Category: News

Owen Edwards successfully defends in fatal driving case

Owen Edwards successfully defends in fatal driving case. Mr. Ian Thomas was charged with causing the death of a motorcyclist carelessly following a tragic road traffic collision in mid Wales. The trial took place before HHJ Parry at Mold Crown Court in February 2021. The prosecution relied upon the fact that the collision took place within the motorcyclist’s correct lane. Their case was that the defendant must have sought to make an unsafe right turn into a junction or had lost concentration. The defendant was represented by DAC Beachcroft who are specialists in the field of road traffic collisions. Expert evidence obtained cast doubt on the prosecution case and a detailed analysis of other material helped to establish that the motorcyclist had been driving erratically and at speed creating a hazard to which Ian Thomas had to respond. Under cross examination the prosecution forensic collision examiner conceded that there were … Read More

Owen Edwards successfully defends doctor charged with causing death by dangerous driving

Owen Edwards represented Dr. Darwish during a seven-day trial at Cardiff Crown Court in June 2021. The case involved the tragic death of an elderly pedestrian. Dr. Darwish was driving to work when the pedestrian crossed over the road from his right. The prosecution alleged that the collision was caused by a serious visual problem which made Dr. Darwish unfit to drive. The defence case was that the collision was effectively unavoidable. Dr. Darwish was represented by Rachel Stone of DAC Beachcroft a specialist solicitor in fatal driving cases. Expert evidence was called as to both eyesight and the cause of the collision. The prosecution expert conceded under cross examination that the window of opportunity to view the pedestrian was limited. The defendant was found not guilty of all counts. … Read More

Laura Knightly makes successful submission of no case to answer on a charge of assaulting an emergency worker

In a recent trial before Crewe Magistrates’ Court, the defendant was a woman with no previous convictions, who had been charged with an offence of assaulting an emergency worker. The defendant had been driving her child to nursery when she was pulled over by a male police officer. The incident which followed was recorded on the officer’s body worn video camera. The defendant suffered with PTSD and informed the officer of the same. After speaking with her briefly and taking her driving licence, the officer then went back to the defendant’s vehicle and opened her car door without asking for permission or getting her attention first. This abrupt action upset the defendant. When the defendant went to attend to her infant, who was crying, the officer proceeded to lean into the defendant’s car before touching and pulling her. He told the defendant to leave her child alone or he would … Read More

Sam Aynsley to cycle 874 miles for MS charity

Sam Aynsley is taking to the saddle to raise money for a MS charity. He will cycle all the way from Land’s End to John O’Groats over 14 days in June to fundraise for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. A few other members of Chambers will join in for a couple of days each to support Sam in his endeavour. We wish him the best of luck for his challenge. If you would like to donate, Sam’s Just Giving page link is below.   JustGivingSamAynsley   Thank you for all your support!   … Read More

Defending senior ex-employees from allegations of breaches of restrictive covenants and confidential information

Michael Barrow recently, after a five-day trial, successfully defended two senior ex-employees and their company (set up post termination of employment) from claims by their former employer of breaches of various post termination restrictive covenants, breach of confidential information, inducement to breach contract, conspiracy to injure the financial interest of the former employer and for deliver up of confidential information and property allegedly removed by the employees. The case centred around the incorporation of the restrictive covenants into the contracts of employment (and their enforceability in any event), the definition of confidential information therein and a consideration of the common law duty of confidentiality post termination for ex senior employees. After hearing substantive evidence of fact and legal submissions at trial, all of the former employer’s claims were dismissed. The important point and message from the case is to ensure incorporation of the post termination restrictions into the contracts of … Read More

James Coutts and Caroline Rees QC prosecute man who caused the death of his partner during a bondage sexual encounter

James Coutts was led by Caroline Rees QC and instructed by CPS Complex Case Unit in the case of Warren Coulton who was charged with gross negligence manslaughter. Warren Coulton and his partner were celebrating his 50th birthday at a Welsh holiday lodge and consumed a cocktail of drugs and alcohol. They engaged in consensual bondage sexual activity, culminating with him restraining her arms and gagging her mouth with a sock, restricting her ability to breathe, before he fell asleep, only to wake in the morning to find her lifeless body. The 7-day trial at Mold Crown Court was presided over by Mr. Justice Picken. The jury retired for a little under two hours before returning a unanimous guilty verdict. The defendant was sentenced to a period of 6 years in prison. This was an unusual case involving a history of consensual bondage sexual activity, which focussed around whether the … Read More

Ffion Tomos prosecutes heroin and cocaine smuggling gang each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment

An international drugs ring used a Welsh delivery depot to bring £186m of heroin and cocaine into the UK, a court has heard. The gang imported up to 1,304kg of Class A drugs into the country by manipulating the UPS depot in Deeside. This would involve UPS team leader Daniel Taylor ‘keeping an eye out’ for packages which contained high purity blocks of Class A Drugs sent from Spain and the Netherlands. He would then lift the packages from delivery vans without scanning them, leave work and drive to meet accomplice Darren Roberts. Mold Crown Court heard the parcels would then be passed to Wirral man Stephen Metcalf, who collected them on behalf of alleged kingpin Christopher Gibney. The gang were put under surveillance by covert officers, who soon put together a picture of how the audacious drug plot operated. Ffion Tomas, prosecuting, said “Taylor would arrive during the early hours … Read More

Unenforceable Credit Hire Agreements

Whilst it has long been a struggle for defendants to successfully argue that a credit hire agreement was unenforceable between the claimant and the hire company, since the decision of Mr Justice Turner in the case of Irving v Morgan Sindall PLC [2018] it has become even more difficult for such arguments to be sustained, as agreements where there was only a contingent liability upon the claimant to pay the charges when they were recovered from a third party, were still likely to be considered enforceable. However, notwithstanding the anticipated uphill struggle on this point, it is always important to test the nature of the agreement between claimant and hire company in any event, as evidenced by two recent cases where James Woodcock was instructed on behalf of the defendant and successfully argued that the hire agreement was unenforceable, thereby defeating the claims for hire charges in their entirety. The … Read More

Proving clinical negligence in the case of an anaesthetised claimant– res ipsa loquitur

Sam Aynsley was instructed in a clinical negligence matter which has recently settled on favourable terms. The Claimant underwent surgery, prior to which her right middle finger was asymptomatic. She awoke with an acute mallet deformity to her right middle finger, but the surgery was unrelated to her hand. It was the Claimant’s case that the mallet deformity was consistent with blunt trauma and must have been caused by the culpable act of a treating clinician during her surgery. The Claimant faced an obvious potential evidential difficulty in proving her claim. Having been under general anaesthetic, the cause of her injury was outwith her direct contemplation. The Claimant contended that the facts, as known to the her at the time she pleaded her case, gave rise in themselves to a prima facie case of negligence i.e. res ipsa loquitur. The health board Defendant had denied liability. It had interviewed those … Read More

Court of Appeal – mobile phone data from victims of rape

Matthew Dunford from our Crime Team  recently represented the prosecution in a Court of Appeal case concerning the issues around the seizure and examination of mobile phone data from the victims of rape. The case has been reported, Charnock v R [2021] EWCA Crim 100 (and on BAILII at ) … Read More