Stephen has a busy defence practice and has appeared successfully in the Court of Appeal, where the Court praised his advocacy stating that he had ‘put a difficult case as well as it could be put'. His practice encompasses a wide range of serious criminal matters including drugs offences, property offences, sexual charges, road traffic matters, public order offences and offences of violence. He also appears in POCA and forfeiture hearings.
Alongside criminal work Stephen has been instructed in the County Court for fast track civil work, as well as in prison disciplinary hearings. Although he is more regularly a defence advocate, he is also instructed to prosecute trials in the Crown for the CPS.
Stephen believes thorough preparation, sound judgement and good communication are the keys to success. This means listening to clients properly, working well with instructing solicitors, giving clear frank advice and fighting determinedly for all of his clients.
Before coming to the bar Stephen worked as a policy analyst for the Ministry of Justice. Whilst studying he acted for clients through the Free Representation Unit and volunteered as an independent custody visitor, helping to ensure the police were treating detainees fairly.
Stephen's client was accused of conspiracy to commit armed robbery against a string of bookmakers. The Crown alleged that the defendant had stolen a car and used this to help commit the robbery and were prosecuting the case relying heavily on cell site material. Stephen pushed for further disclosure which eventually led to the client being acquitted on all charges.
Stephen was led on a multi-handed kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail case which received national press attention
The client faced an allegation of aggravated burglary, and superficially, there appeared a strong case. The forensic evidence showed that he and the co-defendant had been in the home of the complainant, who was not known to them. The complainant had injuries and had thrown himself out of a window, allegedly to escape the defendant, further injuring himself in the process. In addition some of the complainant's property was found on the co-defendant, outside of the property, and other property inside was damaged. The defendant accepted that he had jumped through a first story window to attempt to escape the police.
Careful cross-examination of the complainant revealed there was more to the case than it had appeared, and eventually the defendant was acquitted.
Stephen's client was accused of being the getaway driver in a violent gang robbery of a dominatrices' chamber, but was acquitted of all charges.
This was one of several cases Stephen was involved with which arose out of the London ‘riots'. Stephen's client had driven a group of young men to and from an attempted burglary of a jewellery shop. All of the defendants, except for Stephen's client, received immediate prison terms. Stephen was responsible for negotiating the basis of plea upon which the client received a suspended sentence.
The client had originally been accused of possession with intent to supply 4.8kg of cannabis. After several hearings the client's basis of plea was eventually accepted and the client received a suspended prison sentence, well below the normal guideline sentence.
BA Jurisprudence, Oxford University
BVC at BPP (London)
Criminal Bar Association