Clerking team

Louise Gold

Lead Clerk, Crime

Jessica Bull

Junior Clerk, Crime

Jack Paxton

Junior Clerk, Crime

Mark is a Level 2 CPS Panel Advocate and joined St John’s Buildings as a tenant in October 2023. Prior to that, Mark completed his pupillage at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and acted as a Crown Prosecutor across Yorkshire and Humberside. During his time in the CPS, Mark prosecuted a wide variety of cases in both the Crown Court and the magistrates’ courts. Mark continues to develop his prosecuting practice and expand his practice into defence work.

Previously, Mark was a Principal Lecturer in Law. He spent eight years in Higher Education teaching law across undergraduate and postgraduate portfolios, specialising in criminal law, evidence, and procedure. With his background in academia, Mark combines his extensive knowledge of the substantive law, with his personable outlook and meticulous nature, to deliver the highest-possible service.

Mark prides himself in being an approachable and dedicated advocate who works closely with all parties in a case to ensure the smooth and effective running of proceedings. He is regularly praised by members of the Judiciary for his fair-handed approach to prosecuting, his preparedness for cases, and the use/production of documents to assist them in their role.

Mark also holds a number of independent roles relevant to his practice:

  • Mark sits on the Management Committee for The Advocate’s Gateway (TAG). TAG is a non-profit organisation which provides education materials for practitioners and academics on the correct methods of dealing with vulnerable individuals in the justice system. Mark’s experience with TAG ensures that his knowledge of working with vulnerable individuals remains relevant and contemporary.
  • Mark is the Senior Deputy Editor in Chief for The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, an internationally renowned peer-reviewed publication. Mark is involved in the management and review of submissions to the Journal, and regularly advises on modern developments in the law of evidence and procedure worthy of comment.
  • Mark is a contracted Case Note Author for The Journal of Criminal Law where he publishes quarterly case notes updating readers on new developments in the common law relating to substantive criminal law, evidence, and procedure.

Crown Court & appeals

Mark is a Level 2 Prosecutor and regularly appears in the Crown Court. Mark has developed a strong prosecution practice in the Crown Court and strives to obtain further instructions in more complex and challenging cases. Mark further wishes to extend his experience into defence work.

Cases of note:

  • R v Hogg (2023): Prosecuted a committal for sentence for non-fatal suffocation following the Court of Appeal’s judgment in R v Cook [2023] EWCA Crim 452. Effectively used the principles in Cook on non-fatal strangulation and applied them to the offence of suffocation.
  • R v Brennan (2023): Prosecuted an offence involving the possession of a mobile phone in prison. This required the use of numerous common law authorities to assist the Court in sentencing given the lack of definitive Sentencing Council Guidelines.
  • R v Worthington (2023): Prosecuted a young defendant for seven different offences, including handling stolen goods, going equipped for burglary and dangerous driving. The case raised issues as to the legal principles relevant to sentencing young offenders who have reached adulthood.
  • R v Ward (2023): Prosecuted four offences of causing unnecessary suffering to animals where the defendant attacked three horses with a knife and attempted to strangle a fourth. The case was covered on the BBC.

Magistrates Court

Mark has extensive experience prosecuting cases in the magistrates’ court. Mark has prosecuted in a broad range of courts, including trial, remand, GAP, NGAP, PCVL and PSR court. Mark has particular experience in prosecuting offences of violence, property offences, and road traffic matters including special reasons and mitigation cases.

Cases of Note:

  • R v Boland (2023): Prosecuted a breach of restraining order and stalking trial involving a vulnerable complainant. Successfully admitted a single previous conviction as bad character and, following conviction, successfully submitted that the offences ought to be committed for sentence to the Crown Court.
  • R v Brzozowski (2023): Prosecuted a defendant who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder for 11 offences across four dates, including offences of violence, dishonesty and damage to property.
  • R v Hull (2023): Prosecuted a case of common assault at a football match, which included a large quantity of multi-media evidence. Successfully obtained a Football Banning Order following a contested hearing.
  • R v Wilson (2023): Prosecuted two charges of assault by beating involving the novel issue of whether the splashback of red wine when being poured from the bottle could amount to the application of force for the purposes of assault by beating.
  • R v Anderson (2023): Prosecuted assault of emergency worker and public order offences, and successfully applied for a five-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO). The case was covered on ITV.


  • LLM in Legal Practice, Nottingham Trent University (2016)
  • BPTC, Nottingham Trent University (2014)
  • LLB (Hons), The University of Sheffield (2013)

Mark is also an Associate Fellow of Advance HE (formerly the Higher Education Academy) and is working towards the submission of his PhD, concerned with the use of force by householders in self-defence.



  • Mark Thomas and James J Ball, Revise SQE: Criminal Practice (2nd edn, Fink Publishing Ltd 2023)
  • Mark Thomas (ed), Revise SQE: FLK1 Practice Assessment (Fink Publishing Ltd 2023)
  • Mark Thomas (ed), Revise SQE: FLK2 Practice Assessment (Fink Publishing Ltd 2023)
  • Mark Thomas, Criminal Law (3rd edn, Hall & Stott Publishing 2023)
  • Mark Thomas (ed), Revise SQE: Ethics and Professional Conduct (Fink Publishing Ltd 2022)
  • Mark Thomas and Samantha Pegg, Revise SQE: Criminal Law (Fink Publishing Ltd 2021)
  • Mark Thomas and Claire McGourlay, English Legal Systems Concentrate (2nd edn, OUP 2020)
  • Jonathan Doak, Claire McGourlay and Mark Thomas, Evidence: Law and Context (5th edn, Routledge 2018) – 6th edn forthcoming


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles:

  • Mark Thomas, ‘Defenceless Castles: The Use of Grossly Disproportionate Force for Householders in Light of the Decision in Collins’ (2016) 80(6) J Crim L 407


Peer-reviewed Case Notes:

  • Mark Thomas and James J Ball, Intentional Strangulation: The Proper Approach to Sentencing in the Absence of a Sentencing Guideline: R v Cook [2023] EWCA Crim 452’ (2023) 87(4) J Crim L 281.
  • Mark Thomas and James J Ball, ‘Either-way until proven otherwise: Determining when shoplifting is “low value”: Candlish v Director of Public Prosecutions [2022] EWHC 842 (Admin); [2022] 2 Cr App R 21’ (2023) 87(1) J Crim L 65.
  • James J Ball and Mark Thomas, ‘Opening the Door to Vindication: Reviewing the Evidential Bases for the “Householder Defence”: R v Magson [2022] EWCA Crim 1064’ (2022) 86(5) J Crim L 372.
  • Mark Thomas and Samantha Pegg, ‘“Proper Medical Purpose”: Reviewing Consent and the Medical Exemption to Offences Against the Person: R v Paterson [2022] EWCA Crim 456 (2022) 86(4) J Crim L 281.
  • Mark Thomas and Samantha Pegg, ‘“Whatever its Circumstances”: Odd Behaviour and Sexual Touchings: R v Abdulahi [2022] EWCA Crim 412’ (2022) 86(3) J Crim L 216.
  • Mark Thomas and James J Ball, ‘Morality and Command Delusions: Reviewing the Requirement of Wrongdoing in the M’Naghten Rules: R v Keal [2022] EWCA Crim 341, [2022] 4 WLR 41’ (2022) 86(2) J Crim L 130.
  • Mark Thomas and James J Ball, ‘‘Snatch, Grab and Jury Speculation’: Reviewing the Use of Force in Robbery: R v Martins [2021] EWCA Crim 223’ (2021) 85(4) J Crim L 320.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘A Question of Fact Not Intent: No Requirement to Prove that D Intended the Touching to Be Sexual for the Purposes of Sexual Assault: Attorney General’s Reference (No 1 of 2020) [2020] EWCA Crim 1665’ (2021) 85(3) J Crim L 240.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘Loss of Self-Control: A Reminder of the Particularly High Threshold: R v Dawson [2021] EWCA Crim 40’ (2021) 85(2) J Crim L 161.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘Breaking the Chain of Causation: Reasonable Foreseeability and the ‘Exact Form’ of a Subsequent Act: R v A [2020] EWCA Crim 407; [2020] 1 WLR 2320’ (2020) 84(6) J Crim L 626.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘Clarifying the Applicable Test for Dishonesty and Modifying Stare Decisis, but Otherwise a Missed Opportunity: R v Barton; R v Booth [2020] EWCA Crim 575’ (2020) 84(4) J Crim L 385.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘“Expert Shopping”: Appeals Adducing Fresh Evidence in Diminished Responsibility Cases: R v Foy [2020] EWCA Crim 270’ (2020) 84(3) J Crim L 249.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘‘Temporality’: Clarifying the Extent to Which Self-Defence, Defence of Property and Prevention of Crime Operate: R v Williams [2020] EWCA Crim 193’ (2020) 84(2) J Crim L 176.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘Atmosphere and Context: Use of Force in the Execution of Duty and Retaliatory Force: Pegram v DPP [2019] EWHC 2673 (Admin)’ (2020) 84(1) J Crim L 94.
  • Mark Thomas and Samantha Pegg, ‘Deception and Qualifications: Revisiting the Ruling in R v Richardson? R v Melin [2019] EWCA Crim 557’ (2019) 83(4) J Crim L 298.
  • Mark Thomas and Samantha Pegg, ‘“Possession” in the Digital Age: The Same Old Story Applied in the Modern Day: R v Cyprian Okoro (No. 3) [2018] EWCA Crim 1929; [2019] 1 Cr App R 2’ (2019) 83(3) J Crim L 175.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘Householders and Self-defence: Understanding a Defendant’s Belief That the Victim Is a Trespasser: R v Cheeseman [2019] EWCA Crim 149’ (2019) 83(2) J Crim L 116.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘”Reasonable Cause to Suspect”: In the Absence of Knowledge and Actual Suspicion: R v Lane and Letts (AB and CD) [2018] UKSC 36; [2018] 1 WLR 3647’ (2018) 82(6) J Crim L 423.
  • Mark Thomas, ‘Infanticide and Pre-Existing Mental Conditions: Disentangling the Causal Factors Relevant to a Jury’s Deliberations: R v Tunstill [2018] EWCA Crim 1696’ (2018) 82(5) J Crim L 366.