Simon Ash KC prosecutes substantial, complex cases, principally involving homicide and serious organised crime. He is recognised for his good judgment and strategic decision-making, his thorough preparation, and his persuasive written and oral advocacy.

He is experienced in dealing with highly sensitive intelligence issues, Legal Professional Privilege, the presentation of extensive, complicated evidence, and cases involving particularly vulnerable witnesses and defendants. He is regularly instructed by the Serious Economic Organised Crime and International Directorate and by the Complex Casework Unit. He has also been instructed in recent years by the CPS London Homicide Unit. He is currently involved in several cases arising from Operation Venetic, the multinational police operation involving the EncroChat encrypted phone communication system.

Work Undertaken

Homicide
Serious Organised Crime
Fraud
Serious Sexual Offences

Key cases

Operation Rockrose 2 (2024) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by SEOCID. Venetic case. Ongoing.

Operation Verax (2024) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Venetic case. Ongoing.

Operation Liberate (2024) – Murder. The defendant tortured the victim with a knife for two to three hours, before the victim bled to death from multiple wounds. Case involved the partial defence of loss of control. Prosecution argued successfully that this should be withdrawn from the jury at the end of the evidence. Defendant was convicted of murder.

R v B and others (2024) – Court of Appeal. Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Venetic case. Prosecution successfully appealed against a terminating ruling that had been made by the trial judge at the end of the prosecution case, two months into the trial.

Operation Rockrose (2023) – Conspiracy to murder. Instructed by SEOCID. Venetic case. Contract killing. A high-level drug dealer based in Dubai arranged for an OCG based in the UK to murder people. The first victim was shot to the face and torso at his home in front of his partner and a young child. A second planned murder was prevented by the arrest of the defendants. The trial lasted for four months. All three defendants were convicted.

Operation Hebden (2023) – Murder. Instructed by CCU. Premeditated murder of three people. Defendant poured petrol through the letterbox of a first-floor flat and ignited it, knowing that a woman and her two daughters, aged 3 and 1, were inside. By setting the fire at the only way in and out of the flat he prevented any real chance of escape. He remained at the scene for some time, watching the fire take hold, until neighbours raised the alarm. Trial involved issue of diminished responsibility. Defendant was convicted of all three murders.

Operation Igneous 3 (2023) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Venetic case. Supply of more than 70 kg of heroin and cocaine and movement of £1.6M cash. The offending took place during a three-month period. All seven defendants convicted.

Operation Tangail (2022) – Murder. Instructed by London Homicide Unit. The defendant stabbed her partner, killing him. She had previously stabbed another man, causing him very serious injuries.

Operation Arcturus (2022) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by SEOCID. Venetic case. Supply of class A drugs. Case involved the supply of 145 kg of heroin and cocaine, valued at £6M. The offending took place during a three-month period. All six defendants were convicted.

Operation Monopoly (2022) – Murder. Defendant manoeuvred a car to point it at the deceased, who was on the pavement. Defendant then drove onto the pavement. He knocked the deceased down and drove over him, killing him. Defendant convicted of manslaughter.

Operation Boodles (2022) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Venetic case. Supply of class A drugs. The case involved the supply of more than 40 kg of heroin and cocaine during a six-month period. All 18 defendants were convicted.

Operation Rescript (2021) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Firearms offences and large-scale production of cannabis at multiple locations in different parts of the country.

Operation Kidney (2021) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Class A drug dealing and the use of serious violence to enforce the drugs enterprise. This included driving a car on to the pavement at speed to hit a man associated with a rival group.

Operation Igneous 2 (2021) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Drugs couriers stopped in possession of six kilos of cocaine. Linked to a Venetic case.

Operation Igneous 1 (2020) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Drugs courier stopped in possession of three kilos of cocaine. Linked to a Venetic case.

Operation E (2020) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons, conspiracy to supply class A drugs, and money laundering. 17 defendants. Case involved multiple OCGs, extensive surveillance, covert monitoring post evidence, the use of EncroChat phones (pre-Venetic), complex phone evidence, and complex disclosure issues.

Operation Xylographer (2020) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Conspiracy to supply class A drugs and firearms offences. 17 defendants. Case involved multiple OCGs, extensive surveillance evidence, complex phone evidence, and complex disclosure issues.

Operation Pironi (2020) – Fraud. Instructed by CCU. Advised at pre-charge stage on allegations of fraud in relation to the management of a children’s cancer charity. Work involved complex financial evidence and obtaining evidence from the US.

Operation Dew (2019) – Instructed by CCU. The defendant violently shook a young baby causing catastrophic injuries. Case involved complex medical evidence in fields of paediatric neurosurgery, paediatric neurology, paediatric haematology, paediatric radiology, and paediatric ophthalmology.

Operation Yelting (2019) – Serious organised crime. Shooting between rival OCGs. Five defendants, all convicted. Case involved the covert recording of defendants in police custody, complex phone evidence, and complex DNA evidence.

Operation Jolson (2019) – Prosecution of a primary school teacher on allegations of historic sexual offences against 11 pupils aged 7 to 11. Case involved complex disclosure issues, complex bad character issues, and DNA evidence.

Operation Forebear (2019) – Serious organised crime. Shooting between rival OCGs. Six defendants. Case involved the covert recording of defendants in police custody and witness anonymity issues.

R v T (2019) – Possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life. The defendant and another man fired shotguns at a group of people. Case involved expert ballistic evidence, telematics evidence, and complex phone evidence.

Operation Vera (2019) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Case involved a series of offences of assisting unlawful immigration. Five defendants, all convicted. The offending involved arranging flights, providing false passports, and travelling with the people being assisted to enter the UK illegally.

R v R (2018) – Murder. Case involved the stabbing, by a drug dealer, of two men who had tried to rob him. One of the victims was killed and the other was left with life-threatening injuries. Case involved complex medical evidence relating to the precise way in which the injuries were caused.

Operation Dynasty (2018) – Manslaughter, false imprisonment, and perverting the course of justice. Instructed by CCU. Following a fraud perpetrated on two businessmen, one of the perpetrators was held captive at a factory. When he tried to escape, he was killed. Five defendants, all convicted. Case involved complex expert voice recognition evidence, the covert recording of the defendants in police custody, legal professional privilege issues, and complex pathology evidence.

Operation Lawndale (2018) – Child sexual exploitation. Instructed by CCU. Defendant set up false social media profiles, posed online as a 17 year old girl, and caused 75 boys aged from 7 to 16 to engage in pornography. Case involved complex expert IT evidence and obtaining evidence from the US.

Operation Argent (2018) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Conspiracy to transfer prohibited weapons, conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to rob, causing grievous bodily harm with intent, and money laundering. 17 defendants. Case involved multiple OCGs, covert monitoring post evidence, and expert voice recognition evidence.

Operation Kotal (2018) – Coercive and controlling behaviour that resulted in the suicide of a woman who had three young children. Case involved the police arranging for a witness to meet the defendant while wearing a covert recording device. One of the first prosecutions under s. 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015.

Operation Marmite (2018) – HIV transfer. Instructed by CCU. The defendant infected his sexual partner with HIV. Case involved the extradition of the defendant from Canada and complex medical evidence.

Operation Cadmus (2017) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Armed robbery of a cash in transit van. Three defendants. Case involved serious violence involving the use of a firearm, expert vehicle identification evidence, and complex phone evidence.

Operation Skipsea (2017) – Fraud. Instructed by CCU. Sophisticated, high value conspiracy to defraud insurance companies. 14 defendants. Case involved complex legal professional privilege issues.

R v R (2017) – HIV transfer. Instructed by CCU. The defendant infected two sexual partners with HIV. The case involved complex virology evidence.

Operation Monary (2017) – Serious organised crime. Instructed by CCU. Conspiracy to supply class A drugs. Nine defendants, all convicted. Case involved the supply of class A drugs valued at £8M.

R v B (2017) – Causing death by dangerous driving. The defendant fell asleep as he was driving and veered across the road into the path of an oncoming car, killing the driver of that car. Case involved complex expert collision reconstruction evidence.

Operation Bayliss (2017) – Rape and other serious sexual offences. Instructed by CCU. Defendant, when working as the manager of a children’s care home, raped and sexually abused seven children. In relation to one of the victims, the offending involved sadistic sexual activity. Case involved complex disclosure issues.

Operation Tinman (2017) – Cybercrime. Instructed by CCU. The defendant committed Computer Misuse Act offences in relation to the systems of companies in the UK and abroad, resulting in substantial financial losses to those companies.

R v T, O, and M (2016) – Attempted murder. Serious organised crime. Case involved the shooting at close range of an innocent man who was misidentified as the perpetrator of an earlier drive-by shooting at the home of the first defendant. Case involved complex expert ballistics evidence and complex phone evidence.

R v B (2016) – The defendant, on separate occasions, abducted two women, held them captive, and raped them repeatedly. The offending involved sadism and degradation of the victims. The defendant took photographs and made video recordings of some of the activity. He was convicted after a trial and sentenced to life imprisonment.

R v H (2016) – Attempted murder. Defendant used a large hunting knife to stab the victim repeatedly to the head, neck, and chest, causing life-threatening injuries.

R v B (2016) – Attempted murder. Defendant attacked a fellow prisoner and hit him repeatedly to the head with a weights bar, causing life-threatening neurological injuries.

Further information

BA in Law, Oxford University – 1996

Member of Gray’s Inn
Member of the Midland Circuit
Recorder – 2019
King’s Counsel – 2021