Stuart Shears Acquitted in Manchester

Stuart Shears was charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, blackmail, assault and perverting the course of justice but was acquitted after the jury could not agree on verdicts and the prosecution decided not to seek a retrial. 

His co-accused Mark Barker, James Instone and James Henry were sentenced to imprisonment for 25, 22 and 15 years respectively after a 7-week trial. The events were said to have culminated after Scott Calder and John Calder Junior were respectively shot and kidnapped after they stole drugs worth more than £40,000. A ransom of more than £110,000 was paid to secure John Junior's release. 

The case involved complex phone and vehicle recognition evdience and the investigation generated thousands of pages of Unused Material, careful analysis of which allowed Nigel Power QC to demonstrate what was said to be improper bargaining between the police and the Calder family to secure the release of Terry Calder, John Junior and Scott's brother, from jail. Mr Shears was also acquitted of perverting the course of justice by paying £50,000 to Marie Calder, Scott and John's mother, to persuade her not to identify his co-accused at an identification parade. 

A press report is here

In this case Nigel Power led Richard Simons and was instructed by Jill Eastwood of Tuckers