Stephen Cooke


Stephen has built a busy defence practice over the last ten years, particularly focused on serious crime. Stephen has defended in: complex drug conspiracies, firearm offences, frauds, offences of kidnap, arson endangering life, serious violence, sexual offences including rape, and many other offences.

Stephen has been a led junior in cases that have included murder, kidnap and a conspiracy to rob a series of banks and post offices with firearms.

Stephen believes that thorough preparation, sound judgement and good communication are the keys to success. That means listening to clients properly, working well with instructing solicitors, giving clear advice to clients, and fighting determinedly for his client's interests, whenever instructed.

Stephen especially enjoys cases that involve greater factual or legal complexity, and he has appeared on multiple occasions in the Court of Appeal.

Although he predominantly defends, Stephen also appears as a prosecution advocate.

Sample of cases defending:

R v G
The client was accused of arson, being reckless as to endangering three lives. The case turned on expert evidence. Careful cross examination of the Crown's expert witness was required; the Crown's expert evidence was substantially discredited, and the client acquitted on all counts.

R v M
A case involving allegations of kidnap and serious violence, in the context of competing drug gangs, and requiring extensive analysis of telephone and cell site evidence.

R v F
Stephen successfully defended an allegation of rape that required sensitive cross examination of a vulnerable witness, as well as supporting a vulnerable client through to acquittal.

R v T
A case alleging possession of firearms and affray. There was competing expert evidence, cross examination of experts, and legal argument focusing on whether the gun involved fell within the legislation, before an eventual ruling that it did not.

R v MC
The client was accused of conspiracy to commit armed robbery against a string of bookmakers. However, after the defence pushed for further disclosure, the Crown eventually offered no evidence.

R v L
The client faced an allegation of aggravated burglary; a superficially strong case came apart after cross-examination of the complainant revealed there was more to the case than it had appeared, and the defendant was acquitted.

R v CD
In an unusual case Stephen's client was accused of being the getaway driver in a robbery of a dominatrices' chamber; he was acquitted of all charges.

Sample of cases as led junior defending:

R v L

Stephen was led in a murder trial, involving an alleged drugs related murder and cover up by a group of vulnerable young people. The defendant accepted stabbing the deceased, but the client was nevertheless not found guilty of murder, but was convicted of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice.

R v P
Stephen was led in a trial involving allegations of a conspiracy to commit a series of bank and post office robberies, some with a firearm. The trial lasted two months at the central criminal court and involved competing experts dealing with a complex web of cell site, CCTV and communication data. Mixed verdicts were returned, but with the defendant being acquitted of the more serious counts involving firearms.

R v C & others

Stephen was led on a multi-handed kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail case which received national press attention.

Sample of Court of Appeal Cases:

R v S

The client had pleaded guilty to involvement in a large-scale conspiracy to supply cannabis from two specially equipped cannabis shops in the East End. Stephen was responsible for the successful appeal against sentence for his client, which meant that the client was released within a week of the appeal.

R v W

In a possession with intent to supply class A case the sentence was reduced on appeal by a year and a half, despite leave having initially been refused by the single judge.


BA Jurisprudence, Oxford University
BVC at BPP (London)

Memberships & Associations

Gray's Inn
Criminal Bar Association

Areas of work

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Stephen Cooke