Robert Greenwood Tarran - Trial

Trial

Tarran's conviction followed first a 44-day hearing before Hull's stipendiary magistrate, after which Tarran, who pleaded not guilty, was granted bail at £100, then a 32-day special Assizes hearing at Hull Guildhall, in front of Mr Justice Pritchard.

Tarran faced six charges: making and publishing the company's 1942 balance sheet and of conspiring with Herbert Bland Southern (assistant to the general manager for contracts, aged 64 at the time) to publish it; and the same for the 1943 balance sheet. Southern was charged with both counts of conspiracy.

Sentence was passed on 3 December 1947. The jury deliberated for four hours and two minutes, and Pritchard told them that he would asked that they not be called for jury service again. Tarran was acquitted of four charges (those relating to 1942, and the 1943 conspiracy charge), but convicted of the other two. His co-defendant was acquitted of both charges.

Tarran's defence counsel My C Paley Scott, said to the judge:

I would like to put it to you that this was not a case of a man making a false statement for direct self-interest. I put it as the case of a captain of a ship which is in danger of foundering, who honestly believed it was in the interests of everybody, not merely of himself, that it was better that that ship should carry on to the haven he saw ahead at the end of the war... I ask your Lordship to be lenient. This man has lost that which he spent his life in building. He has been in terrible suspense in this trial throughout almost the whole of this year, and has suffered punishment already almost more dreadful than anyone would wish to pass upon him in the circumstances of this case. I ask you to deal with this as mercifully as possible.

He was sentenced to nine months hard labour on each count, to run concurrently, and jailed at Leeds.

In his summing up, Pritchard said that Tarran and Southern had both led exemplary lives and that Tarran had spent apparently the whole of his life in the service of his creation. He added that "they can both look back upon their lives with pride".

Tarran's appeal was based on the conviction being against the weight of evidence. It succeeded on 23 April 1948.

Read more about this topic:  Robert Greenwood Tarran

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