Nicholas Berry

Year Of Call: 
2004

Practice details

Nicholas is an experienced criminal practitioner, with a predominantly defence practice. Instructed in a wide range of serious and complex cases including homicide, serious violence, sexual offences and large-scale conspiracies involving drug sale and importation, firearms and armed robberies.

Nicholas has shown himself to be an able and versatile advocate with a level-headed approach and a dedication to meticulous preparation whose client care and rapport with all court users is recognised. He has developed an expertise dealing with young or otherwise vulnerable clients and witnesses.

Nicholas is instructed in both private and publicly funded criminal cases.

 

Recent Instructions

Sexual Offences

  • represented defendant at two separate trials acquitted of rape upon unconnected women whom he had been in a relationship with
  • represented elderly defendant acquitted of raping elderly male within care home
  • represented defendant acquitted of raping her child son
  • represented defendant acquitted of sexual assault upon a sleeping woman
  • defendant acquitted of multiple counts of sexual assault upon his five-year-old granddaughter: issues surrounding use of intermediaries to facilitate the extreme youth of child witness giving evidence
  • represented elderly defendant acquitted of multiple offences of sexual assault on a child neighbour: issues involved the mental health and behavioural difficulties of the child
  • defendant acquitted of offences of sexual assault on a child: issue of belief as to child's age
  • represented ‘Samaritan’ defendant charged with raping young woman within his car having delivered her home: acquitted by jury
  • defendant acquitted of sexually assaulting wheelchair-bound female following ‘Tinder’ rendezvous
  • represented defendant charged with multiple ‘stranger’ serial rapes and sexual assaults upon young intoxicated women in South Birmingham area. Defendant targeted his victims using a ‘rape attack kit’.

Offences Against the Person

  • represented nightclub doorman charged with causing grievous bodily harm to customer, issue of self-defence: acquitted by Jury
  • defendant charged with Section 18 wounding by glassing, incident captured on CCTV, issue self-defence: acquitted by Jury
  • represented 15-year-old charged with affray, one of five defendants in Crown Court trial: acquitted by Jury
  • instructed by police to apply for Violent Offender Order in respect of a prisoner due for release, whose previous convictions included serious attacks upon prostitutes
  • represented defendant with Asperger's Syndrome, allegations of prolonged course of harassment of similarly vulnerable persons, through internet chat rooms: issues regarding the use of intermediaries, and other special measures
  • represented defendant charged with kidnapping, robbery, Section 18 wounding: sustained and vicious attack including burning
  • defendant convicted of arson with intent to endanger life:  suspended sentence imposed following mitigation (defendant had suffered PTSD following army service)
  • represented defendant who set fire to psychiatric hospital where he was an in-patient: special verdict of 'not guilty by reason of insanity'
  • defendant charged with 13 offences of robbery, 'car-jacking' high value vehicles, force used included threats with handgun and pistol whipping: successfully argued against finding of 'dangerousness' despite defendant's previous convictions for robbery

Murder and Manslaughter

  • represented defendant acquitted of encouraging/assisting the attempted murder of another by her boyfriend
  • defence junior of murder by son of his father: issue loss of control
  • defence junior: murder of ‘best friend’ following earlier fight: issue self-defence
  • defence junior: murder of vulnerable female neighbour: issue alibi that involved substantial amounts of CCTV and mobile telephone evidence along with cell confessions

Firearms

  • defendant acquitted of conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life
  • represented a defendant charged with offences in relation to threats to detonate a bomb in a public building, in an incident which caused evacuation and closure of parts of Walsall town centre: acquitted by Jury
  • defendant charged with robbery and possession of firearms: 'highly organised' targeting of two high-street jewellers, firearms discharged

Serious Fraud and Money Laundering

  • represented an employee of a major clearing bank who had conspired to commit fraud, including the transfer of £260K to fictitious accounts: sentence of imprisonment suspended
  • represented defendant charged with conspiracy to steal property worth over £110K from commercial premises throughout the Midlands, case involved substantial CCTV, ANPR and telephone cell-site evidence  
  • represented student nurse charged with benefit fraud arising from receipt of bursary during benefit claim: acquitted by Jury
  • defence junior: representing one of three defendants charged with offences of defrauding the FA and SKY TV through the large-scale sale of illegal commercial satellite systems throughout the UK over a decade

Drugs and Gang-Related Offences

  • defendant charged with producing cannabis valued at £300K ('very sophisticated industrial operation'): Suspended Sentence Order successfully argued due to defendant’s mental health difficulties
  • defendant charged with Class A drug offences, money laundering, conspiracy to manage brothels:  part of a sophisticated criminal organisation
  • regularly instructed to represent defendants involved in Class A ‘county lines’ offences
  • Instructed to represent defendant charged with prison mutiny arising out of disturbances at HMP Hewell in 2018

Road Traffic

  • defendant charged with causing death by dangerous driving, who had turned into the path of an oncoming cyclist, causing her death: acquitted by Jury

 

Notable Cases

  • R (on the application of Drinkwater) v Solihull Magistrates’ Court [2012] EWHC 765 (Admin): the principals reconsidered when deciding to proceed with a criminal trial in the absence of a defendant.