Clerking team

Andy Booth

Lead Criminal Clerk

Shell Edmonds

Criminal Clerk

Lien Forster

Junior Criminal Clerk

Nageena Mahmoud

Junior Criminal Clerk

James is a criminal practitioner. He joined Chambers in April 2023 as a probationary tenant under the supervision of Gemma Maxwell.

James completed his pupillage at the Crown Prosecution Service in September 2022. Following successful completion of pupillage, James appeared regularly in courts across Greater Manchester and Lancashire. He has consistently been exposed to a high caseload and is frequently instructed in cases concerning serious domestic abuse, violence, dishonesty, drugs supply, weapons, and road traffic offences.

Prior to the Bar, as an undergraduate, James was a member of Lancaster University’s Miscarriages of Justice Clinic. He worked on cases concerning murder, armed robbery, and sexual offences to present to the Criminal Cases Review Commission for consideration of appeals.

James welcomes instructions to act for both the defence and the prosecution. Since joining Chambers, he has been instructed in a number of Crown Court trials.

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

Crown Court & appeals

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.

R v J and others (2023 – ongoing): Junior counsel for the prosecution in a ten-Defendant Class A drugs conspiracy.

R v LC (2023 – ongoing): Instructed as trial counsel for the Defendant in an allegation of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent involving penetration.

R v RJ (2023 – ongoing): Instructed as trial counsel for a Defendant charged with controlling/coercive behaviour and child cruelty. s.28 case.

R v SJ (2023 – ongoing): Instructed as trial counsel for a Defendant charged with threats to kill.

R v WA (2023): Instructed as trial counsel for a Defendant who faced dwelling burglary allegations, one being with intent to commit GBH. Prosecution accepted pleas to theft from a dwelling and a public order offence.

R v LM (2023): Instructed as trial counsel for a Defendant who faced domestic abuse allegations over a period of months. Resolved by way of a guilty plea to one count of intentional strangulation on a limited basis.

R v CJ (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 ES (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.

R v DG (2023): Secured a community order for a young client who pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cannabis despite the Crown arguing a starting point of one years’ imprisonment.

R v WF (2023): Defended a man at sentence for threats with a bladed article. A sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment imposed where the Crown were arguing a starting point of 2 years.

R v KG (2023): Defended an elderly client who pleaded guilty to importing over 16.5kg of cannabis from Jamaica into the UK.

Magistrates Court

R v RM (2023): Secured the acquittal of a vulnerable client who faced allegations of sexual assault and harassment involving fear of violence. James was commended by the client’s brother: “the words James says are powerful, clear, and precise. He represented my brother who suffers from panic attacks, anxiety and has a learning disability. James made Bobby relaxed enough to get through it, winning the case hands down.” 

R v W (2023): Prosecuted a teenager at sentence for engaging in sexual activity with a child who was over three years younger than him. The offending involved the use of alcohol to facilitate the offence, significant planning, and was aggravated by the psychological harm caused to the victim amongst other features.

R v B (2023): Successfully prosecuted a man at trial for ABH whereby he assaulted the victim in a public house by inflicting a blow to the head with a pool ball as a weapon. This caused a laceration to the head. Only the victim gave evidence for the Crown whereas three defence witnesses gave evidence.

R v K (2023): The Defendant, who had previous convictions for attempt murder and violence in a domestic context, entered a guilty plea for threatening to kill his wife before trial after a detailed bad character application was served. Committed to the Crown Court for sentence for consideration of dangerousness.

R v A (2023): Successfully prosecuted a man at trial for intentional strangulation and ABH arising out of an incident whereby he attended the victim’s address early in the morning whilst intoxicated and assaulted her causing broken ribs and bruising. This occurred in the presence of their two-year-old son. Committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

R v R (2023): Successfully prosecuted a man at trial for intentional strangulation and assault. The Defendant had punched his partner before pinning her down and strangling her whilst suffocating her with his hand which caused loss of consciousness. The Defendant also threw a large metal cannister hitting the victim, who was then pregnant with their child, in the abdomen area. Committed to the Crown Court for sentence.

R v O (2023): Successfully opposed an application to exclude a confession made in interview by the Defendant who was alleged to have been in charge of a dog dangerously out of control. It was said that she should have had an appropriate adult with her in interview due to her mental vulnerability. A skeleton argument was drafted in response drawing the Court’s attention to the safeguards provided by s.77 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

R v H (2023): Prosecuted a man at sentence for malicious communications arising out of a series of threatening emails sent to Sara Britcliffe MP. Suspended Sentence Order imposed. The case was reported in the Lancashire Telegraph.

R v H (2023): Successfully defended a serving Detective Constable who was facing a disqualification at trial for failure to furnish information.

R v K (2022): ABH trial of issue involving a vulnerable victim who had learning difficulties. The Court found on the Crown’s case in that it was a persistent and pro-longed assault which was not in self-defence despite the victim having struck the Defendant with a large weapon during the altercation. Committed to the Crown Court for sentence and custodial sentence imposed.

R v D (2022): Successfully prosecuted the manager of an elderly victims’ housing complex, at trial, for domestic burglary. This abuse of trust arose from the repeat theft of prescription medication.

R v H (2022): Successfully prosecuted a man at trial for ABH on his son at their place of work. The case concerned a long history of conflict as reflected by the Defendant’s 1994 conviction against his ex-wife for ABH being admitted as important explanatory evidence.

R v F (2022): Successfully prosecuted a man at trial for failing to provide a specimen of blood. The case was reserved to a District Judge and involved the cross-examination of an expert in relation to whether the Defendant was experiencing a psychiatric episode. Suspended Sentence Order imposed.


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


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