Clerking team

Andy Booth

Lead Criminal Clerk

Shell Edmonds

Criminal Clerk

Lien Forster

Junior Criminal Clerk

Nageena Mahmoud

Junior Criminal Clerk

Stephanie Casey

Junior Criminal Clerk

James specialises in crime, both prosecuting and defending. He enjoys a busy Crown Court practice and is a member of the CPS Advocate Panel at Level 2. He is frequently instructed in cases concerning serious violence, drug trafficking and production, firearms, sexual offences, domestic abuse, dangerous dogs, and dishonesty offences.

James joined Chambers in August 2023 as a Probationary Tenant under the supervision of Gemma Maxwell. He completed pupillage at the Crown Prosecution Service in September 2022 where he gained beneficial experience in the Magistrates’ and Youth Courts.

James studied Law at Lancaster University and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 2021 after being awarded a Distinction in his Master’s Degree in Legal Practice.

In his spare time, James enjoys the outdoors and is a keen angler. He also plays Traditional Irish Music.

Crown Court & appeals

Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)

R v Kennard Gray [2024] EWCA Crim 296: Successfully appealed against sentence in a case concerning the importation of over 16.5 kilograms of cannabis from Jamaica into Manchester. The original sentence of 33 months’ imprisonment was quashed and replaced with a 22-month suspended sentence resulting in the client’s immediate release. Andrews LJ commented: “it is always nice in this Court when Counsel, acting in the best traditions of the Bar, comes at their own expense to argue a case like this, and you have done a very good job for your client.” Read the Judgment here. The case is covered on our News page.

R v Andrew Newton [2022] EWCA Crim 1441: Advised the Solicitor General in a case of child cruelty relating to bone fractures caused to a 10-week-old baby. Suspended Sentence Order held to be ‘unduly lenient’ was replaced with a sentence of three years’ imprisonment. The case was reported by BBC News.

Crown Court

Operation Riverside (2024): Successfully prosecuted a large-scale Class A drugs conspiracy, led by Maria Brannan.

R v MA (2024 – ongoing): Defending a youth who falls to be sentenced for possessing prohibited firearms, namely a 9mm handgun and a double-barrelled shotgun.

R v Lee Cookson (2024 – ongoing): Defending in an allegation of engaging in sexual activity without consent involving penetration.

R v Emre San (2024 – ongoing): Prosecuting in a case concerning Assaults Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm of two children aged 6 and 7 involving pre-recorded cross-examination with intermediaries.

R v Ioanna Popov (2024): Defended in a case concerning the production of cannabis. Ms Popov was the occupier of an address where cannabis was being produced in a bedroom and the loft. No evidence was offered by the Prosecution after cross-examination of the Officer in the Case who agreed that there was no evidence showing that Ms Popov played any active participation in the operation.

R v Asad Khan (2024): Secured a Suspended Sentence Order for a young man with autism and learning difficulties who pleaded guilty to stalking involving fear of violence and disclosing/threatening to disclose private sexual images occurring over the course of a year.

R v Adam Matthews (2024): Defended a man alleged to have violently robbed his elderly neighbour during the course of their feud. The Prosecution accepted pleas to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and theft on a limited basis. This resulted in the imposition of a short custodial sentence after a Goodyear indication, thereby avoiding a lengthy term of imprisonment.

R v Ryan Johnson (2024): Defended in a controlling/coercive behaviour and child cruelty case involving pre-recorded cross-examination. Acquitted of two child cruelty counts after trial. Successfully persuaded the Court that culpability was medium despite the 25-month indictment period, relying on the authority of R v Katira [2020] EWCA Crim 89.

R v Waqar Ahmed (2023): Defended a man who faced two dwelling burglary allegations, one being with intent to commit GBH. Prosecution accepted pleas to theft and a public order offence. Community order imposed.

R v Leon Murphy (2023): Defended a man who faced numerous domestic abuse allegations over a period of months. Resolved by way of a guilty plea on the day of trial to one count of intentional strangulation on a limited basis. Exceptionally, a community order was imposed at sentence.

R v Muneeb Asif (2023): Mitigated for a sentence of just 2 years’ 8 months’ imprisonment for a young client who pleaded guilty to possessing half a kilogram of Class A drugs with intent to supply.

R v Connor Jones (2023): Secured a suspended sentence order for a vulnerable client for a s.20 wounding and s.47 ABH arising out of an incident whereby he stabbed his step father with a knife, going beyond reasonable self-defence. Wounds were caused to the head and legs. Numerous aggravating factors were present such as the presence of a child, being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and previous convictions for violence.

R v Ebaney Shaw (2023): Secured a community order for a young client who pleaded guilty to violent disorder along with five other Co-Defendants. It was a prolonged incident where all participants produced numerous weapons causing injury, aggravated by the presence of children. All other Co-Defendants received custodial sentences. Reported by the Lancashire Telegraph.

Magistrates Court

R v Rachel Kirkham (2024): Represented a single mother who pleaded guilty to possessing 3 kilograms of cannabis with intent to supply, her role being a courier. A carefully drafted basis of plea resulted in a finding of ‘lesser role’ and the imposition of a community order.

R v Daniel Towers (2024): Secured a financial penalty and a contingent dog destruction order for a client who pleaded guilty to being in control of two dogs dangerously out of control causing injury to a youth.

R v Robert Murphy (2023): Vulnerable client with learning difficulties acquitted of sexual assault and harassment involving fear of violence after a trial.

R v Lee Kelly (2023): Prosecuted a man who pleaded guilty to threatening to kill his wife after a bad character application was drafted regarding the Defendant’s old previous convictions for attempted murder and violence in a domestic context, drawing the Court’s attention to R v Cox [2014] EWCA Crim 804 and R v Williams (1987) 84 Cr. App. R. 299.

R v Howard Hudson (2023): Prosecuted a man for malicious communications arising out of a series of threatening emails sent to a Member of Parliament. Reported in the Lancashire Telegraph.

R v Katrina Dempster (2022): Successfully prosecuted the manager of a Care Home at trial for burgling an elderly resident on two occasions.

Education

  • LLM, BPP University: Distinction
  • Bar Training Course, BPP University: Very Competent
  • LLB Law, University of Lancaster: 2.1

Memberships

  • The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
  • The Northern Circuit
  • The Criminal Bar Association