No surprise at Grillo verdict as trial was an abuse of process to use as a vehicle to get at Nigella
It all seemed to convenient. You had a high spending household (in the monetary sense) and assistants who were part of that spending and allowed to do some of that spending on themselves. The lines seem to have been a bit blurred and the Grillos do seem to have got a but greedy (one might argue) BUT that does not mean they were guilty of fraud. The accountants always had the bills, even if they didn't scruitinse them, and so its not as if their spending was not capable of detection. It is also the case that the spending was not in one go but over a period of time.
Who actually pushed for the case against the Grillos? who reported them to the police? who would gain from this and who might be damaged?
The defence and its damage to Nigella:
The key pin in the case was that it led to the defence that Nigella knew about the spending and sanctioned or turned a blind eye to it in return for blind eyes being turned to her alleged drug taking and habit - although the Grillos were both careful to say they did not actually see Nigella taking cocaine. As Nigella correctly identified during her evidence, it appeared it was she who was on trial - and indeed it was. The criminal prosecution ended up being a vehicle to play out the allegations over Nigella's drug use - allegations which, had they not been made under the cloak of privilege attaching to the court proceedings, would have been defamatory and likely resulted in libel actions.
If Nigella had allowed the Grillos to spend huge amounts in return for keeping quiet about her alleged drug use, would Nigella have pushed for them to be prosecuted?
So was this whole case an elaborate abuse of process and PR campaign to use the Grillos and the legal process to smear Nigella?
Full analysis to follow...
Nigella and the Grillo claims, the truth
Nigella's trial by media makes a mockery of contempt and defamation law