I’ve been instructed to prosecute in murder cases in the past, but I’m now known as a specialist expert defence barrister. I understand how stressful these cases are for anyone accused, and do everything I can to help my clients. As a top-rated barrister, I have the experience to identify the important issues in these cases, and to advise on how best to deal with them.
Clients find that I am approachable and hard-working – and determined to fight to achieve the best possible result in all of my cases.
I have appeared in many murder trials, amongst which are the following examples:
R v O: Represented a man accused of Firearms Act offences and of attempting to kill another man by shooting him with a pump action shotgun. The complainant has been shot to the head and had identified Mr O as one of the shooters. Other witnesses also identified him. At trial the complainant refused to give evidence and other witnesses were reluctant to attend court. After 4 days of legal argument in which I opposed prosecution attempts to delay the trial or to read the evidence in the absence of the jury, the prosecution were forced to offer no evidence. Mr O was found not guilty on all counts. I was instructed by Keppe Rofer, Solicitors.
I was instructed to defend a member of the travelling community who was accused of deliberately using his van to run over and kill a man. The jury found the defendant not guilty of murder and convicted on the lesser offence of manslaughter. Read the BBC report.
Defended Irene Smith in a conspiracy to murder case which attracted national press attention when it was suggested that Irene Smith planned with her bigamist husband to kill his other wife in order to protect a family property development. Although Irene Smith provided a false alibi and concealed clothes worn by the murderer, she was found not guilty of conspiracy to murder. I argued to secure the minimum sentence for her when she was convicted on less serious offences. Read the Bournemouth Echo article and the BBC report.
R v S: Successfully defended with Michael Borrelli QC in a ‘missing body murder’: the victim had been assaulted by the defendant, and was then last seen walking to meet the defendant. It was alleged the defendant and another man murdered the victim, and rolled him in chicken wire and carpet before dumping his body in the Thames Estuary. On the night of the alleged murder the defendant hired a fishing boat. When he returned it, the anchor and chain were missing. Body parts belonging to the victim were dredged up in the Thames Estuary. The defendant was acquitted.
R v P and others: A 5-month trial involving the abduction, torture and execution of two Jamaican Yardie gang members. An Operation Trident case, the victims were tied to chairs and tortured. The ‘trigger man’ used a 9mm semi-automatic pistol to kill the victims with shots to the head. The case was a “Whodunnit” in which the defendant was implicated by a latex glove found beside one of the deceased. The interior of the glove contained the defendant’s DNA and firearms residue was deposited on its exterior. The jury deliberated for 18 days, thought to be an Old Bailey record. Read the Standard report.
R v C: I was instructed to defend a businesswoman who hired a hit-man to kill a business associate of the defendant over a £50,000 debt. The police were tipped off and the ‘hit-man’ was actually an undercover police officer. The defence argued ‘entrapment’. Though the defendant was convicted, the defence successfully argued that she need not be imprisoned. The Attornery-General referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal as being ‘unduly lenient’.
R v Frost (1998) This murder case was the largest murder and rape investigation carried out in the West Country at the time, when an 18 year old girl went missing on Christmas Day 1995. Her body was found weeks later in a quarry. The investigation led to 3,500 males providing DNA samples to the police whilst the defendant studied at University. Ultimately, the defendant admitted his guilt. It was as a result of this case – and the campaigning of the victim’s family – that the National DNA database was established. Read the BBC report.