The entrepreneur Gerald Ronson has finally spoken about the 20-year-old Guinness shares scandal in a new memoir. Mr Ronson has, until now, refused to discuss any aspect of the case or his conviction.
In Gerald Ronson: Leading From the Front, he accuses Judge Denis Henry, the presiding judge in the case, of “not caring less that our rights as British subjects were being violated. He wanted a conviction...”
Mr Ronson recalls: “I looked into the eyes of the jurors and saw people staring back at four rich defendants, three of whom were Jewish and one of whom, Saunders, they thought was Jewish, and knew they were thinking to themselves: ‘Let's get even with these greedy rich bastards.’
“It cost the taxpayer around £7.5 million to find me guilty of conspiracy, theft and false accounting.
“Ernie Saunders was sentenced to five years and was shaken when he heard that.
“Tony Parnes was told he would serve three years and passed out. They had to call a doctor for him. Jack Lyons was simply fined.
“Henry then announced that he was going to send me away for one year and he fined me £5 million: it was the single largest fine ever in a UK criminal case.
“On top of that all the costs of the case were down to me personally, too."
Mr Ronson also reveals in the book, which was serialised in the Daily Express, that years after the 1987 case, “we saw documents the Government tried to hide from us that proved the CPS conspired with the DTI to keep the police out of the case until the DTI inspector could get us to incriminate ourselves in the under-duress interviews.”
Full interview with Gerald Ronson in next week's JC.