The following is a summary of the case between Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) and Mr and Ms Beach. This document is designed to give the reader an ‘overview’ of the miscarriage of justice Mr and Ms Beach have endured and which they are still suffering from.

The Property

Mr and Ms Beach own 32-acre plot of land known as Padd Farm. It consists of a main residential dwelling (bungalow), several outbuildings and 4.5 acers of hard standing that have approved planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness to conduct business or to rent out to the public. The remainder [25 acres approx.] is mainly a green field for the grazing of horses.

Padd Farm is situated in a cul-de-sac. On one side there are approximately 50 homes most of which are bungalows that need renovation. On the other side, the property is neighbouring a large lake and at the south a public park.

The property is situated in the ward of Virginia Water, Egham, Surrey. Apart from Central London real estate values in Virginia Water are the highest in the UK.

Runnymede Borough Council (RBC)

The local authority, Runnymede Borough Council (RBC) own a very small piece of land adjacent to Padd Farm in Hurst Lane where they have fitted an electricity sub- station large enough to power over 1500 homes. Currently unused.

In a report commissioned by RBC by ARUP. Hurst Lane could take between 800-1000 new homes, at a guess Padd Farm could contain 300 new homes.

Background to the case

RBC served enforcement notices alleging that the following had no planning permission at Padd Farm:

1. The occupation of caravans.
2. The erection of a small shower/washroom (for caravan tenants).
3. The conversion of a garage into a residential dwelling.

Mr and Ms Beach were given 28 days to appeal the notices by paying the extortionate appeal fee or to dismantle the above buildings. Mr and Ms Beach complained to RBC explaining that they cannot evict caravan tenants within the time limit as they have rights. Especially as the majority of the caravan tenants were being funded by RBC.

To be clear, RBC (the prosecuting authority) were paying Mr and Ms Beach for the rental of their [Mr and Ms Beach’s] caravans by way of Housing Benefit payments.

The rental of caravans is considerably less than conventional homes therefore RBC were saving a significant amount in terms of Housing Benefit payments.

Prosecution

RBC went on to prosecute Mr and Ms Beach at Guildford Crown Court. Hence the three case files at the beginning of this document. Mr and Ms Beach were prosecuted under section 285 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

During the trial. Mr and Ms Beach explained to presiding judge Moss that as RBC were paying Mr and Ms Beach for the use of the caravans for many years. For them [RBC – the council] to prosecute Mr and Ms Beach under the circumstances is an abuse of court process.

However, it transpired that RBC’s barristers intentionally used section of 285 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as there is NO defence whatsoever available to Mr and Ms Beach [apart from not being served]. Therefore, presiding Judge Moss essentially instructed the jury to find Mr and Ms Beach ‘guilty’.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

RBC then escalated the case to include the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA). Well before the POCA hearing scheduled for 3 April 2017, RBC served a Section 16 Report. A POCA Section 16 Report contains alleged illegal income which the prosecution say should be confiscated by the state from Mr and Ms Beach. All of which was rejected by Mr and Ms Beach as ‘conjecture’.

Confiscation Hearing

The confiscation hearing was on Monday the 3 April 2017. On the preceding Friday 31 March 2017. Mr and Ms Beach received a copy of the court bundle in preparation to the Monday hearing. However, the newly served bundle contained new revised and highly inflated allegations of criminal income. None of which was previously seen or pointed out as new evidence by RBC - just inserted in the middle of the bundle. The prosecution even included alleged criminal income ‘outside’ the 6-year indictment period.

Distraught Mr and Mr Beach complained to Guildford Crown Court about RBC’s new allegations and expected the court to reprimand the prosecution for their behaviour and to adjourn the hearing until such time Mr and Ms Beach could digest the newly served evidence and be given time to employ a forensic accountant to interrogate the newly served evidence which contained ‘highly increased’ levels of alleged illegal income.

Tactical Advantage

The prosecution gained a tactical advantage by serving evidence late in the knowledge that Mr and Ms Beach will now need the involve a forensic accountant in order to create their defence. Which was not possible over a single weekend. Mr and Ms Beach considered this to be a breach of CPR 8.6(1) by the prosecution, in which case the new evidence should have been excluded or the 3 April 2017 hearing adjourned.

Nevertheless, the confiscation hearing WENT AHEAD with JUST the prosecution present on 3 April 2017 at Guilford Crown Court with Judge Moss presiding. Breaching subsection 6(8) of POCA which technically stops the court from conducting a hearing if a defendant ‘absconds’. But arguably applies to this case.

Prosecution misled the court

According to the court transcript of 3 April 2017. The prosecution’s newly served evidence alleged that ALL income Mr and Ms Beach were receiving was illegal income, including income paying the mortgage and therefore the WHOLE PROPERTY should be confiscated.

This is despite previously supplied evidence that proved income was from the genuine rental of buildings and hard standings with planning permission and from genuine business activities all of which recorded at HM Revenue & Customs. All income tax has been paid and is up to date as it has been for over 35 years.

In addition, RBC claimed that the £100,000+ paid to Mr and Ms Beach for the rental of their caravans by RBC during the indictment period was ILLEGALLY GAINED INCOME by Mr and Ms Beach. An absurd submission by the council and a clear case of abuse of court process by RBC the prosecuting authority.

RBC were the biggest source of alleged illegal income

These proceedings are in relation to the alleged unauthorised rental of caravans. The erection of a small shower block without planning permission and a conversion of a garage into living space for Mr and Ms Beach’s son and grandchildren. That’s it.

Alleged illegal income therefore can only derive from the rental of caravans of which RBC (the prosecuting authority) were by far Mr and Ms Beach’s biggest caravan rental customer.

The fact that RBC implicated themselves as being involved in illegal transactions is a breach of Section 328 (1) and 329 (1) (b) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and therefore the proceedings against Mr and Ms Beach is yet another abuse of court process.

No allowance made to reflect true benefit

In any event; Confiscation amounts were not restricted to reflect the ‘true benefit’ obtained as in R v Waya and R v Sale but rather gross amounts were applied with no allowance made for genuine and legal income (such as the rental of building or hard standings with planning permission or other genuine business activities) nor an allowance for outgoing payments where a considerable amounts was paid to the prosecuting authority themselves by way of council tax payments for the caravan plots.

With this and the indictment period being 6 out of a total of 33 years of mortgage payments; As a consequence, the confiscation order is disproportionate and not compliant with Article 1 of the First Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights.

Serious injustice by HHJ Moss

Presiding Judge Moss should have stood back to determine whether there is or might be a risk of serious or real injustice. If there was or might be a risk of serious or real injustice, then such a large confiscation order should not have been made. Especially as the defendants were not present nor legally represented during the confiscation hearing.

Judge Moss went on to issue a £1.2m confiscation order without giving Mr and Ms Beach a chance to defend themselves. Which in itself is a breach of Article 6 of the European Court of Human Rights.

Legal Advice

Mr James O’Hara of Imran Khan and Partners (IK&P) and Mr Laurence Grant of Duncan Lewis Solicitors, after the confiscation hearing, informed Mr and Ms Beach that the conviction cannot be appealed.

In hindsight. It is thought that the above lawyers either were unaware that the level of confiscation could be appealed (and not the conviction). Or the lawyers were concerned about Mr Beach’s previous public complaints about earlier legal representatives. In which case the lawyers did not want the business and simply told Mr Beach that an appeal was not possible.

Option Agreement

A year prior to the confiscation hearing on 7 July 2016, Mr and Ms Beach entered into an Option Agreement where upon successful planning consent Mr and Ms Beach would receive an initial £9.5m for the sale of their property, Padd Farm from a land developer. Plus, an additional £20m (approx.) paid to their family at any point during the next 125 years if planning permission is granted on the rest of the property (Padd Farm).

Pay Confiscation Order from Sale proceeds?

In light of the legal advice received regarding the likelihood of an appeal. Mr and Ms Beach resigned to the fact that their property is about to be sold for £9.5m. In which case they will pay the confiscation order from the sale proceeds and just put it down to experience. After all, if it not for RBC granting planning permission, they [Mr and Ms Beach] would not be receiving £9.5m (+ £20m) for their property.

However. Many months went past with the purchasers of Padd Farm reporting back that RBC are stalling the planning permission sought. The initial sum of £9.5m cannot be paid until permission has been granted by RBC - as per the Land Registry recorded Option Agreement as entered into by Mr and Ms Beach and the land developers who are also the purchasers.

Magistrates Court

Mr and Ms Beach were summoned to Folkstone and Dover Magistrates Courts on several occasions during the succeeding months to explain why the outstanding confiscation order has not been paid.

Evidence and proof of funds were provided to the Magistrates to show the property has been sold by way of Option Agreement subject to planning permission for a new housing estate and a new [large] public park for the enjoyment of the local community.

Mr and Ms Beach further explained that the planning department at RBC, for reasons unknown, were dragging their heals and even attaching extraordinary conditions to the land developers (also the purchasers) of Padd Farm. Who frustratingly had to comply with the conditions and extra time required in order to progress the planning application.

Prison

Notwithstanding there being sufficient equity in the property (before planning) to cover the confiscation order. On 23 February 2018 at Folkstone Magistrates Court. RBC

asked for the default sentence to be applied. Mr and Ms Beach (both pensioners) were imprisoned for 7.5 and 5.5 years respectively for non-payment of the outstanding confiscation order. Despite RBC deliberately delaying the planning application, which would have released £9.5m and the confiscation order plus interest paid in full.

While Mr and Ms Beach were in prison. The prosecution applied to Guilford Crown Court for an Enforcement Receiver. Mr and Ms Beach did not object on the condition that their interest (£9.5m + £20m) was protected.

Prison sentence unlawful

Six months later, Mr and Ms Beach were released by High Court Judge Goose who deemed the prison sentence ‘unlawful’ and a new precedent was set in that if the State are not financially at risk they have to ‘wait’ for the defendant’s property to be sold to discharge outstanding confiscation orders and the interest accumulated.

While Mr and Ms Beach were in prison, they found it hard to believe visitors telling them that the court appointed Enforcement Receiver had threatened and then evicted legitimate rent paying tenants. On release from prison, Mr Beach returned to his home at Padd Farm to find his legitimate businesses devastated, buildings broken into, property missing, and the farm deserted.

Appeal Application

Mr and Ms Beach finally decided in that they could not wait any longer for RBC to grant planning permission and with that discharge the outstanding confiscation order from the proceeds of the sale.

On 13 December 2018 Mr and Ms Beach submitted an appeal application together with an application for extension of time to the Criminal Appel Office in London.

Mr and Ms Beach’s Response to Respondent’s Notice submitted to the Criminal Appeal Office further explained and brought to Appeal Courts attention the following:

a. That the purpose of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is to confiscate income which has been acquired illegally. Nothing more. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is NOT to be used a ‘punishment’ in any format.
b. Runnymede Borough Council were paying to use criminal property and receiving an income from criminal activity during the relevant period of at least £100,000. Which is an offence under Section 329 (1) (b) of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
c. Mr and Ms Beach submitted a couple of precedents where the defendants, in these cases had absconded from the confiscation hearing. Which resulted in the following:

1. Okedare [2014] EWCA Crim 1173. Appeal hearing concerned the confiscation order itself. It was argued on behalf of the appellant that no order should have been made at all because the judge had no power to do so. Subsection 6(8) of POCA specifically stops the court from acting under section 6 where someone has absconded. The Court of Appeal agreed.

2. Okedare [2014] EWCA Crim 228. Appeal hearing concerned whether an absconder should have the right to appeal at all. The Court of Appeal decided that they should. The Court of Appeal decided a person does not give up their right to appeal because they have absconded.

These precedents illustrate that if an absconder has a right to appeal - then surely under the circumstances Mr and Mr Beach also have a right to redress by means of appeal.

Enforcement Receiver

In a written report, the appointed Enforcement Receiver has stated that they were approached by a potential purchaser who wished to register their interest in ‘unconditionally’ purchasing Padd Farm.

Given the preparations already in place by the council to re-develop the area including 32-acre Padd Farm. Together with information from a whistle blower at the council. Mr and Ms believe that ‘Runnymede Borough Council’ are the party who registered their interest with the Enforcement Receiver to ‘unconditionally’ purchase Padd Farm as it is - before granting planning permission. Either overtly or under the guise of a trading company.

Enforcement Receiver’s application to sell Padd Farm

A hearing was held on the 18 July 2019 at Guildford Crown Court. The holders of the Option Agreement and purchasers of Padd Farm strongly objected to the Enforcement Receiver’s application to sell Padd Farm before planning permission has been granted.

The Option Agreement and purchasers of Padd Farm strongly objected to the Enforcement Receiver’s application as this would transfer the financial benefit (£9.5m + £20m) away from Mr and Ms Beach to another party that the purchaser did not know.

The Option Agreement and purchasers of Padd Farm strongly objected as they did not want deal with a new party at risk of finding themselves with more unnecessary delays or expense or even in default of the Option Agreement.

Mr and Ms Beach did not put in a defence as the holders of the Option Agreement and purchasers of Padd Farm strongly objected to the application. This and a previous order ‘protecting’ Mr and Ms Beach’s interest in the property was sufficient for the Enforcement Receiver’s application to fail.

However, during the course of the hearing. The Option Agreement purchasers of Padd Farm came to an agreement with the Enforcement Receiver (details unknown during

the hearing). The order ‘protecting’ Mr and Ms Beach’s interest was ignored and the Enforcement Receiver’s application to sell Padd Farm before planning is granted was approved by the Judge Moss.

Second Appeal

A week later. Mr and Ms Beach had sight of the terms agreed during the 18 July 2019 hearing. The Order signed by HHJ Moss a week after the hearing stated that the Enforcement Receiver did not need to divulge the party who are ‘unconditionally’ purchasing Padd Farm (before planning is granted) until the sale is ‘completed’.

In addition. It was in the written Enforcement Receiver’s grounds of opposition to this appeal Mr and Ms Beach noticed a reference to the total payable under the Option Agreement (after planning) is now just £5.59m. Considerably less than the contractual £9.5m + £20m payable to Mr and Ms Beach.

Mr and Ms Beach made a second appeal application in regard to the 18 July 2019 hearing. Challenging the Enforcement Receivers behaviour, duty and the Enforcement Receiver having agreed to sell the property to ‘Runnymede Borough Council’ at a pre- arranged price - well below market value – and then when planning permission is granted by RBC, the Option Agreement Purchasers pay just £5.59m (and not £29.5m). A considerable saving for the land developers.

Note: If property title is transferred to RBC and planning permission is further delayed by RBC – the Option Agreement expires in 2021 with RBC retaining the property unencumbered (see bottom of page 12 below).

No court bundle

Mr and Ms Beach did not receive a court bundle for the 18 July 2019 hearing and have asked Guildford Crown Court to supply a copy of the court bundle or at least any reference to a reduced sale amount. To which Guildford Crown Court have refused.

Fraud

This leads Mr and Mrs Beach to conclude that the purchasers by way of Option Agreement were made an offer by the Enforcement Receiver - a sale price of £5.59m instead of £29.5m - if they withdrew their objection to the Enforcement Receiver’s application and agreed new terms. Which they did during the course of the 18 July 2019 hearing (barristers were popping in and out of court).

In other words. By agreeing terms with the Enforcement Receiver, when planning permission is granted by RBC, the Option Agreement purchasers of Padd Farm now only need to pay £5.59m - instead of the £29.5m due to Mr and Ms Beach under the recorded Option Agreement.

Prior to planning application being granted. The Enforcement Receiver intends to transfer title of Padd Farm to ‘Runnymede Borough Council’ in line with the councils housing objectives as outlined in the publicly available ARUP report and as evidenced by the installation of an electrical sub-station adjacent to Padd Farm.

A clear case of FRAUD right under the nose of presiding Judge Moss.

Option Agreement runs out on 7 July 2021

It is worth noting that the 5-year recorded Option Agreement runs out on 7 July 2021.

If RBC acquire Padd Farm, after years of pre-applications, it is unlikely they will grant the sought planning permission. This not only means the Mr and Ms Beach after having invested in the property for over 35 years will be left with nothing.

The Option Agreement purchasers will also lose their investment in terms of pre- planning applications, drawings, reports, meetings, seminars etc. (estimated to have cost around £500,000) as RBC will simply stall their planning permission applications until the Option Agreement times out on 7 July 2021.

After which RBC would be free to carry out their plans to build 800-1200 new homes in the area which includes Padd Farm in a manner that was dishonest and designed to give an advantage to themselves at the cost of all others. In other words: Fraud.

Appeal Refused

The 3 April 2017 appeal was refused because it was applied for out of time.

The 18 July 2019 appeal was refused on grounds that Mr and Ms Beach do not understand and that Mr Beach (who was present at the hearing) missed his chance to make submissions.

It was impossible for Mr Beach to make submissions as he was not privy to the newly agreed terms between the Enforcement Receiver and the Option Agreement purchasers of Padd Farm. Terms agreed during the hearing itself.

For that matter, not even presiding judge Moss had the details during the hearing. The 18 July 2019 order was signed by HHJ Moss a WEEK later.

Assistance required

The purpose of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is to confiscate illegally earned income and nothing more.

Presiding Judge Moss during the confiscation hearing on 3 April 2017 simply allowed all allegations of illegal income submitted by the prosecution with little examination. Including the multiple spreadsheets prints showing payments of over £100,000 from RBC to Mr and Ms Beach for the rental of caravans. Which RBC claimed was illegally obtained income.

Mr and Ms Beach need the assistance of the CCRC to put an end to this serious miscarriage of justice by having the court of appeal apply the CORRECT level of illegal benefits, for example as in precedents R v Waya and R v Sale.

Mr and Ms Beach will supply the correct caravan rental income (as submitted and recorded at HMRC by their Chartered Accountant) for the relevant indictment periods. This will include caravan rental income from Mr and Ms Beach’s biggest client: Runnymede Borough Council.

Then there is the issue of the pecuniary benefit RBC have been enjoying for many years by way of lower Housing Benefit payments for the rental of Mr and Ms Beach’s caravans compared to regular flats or houses in the borough where rents and Housing Benefit payments are much higher.

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Mr and Mrs Beach are victims of a brutal bullying and victimisation campaign by local authority, Runnymede Borough Council (RBC).

RBC exaggerated the amount of alleged illegal income Mr and Mrs Beach received in order to cover up the fact that main source of illegal funding was from 'RBC'.

RBC used the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 - a judicial process that cannot be used as a punitive measure - to 'punish' Mr and Mrs Beach for refusing to sell the farm to the council.

RBC for decades paid Mr and Mrs Beach for emergancy accommodation services and then RBC prosecuted Mr and Ms Beach for 'receiving' the payments?

RBC appointed a scrupleless Receiver to purposely transfer property title away from Mr and Ms Beach at a fraction of its value.

LOUISE BRITTAIN AND ABBEY FORWARDING

One of the directors at Abbey Forwarding suffered a mental breakdown, brought about "out of despair of what had happened" and the "overwhelming sense of injustice"

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