I have followed the career of Giovanni De Stefano for a number of years. He first caught my attention when he worked on the Nicholas Van Hoogstraten case and managed to secure his release.
Having researched him and looked at the cases he has worked on that have hit the headlines, it was, and still is, clear to me that this is a man with a brilliant intellect who finds not only the evidence in favour of the client but also the flaws and inconsistencies in the legal system and brings the establishment to account.
The legal system in the UK now appears to work on a ‘Guilty till proven Innocent’ basis. Thankfully, there are some un-blinkered and ethical people around who look at the facts rather than the hyperbole surrounding them and I consider GDS to be one of them.
The average Joe in the street is probably still a believer in British Justice. The term British Justice is quite often an oxymoron and the imprisonment of GDS is a case in point. There is no justice in that.
Here is a man who states he is qualified to be a solicitor. Why should we doubt him? How many times have you asked a solicitor or a barrister for their qualifications?
Furthermore, results speak for themselves. GDS has worked on many high profile cases as well as many other cases that have not made the news and got a result. He got Justice for the client, he interrogated the facts and came up with evidence or in some cases flaws that meant the client’s innocence was proven or the judicial system had made an error. To say that he is NOT qualified to be a solicitor rather exposes the inadequacies of what the legal profession call qualified solicitors as he was the one getting results in cases where other Solicitors feared to tread. I know who I would want in MY corner!
To my mind, the imprisonment of GDS is nothing but revenge by the establishment. Here is a man who should NOT have been imprisoned for this length of time, if at all. The punishment doled out by a court is just that: the punishment. Whether or not he was sentenced to 4 years, 14 years or life, he was sent to prison AS punishment. HE WAS NOT SENT TO PRISON FOR PUNISHMENT!
For over a year the authorities have messed him around, given him false hope and incessantly delayed his repatriation to Italy. This, to me, is inhumane.
I believe that the authorities have a duty of care to every prisoner residing at Her Majesty’s Pleasure (What pleasure she gains from this-no one knows).
GDS exposed the CPS, and the Legal system itself, as being inadequate. He has proven himself a brilliant solicitor and tenacious Lawyer. The Judicial system is the master of the game, but GDS continually outshone it, and for that alone I believe he is being punished.
I have communicated with Giovanni by mail, but unfortunately I have never met him. I only wish that I could as I would shake him by the hand. He is a clever, knowledgeable, friendly, family orientated man who is being let down on a daily basis, by the industry he has served so well and on behalf of so many people.
There is a documentary about him called ‘Notorious’….
…what is happening to him now is ‘Scandalous’.
The establishment and the British Legal System should be ashamed of themselves.
Please Note: GDS DID make concessions in Court that due to his own workload was on some occasions unable to fulfil his obligations to clients a term of imprisonment for professional negligence GDS himself would admit was maybe called for, however, 22 years is not an adequate sentence. There were admissions of non fulfilment of obligation, and for that Giovanni had no excuse. He took too many clients and stupidly thought he could help the World at the cost of his own liberty.
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edited by the very talented +caroline bayford