Paul O’Shea

Paul O'Shea - Barrister at St John's Buildings


Phone: 0114 273 8951

Year of call: 1989

Book BarristerDownload Details


“A very experienced advocate in criminal cases.” Legal 500 2017

Paul has practised exclusively in crime for 25 years and has a significant expertise in all areas of criminal law. He is a specialist trial advocate with an excellent track record of results in contested cases.

He read Law at Liverpool University and was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 1989.


  • Member of the North East Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association


  • VHCC Panel member
  • Category 4 Prosecutor
  • Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Panel member

Legal Directory Recommendations

Experienced in prosecuting sexual offences.” – Legal 500 2016


  • Crime

    Paul is an experienced and capable criminal advocate selected in serious cases for his meticulous preparation and detailed factual knowledge. He has a particular interest in new and current case-law, providing an excellent reference point for his instructing solicitor.

    He is often contacted, as the solicitor is about to go into police interview for advice on tactics.

    He takes an active interest when defending in the welfare of the lay client and family members, ensuring repeat instructions, especially for members of the travelling community.

    When instructed by the Crown he prioritises consultation with the lawyer, investigating police officers and promotes contact with prosecution witnesses.


    R v Sharp (2017): Represented a defendant who was found not guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent after he knocked down a man during a mass brawl. The case received substantial national media coverage including the BBCthe Sunthe Mirror and the Daily Mail. The trialverdict and sentencing were covered in the Sheffield Star.

    R v O (2017): Represented one of the defendants who was charged following Operation Single – believed to be the largest operation of methamphetamine (crystal meth/Ice) production in the UK. The case received coverage in the Sheffield Star and Rotherham Advertiser.

    R v Maharjan (2016): Prosecuted a teacher who was jailed for four years for sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl. The case received coverage in the Sheffield Star.

    R v Colebrook (2016): Prosecuted a man who pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of assaulting a police officer. Colebrook was jailed for 21 years. The case was covered by the BBC and ITV as well as the Doncaster Free Press.

    R v Jennings and Jagger (2015): Following a trial lasting almost a month convictions were secured in a complex multi complainant prosecution involving both recent and non recent offences committed by two accused. The case was covered in the Grimsby Telegraph.

    R v Rooke (2014): False imprisonment – mentally impaired disabled man kept as a slave in the garage of a family home. Serious injuries and degradation, high profile media coverage.

    R v Sindall (2014): Victim murdered outside his home by petty thief attempting to steal his car. Extremely complex neuropathology evidence vis cause of death and the use of acoustic and speech experts.

    R v B (2014): Conspiracy to supply class A drugs – £250,000 in cash and £250,000 worth of heroin recovered, covert surveillance, voluminous mobile phone data and cell site evidence.

    R v Wood (2014): Grave multi complainant historic sexual abuse trial, the first in South Yorkshire where local authority PII issues triggered the concurrent family proceedings protocol.

    R v W (2014): Very well known underground graffiti artist from the city that spawned the famous case of “Fista”. Art versus organised high value criminal damage.

    R v Robinson (2013): Necrophilia case involving abuse by care home staff attracting national newspaper coverage.

    R v Edwards (2014): Multi handed importation of prohibited goods on a huge scale, acting for the lead conspirator, complicated issues concerning fitness to plead, duress and cut-throat defences – secured shortest sentence of all the accused.

    R v S (2014): 15 year old boy charged with stabbing his grandfather in defence of his father who moments later was killed with a sawn off shotgun. Complex severance issue resolved in defendant’s favour so that he was remitted to the Youth Court. Following further legal submissions the Crown discontinued all proceedings against him.

    Paul gives every case his care and attention, endeavouring to provide both for solicitor and client a full and comprehensive service. He is thorough, fair, honest, and extremely well informed.

    Well respected by opponents and by the Judiciary, he combines a genuine work ethic with real insight and ability in Court.

    Legal Directory Recommendations

    His expertise includes cases that rely on DNA evidence and cell-site analysis.” – Legal 500 2014

    Particularly experienced in representing vulnerable individuals – Legal 500 2014

    Recommended for complex cases involving technology.” – Legal 500 2013

    An experienced and savvy practitioner regularly instructed in high profile murders and fraud.” – Legal 500 2012

    Pragmatic and able to see the bigger picture.” – Legal 500 2012

    Recommended for cases which turn on scientific evidence or require particularly thorough preparation”. – Legal 500 2011

    A first class advocate for cross-examination; very good indeed”. – Legal 500 2010

    Book BarristerBack to top