James joined 36 Crime after 10 years in the West Midlands, having built strong foundations in criminal and regulatory law.
In the last few years he has accepted instructions in more serious cases involving violence and dishonesty. He has a way of speaking to witnesses and clients that dispels myths and fears about the Crown Court. This enables them to concentrate on giving their best evidence, increasing the chances of success in the case as a whole.
James has particular experience in local authority and trading standards prosecutions, where he lends his expertise to instructing solicitors at the earliest stages of case preparation. He enjoys seeing cases all the way through, providing continuity and strategy from beginning to end.
A qualified advocate appointed to “List C” for government agency work, James prosecutes and defends in cases involving the Environment Agency, HSE etc. He has trained inspectors and experts at the HSE. His grasp of this area assists in other cases, particularly in Coronial Law where he has represented local authorities, the NHS and families of the deceased at Inquests.
His regulatory practice extends to licensing work too. James takes cases before local licensing committees and on appeal in the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.
James has experience defending cases in the Courts Martial, from desertion to ill-treating subordinates. He has appeared in Bulford, Colchester and Portsmouth Military Court Centres, as well as the Court of Appeal. James is able to represent clients nationwide and overseas.
Most notably, he defended a marine who was involved in supervising a high-profile “joining run”. New joiners at 45 Commando were put through an initiation ceremony which included being forced to eat dog food. The case was reported in the national press at the time.
Direct access advisory, drafting and advocacy
Advisory, drafting and advocacy post-charge
Appellate drafting and advocacy
Regulatory - licensing committee applications and appeals
Regulatory - inquest advisory and advocacy
Appointments & Memberships
CPS General Crime Grade 3
CPS Specialist Fraud Grade 2
Regulatory Crime List C (Environment Agency, HSE, CQC, ORR, ONR)
Serious Crime Panel Grade 2
R v Sutton and others
Prosecuted a 33-event conspiracy to burgle in Wolverhampton which resulted in pleas on the second day of trial. The group of six defendants received collective sentences in excess of 20 years.
R v Qadeer
Prosecuted to conviction a carjacker who used a hammer to rob a lone female in a car park at night. Issue in the case was identification and scientific evidence. Successfully rebutted Defence argument of DNA contact transfer.
R v Moscrop
Defended a driver who injured his friend whilst driving on the M4 near Reading. Was able to show the friend’s description of dangerous driving was from a point well before the accident and that there had been no concerns in the half an hour before the crash. Acquitted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
R v G
Defended a 16 year old accused of rape. The case involved careful challenge of a number of young prosecution witnesses. Defendant acquitted through contrasting the accounts of the witnesses with CCTV, and each other.
R v Alderman
Prosecuted a local Councillor (Rutland) for menacing and grossly offensive posts on Facebook. Guilty plea resulting in a community order with an electronically monitored curfew.
Disclosure for the CPS Complex Casework Unit
James has gained extensive experience of the disclosure regime through his work supporting high profile investigations. He applies this knowledge in all of his cases. It is particularly valuable when advising on local authority and private prosecutions, but also when defending to ensure the police and prosecutor reveal all material which will help a defendant’s cause.
Regulatory, Environment and Trading Standards
R (Lancaster City Council) v B. Davies & Sons  EWCA Crim 1624
Prosecuted a food processing company for taking pet-food-grade meat and relabelling it as fit for human consumption. The company pleaded guilty after losing a legal argument before the trial judge.
The company challenged their sentence in the Court of Appeal, where James continued to represent the local authority. The sentence was upheld, with their Lordships expressing their thanks for his assistance in opposing the appeal.
R (Birmingham City Council) v Bousjin
Prosecuted to conviction the sale of illicit (counterfeit and smuggled) tobacco by a corner shop. The case proceeded to confiscation where James successfully challenged expert accountancy evidence to persuade the Crown Court to impose a substantial order.
R (Lancaster City Council) v Ellison
Prosecuted what The Times referred to as the only breach of Smoke Control Zones rules in the preceding five years (as at 2016). Secured conviction by demonstrating in cross-examination that the defence “expert” was in fact a friend of the defendant.
R (Hinckley & Bosworth BC) v Hinckley Golf Club
Prosecuted health and safety offences arising out of a fatality to a groundskeeper. James was led at trial, where his role was to ensure the prosecution witnesses - who were mostly employees - remained willing to give evidence. Secured convictions against the club.
Re: Hennessey’s, Torbay Council
Represented Devon and Cornwall Police in their successful application to review and revoke the licence of a premises in Torquay. It had been a problem venue for some time, but continued to trade during the pandemic and flouted the Tier rules which were in place in 2020.
Represented the licensee in their successful application to extend the licensed hours of a premises in a small coastal village in Devon. Overcame the objections of the neighbours by critically analysing their evidence and revealing they too held a licence so stood to gain from a refusal.
Represented an ambulance service in the high-profile death in state custody inquest. James helped keep the coroner and jury focused on whether the actions of his clients would have made a difference in the outcome, which the final findings reflected.
Represented a local authority at an inquest where a child had committed suicide whilst in care. Sensitively handled the case, held in front of a jury, and assisted the court to come to a finding which was not critical of James’ client.
Represented the family of the deceased at an inquest where an NHS hosptial had mistakenly left a “Do Not Resuscitate” sign on the bed from a previous patient. Resulted in a report to prevent future deaths.