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Nicholas Campbell KC

Year of call: 1978

King's Counsel: 2000

All aspects of crime, both prosecuting and defending, and focusing on the most serious allegations of violent and sexual assault including homicide, infanticide, rape and the abuse of children. He excels in cross-examination and in drawing together the threads of each case as he presents his closing submissions to the jurors.

Since taking silk, Nicholas has been instructed in many high profile cases of homicide, including the prosecution of the two schoolgirls for the brutal murder in Hartlepool of Angela Wrightson.  Non-fatal cases have included the prosecution of the man dubbed by the media “the British Fritzl”; the young brothers wrongly dubbed the “Edlington Boys”; and some professional footballers.  He has been instructed in cases of police corruption.  In his defence work, he has run the gamut from automatism through horseplay to self defence.

As a junior barrister, it is of note that he was led by the late Franz Muller KC in the representation of Billy Dunlop at the trials which resulted in his acquittal of the murder of Julie Hogg in 1989; that acquittal was quashed when Mr. Dunlop confessed to the homicide.  As the first person to be indicted pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 abolishing the common law rule against “double jeopardy”, he was finally convicted of her murder in November 2006.

Notable Cases

See introduction, and:

R -v- Craig Hewitt and Lorna Hewitt: false imprisonment as the unlawful act particularised within a charge brought under s.5 Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.  See 2022 below.

R -v- Ibrahim Mahetar: fratricide. See 2019 below.

R -v- Mitesh Bhai Patel: the murder of his wife, which case was featured in the Avalon Factual television programme “Killer In My Village”, episode 1 of series 4.  See 2018 below

R -v- Reed & Reed & Another: the Reed brothers were convicted of murder on the basis of what has become known as “touch” (aka low template) DNA.  The Court of Appeal used this case and one other to clarify the approach to expert evidence in the light of Part 33 CPR: see [2009] EWCA Crim 2698 and below.

R -v- Gallant and Gilligan: the murder of Barrie Jackson, involving issues of anonymity for prosecution witnesses.  It led to the Court of Appeal considering the law on withdrawal and alternative verdicts: see Gallant [2008] EWCA Crim 1111 and below.

R -v- Ghafoor:  the approach to sentencing in the light of Article 7, ECHR, focusing on young offenders. See [2002] EWCA Crim 1857 and below.

R -v- H: junior counsel to Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws KC in the defence of a battered woman who had killed her husband. The Court of Appeal used the case to review the developing law in relation to cumulative provocation.  See [1998] App. R. (S) 229.


Recent Cases


R v Craig Hewitt and Lorna Hewitt: together with Deborah Smithies, Nicholas prosecuted the Hewitts, respectively the stepfather and mother of a young man with autism whom the jury found they had kept locked up in an attic bedroom of their Sheffield home for seven months. Thereby they had controlled his intake of food and drink and by the time he was found by the ambulance attendants, he was so severely malnourished and dehydrated that he was on the cusp of death; he weighed only 39 kgs.  It was only thanks to the medical teams at the Northern General Hospital that his life was saved and he was able, in due course, to make a full physical recovery.  Body worn camera footage of the police officers attending the house in the wake of the ambulance caught them mounting the stairs and, upon opening the door to the attic room, reeling back from the smell; it was in a disgusting state. In due course, both defendants were convicted of false imprisonment and of causing or allowing a vulnerable adult to suffer serious physical harm.  Each was sentenced to six years imprisonment.




R -v- Patrick Sean Clayton: The defendant had stood in the dock alongside his father.  Both Claytons were charged with the murder of Jason Clark who was staying in the same Hull flat, essentially a drug den.  Clayton Junior gave evidence to the effect that he alone had stabbed Mr Clark to death and that (a) he had acted in lawful self defence and, in the alternative, that (b) his intention was not sufficient to make him guilty of murder, (c) he had lost control and/or (d) his responsibility was diminished.  Upon this latter point, expert psychiatric evidence adduced by the defence was rebutted by that adduced by the prosecution in the presentation of which case Nicholas was greatly assisted by his junior Ian Mullarkey.  Whilst acquitting his father, the jury unanimously convicted the son of the murder, having rejected each of those defences. In sentencing, HHJ Thackray KC, the Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding and the trial judge, described the murder as “a savage, ferocious and frenzied attack” and sentenced Mr Clayton to life imprisonment with a minimum term to serve of 23 years.



R -v- Abdirahman Aadan, Peter Balog, Mohamed Aadan, Khalid Aadan & Another: together with Katy Rafter, Nicholas prosecuted all five defendants for the night time murder of Abdullah Balouchi in Hull 7/1/2020.  At the end of a chase on foot through the city streets he was fatally stabbed by Peter Balog.  Mr Balog waited until the prosecution case was all but concluded before changing his plea to guilty and turning what was then termed Queen’s evidence.  Abdirahman Aadan was subsequently convicted of murder and his older brothers of manslaughter. Another defendant was acquitted of any wrongdoing.  Peter Balog was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term to serve of 21 years.  Abdirahman Aadan, who was 17 at the time of the murder, was sentenced to detention at the Sovereign’s pleasure, with a minimum term of 17 years.  For the manslaughter, Mohamed and Khalid Aadan each received a sentence of ten years imprisonment.  At the conclusion of the proceedings, HHJ Thackray KC, the Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding and the trial judge, commended the family of Mr Balouchi for the dignity they had shown throughout the five week trial and the subsequent sentencing hearing.




R -v- Jervaise Bennett: Mr. Bennett had given evidence as a defendant in the murder trial of Emar Wiley in the early part of the year.  In seeking to distance himself from the murder, Mr. Bennett had admitted dealing in class A drugs with his friends who had included the 16 year old murderer of Lewis Bagshaw (see below).  In the aftermath of that murder, a Facebook post implicated Mr. Bennett and others of involvement in it.  That page was re-posted by a friend of Lewis Bagshaw, Reece Hague.  In response to threats, Mr. Hague had removed the page, but that was not an end to the matter.  On the night of 19th September he was attacked outside his home by a group of masked men wielding machetes.  He was seriously wounded.  He managed to reach the sanctuary of his front hall.  In the persistent attempts by his assailants to gain access to the home, Mr. Bennett’s left trainer was caught between the door and its frame; he had to leave the scene without it.  As in the murder case, Nicholas and Katy Rafter remained instructed by the prosecution; as before they were aided and abetted by Lorena Veale.  Due to Covid-19, the trial could not take place in April; it was due to have started on 2nd November.  However, on 13th October, Mr. Bennett saw the light and pleaded guilty to wounding Reece Hague, intending to cause him serious bodily harm.  For all of his criminality, the Recorder of Sheffield, His Honour Judge Richardson KC, sentenced him to a total of twelve years and six months imprisonment.


R -v- Emar Wiley and others: together with Katy Rafter, Nicholas was instructed to present the prosecution case against Emar Wiley and three others for the murder of Lewis Bagshaw.  Emar Wiley was another 16 year old who had murdered as a consequence of unlawful drugs trafficking, but he was a very different teenager to the case of X whose case Nicholas had completed immediately before this trial (see below).  Intelligent and entrepreneurial, Emar Wiley was selling class A drugs to addicts in the north of Sheffield.  Because of his age, he employed older addicts to drive him around his patch; he would pay for their insurance.  As he plied his trade, Emar Wiley preferred to remain sitting in the back of the car, in part to avail himself of the anonymity of tinted glass.  He himself made a good living from the business and he enjoyed the standing he believed it gave him.  He smoked cannabis, but he eschewed the harder drugs and showed himself to be disdainful of his addicted clientele.

In the course of his trade, Emar Wiley was the victim of a sting in which Danny Cutts, an older addict, seems to have played a part.  For his sin, Mr. Cutts was targeted by Emar Wiley in May of 2019 and as a result was left with serious head injuries.  Lewis Bagshaw was the 21 year old son of Mr. Cutts.  He was in a steady relationship with Olivia Keeley and together they were raising their one years old son.  Although he himself enjoyed smoking cannabis, he too eschewed the harder drugs which had caused such devastation to the lives of both his parents.  Taking exception to Emar Wiley’s attack on his father, Lewis Bagshaw sought him out and was proving to be an embarrassment to the young entrepreneur.  This was the motive behind the murder.

Late on Sunday night 21st July 2019, Emar Wiley was driven in a stolen BMW to a residential street where Lewis Bagshaw was to be found.  There he stabbed Mr. Bagshaw twice in the chest; each blow was sufficiently forceful to have cut through bone.  One wound penetrated through the heart and the other pierced his left lung; in the opinion of Prof. Philip Lumb, each wound on its own would have been sufficient to have caused death.  No sooner was the act done, but Emar Wiley was driven away from the scene.  The BMW was subsequently burnt out.  The murder weapon has never been found.

In due course, Emar Wiley was to admit presence at the time of, but to deny knowledge of or participation in, the murder.  His older three co-accused had been with him in the BMW.  They sought to distance themselves from his actions and thereby secured their own acquittals; but in the process each had helped to convince the jury of the young entrepreneur’s guilt.  After a trial which had lasted seven weeks, the jury unanimously convicted Emar Wiley of the murder.

Because of the pandemic, Emar Wiley’s sentence was delayed until the eve of the first anniversary of the murder.  Thus it was that on 20th July 2020, Olivia Keeley and others close to Lewis Bagshaw gave evidence before the Hon. Mr. Justice Nicklin, the Trial Judge, of the impact of his death on them and on his two year old son.

Emar Wiley was sentenced to detention for life.  He was ordered to serve a minimum custodial term of 16 years before he could be considered to be eligible for release under a licence that will run for the rest of his natural life.  He was sentenced to concurrent custodial sentences for the drugs offences and for the violence he had admitted perpetrating on Danny Cutts.  Before the sentence was passed, the Trial Judge had lifted the restriction on his identity being reported.

Katy and Nicholas had had the advantage of the excellent work in difficult circumstances of South Yorkshire Police’s Major Crime Team 3, under the command of Det. Chief Inspector Jude Ashmore, together with officers from the Major Crime Intelligence Team.  All parties at court had reason to be grateful for the work prior to and input during the trial of Lorena Veale, who was instructed as Disclosure Junior; her work was commended by Mr. Justice Nicklin.




R -v- X:  Nicholas was again teamed with Rupert Doswell for the prosecution of a 16 year old youth who, in June 2019, had stabbed to death a young mother of three in the corridor outside her Halifax flat.  The background was the world of illegal drugs trafficking and a perceived grudge over payment for stolen goods.  This short tempered but chaotic youth had initially denied knowledge of the event and later placed the blame on the partner of his victim; his settled position was that he had acted in lawful self defence.  Nevertheless, the jury convicted him of murder and he is presently serving a minimum custodial term of sixteen years.  His identity cannot be reported until he turns 18.


R -v- Nicholas Beck: In spite of the victim of this shooting telling the jury that he had been mistaken in identifying Mr. Beck as the gunman, he was unanimously convicted of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm, together with an ancillary offence under the 1968 Firearms Act.  Nicholas led Rupert Doswell in this case of a revenge shooting which had taken place on a quiet residential street in Bradford one Sunday morning in the spring of 2019.  On Thursday 17th October, nine named officers and civilian employees from the police team investigating this troubling case were commended for their work by the Hon. Mr. Justice Butcher, whilst Mr. Beck was taken down to the cells to begin a sentence of 14 years imprisonment.


R -v- Scott Gocoul and Joey Bennia: after a trial lasting nine weeks, the defendants were convicted respectively of the murder and manslaughter of Tom Bell, a talented young boxer from Doncaster.  After working out at the gym, the 21 year old had been enjoying a drink with some friends in a local pub.  He was sitting with his back to the window; it was dark outside, but the inside of the pub was well lit.  Suddenly, one of his friends glimpsed a masked man appear from among the bushes; he was wielding a shotgun.  The friend shouted out a warning, but it was too late.  While others at the table suffered minor injuries from one shot, Mr. Bell received fatal injuries when he was struck to the left side of his chest.

Nicholas led Michael Smith of the Crown Prosecution Service.  It emerged that Mr. Gocoul had born a grudge against Mr Bell for some time.  Although he denied any involvement in the shooting, he was convicted of murder.  The terms of his life sentence mean that he will be at least 62 years old before he can be considered for release.  Up until the trial, Mr. Bennia had denied participation, but on the first day he informed the prosecution of the whereabouts of the gun.  In due course he gave evidence on his own behalf that he had driven it, together with Mr. Gocoul, to the pub.  He claimed that he did not believe that Mr. Gocoul would use the gun.  He was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.


R -v- Ibrahim Mahetar: the Defendant was convicted of the murder of his younger brother, Naseer.  Insofar as motive could be ascertained, the older brother had acted out of jealousy.  The stabbing took place in the rear yard of the West Yorkshire home in which they had grown up, and in the presence of the Deceased’s wife and child.  The Defendant fled the scene and managed to get rid of the weapon before he was arrested.  Nicholas was instructed together with Christine Egerton to prosecute the case.  The jury brought in the verdict within four hours.




R -v- Mitesh Bhai Patel: Jessica Patel was strangled and asphyxiated in her Teesside home early one evening in May 2018.  A Tesco “bag for life” had been used as a ligature and was found with the body.  Her husband and business partner, Mitesh Bhai Patel, claimed that he found his stricken wife when he had returned home from working at their pharmacy in Linthorpe; he claimed that she must have been the victim of an intruder.  He gave evidence to that effect but was not believed.  The evidence adduced at trial revealed that he had been unfaithful throughout their marriage, having engaged in sexual encounters with a number of men whom he met through Grinder.  Most of the relationships were fleeting; one however was clearly of greater importance.  Before the murder, he had insured the life of his wife to the tune of two million pounds and there was evidence that he planned to use the proceeds from the killing to move to Australia to start life over with that man.

Nicholas led Jolyon Perks of the Crown Prosecution Service.  Part of the evidence they adduced at trial was that revealed by Mr. Patel’s Apple iPhone; the Health app, which he had failed to de-activate, showed that, upon his return home, having purported to find his wife and before he dialled the emergency services, he had nipped upstairs.  Putting together the pieces of the jigsaw, the picture that the Defendant had tried to conceal was completed by the discovery in an upstairs bedroom of the hard drive of the security camera covering the entrance to the property; it had been removed only moments after he had arrived home.  The footage put the lie to the involvement of any intruder.

The case attracted a great deal of publicity and was featured in the Avalon Factual series, “Killer in my Village”, first broadcast on Sky TV in the autumn of 2020 (Series 4, episode 1).  With the encouragement of Jessica Patel’s family, Nicholas cooperated with the production.


R -v- Khalid Mokadeh: concerning the manslaughter of Sami Al-Saroori on the Wensley Estate in Sheffield.  The Jury found all the elements of murder proved, but came to the view that the Defendant may have lost his self control, as defined by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.  On two earlier occasions, the Defendant had seriously wounded Sami’s younger brother Mohammed as well as a perfect stranger.  For his crimes, he was sentenced in August to an extended sentence of 30 years.


R -v- Michael Dunphy: the kidnapping in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, of three women and a seven year old child, with a view to pulling off a bank robbery.  On 20th June 2018 he began an extended sentence of 23 years. For the story, see “The Case of the Career Criminal, the Vicarious Victim and the Nosy Neighbour”.


R -v- Ashkar, Ahmed & others the first defendant had married Sinead Wooding in a ceremony recognised by Islamic law.  Ms Wooding’s badly burned body was found in woodland to the north of the city of Leeds.  She had four young children, the younger two with Ashkar.  It emerged that she had been brutally murdered in the cellar of the home of the second defendant.  Although not related, the two defendants would speak of one another as sister and brother.  Ashkar had said that Ahmed would “do anything” for him, and Ahmed had said of the two of them: “We ride and die together.” The murder, the motive for which was never explained, had been brutal, involving the use of at least one hammer and one knife. Nicholas led Duncan Ritchie of the Crown Prosecution Service and both were ably assisted by Naakesha Seth’s work on disclosure.  After a trial lasting six weeks in which each sought to blame the other, both defendants were convicted of the murder.  Each is serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 22 years.




R -v- Wahid Husman & Tahsib Majid & others: Messrs. Husman and Majid were two serving constables with West Midlands Police (WMP) who had hatched an ambitious plot to conduct what the prosecution characterised as an unlawful sting operation. Officers of the WMP Counter Corruption Unit uncovered the plan which, if successful, would have deprived drugs traffickers of kilos of drugs of both Class A and B, only to have ensured that, using different channels, they were sold back into the supply chain.

The plan was made possible by criminal associates of Husman, co-conspirators who organised the delivery of the drugs into Birmingham.  At the point of delivery, and using their marked police vehicle, the uniformed officers would block in the couriers vehicle. Anticipating that the couriers would flee the scene on foot, the officer would follow after, leaving the coast clear for the co-conspirators to plunder the car for the drugs and any cash that was to hand.  The arrangement was that some drugs would be left in situ so that, when the officers returned from their unsuccessful chase, they would call in the job and receive the glory of a successful, legitimate bust. The stolen drugs would be divided up between the conspirators later.

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.

Together with Ian Mullarkey, Nicholas was instructed to prosecute the case.  On 7th August 2017, Wahid Husman and the officers criminal associates pleaded guilty in respect of their involvement in the plot and the disclosure of personal data.  On 22nd August 2017, after a trial which had lasted ten days, Tahsib Majid was similarly convicted.  Sentencing took place in October 2017 when the officers, now dismissed, received the longest sentences; the former 16 years and the latter 15.


R -v- Storm Blueitt: the robbery and murder of a 64 year old woman working alone in the Rotherham newsagent she owned with her brother.  The Defendant had stolen £40 from the till, part of which went to pay for his next drugs fix.  In order to effect the theft, he had struck his victim repeatedly over her head with a weapon, most likely a claw hammer which he subsequently disposed of.  He caused her serious injuries; the Home Office pathologist who eventually examined her body told the Court that younger and fitter victims had died from less.  Admitted to hospital, she began to rally – only to die some fifty days after the assault as a result of breast cancer.  This was a terminal medical condition which had been diagnosed some two years before and for which she had been successfully treated.  Regrettably, as a result of the head trauma, she never recovered sufficiently to able to be treated for the spread of the cancer.

The identity of the perpetrator was in issue.  Together with his junior Richard Thyne, Nicholas adduced a great deal of medical evidence to assist the Court on the more forensically interesting issue of causation.

On Monday 10th July, a Sheffield jury unanimously convicted Mr. Blueitt of both offences.  The jury had been made sure that Mr. Blueitt’s actions in the course of the robbery had made a significant contribution to the death of his victim, namely by accelerating that tragic event. He is now serving a life sentence, the minimum term being 27 years.


R -v- Philip Craig:  Together with Matthew Bean, Nicholas prosecuted the man responsible for the murder in his Leeds home of Christopher Laskaris.  Mr. Laskaris was a young and vulnerable man who lived alone.  The motive seems to have been his valuable guitars, which were stolen from the flat in the days following the murder.  The Defendant is now serving a life sentence, the minimum term being 25 years, less time served awaiting his trial.




R -v- LB: the premeditated murder by stabbing of LB’s mother’s boyfriend, MW, who had been his best friend; at the time, the victim was 18, LB 19.  The murder took place in the early hours of the morning outside the Hillsborough, Sheffield home of LB and his mother.  No one saw the knife and everyone but the Defendant, including his victim, appeared to have believed it was a fair fight.  His mother, who was trying to separate the two, just escaped serious injury.  LB fled to the home of a friend where he was arrested and the knife recovered.


R -v- Sheard & Damen: Together with Tony Dunne, Nicholas prosecuted this young couple who summoned the emergency services to their West Yorkshire home in the early hours of the morning.  The body of their daughter of some 18 weeks was found.  In spite of very serious injuries and the fact that the body had been burned after death, no cause of death could be proved to the criminal standard.  The couple were in due course charged with cruelty.  Ms. Damen pleaded guilty at the outset of the trial and Mr. Sheard was convicted by the jury.


R -v- F & D: the brutal murder by two schoolgirls, aged respectively 14 and 13, of Angela Wrightson in her Hartlepool home.  The victim was a woman in her late 30s, well liked in her community but an alcoholic and vulnerable, especially to the schoolies with whom she had taken up in the months before her death and for whom she would buy alcohol. Social media figured large in the course of the killing and its investigation, resulting in the defendants being dubbed by the mainstream media the “Snapchat killers”.  Regrettably, a number of those organisations posted reports of the case on their Facebook pages, thereby providing a platform for members of the public to express some very extreme views: this amounted to a virtual lynching mob.  As a result of such conduct, the first trial had had to be aborted and the re-trial took place away from the area.  Together with Shaun Dodds, Nicholas prosecuted the case to convictions for murder.



(Some cases from the years 2010 - 2015)

R -v- SL: the defence of a male student aged 20, who had armed himself with a dumbbell bar and struck a fellow student, a stranger, several times about the head, the attack continuing after his victim had hit the ground.  Serious harm resulted, but fortunately there was a full physical recovery.  It emerged that the defendant, who had no recollection of the incident, had been taking Citalopram, an antidepressant from the family of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which his doctor had prescribed.  That it was the SSRI that had caused him to become violent was clear; he had never before and has not since  shown any sign of being aggressive, and the medical evidence was compelling.  Although the jury rejected the defence of automatism, SL was acquitted of having intended to cause serious harm and convicted only of unlawfully causing the injuries. In due course, he received a suspended sentence of imprisonment.

R -v- Dr. Johnson: the prosecution, with Rachael Harrison, of a general practitioner who had sexually assaulted nine of his female patients in the two rural surgeries at which he worked.  The allegations spanned four decades, from 1978-2006.  He was convicted of 15 offences and was sentenced to a total of five years imprisonment. The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, pursuant to a reference by the Attorney General under section 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, increased that sentence to a total of nine years.  He was later given an additional sentence when he admitted the sexual abuse of a teenager over a two year period; the two families had met through the church community to which they had then belonged.


R -v- Habibur Rahim and Others: the defence of a man charged with conspiring to incite women. in the main from the West End of Newcastle upon Tyne, to become prostitutes for gain.


R -v- Thahi Manna: the appalling murder of his Kuwaiti wife in a prolonged attack using. amongst other implements, several screwdrivers.  The trial lasted three weeks and Nicholas was again greatly assisted by Stephen Littlewood’s work on disclosure.


R -v- Surjit Singh Sidhu & Nicola Bedford: both defendants were convicted of the murder of Martin Ackroyd in his Huddersfield home.  Nicholas was instructed together with Tamara Pawson to prosecute the case and both were assisted by Stephen Littlewood who was instructed as the disclosure junior.

R -v- F: the defence of horseplay was deployed successfully when the defendant struck his friend with unintended consequences.  It was Rebecca Stevens, with whom Nicholas worked on this case, who had first seen the relevance to the facts of this rarely deployed defence.

R -v- Ashtiaq Asghar: the prosecution, with Tina Dempster, of the youth responsible for the murder of Laura Wilson, aged 17, whose body was discovered in the section of the Sheffield to Keadby canal, lying just west of Rotherham.

R -v- Gavin Nicholson: the prosecution of a male nurse working in the setting of a private hospital who was convicted of the sexual touching of several female patients as they emerged from general anaesthetic. The evidence included expert testimony on the effects of propofol, the anaesthetic drug taken by Michael Jackson which resulted in his death.

R -v- X: the prosecution of the man dubbed the “British Fritzl”, now serving an indeterminate custodial sentence for a 25 year regime of raping his two daughters to whom he had fathered nine children, seven of whom survived at the time of the hearing.

R -v- James Charlton: the prosecution, with Ian Mullarkey, of a CORGI registered gas fitter whose gross negligence in installing a boiler had led to the death of the householder by carbon monoxide poisoning.  The evidence included expert evidence of the proper installation of such appliances and the pernicious effects of such negligence.


R -v- Reed & Reed & Another: the Reed brothers were convicted of murder on the basis of what has become known as “touch” (aka low template) DNA.  Tina Dempster and Nicholas were instructed to defend the convictions in the Court of Appeal which used this case and one other to clarify the approach to expert evidence in the light of Part 33 CPR: see [2009] EWCA Crim 2698.

R v Gallant and Gilligan: the murder of Barrie Jackson, involving issues of anonymity for prosecution witnesses.  In presenting the prosecution case, Nicholas was greatly assisted by David Brooke, now KC and Head of Chambers.  The resulting convictions led to the Court of Appeal considering issues of withdrawal and alternative verdicts in the case of Gallant [2008] EWCA Crim 1111.

R -v- “the Edlington Boys”: the prosecution of two brothers notoriously but wrongly so described who, at the ages of ten and eleven, tortured other young boys.


R -v- Ryan Ward & Ors.: the prosecution of members of a post code gang responsible for the murder of the neighbourhood peacemaker and its cover-up.

R -v- David Hill: the prosecution, with Adrian Strong, of a man convicted of the murder of his mother-in-law, Molly Wright, a trader on Castleford Market. The case comprised a jigsaw of circumstantial evidence, including blood on the Mr. Hill’s clothing which could not have been explained by his account of having discovered the body, and other lies he had told concerning his movements at the time of and in the immediate aftermath of the murder.

Operation Clyde: concerning historical abuse, both sexual and violent, of children in residential care.


R v Ainsworth: R v Fletcher; R v Maguire; R v Moran; R v Patchett; and R v Walton; all homicides in the context of an intimate relationship.

R v Clarkson: aged 16 at the time of the murder of a 15 year boy, he had turned 17 by the time he stood his trial alongside other teenagers.

R v Davey: indicted on the rape of a young woman with Down’s Syndrome.

R v Jamal, Harrison & Sadiq: attempted murder by shooting.

R v Lamb, Langley & Trafford: murder by joint enterprise.

R v Raw: the murder of an infant of 13 months.

R v Stephenson: who was alleged to have assisted the suicide of his wife.

R v Taylor: “animal rights” activist indicted under ss.145 and 146 of the Serious Organized Crime and Police Act 2005.

R v Wright & Mackenzie-Seaton: the murder of a child of six years, relying on the provisions of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.



R v Boyd: teenager-on-teenager homicide.

R v Hakeem: conspiracy to kidnap.

R v Land: indicted on serious sexual assaults, including rape, of successive female partners.

R v “Bam Bam” Crossling, Thomas Petch, Lee Harrison and George Coleman: A number of prosecutions arising out of the murder on Teesside of Kalvant Singh, who met his death by defenestration.  Several of the protagonists fled the jurisdiction, were found and extradited and were tried at various times. One of the connected trials saw a defendant convicted of doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice and sentenced to a total term of 10 years imprisonment.

R -v- Ghafoor:  the approach to sentencing in the light of Article 7, ECHR, focusing on young offenders.  See [2002] EWCA Crim 1857.

R -v- Bowyer, Woodgate, Duberry and Others: the prosecution with Adrian Waterman KC of two Leeds United footballers and some of Woodgate’s friends from Teesside for violence in Leeds city centre, and a third footballer for participating in the cover up.


  • Member of Criminal Bar Association on the committee of which he served 2001-2004.  
  • Member of the North Eastern Circuit of the Bar of England and Wales.
  • Formerly a Recorder of the Crown Court, from which part time work he retired after completing 15 years of service.
  • French speaking.

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