Sam is an experienced trial advocate, having been called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1998 and to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 2007. He has acted for the prosecution and defence on an impressive selection of criminal cases including murder and manslaughter, fraud and business crime, importation, people trafficking and gangland execution.
Notable Complex Crime cases
R v TK
Prosecuted (leading Jeremy Evans) defendant charged with murdering his brother by stabbing. Convicted.
R v A & A
Prosecuted two brothers charged with attacking two other brothers, murdering one and causing the other GBH with intent. Both convicted on both counts.
R v JM & Others
Conspiracy to murder. Defending. Prosecution alleged failed hit in context of organised crime.
R v CS & AM
Defending first defendant in cut-throat murder.
R v RK & Others
Defendant first defendant of seven in cut-throat torture murder.
R v TU & KS
Defended charge of murder alleged to arise from organised crime double-cross. Acquitted of murder. Convicted of manslaughter.
R v FS & AS
Defending alleged conspiracy to engage in preparation of acts of terrorism.
R v PJ & PL
Defended police officer accused of aiding and abetting s.18 of suspect by dog bite. Both officers acquitted after five-week trial.
R v JW (2018)
Secured acquittal of defendant accused of conspiracy to murder. Girlfriend of alleged gangland rival shot in face at point blank range.
R v MP (2018)
Defending alleged murder of another family member by stabbing following a relative’s funeral. Acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
R v DA (2018)
Defending man charge with murder. Defendant had, several years previously, been convicted of causing deceased grievous bodily harm with intent. Prosecution case was that the deceased subsequently succumbed to the injuries he had sustained during the assault which led to the earlier conviction, and therefore charged Defendant with murder. Issues included the way in which the original conviction could be used in the murder trial and complicated issues of medical causation.
R v MP (2018)
Defending man accused of beating his mother’s abusive lover to death.
R v HK
Defence (with Angus MacDonald) of young man accused of attempted murder of a criminal dealing drugs near a cemetery at night and armed robbery. Prosecution case was that the shooting was a failed hit. Acquitted of attempted murder, and convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent instead.
R v KC
Successful defence (with Andrew Haslam) of a man accused of murdering an older male who had abused the accused sexually when the accused was a child. Following cross-examination of principal prosecution witnesses, Crown accepted defendant’s plea of manslaughter on basis of loss of control and diminished responsibility.
R v M & E  EWCA Crim. 739
Appeared at sentence appeal on behalf of one of two fifteen-year-olds believed to be Britain’s youngest double murderers, resulting in 20-year minimum terms being reduced to 17.5 years. Issues argued also included appropriateness of continued reporting restrictions.
R v NS
Prosecuted man following frenzied axe attack on police officer whilst on duty, resulting in injuries of the utmost gravity. Sentenced to 15 years.
R v CF
Defendant charged with murder. Fatal stabbing on a street in Newcastle following a house party involving drink, drugs and sex.
R v DM
Defendant charged with manslaughter. Scrutiny of complex pathology evidence rendered homicide charge unsustainable, so Crown accepted plea to inflicting grievous bodily harm.
LR v CB
Led Keith Thomas of LT Law, Carlisle. Defending. Secured the acquittal of a man charged with the manslaughter of his four-week old baby. During the 2 1⁄2 week trial, the Prosecution relied upon a fracture to the child’s skull, along with what the experts termed a “modified triad” of internal head injuries – subdural bleeding, a swollen brain, and bleeding within the sheath of the optic nerves – as being diagnostic of non-accidental traumatic causation, and alleged that only the father had the opportunity to assault his child in the period immediately before death. Defence case was that the fracture might have happened after death, in which case the modified triad not conclusive proof of non-accidentally caused trauma and, in any event, if non-accidental, there was another potential culprit.
R v Johnson
Led Stephen Welford. Represented one of three defendants, charged with conspiracy to murder (shooting in Leeds). Client alleged to have provided the gun used by the shooter. Pleaded guilty, on second day of trial, to possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.
R v Johnson & Ollerhead
M62 hen-party crash. Allegations of causing death by dangerous driving. Defending the minibus driver.