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GcMAF book-keeper verdict today

GcMAF book-keeper verdict today

Monday 11 February 2019

GcMAF book-keeper verdict today


For the Jurats to find Peter Dawson-Ball - the finance controller for Immuno Biotech - guilty, they have to be sure he sat in the witness box for "hours and hours", and "lied to their faces", according to his defence advocate.

Mr Dawson-Ball's trial came to a conclusion on Friday after a week's worth of evidence was presented to the Royal Court. This morning, Judge Russell Finch will sum up the case and then the Jurats will decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

His defending argument has been built on the fact he was always oblivious to the fact GcMAF was an unlicensed medicine - rather he believed it was a supplement that did not need licensing at all. On this basis, Mr Dawson-Ball cannot be guilty because he is charged with knowingly benefiting from the proceeds of crime - he would not be guilty if he benefitted unknowingly. 

gcmaf

GcMAF was an unlicensed medicine, but Mr Dawson-Ball says the staff believed it was just a food supplement. They had a certificate from Germany licensing it as a supplement, but only one with the same nutrient contents as a "bowl of cereal".

But Crown Advocate Will Giles finished the prosecution case by saying that a man who admits they are as "fastidious, cold and clinical" as Mr Dawson-Ball would have never missed a detail as important as what classification the product they were selling was.

"This is a man who treats detail very, very seriously," he said, adding Mr Dawson-Ball did not only work for David Noakes, but "managed [him] so the scheme could continue". 

"David Noakes pulled the strings, and in order to pull the strings, you need people standing by, you need lieutenants. Mr Dawson-Ball was one of those people."

It was made clear throughout this trial that the medicine GcMAF was not on trial - it was the fact GcMAF was not properly licensed for manufacturing or distribution.

Finally, the prosecution said the role Mr Dawson-Ball played was classic of white collar crime techniques - running bank accounts and businesses from the Netherlands to act as a conduit for Immuno Biotech to keep operating, and changing trading names to dupe customs.

Southwark Crown Court

David Noakes was sentenced to 18 months in prison in front of Southwark Crown Court last year. 

But Advocate Mark Dunster, representing Mr Dawson-Ball, said understanding hindsight was at the heart of why his client was innocent - because from the outside, of course it is clear there was something suspicious about David Noakes and Immuno Biotech, but when you were inside and involved with what was going on, it was not going to have been as obvious. 

"Can you be sure that Mr Dawson-Ball was part of the fraud, not a victim of it?," he asked the Jurats,"you need to be sure that he has sat in that box for hour after hour and lied to your face, because otherwise, his evidence was very, very clear, he thought the product was a supplement, and believed Mr Noakes." 

David Noakes' manipulation of his staff was never called into question throughout the trial, but it was disputed whether Mr Dawson-Ball was one of the manipulators or one of the manipulated. When in the dock, the defendant always said he believed Noakes because he had no reason not to - every time Noakes had got into trouble, nothing had come of it. So for Mr Dawson-Ball and other Immuno Biotech staff, this just acted to comfort them.

"[Noakes] did con his staff, it doesn't matter whether he conned them knowing he was or whether he had conned himself as well. If that's the case, how much more compelling would he have been," Advocate Dunster said.

"[He] created an atmosphere around him that regulatory bodies were out to get him, and where they all believed him. No one doubted the legality and that he was being persecuted." 

Court Entrance

The trial has been taking place in Guernsey's Royal Court. 

A vital piece of the case which will no doubt be crucial in helping the Jurats reach a decision was a number of telephone conversation transcripts, in which Mr Dawson-Ball was speaking about bringing in "cleaners" after Noakes was first arrested in 2017. Advocate Dunster said in context, these intercepted calls are not as bad as they first appear. Advocate Giles, however, said when looked at with all of the evidence, they clearly showed guilt: "It is an outrageous claim that this call was about making the Farm clean because David Noakes was a messy man." 

The verdict will be delivered today.

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