Practice area


Year of call: 2002

Barry McElduff is a leading practitioner in complex and serious cases with an emphasis on organised crime and sexual offences.

His portfolio of instructions is balanced between prosecution and defence work which enables Barry to bring a rounded analytical perspective to any case he is involved in.

He is regularly instructed in cases that require a sensitive and measured approach.

He is both a Grade 4 and RASSO approved Prosecutor.

In March 2018 he was appointed a Recorder of the Crown Court and in November 2019 was authorised to preside over trials of serious sexual offences.

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Barry’s defence practice encompasses the wide spectrum of criminal work, although it was in cases involving serious allegations of drugs supply that he forged his reputation, securing acquittals in a number of complex and difficult cases.

He has been instructed by the International Justice and Organised Crime Division to prosecute cyber-crime cases involving attacks on the Pentagon and major banking institutions.

He is regularly instructed as led junior counsel in cases involving allegations of murder or manslaughter.

Whilst first and foremost an advocate, he is regularly instructed to provide advisory work. He has been regularly instructed to provide pre-charge in complex and challenging cases; often cases involving evidence from abroad or with other knotty jurisdictional issues.

He has also provided training to various CPS RASSO areas and police forces in areas as varied as disclosure, s41 applications and the drafting of complex Indictments.


Recent Cases

Ongoing Instructions

  • Operation Furbo (Croydon CC, November/December 2021)-Prosecution (Leading Junior) Operation Trident investigation arising out of the discovery of 2 sawn off shotguns in a car involved in a serious road traffic accident
  • Operation Jack-knife (Oxford CC, March 2022) – Prosecution (Leading Junior) of 7 Defendants for attacks on ATMs with explosives and drag out and for the burglary of the National Horse Racing museum in Newmarket
  • Operation Nettle (Portsmouth CC, June 2022)- Prosecution (Leading Junior) 2 Defendants arising out of the discovery of complex life changing injuries to a 4 week old child
  • Operation Contend (Snaresbrook CC, Summer 2022) – Defending large scale ‘county lines’ drugs conspiracy
  • Operation Swash (Southampton CC, September 2022)- Prosecution 5 Defendant large scale cannabis importation facilitated by crypto currency transactions
  • Operation Devisal (Snaresbrook CC, October 2022) -Defending large scale ‘county lines’ drugs conspiracy
  • R v H and others (Taunton CC, Date to be fixed 2022)- Defending 1st Defendant in multi handed conspiracy to handle stolen farm machinery and vehicles

Organised Crime

  • Operation Delorean (Aylesbury CC, Summer 2021) – (leading Bobby Forrest) – Prosecution of OCG for the dismantling of stolen cars for onward sale to unsuspecting buyers
  • Operation Jumpsuit (Oxford CC, March-April 2021) (leading Bobby Forrest) – Prosecution 3 defendants who were involved in a fatal road traffic collision en-route to commit a high value burglary of an antiques store in rural Oxfordshire
  • Operation Rate (Winchester CC, Autumn 2019) (leading Charlene Richer) – Defending in a complex and wide ranging drugs conspiracy that was in existence for over 14 months
  • Operation Suade (Winchester CC, September 2019) – Successful defence of a 15 year old charged with county lines drug dealing. Client accepted drug dealing but successfully mounted defence under the Modern Slavery Act that he was a victim of modern slavery
  • Operation Holms (St Albans CC, November 2018 – January 2019) (leading Chris Hewertson) – Prosecuting serious ‘tit for tat’ violence on the streets of Bedford emanating from a disagreement between 2 warring drug gangs. The presentation of the case was made all the more difficult by the refusal of the victims to co-operate and fear preventing witnesses from making statements. Following an 8-week trial, 2 leading proponents of the ‘Mile Road Gang’ were sentenced to 15 years (extended by 3) and 14 years for nearly severing off the arm of a 16 year old member of the rival ‘K Block’ gang
  • Operation Daraga (Bournemouth CC, Jan 2017 – September 2018) (leading Kaj Scarsbrook) – Operation Daraga was a South West Regional Crime Unit investigation into a Liverpool based Organised Crime Group, who were involved in the trafficking of large wholesale quantities of crack cocaine and heroin from Liverpool down to towns in Dorset and Somerset for onwards distribution to lower-level drug dealers and users. Over 3 trials Barry and Kaj secured the convictions of 8 conspirators at all levels. The convicted defendants represented all levels of the conspiracy from the overall leader to local “commanders”
  • Operation Dogtooth (Winchester CC, Jan/Feb 2018) (leading Rob Harding) – D charged with involvement in long running drugs conspiracy. Trial lasted 8 weeks and involved extensive phone evidence. Defendant acquitted all counts

Serious Violence 

  • R v Alexander and others (Reading CC, July 2019) – Prosecution 4 defendants for false imprisonment, s18 gbh and robbery
  • R v Scott and others (Guildford CC, February 2019) – Prosecution of 3 men for a gun point aggravated burglary
  • R v Kelly (Birmingham CC, Autumn 2018) – Prosecution of a man for blinding a young American tourist in one eye following a disagreement about Donald Trump
  • Operation Dance (Winchester CC, Summer 2018) (led by Bill Mousley Q.C.) – D charged with murder and manslaughter. Defendant acquitted all counts. Mr Brewer was alleged to have stabbed his drug dealer in a ‘robbery gone wrong’. The prosecution case was based on a  series of superficially strong circumstances. However, the defence team were able to uncover the presence of others in the area who may have been responsible for the killing
  • R v FHS (Birmingham CC, March 2017) – Successful prosecution attempted murder allegation arising from a stabbing in central Birmingham after a dispute between 2 youths
  • R v Spence (Winchester CC, August 2017) – Successful defence of Defendant said to be the honey-trap in a case involving serious allegations of violence and kidnap

Serious Sexual Offences cases

  • R v Dinh (Winchester CC, July 2021) – Defence alleged group rape. Following the complainant’s evidence the Crown accepted a plea to sexual assault and Mr Dinh received a suspended sentence of imprisonment
  • R v Ingram (Winchester CC, March 2021) – Prosecution 6 complainant non-recent allegations
  • R v Cordery (Bournemouth CC, September 2020) – Prosecution knife point rape of schoolgirl
  • R v Cruz (Reading CC, Spring 2020) – Prosecution for grooming and sexual offences against a girl aged 10-14 years old
  • R v XY (Portsmouth CC, January 2020) – Prosecution female Defendant for sexual offences against her own children aged 2-10 years old
  • R v Chester (Winchester CC, December 2019) – Defending stranger attack early hours in middle of Winchester City Centre
  • R v CC (Reading CC, Autumn 2019) – Prosecution serious domestic allegations of rape and assault by strangulation
  • R v A (Reading CC, March 2018) – Leading junior for the Prosecution (leading Kaj Scarsbrook) in high profile rape allegation
  • R v NR (Southwark CC, October 2017) – Successful defence rape allegation where primary issue was capacity to consent
  • R v L (Reading CC, 2016) – Prosecution of a man alleged to have sexually assaulted 96 year old woman in her own home. The complainant suffered vascular dementia and had to be taken through evidence (there was no pre-recorded interview) via a live link to her care home

Complex Fraud

  • Operation Kadenza (Southwark CC, 2016) (led by Mike Shaw) – Successful defence of man alleged to be the ‘trusted lieutenant’ to the main perpetrator of a multi-million pound ‘phishing’ fraud, the largest cyber-crime investigation conducted by the Metropolitan police
  • Operation Autovia (Southampton, 2015) – Secured acquittal of Defendant charged with multi-million pounds conspiracy to defraud – large scale VAT missing trader fraud

Serious Road Traffic cases

  • R v LW (Winchester, July 2020) – defending tragic death by dangerous driving where Defendant of impeccable character mistook the nature of the road
  • R v AP (Winchester, September 2019) – acquittal of lorry driver accused of causing death by careless driving following collision in Hartley Witney
  • R v P (Reading, January 2019) – Prosecution of causing death by careless driving whilst over prescribed limit for drugs
  • R v S (Reading, March 2018) – defending death by dangerous driving

Unusual/Novel cases

  • R v Shah (Southwark CC, October 2020) – Prosecution of person alleged to have sent abusive and threatening emails to Theresa May and other political figures
  • Operation Suede (Winchester CC, November 2019) (led by Sally Howes Q.C.) – Prosecution of man for the gross negligence manslaughter of his elderly mother for whom he failed to provide adequate care
  • R v T (Reading CC, April 2017) – Successful Prosecution of defendant for causing serious harm to 3 month old child, case involved complex evidence regarding the dating of fractures
  • R v Sean Caffrey (Birmingham CC, September 2017) – Prosecution of defendant who committed cyber-attack against the Pentagon. A case in which HHJ Thomas Q.C. commended the clear way in which Mr McElduff opened a ‘complex and difficult case’

Other notable cases

  • R v P & others (Southampton CC, 2015)  (led by Simon Foster) – Prosecution of 7 males alleged to have been responsible for multiple rapes upon a very vulnerable victim
  • R v W & others (Portsmouth CC, 2014) – Secured the acquittal of the alleged courier in a multi-million pound amphetamine conspiracy. The case involved a haul of amphetamine said by Hampshire police to be the largest of its kind
  • R v Dalby [2012] EWCA Crim 701 – status of harassment warnings in bad character application
  • R v Hopkins and Priest (April 2010 – May 2011). In April 2010 Barry was instructed as a led junior in a three month trial which involved allegations of neglect of mentally incapacitated adults who were resident in a care home. Barry represented the owner of the care home. It was believed to be the first prosecution of its kind nationally. The case involved complex medical, physical, social care and other technical evidence in relation to a total of sixteen residents who it was said had been neglected. As well as dealing with criminal offences under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, this case also dealt with Health and Safety and regulatory issues. The Defendants’ convictions were subsequently quashed in Court of Appeal [2011] EWCA Crim 1513


  • BA (Hons), Queens Belfast 1999


  • Lincoln’s Inn (Lord Brougham Scholar 2001, Hardwicke Scholar 2002)


  • Recorder of the Crown Court, March 2018

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