R v Robinson (July 2019) prosecution junior (led by Peter Makepeace Q.C.) prosecuted the defendant for the murder of his partner, whom he killed during a prolonged incident of sporadic domestic violence which caused a diffuse traumatic axonal brain injury which, along with alcohol intoxication, was the cause of death. The case involved issues of hearsay and bad character evidence, along with factual issues relating to causation. The defendant was unanimously convicted in a little over an hour, and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 21 years.
R v N (May 2019) successfully defended man charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent after he struck a man from behind in pre-emptive self-defence during an incident which was captured on CCTV.
R v Disney (May 2019) prosecuted the defendant for offences in three jurisdictions; indecent assaults on children in England, and whilst on holiday in Spain, and taking first generation indecent images of children in Vietnam. The case involved and liaising with embassy staff in Spain and Vietnam and providing advice on the indictment and how the defendant could properly be identified from the first generation images. The defendant ultimate pleaded guilty to all matters and was sentenced to an extended sentence of 8 years imprisonment with an extended licence of 2 years.
R v D (April 2019) successfully defended man charged with two offences of rape of a child under 13 years following a four day trial which involved the cross examination of a young complainant.
R v Cahill and Harper (March 2019) prosecution junior, led by Adrian Waterman QC, in the appeal against conviction and sentence hearing before the Court of Appeal. The Appellant contended, principally, that an admission she had made to a prison officer ought not to have been admitted in evidence and that the directions of law in relation to joint enterprise were defective. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on all grounds and upheld the conviction and sentence. The law report can be found at:  EWCA Crim 343
R v Dial (January 2019) successfully prosecuted the defendant for two offences of rape committed in the context of controlling and coercive behaviour. The defendant was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment.
R v Carey (October 2018) successfully prosecuted the defendant for rape following a seven day trial. Sentenced to 9 years imprisonment after trial.
Thackray & Others (October 2018) prosecuted the defendant for possession of prohibited firearm and using it with intent to resist arrest when, during a foot chase with unarmed officers, the defendant fell and accidentally discharged the firearm he was carrying and then, as he lay on the ground, turned and pointed the loaded weapon at the pursuing officers. He ultimately pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment.
R v Guy (2018) prosecution junior (led by David Brooke Q.C.) prosecuted the defendant for the manslaughter of his former partner’s son. The defendant had, in 1998, assaulted his then partner’s son (who was then 6 months old), causing him serious brain injuries and epilepsy, which was to cause his death in May 2016, aged 18 years. In light of the body of medical opinion assembled by the prosecution, the defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter and, taking into account the period he had originally served in 1998, was sentenced to 21 monthsâ€™ imprisonment, which was reduced on appeal.
R v Z (2018) prosecuted the defendant for the rape, on two occasions, of a 14 year old. The defendant was unanimously convicted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with a 2 year extension period under section 226A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
R v Calvert (2018) having being briefed following the retirement of trial counsel, appeared in the Court of Appeal and successfully resisted the appeal which the Appellant brought in respect of the trial judge’s rulings on the admissibility of bad character evidence in his trial for sexual assault by penetration of a child under 13 years. Thereafter, appeared at trial to prosecute the defendant in respect of separate allegation of rape, to which he ultimately pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to a total of 16½ years’ imprisonment with a 1 year extended sentence under section 236A of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.
R v W (2017) Represented the defendant who had a long-standing history of mental health issues and engaged in erratic behaviour which culminated in him being detained at Darlington police station where he seriously assaulted a police officer. His car was subsequently searched and an axe and knuckledusters recovered. The defendant was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to the police officer and affray and possession of offensive weapons, however, after the defence obtained psychiatric evidence which confirmed that, due to his mental state, the defendant would likely have been incapable of forming the necessary specific intent at the material time, the prosecution accepted guilty pleas to causing grievous bodily harm and the other matters. The defendant was sentenced to a Suspended Sentence Order with a requirement that he complete a rehabilitation programme.
R v Husman & Others (2017) prosecution junior (led by Nicholas Campbell Q.C.), instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division prosecuted two serving police officers, Wahid Husman and Tahsib Majid, who planned to carry out unlawful sting operation, steal the drugs which they seized and then supply them on via their criminal associates, for their own profit. In addition, both officers had, separately, obtained and disclosed personal and sensitive data from police systems for their own, unlawful, purposes. In Mr. Husman’s case that included passing the information to his criminal associates. On 7th August 2017, Wahid Husman and the officer’s criminal associates pleaded guilty in respect of their involvement in the plot and the disclosure of personal data, and on 22nd August 2017, after a trial which had lasted ten days, Tahsib Majid, was unanimously convicted of all counts. In October 2017, the two police officers were sentenced to a total of 31 years imprisonment, and their criminal associates a total of 28 years’ imprisonment for their involvement in the offences. The case involved careful analysis of cell site and ANPR evidence, covert recordings and piecing together a complex circumstantial case.
R v Cahill and Harper (2017) prosecution junior (led by Andrew Robertson Q.C.) prosecuted two defendants for the murder of Owen Kerry, in Cramlington Working Men’s Club on Christmas Eve 2016. Brian Cahill accepted being the person who inflicted the fatal stab wound, but he denied that he did so deliberately. His partner, Lyndsey Harper, who was with him in the Club that night, admitted causing trouble in the Club but denied any knowledge of or participation in the fatal attack. Despite there being no evidence that Lyndsey Harper was aware that Brian Cahill had a knife with him, on 27th June 2017, after a 12 day trial, both defendants were unanimously convicted of murder. On 28th June 2017 Brian Cahill was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 26 years and Lyndsey Harper was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years. The case involved careful analysis of joint enterprise post-Jogee and the taking of evidence via Skype from a witness whilst she was on holiday overseas.
R v Amir (2017) prosecuted the defendant for two offences of male rape, after he targeted men leaving bars in Newcastle city centre late at night. After a four day trial the defendant was unanimously convicted on all counts and sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.
R v Catchpole (2017) prosecuted the defendant for operating a substantial security business without the requisite license from the Security Industry Authority (SIA) and associated money laundering offences, having advised that the proceeds of the defendant’s business activities could properly be categorised as the proceeds of crime. The defendant ultimately pleaded guilty to all matters and was sentenced to 32 months’ imprisonment and made subject to a Serious Crime Prevention Order in light of his persistent, extensive and serious offending, which netted him over £1.1m in turnover. At the subsequent Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) proceedings, the defendant’s criminal benefit was found to be £1.1m and he was found to have assets of £50,000, which he was ordered to pay over.
R v Bashir & Others (2017) defence junior (led by Adrian Waterman Q.C.) in a 12 week trial before Males J at the Crown Court at Sheffield representing a young defendant charged along with 2 adults and two youths with murder of Craig Preston. The two adult defendants, Shiraz Bashir and Leonie Mason, were found guilty of murder and the three 15 year old defendants were found guilty of manslaughter. The case involved consideration of vast quantities of unused material, analysis of cell site evidence and complex issues of causation (as the deceased, having initially been assaulted in a layby outside Rotherham, was driven by the two adult defendants to a ravine on the Woodhead Pass where his body was thrown to into a river below), and associated issue of neuropathology. Appeared alone at the sentencing hearing and the defendant received a sentence of 3 years’ detention, the lowest of the sentences imposed, an application by the media to lift reporting restrictions in respect of the young defendants was successfully resisted.
R v Y (2017) represented the defendant, who faced 8 counts of rape, a count of sexual assault, two counts of affray and a count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, after his former partner accused him of a conducting a campaign of rape and violence against her adopting a persona to do so. The defendant said in interview that he had such a persona, and that the persona encouraged him to rape the complainant and he suffered blackouts during which he may have committed the alleged offences. At trial the defendant admitted having put the complainant in fear and having assaulted the complainant, including causing her petechial haemorrhage which required hospital treatment, but asserted that he did so as part of consensual sexual activity. After a five day trial, the defendant was acquitted of all of the sexual offences and received a non-custodial sentence in respect of the admitted non-sexual offences.
R v Thaxter (2016) prosecution junior – following a five week trial before Globe J, Jason Thaxter was unanimously convicted of the murder of Thomas Groome, his mother’s long-term partner, and conspiring with his mother to prevent the lawful burial of Thomas Groome’s body. On 19th December 2016 Jason Thaxter was sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve a minimum of 30 years before he may apply for release on life license.
In March 2015 Jason Thaxter’s mother, June Buttle, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in respect of her involvement in the killing of Thomas Groome, preventing the lawful burial of a corpse and fraud, and is currently serving a 16 year prison sentence.
The prosecution of Jason Thaxter was a formidable challenge, given that the deceased’s body has never been found and there was no forensic or eye witness evidence against the defendant. Instead it was necessary to rely extensively on hearsay evidence; from the defendant’s ex-partner, to whom the defendant confessed in the hours after the murder, but was medically unfit to attend the trial, and from two Irish nationals to whom the defendant’s mother confessed both her own and the defendant’s involvement in Thomas Groome’s killing several years after the event, despite the defendant’s mother (who was also called to give evidence) denying having made the confessions. The case also involved liaison with police forces in Portugal (where the deceased had moved shortly before his death) and Ireland, and the Crown Prosecution Service worked closely with the Irish authorities under the mutual assistance regime to ensure, inter alia, that five witnesses resident in Ireland could give evidence using a live video-link from a courtroom in Dublin rather than travel to the UK. Stephen Littlewood of KBW Chambers acted as disclosure junior.
R v Ryal (2016) – Prosecuted the defendant for multiple sexual assaults committed against three young women in similar circumstances. On one occasion the defendant filmed a sexual assault on one of the complainant and, when the footage (which did not show the victim’s face) was recovered by the police, claimed the video featured his wife and so a forensic anthropologist was instructed to comment on the similarities of the complainant’s bodily features with those of the woman shown in the footage. There were also complex legal arguments regarding the cross-admissibility of the complainant’s evidence. The defendant was convicted of all counts after a 6 day trial and imprisoned. Subsequently successfully resisted the Appellant’s appeal, brought on the basis that the Judge’s directions on cross-admissibility were flawed.
R v Madoyan and Gailius (2016) – Following a four week trial, Haik Madoyan, who was extradited from Switzerland to face trial, was unanimously convicted of 5 robberies and 3 attempted robberies and 8 associated offences of possession of an imitation firearm. The offences were committed across the country, against bureau de change kiosks located inside high street travel agencies and netted the defendant over £80,000, some of which Haik Madoyan sent to his relatives overseas using the identity his associate, Victor Gailius, who was, for his part, convicted of converting criminal property. Haik Madoyan was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment and Victor Gailius to 9 months imprisonment.
In order to secure convictions on all counts, it was necessary to call witnesses from across the country, with 10 witnesses giving evidence via video links from the Crown Court at Winchester, Newport and Cardiff, call contested facial mapping evidence, present complex of banking and Western Union transfer evidence and succeed in legal arguments relating to the admissibility of evidence which required, inter alia, consideration of the provision of the Extradition Act 2003 and liaison with the Swiss authorities.
R v G (2016) represented defendant charged with three counts of rape and three further counts of sexual assault and breaching the sex offender’s notification regime after an allegation was made by a female he met on the “plenty of fish” dating website. Following a week-long trial the defendant was unanimously acquitted of all counts.
R v R (2016) – (instructed by Neil Bennett of DMA Law) acted on behalf of the defendant in confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 where the prosecution originally contended that the defendant’s benefit from his criminal conduct was £5.78 million. Following written legal submissions and a hearing before the sentencing Judge, the prosecution accepted that the defendant’s benefit was that which the defence had contended throughout, namely £1,500 (or some 0.02% of the prosecution’s original application.)
R v Dobson (2015) successfully prosecuted the defendant for committing serious sexual offences against two complainants, one of whom was 15 years old and gave evidence using the pre-recorded cross-examination provisions under section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999.
R v Wild & Others (2015) successfully prosecuted five members of an extended family for conspiring to fraudulently evade duty on imported cigarettes. The ringleaders were proved to have generated £50,000 in profit and a confiscation order was made in that sum.
R v E (2015) representing defendant charged with historic sexual offences against a child. The defendant was unanimously acquitted of all charges following a week-long trial.
R v F (2014) successfully prosecuted the defendant for child cruelty against his six year old daughter after he assaulted her causing extensive bruising. The complainant gave evidence with the assistance of an intermediary.
R v H (2014) defended in a case where the defendant and his co-accused were charged with the historic rape of a male. Despite the defendant admitting sexual activity in interview and maintaining that there was no such activity at trial, the defendant was acquitted of all charges.
R v Denham & Others, R v Newton & Others (2014) successfully prosecuted two cases involving undercover operations at scrap metal dealerships in the North East of England where officers attempted to sell stolen cable to scrap dealers. The cases involved detailed consideration of undercover surveillance material, the proper authorisation of undercover operations in accordance with RIPA and the law relating to conspiracy to handle stolen goods, conspiracy to convert criminal property and offences of assisting or encouraging an offence under the Serious Crime Act 2007.
In R v Denham & Others, advice was given at an early stage in relation to the appropriate charges and all of the defendants pleaded guilty. Subsequent Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation proceedings resulted in the yard owner paying £100,000 and £20,000 in prosecution costs. Similarly, in R v Newton & Others, early advice led to acceptable pleas from the defendants and subsequent Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation proceedings resulted in the yard owner paying £50,000 and £10,000 in prosecution costs.
R v Gibson and Others (2014) successfully prosecuted the defendant and his associates after the defendant entered the property of his ex-partner and confronted and stabbed his ex-partners new partner. The complainant and the defendant’s ex-partner were unwilling to give evidence and so were arrested and brought to court. At the close of the prosecution case the defendant was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to wounding with intent and received an extended sentence of 10 years imprisonment, which was subsequently upheld on appeal.
R v M (2013) represented the defendant, who was alleged to have been involved in a gang grooming young girls. The defendant, who was second on the indictment, was unanimously acquitted of all charges following a trial which lasted almost 7 weeks.
Appeared before the Court of Appeal Criminal Division alone in the cases of R v Tyers  EWCA Crim 581 (a successful appeal against sentence in relation to a night time dwelling burglary which involved a confrontation with the householder), R v Dunkova 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 40 (a successful appeal against sentence in a human trafficking case where leave to appeal was refused by the single judge), R v Walker  EWCA Crim 2188 (a successful appeal against sentence in a substantial drugs supply case) R v Richardson  EWCA Crim 1995 (a successful appeal against sentence in a cannabis cultivation case) and R v Jones  EWCA Crim 2545 (a successful appeal against sentence in a robbery case).
Also Appeared before the Court of Appeal Criminal Division, led by Andrew Robertson Q.C., in R v F  EWCA Crim 2787, responding to an appeal against conviction in a historic sex abuse case involving the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and in R v Cahill and Harper  EWCA Crim 343, led by Adrian Waterman Q.C., responding to the appeal against conviction and sentence where the Appellant contended, principally, that an admission she had made to a prison officer ought not to have been admitted in evidence and that the directions of law in relation to joint enterprise were defective. The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal on all grounds and upheld the conviction and sentence.
Also regularly instructed as independent counsel in relation to issues of legal professional privilege in relation to on-going, sensitive, investigations.
Practical problems with suspended sentences under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 [Criminal Bar Quarterly Issue 4, October 2008, page 6]
Putting it to them: Adducing Evidence of Non-defendant’s bad character under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 [Justice of the Peace Journal Vol 170, Number 38, page 729]
North Eastern Circuit (Circuit Secretary November 2011 – present)
Criminal Bar Association
Proceeds of Crime Lawyers’ Association
Human Rights Lawyers’ Association
Inner Temple Mentoring Scheme