for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and possession of a number of firearms and ammunition. As with many Serious Crime investigations, the case was both sensitive and far from straightforward, requiring a vast amount of preparation, planning and legal expertise.
Following a four-week trial at the end of March 2015, which involved a ruthless defence, numerous disclosure requests and witness intimidation, three persons were convicted and received sentences of 27 years, 14 years and 4 years respectively. A notable absentee during the trial was Mr Monk who had absconded to Spain some months before.
In April 2015 Mr Monk was arrested in Spain on a European Arrest Warrant and extradited to the UK in May 2015. Following the arrest of Monk a drugs tick-list was recovered and subsequently analysed. This list indicated that Mr Monk was a leading figure in organised criminal networks responsible for the importation of Class A Drugs (final figure involved 997 Kilos of Cocaine).
Over the preceding months Mr Wilkins liaised tirelessly with the Met Police and lawyers in Spain trying to ensure that the evidence was of a sufficient standard as to ensure a conviction. This process was not without its challenges and due to Mr Wilkins’s hard work resulted in the conviction of Mr Monk on Tuesday (21st March 2017) which brought the investigation to a close.