Richard Thyne

Richard Thyne - Barrister at St John's Buildings

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“He has the ability to swiftly assimilate complex aspects of a case.” Legal 500 2019

Richard is a specialist in criminal and regulatory law, inquests and judicial review. Ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading individual in crime, he is highly regarded for his detailed case preparation, the standards of his oral and written advocacy, and his personable approach with clients and witnesses alike.

Richard was called to the Bar in 2002. During his first 10 years in practice he gained a wealth of advocacy and advisory experience whilst undertaking a broad and varied range of criminal, regulatory and civil cases. In recent years he has specialised almost exclusively in criminal and regulatory law, together with associated coronial and judicial review proceedings.

He well understands the benefits of giving hands on, strategic and practical advice in relation to case preparation and management. He will readily advise whether by telephone, in writing or at a location convenient to his instructing solicitors and clients.

Away from the law he enjoys running, cycling, playing in a funk and soul band, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.


  • Recorder (Crime) 2018
  • CPS Level 4 Prosecutor (Serious Crime Panel and Rape Panel)
  • Attorney-General’s Junior Counsel to the Crown (Regional Panel): 2007-2012 and 2012-2017
  • Junior of the North Eastern Circuit: 2013
  • President of the South Yorkshire Medico-Legal Society: 2014-15
  • Accredited pupil supervisor
  • Accredited to accept direct public access instructions


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Administrative Law Bar Association

Legal Directory Recommendations

“His practice includes murder, serious sexual offences and drug trafficking matters.” Legal 500 2017

“He instils confidence in his clients.” – Legal 500, 2016

“He prosecutes and defends a range of serious offences, and has significant experience in multi-handed cases.” – Legal 500, 2015 


  • Crime

    Richard is a busy and experienced criminal advocate. His work includes heavyweight crime (such as murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking and firearms offences), financial crime, serious sexual offences, and cases where death or serious injury has resulted from driving. He has a balanced practice of defence and prosecution work and he is a CPS Level 4 (rape and serious sexual offences panel) prosecutor.

    Richard has appeared as a leading and a led junior, as well as a junior alone. He has prosecuted and defended in a significant number of large, multi-handed cases. He is experienced in dealing with numerous fields of expert evidence including medical, scientific (blood distribution, DNA, fingerprints, document examination, cell site analysis and digital evidence), as well as road traffic accident reconstruction.

    He has a detailed knowledge of the law relating to disclosure, and has been instructed as Special Counsel to review sensitive documents in proceedings brought by HM Revenue & Customs, and the former Serious and Organised Crime Agency.

    He has lectured on various aspects of criminal law, including the hearsay provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, sentencing dangerous offenders, defence statements and disclosure.


    Homicide and serious violence

    R v Trotter (2019): Defending (with John Elvidge QC) allegations of murder and wounding with intent, arising from the stabbing of 2 men in an argument about non-payment for drugs.

    R v Mokadeh (2018): Prosecuting (with Nicholas Campbell QC) allegations of murder and section 18 wounding involving the stabbing of two brothers and an unrelated victim in three separate incidents over a five month period. The case was covered on BBC News.

    R v Blueitt (2017): Prosecuting (with Nicholas Campbell QC) murder of a shopkeeper in the course of a robbery. Extensive medical evidence called to demonstrate that death, which was directly attributable to pre-existing metastatic brain disease, had been accelerated as a consequence of the attack, by preventing the administration of potentially life extending treatments.

    R v Morris (2017): Prosecuting case involving single blow manslaughter.

    R v Lyons and Ackerman (2016): Attempted murder involving the torture of a disabled man in his own home during the course of a robbery. Prosecution.

    R v Barnsdale-Quean (2013): (now reported at [2014] EWCA Crim 1418) Domestic murder staged to appear as suicide. Junior for the prosecution.

    R v Muhammed (2010): Attempted murder. “Yardie” shooting in drug-related revenge attack. Defence.

    R v Chattoo & others (2009): (now reported at [2012] EWCA Crim 190) Gangland killing during the Sheffield “postcode wars”. Second junior for the prosecution.

    R v Hirst (2008): Stepfather charged with murder, by neglect, of his 3 year old step-daughter. Junior for the defence.


    Serious and organised crime

    Operation Quetta (2018): Prosecuting gang for conspiracy involving the burglary of 45 dwelling houses over a period of just under 6 weeks. Case reliant on a combination of cell site evidence, forensics, and imagery analysis to link offenders and vehicles to the relevant scenes. Described by the sentencing judge as the worst case of its type he had ever seen.

    Operation Hercules (2017): Representing member of an OCG involved in the trading of Class A drugs and semi-automatic Russian firearms.

    R v Mitchell (2016): Defending member of OCG alleged to be the “banker” in drugs, firearms and money laundering conspiracy.

    Operation Razorback (2013): 22 handed conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws by facilitating sham marriages in Pakistan. Junior for the prosecution.

    R v Royston & others (2012): (now reported at [2012] EWCA Crim 2624) Multi-handed conspiracy to commit armed robberies. Prosecution.

    R v Jarvis & others (2012): Multi-handed kidnap, involving firearms and drugs money. Junior for the prosecution.


    Drugs Offences

    Operation Mandrake (2018): Leading junior for the prosecution in multi-handed conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine, involving OCG from Manchester running a “county lines” operation in North East Lincolnshire. The case was covered in the Daily Mail and The Metro.

    Operation Diffluent/Operation Graceward (2017): Prosecuting linked conspiracies to supply cocaine, involving the distribution of import-quality drugs from the South of England into Yorkshire.

    Operation Addict (2015): Leading junior for the prosecution in multi handed Class A drugs conspiracy.

    R v Ishaq (2014): (now reported at [2015] EWCA Crim 1885) Multi handed conspiracy to produce heroin and crack cocaine valued by the prosecution in excess of £8 million. 6 week trial. Defence.

    Operation Mycology (2013):Multi-handed conspiracy involving drugs and firearms. 8 week trial. Defence.


    Road traffic offences

    R v Davenport (2019): Prosecuting case of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving, arising from a high speed collision in the Defendant’s recently purchased and heavily modified high performance vehicle.

    Operation Bellflower (2019):  Defending (with Nicholas Lumley QC) in high profile trial of the passengers of a stolen HGV tractor unit, which was involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian. All of the occupants were prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving, by encouragement, notwithstanding the driver’s guilty plea. The case was covered by the BBC and ITV News.

    R v M (2018):  Defending LGV driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving arising from collision with a recovery vehicle on the hard shoulder of the M25.

    R v Khan (2017): Prosecuting allegation of causing death by careless driving involving the death of a police officer.

    R v H (2016): Successfully defending, on appeal, driver who had swerved to avoid parked vehicle and catapulted passenger out of car, resulting in life changing head injuries.

    R v B (2016): Successfully defending, at trial, a driver who emerged from a junction into collision with an oncoming motorcycle, thereby causing the rider to sustain serious head injuries.

    R v Pattyn (2015): Causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Catastrophic, life changing injuries sustained by passenger of a vehicle when the driver fell asleep at the wheel. Prosecution.

    R v Williams and Stevenson (2013): Fatal high speed road traffic collision in the course of stealing a quad bike. Prosecution.


    Serious sexual offences

    Operation Kansas (2018): Prosecuting multiple complainant allegations involving rape and penetrative sexual activity with girls under 16, involving spreading of STIs.

    R v R (2016): Prosecuting recidivist rapist. Convicted at trial and jailed for 24 years.

    R v C (2016): Rapes by stepfather committed over 40 years ago. Defence.

    R v R (2015): Father charged with multiple historic counts of rape and sexual assault of his daughters and other family members when they were aged as young as six. Defence.

    R v K (2015): Rape and sexual abuse by stepfather on two very young children. Prosecution.

    R v R (2013): Campaign of rape, false imprisonment and serious domestic violence. Prosecution.

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  • Regulatory

    Richard advises and acts at all stages of proceedings involving alleged breach of environmental and health and safety legislation, and also in professional disciplinary proceedings. He has represented police officers charged in criminal proceedings. He has also appeared before the GMC, and has undertaken specific training in medical regulation and the law.

    Richard’s case preparation is always meticulous. He has a keen eye for detail, and an interest in the specific factual and technical aspects of cases.


    Environmental protection

    Environment Agency v T (2015): Representing Director of recycling company charged with numerous offences contrary to section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act.

    Re: W (2014): Advising Director of waste management company in relation to revocation notice.

    Re: F (2014): Advising in relation to noise abatement notice.

    Environment Agency v F (2012): Discharge of polluting materials contrary to the EPA. Issues surrounding legal liability for offences where fault lay with third party.

    United Utilities v F (2012): Defence of waste management company facing charge of unlawfully discharging trade effluent, in breach of consent, contrary to provisions of the Water Industry Act 1991. Acquittal at trial as a result of successful challenge to prosecution sampling procedures.


    Health and Safety

    HSE v C (2017): Representing recycling company in prosecution arising from serious crush injury sustained by employee.

    HSE v P (2016): Representing builder charged with causing potential carbon monoxide poisoning as a consequence of contravening the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 in the course of building an extension.

    HSE v S (2014): Representing company in prosecution arising from a serious injury sustained in a fall from height on a construction site.

    HSE v Y (2013): Advising landlord in relation to criminal liability for numerous alleged breaches of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. 


    Professional Disciplinary

    Re: Dr M (2011): Represented doctor facing disciplinary proceedings before the GMC arising from alleged sexual assaults upon patients.

    Re: Inspector A (2011): Represented police inspector as senior officer facing misconduct proceedings arising from a systematic expenses fraud.

    R v Huxley (2007): MRHA prosecution of pharmaceutical industry representative charged with offences contrary to the Medicines Act 1968. Junior for the defence.

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  • Inquests

    Richard has long standing experience of appearing at Coroners’ inquests. He has represented a range of parties including families, employers, and agencies of the State. He has dealt with high profile and sensitive cases, including the death of a child during a school trip, and the death of a child living in the care of the local authority, as well as construction site deaths and road traffic accidents. More recently his practice has focused on Article 2 inquests involving deaths in custody, allegations against the police, and issues surrounding the standard of care delivered by medical professionals and care providers.


    Inquest into the death of IC (2017): Death of resident in a care home as a result of a fall following the failure of a hoist. Potential design flaw identified by the jury in relation to the carabiner attaching the spreader bar to the hoist.

    Inquest into the death of IW (2017): Death of a resident in an independent living/quasi-care environment, where query raised as to medication overdose.

    Inquest into the death of RD (2015): Death of a baby from catastrophic hypoxic ischaemic injury at birth.

    Inquest into the death of JM (2013): Death of a prisoner from medical complications arising from acute hyponatremia. Complex expert medical evidence concerning the adequacy of treatment following his admission to hospital.

    Inquest into the death of GH (2010): Prison suicide where unusual medical evidence had effect of limiting the scope of the inquiry.

    Inquest into the death of DJ (2010): Death of an elderly patient following the failure of a mechanical lifting device in hospital.

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  • Public / Administrative

    Richard is instructed in applications for judicial review predominantly, but not exclusively, on behalf of the Parole Board and/or the Secretary of State for Justice in relation to prison law.


    R (on the application of Smith) v Secretary of State for Justice [2013] EWHC 4485 (Admin): Applicability of the prison service safeguarding children measures where a prisoner’s only relevant conviction arose from a historic sexual offence committed whilst a juvenile.

    R (on the application of Rowe) v Parole Board [2012] EWHC 1272 (Admin): Non-disclosure of a Victim Personal Statement had the effect of rendering proceedings before the Parole Board unfair.

    R (on the application of H) v Parole Board [2011] EWHC 2081 (Admin): Judicial review of a decision not to recommend the transfer of life sentence prisoner to open conditions, where the Parole Board proceeded on the basis of a mistake of fact.

    R (on the application of Chester) v Governor of HMP Wakefield [2010] EWHC 63 (Admin): Judicial review of prison policy in relation to the handling of confidential legal correspondence.

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