Richard is a criminal defence advocate with an excellent reputation.

Overview

Richard is a criminal defence advocate with an excellent reputation. He is involved in a wide range of work in both the Crown Court and magistrate’s court ranging from serious gangland violence (including firearms) to defending protesters. His varied Crown Court practice is complemented by his specialist work with protester client groups in the magistrate court, appearing most recently in a number of high-profile anti-fracking cases. He is currently instructed to defend the Extinction Rebellion protesters. Richard is also instructed in appellate and miscarriage of justice cases, and civil actions against the police, these often follow on from criminal cases he has conducted.

After being called to the bar in 2007, Richard worked as a paralegal for Bindmans LLP before going to Malawi in 2008 to work at the Centre for Human Rights Education. In addition to undertaking penal reform work whilst in Malawi, Richard also undertook the training of lawyers and senior members of the judiciary and executive on the rule of law, fair trial rights, regional justice, and the recently formed African Court.

Richard has a long-standing interest in mental health issues and disability rights, taking a particular interest in cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses. He has worked with FEDOMA, an umbrella disability rights organisation, and the Malawian Mental Health Department. He also worked for many years as a volunteer at Islington Young Offenders and has a strong interest in youth justice.

Criminal defence and appeals

Richard is an established criminal defence practitioner, who is regularly instructed in the Crown Court, with a broad range of experience in cases involving allegations of serious violence (sections 18 and 20) GBH, ABH, drugs (manufacture and supply) serious fraud, and sexual impropriety. He is often instructed in cases involving young and vulnerable witnesses or those with mental health or mental capacity issues.

He is regularly instructed in the magistrates and beyond to defend protesters charged with a range of ‘protest’ offences, particularly those involved with the anti-fracking movement, homeless activists and animal right activist. He has specialist expertise on the potential environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, particularly where fracturing may infringe environmental regulations and directives.

Richard undertakes Public Access work and is frequently instructed to represent individuals charged with driving offences and other criminal matters.

Richard is based between Stoke and Stafford and regularly appears in courts throughout this region but also throughout the country.

Civil actions against the police and public authorities

Richard advises on cases of false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, negligence. He is currently advising on a number of cases following successfully defending fracking protestors.

Prison law

Richard has experience of adjudications and parole board hearings, along with experience of drafting advices and grounds in prison law judicial reviews (including claims arising out of unlawful re-categorisation and allocation decisions). Richard’s background in international penal reform assists him in this area.

International law

Richard is currently instructed on a Malawi Supreme Court case concerning the right to a trial within a reasonable period of time. He is also interested in international environmental laws and regulations.

Prior to joining Garden Court North Chambers Richard gained extensive international human rights experience in southern Africa. Richard is regularly involved in the training of justice officials within southern Africa.

Community care and mental health

Richard is, following a  long standing interest in mental health, experienced in mental health review tribunal cases.

Whilst working in Malawi, Richard advised and wrote legal opinions for the Malawian Mental Health Department. He is currently instructed by the Malawian Ministry of Health to review the draft Mental Health Bill in preparation for its presentation before the Malawian Parliament.

During his employment with Bindmans, Richard gained considerable experience working with clients, young and old, who had mental capacity issues.

Public law (judicial review)

Richard has experience drafting advices and grounds in prison law judicial reviews (including claims arising out of unlawful re-categorisation and allocation decisions).

Notable cases

Criminal defence and appeals:

  • R v C (2019) 16 year old defendant charged with possession of a firearm (AK47) with intent to endanger life
  • R v C (2019) 16 year old defendant charged with armed robbery. Complicated ID issues.
  • R (ex p C) v CCRC – junior counsel in a judicial review of the CCRC’s failure to refer the case, on Jogee ground, back to the Court of Appeal.
  • R v L (2018) – Public nuisance protest case received widespread media attention (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/25/four-anti-fracking-activists-face-prison-over-protest). Court of Appeal overturned the custodial sentences in what is seen as the precedent judgement on protesters and appropriate sentences (https://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2018/2739.html&query=(Blevins))
  • R v V (2018) Aggravated Burglary – Court of Appeal reduced sentence ([2018] EWCA Crim 23)
  • R v H (2018) assisting an offender. Principal charged with attempt murder H acquitted of being the getaway driver.
  • R v L (2018)– defendant (protester) charged with causing a dangerous obstruction on a road.
  • R v T (2018)– defendant charge with fraudulent evasion of duty
  • R v B (2018)– defendant charged with s18
  • R v Dewhurst (2016 Stafford Crown Court ): Possession with intent to supply;
  • R v Berry (2016 Mold Crown Court): Domestic burglary;
  • R v Quayle (2016 Manchester Crown Court): Section 20;
  • R v Hall (2016 Manchester Crown Court): Section 47 and possession of an offensive weapon;
  • R v Matloob (2017 Manchester Crown Court): Conspiracy to defraud insurance companies;
  • R v Fagan (2017 York Crown Court): Conspiracy to defraud;
  • R v Varely (2017 Sheffield Crown Court): Aggravated Burglary;
  • R v Teasdale (2017 Chester Crown Court): Pervert the course of justice, fraud and trading standards offences;
  • R v Pennington (2017 Manchester Crown Court): Fraud and Trading Standards offences; and
  • R v Bairami (2017 Newcastle Crown Court): Junior counsel, rape and grooming of vulnerable girls

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