A former solicitor, admitted in 1983. Employed in private practice in West Lancashire as a general litigator until 1986, then joined the Crown Prosecution Service in Warrington.
In 1987 moved to the Newcastle under Lyme office of Young & Co., became a partner and head of the criminal department. Acted as duty solicitor and was a member of the Duty Solicitor Committee. In addition to general criminal practice, also undertook regulatory work for a number of corporate and institutional clients. In particular, was regularly instructed as agent by the Health and Safety Executive in serious cases, usually those involving fatalities or issues of substantial public interest. Instructed as agent by the Department of Trade and Industry in personal and corporate insolvency cases. 1995, was awarded Higher Rights of Audience in criminal cases, one of the first solicitors to complete the new qualification process. Transferred to the Bar in 1996 and joined no. 4 Fountain Court.
Instructed to prosecute and defend in a wide variety of criminal matters, including homicide, offences of violence, drug offences, all forms of dishonesty, and allegations of rape and other sexual offences against adults and children. Has significant experience of dealing with sensitive cases of various kinds : for example, prosecution of serving police officers, defendants vulnerable by reason of youth or mental health issues. Grade 4 CPS prosecutor.
Recent instructions have included :
- junior for the Crown, and for the defence, in several (separate) murder trials
- prosecuted an on-duty police officer for dangerous driving in the course of a pursuit
- represented and prosecuted various defendants in cases of death by dangerous driving
- represented a defendant who had been cashier in a large national company, alleged fraud ; case included evidence from forensic accountants
- instructed to prosecute large heroin retailing case
- represented a defendant charged with rape of a number of prostitutes
- instructed to prosecute case of Class A drug supply, involving the death of a drug user
- instructed to prosecute case involving large-scale car ringing, 14 defendants
- represented a defendant charged in connection with the distribution of 5kg of heroin
- represented the main defendant in a multi-defendant case, numerous allegations of familial sexual offences
- represented a defendant charged with serious sexual offences against his neice and daughter over many years
Whilst employed at CPS and as a defence solicitor, gained substantial experience of road traffic matters dealt with at the Magistrates' Court, particularly tachograph cases, drink-driving, 'special reasons' arguments, and early return of licence applications. Since transferring to the Bar, has been involved (both prosecuting and defending) in numerous cases of dangerous driving, including cases where death has resulted.
Has experience of dealing with applications for firearm certificates, and for hackney carriage and private hire taxi operator's licences.