Guest Post on the Giovanni Di Stefano Trial by Martha Tryers

Martha Tryers posted the following as a comment on my post about Mr Di Stefano. Her detailed look at the trial deserves a post of its own, so here it is.

Many thanks Martha.

———————————–

I attended much of di Stefano’s trial at Southwark Crown Court as a paralegal Researcher. Fortunately for him he got a fair and compassionate Judge who took pains to ignore the criticisms/bad feelings and rumours that circulated daily about di Stefano, and afforded him every courtesy and protection in Law throughout the 7 week trial.

Another Judge might well have allowed the daily gamut di Stefano had to run from media and victims alike, but Judge Alistair McCreath ruled against any intimidatory interference or media reference from the start.

In his summing up McCreath put ‘both’ sides of each charge to the jury: prosecution and defence. He is a clear, self-effacing, balanced and communicative judge who patronizes no-one but respects everyone.

If you read through his sentencing narrative you find that great weight was put on the innocent victims of di Stefano’s consistent and flagrant ‘cons’; people such as Robert Brown ( who lost not only all his money but his home and employment), Joyce Musgrove, ( a Pensioner who gave di Stefano her entire life savings of £75k for the purchase of her son-in-law’s home,) and the young man who lost his arm in a coach crash while on holiday in Argentina and whose insurance claim was unfortunately ( and fraudulently) taken up by di Stefano who pocketed the £150k paid by the Insurance Company for the loss of the limb.

At no point throughout his protracted trial did di Stefano show any regret, remorse or apology for any of his crimes. Throughout the trial he was on bail and frequently asked for days off for hospital/medical appointments. One such ‘hospital appointment’ was spent in an Internet cafe with his son in Camden! One can only speculate as to what they were doing.

While di Stefano remained ‘in role’ throughout his own trial and sentencing, ” I’m much obliged, my Lord!” – he has much to actually fear while incarcerated from the families and friends of many of his jailed clients, such as Paul Bush, whom di Stefano ripped off on false promises of representation at Appeals where no Appeals were forthcoming, after stiffing them for £1,000′s.

A person who finds themselves convicted of a serious crime has the right to an Appeal, whether actually guilty or innocent. Wrongly convicted people see that Appeal as their hope of justice and without it they face years of imprisonment, ruin and the disintegration of their family life. Rightfully convicted people see that Appeal as another bite at the cherry which might successfully lead to a reduction in sentence – but what have they got to lose by asking for an Appeal anyhow? So the right to seek an Appeal is there for everyone. Ironically in most instances, criminal Appeals are legally funded! But di Stefano doesn’t do pro bono work! His modus operandii was to promise, impress, assure victory, take as much money off the Appelant’s family as quickly as possible before disappearing. He has a catalogue of vicious threats in the form of emails, letters and texts to anyone daring to ask for their money back. He claimed he had judges in his pocket, decisions agreed behind closed doors, influence with the Appeal Court itself etc., and desperate people believed him.

The jury sat for the sentencing and listened to the two new charges put to di Stefano before sentencing; the Brown case and the Insurance theft case. In a plea bargain, di Stefano pled Guilty to both from the dock. The jury literally had their breath taken away at his audacity; his Guilty pleas to these two charges earned him a 1/3rd reduction in sentence were he to have been found guilty of each charge at a further trial. He had wasted weeks denying every one of the 25 charges he was guilty of. He has left 100′s of ordinary, innocent people ruined emotionally and financially, and made enemies both inside and outside prison.

Hopefully more of his victims will now have the courage to come forward and lets see what di Stefano comes up with at his inevitable Appeal. Its easy to say he’s a nutcase and lives in a fantasy and cannot see the reality of what he is doing. His self absorption with his self appointed role indicates a psychopathic personality which makes him far more dangerous than many of those people whom he (mis) represented in the past. His access to Twitter and such like while in prison affords him privileges many do not share! As for his victims – they are still awaiting their privilege and right to Justice.

Sadly, there are many such deluded and dangerous ‘lawyers’ operating the same sort of scan, though at lower profile levels than the di Stefano ego. I can only urge victims to come forward bravely and help get these bogus psychopaths off the streets.

It took the City of London Police 7 years to track down 25 charges against di Stefano across Europe. Everyone in Southwark Crown Court was left with the feeling last week that that’s just ‘the tip of the iceberg’. Victims feel ‘stupid’ for having been taken in by di Stefano, or simply cannot believe they have been so duped so completely.

His ‘Proceeds of Crime’ assessment is in process but no doubt he has assets and other victims in the pipeline. That is the nature of the man.

Anyone who thinks the sentence is funny or unjust – try to put yourself in the position of the young man who lost his arm, or Mrs Musgrove who lost her life savings, or Mr Brown who lost his home, job and savings. Couldn’t happen to you?

Posted by Martha Tryers

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17 Comments

Filed under Criminal Law, Guest Posts, Uncategorized

17 responses to “Guest Post on the Giovanni Di Stefano Trial by Martha Tryers

  1. JimBhoy

    Wow Paul I had no idea he had cheated so many ordinary folk out of cash I thought he was more of a publicity seeker…I hope he gets his karma..

    • Michael Maia

      He, Di Stefano, was my solicitor briefly. He got £10k and disappeared in 2005.

      • Greg72

        Surely the problem is that di Stefano isn’t – and never was – a solicitor or, indeed, a lawyer of any description? I hope you’re considering raising a Court Action for recovery of your £10k!

      • Tim Cooper

        If you haven’t already, prosecute the git. It’s not too late.

  2. Greg72

    Great post, Martha! I’ve been aware of di Stefano for some time now, and was surprised how little seemed to be happening about him. However, I now see that was because the Police were carrying out a very extensive investigation.

    I’ve looked for the Judge’s ‘sentencing remarks’ on the usual Courts website, but can’t seem to find it. Do you or Paul know whether they have been made available and, if so, where?

  3. Hope he dies in gaol and his bones are scattered by the winds. A wretch of a man, and I hope at appeal his sentence increased. I wish the cours well in seizing the proceeds of crime.
    If a seizure successful Paul, Does that go to the victims, or the state, or what?

  4. I guess with guys like Di Stefano early successes in deception build upon each other to create a strong sense of self belief. The money and notoriety gained only serves to reinforce this.

    That he showed no remorse or regret suggests that the self belief still lingers though fortunately his ability to cheat and damage others for personal gain has been taken away by his rightful incarceration.

    The man dubbed “the Devils’ Advocate” was certainly the lawyer from hell for those desperate enough to trust him.

    That it took so many years to piece together a compelling case against him is perhaps understandable given the complexity. That he was able to function openly without the necessary qualifications for so long is something which needs to be addressed.

  5. It is encouraging that such an awful human being got his, and if he appeals I hope they lock him up and throw away the key, but it is a frightening thought that there are number of such characters about.
    Thank you very much Martha, any suggestions on how to avoid being taken in by someone who would stoop to such levels?

  6. Ed Paisley

    I remember reading an article recently about their being 15,000 fake or underqualified dentists in Italy. Unbelievably, there are reckoned to be many fake general medical practitioners too. God knows how many fake lawyers there are. Italy seems to be the land of fake professional credentials and Di Stefano seems to come from that tradition when he calls himself an Advocatto.
    The moral defence that Di Stefano presents is that if he was in it purely to rip people off then he could have taken much more money. He clearly loved the status and the fame/notoriety and it looks like he cheated the softest targets to live well. For that, he deserves every hour of his sentence. Goodbye Giovanni – I don’t want to see you physically harmed, but I hope you meet up with some of your victims in prison.

  7. JOHNHBURNS

    He really would have been THE perfect ‘fit’ for the Ibrox brand – pity he did not get ‘in’.

  8. 2 1/2 hours , 9 posts and it’s back to Rangers , OBSESSED.

  9. An absolute scumbag of a human being.
    Hope his cell mate is big Bubba

  10. Budweiser

    Why is it he is only now being tried in an English court ?

  11. An excellent & informative post Martha, thanks for sharing.

    I wish I’d known he was on trial, I would’ve gone up there just as a spectator.

  12. Fra

    Who, if any, within the legal fraternity allowed this man to wreak such havoc. Wasn’t he checked for credentials because he didn’t exactly duck under the radar. Is there a self policing policy in the legal world similar to the one the SFA operated in being a fit and proper person. We all know what happened there.

  13. Diana Rose

    “His self absorption with his self appointed role indicates a psychopathic personality which makes him far more dangerous than many of those people whom he (mis) represented in the past.” Are you serious? More dangerous than Charles Manson & the like. Regardless of Giovanni di Stefano’s crimes, the writer has revealed her enormous bias against him.

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