Simon Ash's practise consists principally of prosecuting cases involving serious and organized crime including homicide, fraud, human trafficking, drug trafficking, armed robbery, and serious sexual offences. He is known for his thorough case preparation, good judgment and persuasive advocacy. His effectiveness is reflected in the high rate of success achieved in the trials he deals with. He is often instructed for his ability to deal with cases involving difficult factual or legal issues, and for his experience of cases that require sensitive handling. He has dealt with several cases, in both the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, against Queen's Counsel. He has experience of prosecuting cases, alone and as a leading junior, involving a large number of defendants. He has dealt with a number of high profile cases that have attracted national media coverage. He is on the CPS Level 4 Panel and the Rape Panel. His practise involves a significant amount of work for the Complex Casework Unit.
His experience in the Court of Appeal includes persuading the Court to quash convictions for rape (R v K  EWCA Crim 1006) and fraud (R v I [2012 EWCA Crim 217). In R v W, Times, March 30, 2011 he represented the Appellant in an appeal against conviction for penetration of a child under 13. Thomas LJ paid 'special tribute' to the way he had dealt with the case and said that he had "argued the matter with conspicuous economy and clarity".
- Homicide and Serious Offences against the Person
- Serious and Organized Crime
- Serious Sexual Offences
- Human Trafficking
• R v Woodhead  EWCA Crim 472; Times, March 30, 2011
• R v Carragher  EWCA Crim 1306;  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 25
• R v D  EWCA Crim 2292;  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 104; (2005) 169 J.P. 662;  Crim. L.R. 73; (2005) 169 J.P.N. 979
R v R and four others (2018) - Prosecution (Leading counsel)
Conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The case involved the transfer of pump action shotguns and ammunition from an organised crime group based in Leicester to an organised crime group based in Coventry. The case involved extensive surveillance and phone evidence. All of the defendants were convicted.
R v K and four others (2018) - Prosecution (Leading counsel)
Conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to convert criminal property, and causing grievous bodily harm. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The case involved two organised crime groups that were involved in a conspiracy to rob another organised crime group. The case also involved the delivery of a large quantity of drugs to one of the groups. The principal evidence in relation to these offences came from a police covert listening device that recorded conversations between members of the two groups. In addition, the leader of one of the groups carried out a serious assault on a man who was believed to have burgled his house. This man was forced into a car and driven to another location where he was attacked. All of the defendants were convicted.
R v B and four others (2018) - Prosecution (Leading counsel)
Conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to supply class B drugs, and conspiracy to convert criminal property. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The case involved an organised crime group that was involved in the supply of substantial quantities of cocaine and cannabis. All of the defendants were convicted.
R v G (2018) - Prosecution
Controlling or coercive behaviour. The defendant started a relationship with a woman who had three young children. He moved into her house after a short time. His behaviour was persistently controlling, aggressive, threatening, and violent. He prevented the victim from having contact with her friends and he kept her bank card. He was verbally abusive on an ongoing basis and made her feel worthless. He assaulted her repeatedly. He told her to kill herself several times. After five months she committed suicide by hanging herself. The defendant was convicted after a trial that lasted for two weeks. He was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment. The case attracted national media coverage.
R v B (2018) - Prosecution
Child Sexual Exploitation. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendant, who was aged 15-16 during the relevant period, had posed online as a 16 year old girl (HP). He had set up false social media profiles. He used these to incite 75 boys aged from 7 to 16 to engage in pornography and to stream this to him or to record it and send it to him. He incited the boys to engage in penetrative and degrading acts. He sometimes incited two boys to engage in sexual activity with each other, including penetrative activity. There was no issue that the person posing as HP was guilty of CSE. The evidence against the defendant related to the use of his IP address and to evidence on his phone and on his computer associated with the use of the HP profiles. The defence was that someone else was responsible. The case therefore turned on expert interpretation of the phone and computer evidence. The defendant was convicted. He was sentenced to ten years and two months custody.
R v K and four others (2018) - Prosecution
Assisting unlawful immigration to a member state. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The case involved a group that was involved in bringing people from Greece to the UK in breach of immigration law. The offending involved the defendants travelling to Greece, meeting the relevant people, providing them with UK passports, booking return flights, and travelling back to the UK with them. The offending happened repeatedly during a period of six months. All of the defendants were convicted.
R v N and 13 others (2017) – Prosecution (leading counsel)
Conspiracy to commit fraud. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendants were operating a claims management company and used it as a vehicle to carry out a crash for cash fraud. In the course of the fraud they induced a large number of road traffic collisions. Most of these collisions involved innocent third-party drivers. Fraudulent claims were made for vehicle damage, personal injury, hire car charges, and recovery and storage charges. The claims were made using stolen identities. The fraud generated half a million pounds for the offenders. The trial lasted for two months. Thirteen of the fourteen defendants were convicted. Sentences ranged from five years imprisonment to 18 months imprisonment.
R v R (2017) – Prosecution
HIV transfer – causing grievous bodily harm. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendant, knowing he had HIV, had engaged in sexual relationships with two men without telling them he had the virus. He transmitted HIV to them. The case involved expert virology evidence concerning the similarity between the strains of HIV found in the blood of the defendant and in the blood of the complainants. The defendant was convicted on both counts. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
R v B (2017) – Prosecution
Causing death by dangerous driving. The defendant fell asleep at the wheel and veered across the road into the path of an oncoming car. The driver of that car was killed as a result of the collision. The defendant had been deprived of sleep during the days leading to the collision and knew that he was not in a fit state to drive. Defendant was convicted.
R v R (2017) - Prosecution
Rape and other sexual offences. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendant was charged with sexual offences against five girls and two boys. All of the victims were teenagers. They were residents at care homes where the defendant worked as a care worker. The abuse took place during the 1980s. In relation to one of the victims the abuse involved sadistic sexual activity. The defendant was convicted at the end of a trial that lasted for four weeks. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
R v P (2017) – Prosecution
Computer hacking. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendant was charged with offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. He repeatedly hacked into the computer systems of Sports Direct, a Canadian software company called Ephere, and a veterinary clinic. Significant financial costs were incurred as a result of his offending. He was convicted.
R v A (2017) – Prosecution
Rape of a child aged under 13. Defendant was represented by a QC. The defendant was 16. Between the ages of 13 and 15 he committed a series of sexual offences, including rape, against a girl aged between 6 and 8. He was the grandson of the woman who cared for the victim while her mother was at work. He also sexually assaulted another girl, who was aged 7. He was convicted and sentenced to 5 years custody.
R v H (2016) - Prosecution
Attempted murder. The defendant went to the home of his ex-partner with a large hunting-type knife and attacked her new partner. During the preceding weeks, the defendant had sent a series of threatening messages to the victim. The defendant tried to stab the victim repeatedly to the chest, neck, and head, inflicting several stab wounds to his arm. After a struggle, the victim started to run away and the defendant stabbed him in the back, puncturing his lung and causing it to collapse. The victim was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries. The defendant was convicted of wounding with intent and having an offensive weapon. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.
R v T and C (2016) - Prosecution
Conspiracy to commit robbery. Cash in transit armed robbery. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendants were involved in a conspiracy to rob a Loomis van. The security officers were refilling a cashpoint when they were attacked by two men wearing balaclavas. One of the offenders had a handgun and the other had a large knife. The offenders assaulted the security officers and threatened to kill them. They stole two cash cassettes and escaped in a stolen car. The prosecution case was based largely on phone evidence. The defendants were convicted.
R v B (2015) - Prosecution
Attempted murder. The defendant, in separate incidents, attacked two other inmates in prison. He hit them repeatedly to the head with weights bars. During the second attack, he had to be dragged away by other prisoners. The victims both had convictions for child sex offences and this was what had motivated the defendant to attack them. The victim of the second attack sustained serious brain injuries. The defendant was convicted. He was serving a sentence for murder when he committed these offences. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
R v D and eight others (2015) - Prosecution
Conspiracy to supply cocaine and other drug trafficking offences. Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit. The defendants were involved in a conspiracy to supply large quantities of importation grade cocaine. One group of defendants was operating at or near the top of the supply chain in the UK. The offending covered London, Hertfordshire, and Northamptonshire. Tick lists found at the homes of the principal defendants showed drugs debts amounting to several million pounds. The offending also involved the supply of heroin and the production and supply of cannabis at lower levels. The police found a drugs press at the home of one of the defendants (used to press kilo and half kilo blocks of class A drugs). The case involved a combination of surveillance, phone traffic, cell-site, ANPR, and DNA evidence to prove the defendants' involvement in the offending. All of the defendants were convicted.
R v B (2015) - Prosecution
False imprisonment and vaginal, anal, and oral rape of two young women. The defendant falsely imprisoned the victims for four and eight hours respectively. He raped each of them repeatedly. The rapes were sadistic and were intended to degrade and humiliate the victims. The abuse of each victim involved unusually disturbing sexual activity. The defendant photographed and video-recorded some parts of what happened. The case involved showing the jury the photographs and video recordings. The second victim's hands and feet were bound together throughout the eight hours during which the defendant falsely imprisoned her. The defendant claimed that he had paid the victims £500 each to let him act out his rape fantasies with them. The defendant was living in the UK in a false name. He denied his true identity in order to conceal a Polish conviction for rape. The prosecution obtained evidence from Poland to prove his true identity (by fingerprint comparison) and the fact and details of the conviction. The defendant was convicted after a trial that lasted for three weeks. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
R v A (2014) - Prosecution
Human trafficking and rape. The case involved the trafficking of a young woman from Slovakia to the UK where she was sold and then repeatedly raped and beaten. The defendant held her for several months before she was able to escape and contact the police. The case also involved the possession of extreme pornography, including a video of a young woman being raped at knifepoint. The case in respect of the human trafficking, rape and violence offences was stopped shortly before the trial because the complainant returned to Slovakia and declined to give evidence. The defendant was convicted of the extreme pornography offence.
See CV for other notable cases.
Education, Qualifications & Associations
● BA (Hons.) in Law, Oxford University (1993-1996)
● BVC, BPP Law School, London (1997-1998)
● Called to the Bar in 1999
● Joined 36 Bedford Row in 1999
● Member of Gray’s Inn
● Member of the Midland Circuit