Mark Connor

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 01244 323 070

Year of call: 1994

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“Very thorough in all cases, even the most seemingly straightforward.” Legal 500 2021

Mark read law at Bristol Polytechnic and was called to the Bar by the Inner temple in May 1994 having successfully completed the BVC at the Inns of Court School of Law in 1992/93. He practises in all areas of criminal law and has experience of licensing law and regulatory offences.

Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Member of the Northern Circuit
  • Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Legal Directory Recommendations

“Recommended for sexual offences cases.” Legal 500 2020

“Recent work includes cases of serious sexual offences and homicide.” Legal 500 2019

“Knowledgeable and imperturbable, with a great presence before a jury.” Legal 500 2017

He is a charming and charismatic advocate, and nothing ruffles his feathers.” Legal 500 2016

Expertise

  • Crime

    Mark is a criminal law specialist. He is a Grade 4 Prosecutor and is on the Wales and the Northern circuit panels for serious crime and rape and serious sexual offences.

    Mark’s experience covers a broad spectrum of criminal offences both for the defence and prosecution including murder, manslaughter, serious offences of violence, large scale public disorder including football related violence, robbery, firearms, death by dangerous driving, serious sexual offences including, rape, historical cases and the possession, taking and distribution of indecent images of children, domestic violence, drug trafficking, POCA applications, money laundering and fraud including benefit fraud.

    Mark’s experience in dealing with all types of sexual offences is extensive; regularly appearing in the crown court on such matters. He has vast experience in dealing with clients charged with offences involving rape and other sexual offences including child sexual abuse allegations.

    Cases

    Sexual Offences

    R v Cooke (2021): After a 3-week trial Mark successfully prosecuted a man charged with offences involving allegations of historic sexual child abuse. The defendant had befriended and groomed a child from an early age before he began to sexually assault her over a two year period. The defendant received a sentence of 8 years imprisonment. Covered in the Chester Standard.

    R v SD (2021): Mark defended a man who was charged and pleaded guilty to a number of sexual offences against a child family member. This was a difficult and sensitive case, the judge sentence SD to 8 years imprisonment.

    R v WT (2021): Mark secured the acquittal of a man charged with the rape of a woman. The complainant had subsequently sadly passed away and her evidence was adduced by way of the hearsay provisions with her ABE video interview played to the jury. The case against WT collapsed after Mark ’s cross-examination of one of the prosecution witnesses who had been with the complainant prior to and after the alleged incident. Mark had successfully made an application to adduce non-defendant’s bad character evidence that related to this witness. The prosecution informed the court that they were not going to offer any further evidence and the judge directed the jury to enter a not guilty verdict.

    R v PS (2020): Successful prosecution of a man charged with rape and arson. Covered in the Shropshire Star.

    R v IB (2020): Successful acquittal of defendant charged with rape.

    R v Edwards (2020): Prosecution of pensioner for child sexual abuse. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v Thomas (2020): Successful defence of defendant charged with historic sexual abuse of a child and rape. Involved the prosecution relying upon the defendant’s previous conviction for attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming, which went before the jury.

    R v Craig (2020): Successful prosecution of defendant charged with historic child sexual offences.

    R v S (2020): Prosecution of man charged with serious sexual assaults.

    R v Kingsley (2020): Successful prosecution of a man charged with child sexual abuse after a four-day trial.

    R v Steele (2020): Prosecution of a man who was jailed for five and a half years and ordered to register with the police as a sex offender for life. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v IM (2020): Successful defence of man charged with sexual assault upon another male.

    R v Steele (2020): Successful prosecution of a man charged with sexual grooming of a child and sexual activity with a child.

    R v Burton (2020): Successful prosecution of a man charged with rape and sexual assault of two victims. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v KG (2019): successful defence of a man charged with rape. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v P (2019): Prosecution of male for rape.

    R v A (2019): Successful defence of a Lithuanian man charged with sexual assault and assault. Covered by the Leader Live.

    R v Hall (2019): Defended a woman charged with sexual offences.

    R v White (2019): Successfully persuaded the court to suspend a sentence of imprisonment for a client who was charged with possessing thousands of indecent images of children. The case was covered in the Leader Live.

    R v Howarth (2019): Successful prosecution of defendant for historic serial child sex offences. The case gained coverage on the BBC and in the Daily Post.

    R v Ieuan Jones (2019): Successful prosecution of historic child sexual abuse. The case was covered by The Daily Post.

    R v Aldeii (2019): Defence of a man charged with stranger attempted rape and other sexual offences. The defendant was cleared of the more serious charge of attempted rape. The case was covered in The Leader.

    R v F (2018): Defence of woman charged with sexual offences. The case was covered in the Manchester Evening News.

    R v L (2018): Successful defence of client charged with historic child sexual offences.

    R v Bishop (2018): Successful prosecution of a man charged with historic sexual abuse – sentence of 22 years. Covered in the Chester Standard.

    R v Erol (2018): Successful defence of man charged with sexual assault.

    R v Carson (2018): Successful defence of man charged with multiple rapes and sexual assaults.

    R v Cartwright (2018): Successful prosecution of historic sexual abuse. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v Ieuan Jones (2018): Successful prosecution of historic sexual abuse. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v O’Neill (2018): Successfully prosecuted defendant for rape and child abuse spanning 23 years and six victims. The defendant was sentenced to 25 years plus an extended licence of one year. The case was covered in the Chester Standard.

    R v Dean (2018): Successful defence of man charged with male rape.

    R v Mayhew (2018): Defence of a man charged with assault by penetration and other sexual offences.

    R v Bate (2018): Prosecution of a man charged with multiple sexual offences including rape.

    R v Lee (2018): Successful prosecution of defendant charged with two sets of sexual offences. After a successful joinder application and response to a defence severance argument the defendant was convicted after trial of domestic violence and the rape of one victim and two sexual assaults of a work colleague; he received a sentence of 12 years.

    R v Crowther (2018): Successful prosecution of a teaching assistant for multiple rapes of a child u-13 sentenced to 17 years. The case involved applications under s.41 of the YJCE Act 1999 and non-defendant’s bad character as well as an application to adduce evidence of the defendant’s bad character in the form of internet searches for indecent images of children (expert evidence was called on behalf of the prosecution). The case was covered in the Daily Post.

    R v Ilina (2018): Successful defence of Romanian immigrant charged with rape.

    R v Waite (2017): Suspended sentence order for client who pleaded guilty to attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity (having successfully negotiated with the prosecution a plea to this single offence, the indictment having contained a further count of attempting to meet a child after sexual grooming.

    R v O’Donnell (2017): Successful prosecution of child sex offender.

    R v Marsden (2017): Defence of man charged with historic child sex offences.

    R v Halpenny (2017): Successful defence of student charge with a serious sexual offence.

    R v Dimmick (2017): Successful defence of a teacher charged with sexually assaulting a pupil. The case was covered in the Daily Post.

    R v Hassall (2017): Successful defence of man accused of historic child sex abuse.

    R v Kirkham (2017): Successful prosecution of man accused of rape.

    R v Michael Leaberry (2017): Defended a man who went on the run after raping a young child. The case was covered on the BBC.

    R v Buckle (2017): Defended a man who pleaded guilty to attempting to arrange a child sex offence, defendant given a suspended sentence order.

    R v Abdulgabar (2017): Successful prosecution of “Badoo” date rape allegation, defendant sentenced to 9 years.

    R v Kieron Brookes (2017): Successful defence of a man charged with attempted rape and assault by penetration involving two complainants.

    R v Terrence Mackay (2017): Successful prosecution of Tinder date rapist. Covered in the Warrington Guardian.

    R v Drury (2017): Defended a man who pleaded guilty to serious sexual offences. Covered on Leader Live.

    R v AS (2017): Successful defence of a man accused of child abuse.

    R v Jones (2017): Successful defence of a driving instructor who was accused of sexually assaulting nine of his pupils. The case and not guilty verdict were covered in the Macclesfield Express.

    R v Abbott (2017): Defended a client who pleaded guilty to serious child sexual abuse. Received coverage on the BBC.

    R v S (2017): Successfully defended allegations of historic child sexual abuse.

    R v Foster (2016): Successfully prosecuted the defendant for rapes and sexual assaults; he was sentenced to 12 years.

    R v M Evans (2016): Defended a man on multiple charges of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent; the defendant was acquitted.

    R v Davis (2016): Defended in a case where accused was charged with rape; defendant was acquitted.

    R v El Marghani (2016): Defended a man charged with sexually assaulting a child in a swimming pool; defendant acquitted.

    R v Walsh (2016): Defended a man charged with rape and sexual assault of a child under 13, defendant acquitted.

    R v Savas (2016): Defended a man charged with double rape; defendant acquitted.

    R v Parry (2016): Prosecuted a man who was jailed for nine years for raping and sexually assaulting a vulnerable 18-year-old woman. Read the article in the Chester Chronicle.

    R v Narciso Devereux (2015): Defended a doctor who the prosecution alleged had sexually assaulted his patient whilst on duty in the emergency department. He was unanimously acquitted after a trial lasting five days.

    R v Raymond Jones (2015): Defence case involving allegation of historic sexual abuse going back between 35 and 49 years. Reported in the Rhyl Journal.

    R v Eifion Evans (2015): Defended a teacher accused of sexually assaulting a young man. Read the report in the Daily Post.

    R v David Parsonage (2015): Defended a man who was cleared of nine charges including indecent assaults, two common assaults and causing a child to engage in sexual activity. He was found guilty of a single offence of indecent assault dating back to the 1990s. The verdict and supervision order were reported in the Daily Post.

    R v Christopher Demaria (2015): Prosecuted a man who was convicted on eight charges of historic sexual assault. Read the article in News North Wales.

    R v Birchall (2015): Successfully prosecuted after trial and convicted for a “campaign of rape”, sentenced to 17 years.

    R v Charnley (2015): Prosecuted a man accused of grooming and assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Two-year and 10-month jail sentence. Reported in the Daily Post.

    R v Owain Owen (2015): Prosecuted a man accused of sexual offences against girls. 10-year jail sentence. Reported on the Mirror Online and on News North Wales.

    R v Zak Willsmer (2015): Defended a man accused of raping a 12-year-old. Successful acquittal.

    R v Wilson (2015): Rape of a child. Reported on the ITV news website.

    R v Fowler, (2014): Historic child sex offences.

    R v Newton (2014): Sexual assault and indecent exposure.

    R v Bromley (2014): Historic child sex offences.

    R v Stone (2014): Historic child sex offences.

    R v Wineyard (2014): Historic child sex offences.

    R v Gilbert (2014): Rape and historic child sex offences.

    R v Paton (2014): Historic child sex offences.

    R v Wright (2014): Rape.

    R v Owen-Dishman (2014): Child sex abuse.

    R v Greenway (2014): Historic child sex abuse.

    R v Taylor (2014): Historic child sex abuse.

    R v Geoghan (2013): Sexual assault.

    R v Roberts (2013): Rape and child sex abuse.

    R v Leech (2013): Sexual assault by penetration.

    R v Cooper (2013): Rape and child sex abuse.

    R v Alger (2013): Five-day trial involving the indecent images of children.

    R v Thomas (2013): Rape.

    R v Bannister (2013): Rape.

    R v Roberts (2013): Historic child sex abuse.

    R v Barber (2013): Rape.

    R v Lawson (2013): Historic child sex abuse.

    R v Rogers (2013): Child sex abuse.

    R v Agugua (2013): Rape.

    R v Burrows (2013): Rape.

    R v C Roberts (2013): Indecent assaults.

    R v Knowles (2012): Rape.

    R v Robinson (2012): Historic child sex abuse.

    R v Casey (2012): Sexual assault by penetration.

    R v Steinitz (2012): Indecent exposure.

    R v Ferriter (2012): Attempted rape.

    R v Amin (2012): Rape.

    R v Alman (2012): Rape of a child.

    R v Brown (2012): Child sex abuse.

    R v White (2012): Historic indecent assault.

    R v Oakley (2012): Rape.

    R v Kapacee (2012): Sexual assault.

    R v Cocklin (2012): Assault by penetration.

    R v Davies (2012): Indecent assaults.

    R v Edwards (2012): Historic child sex abuse.

    R v Oluh (2012): Rape.

    R v Bradbury (2012): Child sex abuse.

    R v Houghton (2012): Child rape.

    R v McGevor (2012): Rape.

    R v Wyn Edwards (2010): Successful prosecution of “predatory” sex offender. Click here for news coverage.

    R v Daniel Morrall (2009): “Vicious and brutal sex attack”. Click Here North Wales Weekly News Article.

    Drugs

    R v Jayven W (2020): A sentence of 2 years and 8 months for the supply of class A drugs. The case was covered in the Derby Telegraph.

    R v KJ (2020): Successful acquittal of client charged with possessing 2kg of cannabis with intent to supply. It was argued that the defendant had intended to purchase “legal” cannabis in order to sell in his Vape shop, after a lengthy investigation the prosecution accepted the defence arguments which led to the client’s acquittal.

    R v Cusato (2020): Acted for one of the defendants in Operation Olympia. Covered in the Chester Standard.

    R v Natalie Edwards (2016): Defended individual for conspiracy to supply class A drugs who was part of what the prosecution alleged was an organised crime gang. Read the press report.

    R v Roberts (2012): Large scale drugs conspiracy.

    R v Francis & others (2012): Large scale conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

    R v Weston (2009): Large scale drugs conspiracy involving the wholesale supply of cocaine. Click Here for Report from Sentinel.

    Firearms

    R v Philip Ashley (2009): Successfully argued a reduction of the minimum term for possession of a handgun.

    Murder, attempted murder and serious violence

    R v AM (2021): Led by Benjamin Myers QC of Exchange Chambers, Mark secured a verdict of not guilty to murder for AM after trial at Chester Crown Court.  The allegation of murder arose from the death of a 3-month-old baby in July 2020 from catastrophic head and brain injuries. AM was the baby’s father.

    The case turned on expert evidence of pathology, neuropathology, neurosurgery, histopathology and radiology. This evidence disclosed an assault at the time that AM was in sole charge of the victim, and evidence of over fifty rib fractures to the victim that had been inflicted over the course of her tragically short life.  These injuries occurred against a background of very difficult domestic circumstances for AM, in light of which the defence maintained that any unlawful assault constituted manslaughter and not murder.  The jury returned a verdict of not guilty on the charge of murder, finding AM responsible for the lesser offence of manslaughter instead.

    Mark was instructed by Mark Jackson of Cohen Cramer Solicitors, Leeds.

    R v O (2021): Mark successfully defended his client who was charged with inflicting GBH and an ABH. In a 4 day trial at the Chester Crown Court the prosecution alleged that on two separate occasions the defendant had assaulted his partner, the first leading to a split lip, the second a broken cheekbone. The jury returned with verdicts of not guilty after 30 minutes.

    R v SS (2021): Mark, led by Benjamin Myers QC from Exchange Chambers, successfully secured the acquittal of SS who was charged with the attempted murder of a man brutally struck about the face and head with a claw hammer leading to life changing injuries. The case against SS involved evidence of multiple confessions, forensic analysis of blood staining and DNA, and a hostile co-defendant. After a trial of three weeks at the Crown Court at Chester, the jury found SS not guilty. The co-defendant was convicted of attempted murder. Covered in the Chester Standard and on the CPS website.

    R v Mayers (2020): Defence junior in murder trial involving two defendants. Covered on the BBC.

    R v Andrews (2020): Successfully prosecuted defendant charged with attempted murder after five-day trial. The defendant received a sentence of 18 years. Covered in Chester Live and the Chester Standard.

    R v L Jones (2020): Defence of man charged with section 18 offences. Covered in the Daily Post.

    R v Stewart (2020): Defence of man charged with attempted murder. Successfully negotiated a plea to the lesser charge of section 18 wounding. Covered in the Chester Standard.

    R v McArdle, Lewis and K (2020): Led junior in the prosecution which led to the  conviction of three defendants charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm in a vicious assault on a woman. The assault resulted in life-changing injuries after her face was repeatedly slashed with a knife after being lured to a quiet Oswestry park. Covered on West Mercia Police website

    R v W (2019): 18-year-old client charged with attempted murder in a drive-by shooting incident; he was acquitted. The case was covered in the Manchester Evening News.

    R v Scragg (2017): Acted as junior counsel defending CS who was jointly accused for the murder of a man in Crewe. The defence was cut throat, the defendant’s co-accused was convicted of murder, the jury failed to reach a verdict on SC. SC then pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received a sentence of seven years. The case was covered on the BBC and ITV as well as local press including the Stoke Sentinel and Crew Chronicle.

    R v Mancini (2017): Successful defence of female charged with assault, robbery and false imprisonment.

    R v Cunningham (2017): Successful defence of the manager of a nightclub jointly charged with a doorman for inflicting GBH.

    R v Garrod (2015): Prosecuted a man for manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility. The case was reported on the BBC.

    2015: Prosecuted a man who was found guilty of attempted murder. Click here for Daily Post article and follow-up about sentencing.

    R v Beadell (2014): Drug related murder. Click here for Macclesfield Express Article.

    R v Benjamin & Others: Large scale conspiracy to commit cash in transit robberies. Click here for Liverpool Echo Article.

    R v Priest (2013): Attempted murder.

    R v Mitchell (2013): Attempted murder.

    R v Williams (2009) s.18 ear biting case: Click here for Chester Chronicle Report.

    R v Burns (2008): Public disorder and assault (Macclesfield express report) Click Here for Macclesfield Express Article.

    Fraud and Theft

    R v Illie & Others (2021): Successfully prosecuted an OCG of six Romanian nationals who ran a planned and professional shoplifting operation across the length and breadth of the UK. They stole goods from Asda to a value in excess of £160K. They were jailed for a total of over 20 years. The case was covered in the Warrington Guardian, the BBC and the Manchester Evening News.

    R v Cole (2019): Client charged with burglary of a dwelling, acquitted after a submission of no case to answer.

    R v Wlodarczyk (2018): Represented a defendant charged with conspiracy to defraud in a “crash for cash” case.

    R v Meakins (2017): Defence of client charged with conspiring with others in a large scale fraud said to be worth over £750K. Coverage in the Daily Post.

    Operation Desert (2014): Large scale conspiracy to steal. Click Here for Whitchurch Herald Article.

    R v Hather & others (2014): Conspiracy to steal motorcars. Click Here for Warrington Guardian Article.

    R v Pinnington (2012): Conspiracy to steal. Click Here for Daily Post Article.

    R v Tomlinson (2008): A financial adviser facing 21 counts of deception and one of fraudulent trading for stealing £1.2 million. Click Here for Staffordshire News Article.

    Money Laundering

    R v Fitzgerald and Tudor (2014): Conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime

    R v Khan & others: Large scales money laundering operation. Click Here for Manchester Evening News Article.

    Death by dangerous driving

    R v Hyland (2020): Successfully prosecuted a defendant for causing the death of a motorcyclist for careless driving. The case was covered in the Cheshire Standard.

    R v Bacon (2020): Represented client charged with causing death by careless driving, secured a suspended sentence order. Covered in the Manchester Evening News.

    R v Bonwick: Prosecution of a man who caused caused the death of one man and the serious injury to another as a result of his dangerous driving. Read the press report.

    R v Masiulis (2013)

    R v Williams (2012)

    R v Craven (2012)

    Other offences

    R v Clark (2019): Successful prosecution of offender charged with controlling and coercive behaviour and domestic violence related offences.

    R v H (2019): Persuaded a judge to suspend a sentence of imprisonment for a section 20 assault upon his partner. The case involved the instruction of a psychologist for a client who had learning disabilities and a low IQ. We were able to establish that the client had also been the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of his partner.

    R v Day (2019): Prosecuted for arson and stalking. The case has been covered by the BBCBBC North West Tonight (begins at 3.10), ITV GranadaLiverpool Echo and Northwich Guardian.

    R v Hughes: Client spared jail for dangerous driving. Click here for The Leader article.

    R v Gurney: Dangerous driver escaped prison term. Click here for The Leader article.

    R v Jones (2016): Defended in a case of dangerous driving. Defendant received a suspended sentence. Read the press report.

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