TWO Oxfordshire scrap yard employees convicted in an undercover police sting operation have had their names cleared by appeal judges.
Martin Pace, 37, and Simon Rogers, 44, claimed they were the victims of “entrapment’’ in 2012 when Thames Valley Police targeted TR Rogers & Sons.
During a trial estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £98,000, the jury reached two guilty verdicts out of a possible 14 after deliberating for almost 19 hours.
Thames Valley Police said the two-month Operation Symphony, which resulted in a total of 10 men being charged from five scrap yards, cost the force around £100,000.
Pace, of Brookmead Drive, Wallingford, and Rogers, of Bromsgrove, Faringdon, had their convictions quashed yesterday, by three senior judges at the Court of Appeal in London. Lord Justice Davis said the offences, as described in the indictment, were unsustainable in law and the trial should have been aborted when the defence applied for that to happen.
He said: “We therefore think that the judge erred in his approach in his ruling on the submission of no case to answer.
“Since we are not able to agree with his conclusions, the consequence is that we cannot consider these convictions safe.’’