Warren's novel defence failed to convince jury

Click to follow
The Independent Online

During his trial, Curtis Warren denied being involved in the drug deal and left it to his barrister to try and prove his innocence via a series of outlandish theories. Ordinarily, a defendant's previous convictions cannot be aired in open court because of the risk of prejudicing the jury. But Warren's barrister Stephen Baker chose to reveal his client's criminal past, claiming his notoriety meant that the authorities had set him up in an attempt to claim a famous scalp.

Mr Baker also claimed that his client was such a "sophisticated" criminal that he would never have bothered to get involved in such a small-time scam, which was badly planned and would net him just £1m. Mr Baker handed the jury two photographs showing Warren and a woman, Kimberley Lockley, whom he described as Warren's girlfriend. Warren's defence was that he was in the island simply to visit her. When recorded calls of Warren apparently discussing the drug deal were played to the jury, Mr Baker claimed his client was buying guns for protection. The jury heard a recording of Warren saying: "If we get 20 or 30 pieces for ourselves, I will be happy." The prosecution claimed "pieces" was code for drugs; Baker said it referred to guns.

He added: "Can you imagine how much kudos there would be if you shot Curtis Warren? Those crazy kids on the streets of Liverpool?"