Practice area

Crime

Year of call: 2005


John specialises in Criminal Law and whilst he has a wealth of experience defending, since joining chambers he is quickly building a busy prosecution practice covering the South East, London and the Midlands. He is regularly instructed in cases involving conspiracy, serious violence, dishonesty, drug supply, public disorder, sexual offences and those where fatalities are suffered in road traffic accidents.

John’s excellent level of preparation and sensitive yet robust cross-examination style has been commented on favourably by the judiciary.

John is a CPS Panel Advocate:

  • General Crime (Level 3)

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John prosecutes and defends across the broad spectrum of criminal offences. Having been called to the Bar in 2005 John subsequently cross qualified and practised as a solicitor-advocate becoming an equity partner in a busy regional firm. Thereafter John “crossed back” to the Bar and until joining chambers practised as in-house counsel at a leading regional firm of criminal solicitors.

John has substantial defence experience involving sexual offences (including s.28 proceedings), fraud, money laundering, serious violence and supply of drugs on a large scale. He has also regularly represented lay clients on complex multi-handed cases.

In his defence practice John has a particular expertise in cases which arise out of fatal road traffic collisions having represented a number of defendants facing prosecution for causing death by dangerous or careless driving.

John is regularly instructed in cases involving causing or allowing a child to suffer serious physical harm (shaken baby syndrome). He was recently instructed in the matter of R v T at Luton Crown Court, representing a mother accused of causing serious injury to an infant under 8 weeks old.

John is familiar with dealing with evidence of experts in a variety of disciplines including varied medical fields, accident reconstruction, vehicle examination, forensic and document interrogation (e.g. ESDA testing).

John also has experience of being led in cases involving child cruelty and manslaughter.

Notable Cases

  • R v PC [2022] EWCA Crim 542 – Instructed for the Appellant, Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, reported as follows: this appeal against sentence raises the question of whether or not an extended sentence under s. 279 SA 2020 can be passed on an offence that is specified for the purpose of s. 306 in circumstances where the four-year term condition prescribed in s. 280 is met only by taking into account offending on associated offences that are not so specified. It is an issue on which there appears to be conflicting appellate authority. The point is one of real significance. Many cases involve offending arising out of a combination of specified and unspecified offences. Judges need to know what offences can and cannot be taken into account for the purpose of identifying whether or not the appropriate custodial term would be at least four years long.  Held: In so far as Casbolt is to be understood as suggesting that a court, when passing a sentence on a specified offence, cannot take into account by way of aggregation an associated (though unspecified) offence for the purpose of identifying the appropriate custodial term in s. 280, it is wrong. Pinnell/Joyce remains good law. The court when arriving at the appropriate custodial term can aggregate with a specified offence non-specified associated offences so as to reflect the defendant’s overall offending, subject always to the custodial term imposed on the specified offence not exceeding the statutory maximum and not infringing the principle of totality.
  • R v AB – Defending where a fatal collision occurred involving an ambulance colliding with a roundabout. Complex accident reconstruction and vehicle examination expert evidence was relied upon.
  • R v GL – Defending in a case involving a motorcycle striking a pedestrian in an urban environment who subsequently died. The defendant was acquitted after cross examination of the Crown’s accident reconstruction expert resulted in the case falling to a “halftime” submission.
  • R v MA – Defending in complex multi-handed drugs supply case where over 50kg of Class A drugs were shown to have been distributed.
  • R v TH – Secured an acquittal of a defendant charged with an affray where cross examination of a Crown witness resulted in the defence of self-defence being so clearly made out that the matter was withdrawn from the jury.
  • R v LT – Defending in a s.58 Terrorism Act 2000 case where a defendant with extreme right wing views collected a substantial amount of information likely to be useful to someone preparing to commit an act of terrorism.
  • R v AD – Successful prosecution of a Class A drug dealer.
  • R v JG – Successful prosecution of a serial domestic burglar who preyed on vulnerable elderly victims.
  • R v T – represented a mother accused of serious injury to a infant under 8 weeks old.

Education

  • BA (Hons) University of Durham
  • LLB (Hons) University of Durham
  • BVC – Cardiff University

Inn & Membership

  • Inner Temple
  • Criminal Bar Association