Media release – Tom Hayes

Media release – Tom Hayes

 

MEDIA STATEMENT

 

 

TOM HAYES

 

Following the conviction of Tom Hayes in 2015, I was instructed in the spring of 2016 by Tom’s now ex-wife, Sarah, to act for him in his appeal to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.  It was Janis Sharpe, the mother of my former client Gary McKinnon, who contacted Sarah to recommend to her to contact me. It has taken 8 years to get this case back before the Court of Appeal but we finally have a hearing date coming up next week.

 

When Tom was made aware of proceedings in the USA in 2012 he was told by USA prosecutors that if he pleaded guilty he would get 15 years imprisonment and if he fought it he would face at least 30 years.  So to avoid extradition he made admissions under a cooperation agreement in the UK.  He then realised he could not plead guilty to something that he had not done so he changed his plea to not guilty and stood trial.

 

Tom was convicted and sentenced to a monstrous sentence of 14 years which was then reduced to a still monstrous sentence of 11 years and he served 5 1/2 years in prison, mainly in high security prisons.

 

When I first met Tom, it was a few months after his conviction, and he was in HMP Belmarsh where he stayed for 6 months.  When he came into the visit – I will always remember it – he was dishevelled and clearly utterly broken by both his conviction and the length of his sentence.  I had to go and find some guards and ask them to take care of him as I was so worried about his physical and mental state.

 

Due to the length of his sentence, he spent the majority of his incarceration in high security prisons with very dangerous cell mates. He was moved to Lowdham Grange near Nottingham where Sarah would visit every other weekend with their young son.

 

The SFO tried to obtain a restraint order against Sarah and took Tom to the cleaners for every penny he’d ever earned. They were forced to sell the family home. Tom eventually lost his marriage and his mental health. In lockdown he didn’t see his son for over a year.

 

He was finally released in 2021.

Sarah crowdfunded for some of the legal fees for Tom’s appeal, but they quickly ran out and for the last 6 years I’ve been acting mainly pro bono because I felt so strongly about this miscarriage of justice.

 

We were finally in a position to file Tom’s appeal before the CCRC in early 2017 and since then, there have been further developments upon which we have regularly updated the CCRC.  This included the so-called expert in Tom’s case, Saul Hayden Rowe, being exposed in the trial of the Ryan Reich, as not an expert at all.  We have made lengthy submissions and four extensive updates.

 

The CCRC finally reached a decision 18 months ago.  Initially, the CCRC refused to send Tom’s case back to the Court of Appeal but following further representations and developments in the United States, they finally agreed to refer his case back.  The hearing is next week, the culmination of all of those developments and representations.

 

The developments that caused the CCRC to refer the case back are twofold; firstly, there is a case in the United States called Connolly and Black  which overturned convictions of traders in the USA, including those who pleaded guilty, and confirmed that during the course of Tom’s and the other banker’s conduct, that there was no such rule against taking commercial considerations into account in the setting of LIBOR and as such it was never a criminal offence.   The second matter is that we then discovered that there was an indictment out against Tom in the USA from 2012. I instructed lawyers in the USA to apply for the dismissal of that Indictment following on from the decision in Connolly and Black – which was then accepted in October 2022.

 

The case has been a rollercoaster and there have been times when I know that Tom has been in the depths of despair following his conviction but as I have said to him repeatedly “Tom, never ever give up, never give up – sometimes these cases take far too long but eventually we will get there”.  The CCRC have certainly been very slow in considering Tom’s application but I’m hoping that next week will be the end of this long journey. Tom has had the support of small group of supporters, including Sarah and Tim Maltin who have always stood by him, and of course Andy Verity who has written the book ‘Rigged’.

 

Many lives, not just Toms, have been destroyed by this series of prosecutions against relatively junior trader and bankers. The Court of Appeal now has the opportunity to start to put this right.

 

The prosecutions against the bankers should never have never been brought. The UK is now the only country in the world where taking commercial considerations into account in setting LIBOR rates is considered to be a criminal act.  Tom Hayes, and the bankers who followed him to trial, were used as scapegoats by the establishment for the financial crisis the country was in at the time.  It’s time to put this wrong, right.

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