Richard Thyne

Richard Thyne - Barrister at St John's Buildings


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“His style as an affable yet exceedingly acute advocate warms him to jurors, and ensures he retains the concentration and attention of the courtroom, even in the most lengthy and complex trials.” Legal 500 2021

Richard is a specialist in criminal and regulatory law, inquests and judicial review. Consistently 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.  He initially gained a wealth of advocacy and advisory experience whilst undertaking a broad and varied range of criminal, regulatory and civil cases, including 10 years on the regional panel of the Attorney-General’s Junior Counsel to the Crown.  He now specialises 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 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
  • Secretary of the North Eastern Circuit: 2020
  • Junior of the North Eastern Circuit: 2013
  • President of the South Yorkshire Medico-Legal Society: 2014-15
  • Accredited Advocacy Trainer
  • Accredited Pupil Supervisor
  • Accredited to accept Direct Public Access instructions


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Administrative Law Bar Association

Legal Directory Recommendations

  • “Organised and collaborative with great understanding of the law.” Legal 500 2020
  • “He has the ability to swiftly assimilate complex aspects of a case.” Legal 500, 2019
  • “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.  He prosecutes and defends in cases including heavyweight crime (such as murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking and firearms offences), financial crime, and serious sexual offences.

    He also specialises in cases where death or serious injury has resulted from driving.

    Richard appears 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.


    Murder / Manslaughter

    R v Liang (2020): Prosecuting student who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his friend in the course of a violent city centre incident on the eve of the Covid-19 lockdown.

    Rv Morris (2019): Leading junior for a defendant charged with assisting an offender, in murder trial arising from a fatal stabbing outside the Cineworld complex in Sheffield.

    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.

    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 “one punch” manslaughter in dispute over stolen goods.

    R v Barnsdale-Quean (2013): (now reported at [2014] EWCA Crim 1418): Junior for the prosecution in domestic murder by strangulation using a “Spanish Windlass”, staged to appear as suicide.

    R v Chattoo & others (2009): (now reported at [2012] EWCA Crim 190): Second junior for the prosecution in gangland revenge murder, involving the discharge of a shotgun at point blank range, during the Sheffield “postcode wars”.

    R v Hirst (2008):  Junior for the defence in high profile case of stepfather charged with murder, by neglect, of 3 year old girl. Early example involving the prosecution’s use of section 5 of the Domestic Violence (Crime and Victims) Act 2004.

    Attempted Murder / Serious Violence

    R v Gregory (2020): Defending (with Jamie Hill QC) allegation of attempted murder arising from a drive-by shooting as part of alleged turf war, in which the unintended victim was a 12 year old boy.

    Rv Swift (2019): Defending allegation of attempted murder arising from the discharge of a firearm, at point blank range, in the course of a violent robbery in the home.

    R v Homer (2019): Prosecuting attempted murder arising from machete attack in which the victim’s neck was slashed open.

    R v Munroe (2018): Defending allegation of attempted murder involving the accused severing his partner’s trachea with a broken bottle.

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

    Organised Crime

    Operation Reed, (2019): Leading junior for the prosecution in 5 week trial of 4 defendants involving a conspiracy to supply a loaded semi-automatic handgun.

    Operation Quetta (2019) (now reported at [2019] EWCA Crim 1757): 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): Defending alleged member of an OCG involved in the trading of prohibited firearms.

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

    Operation Razorback (2013-17): Junior for the prosecution in 22 handed conspiracy to breach UK immigration laws by facilitating sham marriages in Pakistan.

    Drug Trafficking

    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.

    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): Defending “the engineer” in 6 week trial of multi-handed conspiracy to produce heroin and crack cocaine valued by the prosecution in excess of £8 million.

    Serious and Fatal Road Traffic Collisions

    R v R (2019): Successful defence of young driver charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The prosecution arose from a collision in which catastrophic injuries were sustained by an oncoming motorcyclist when the defendant turned right across his path.

    R v T (2019):  Successfully defending HGV driver facing allegation of causing death by careless driving, arising from a low speed collision with an elderly pedestrian at a difficult road junction.  Cross examination of the prosecution collision expert revealed a potential break in the chain of causation, giving rise to a successful submission of no case to answer.

    R v Smith (2019): Prosecuting allegation of causing death by dangerous driving in which the defendant did not accept presence in the car at the time of the offence. Cell site, radio frequency propagation survey and other circumstantial evidence was presented to the jury to prove the identity of the driver.

    R v Elsom (2019): Prosecuting defendant charged with the deliberate crashing of his car at high speed, seriously injuring his passenger as a consequence.

    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.

    R v Mawhinney and others (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.

    R v M (2018):  Successfully defending HGV driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving, arising from a 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.

    Serious Sexual Offences

    R v J (Operation Monroe 2) (2020): Successfully defending allegation of gunpoint rape of a 15-year-old child. Part of an 8 week trial of 10 defendants charged with Child Sexual Exploitation 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 previously convicted rapist facing new allegation of stranger rape involving the administration of Spice.  The case resulted in a conviction by the jury and a 24 year extended prison sentence.

    R v C (2016): Defending in case involving a campaign of rapes by stepfather more than 40 years ago.

    Other reported cases

    R v Munroe [2019] 2 Cr App R 29: Conjoined appeals in which the Court of Appeal determined that urine could amount to a “noxious thing” within the meaning of s.24 OAPA 1861, and provided guidance on the appropriate levels of sentencing for “potting” cases – i.e. assaults committed by prisoners on prison staff by throwing/smearing them with urine and faeces.

    R v Blakemore [2017] 1 Cr App R (S) 5:  Activation of suspended sentences and totality.

    R v Wood [2013] 1 Cr App R (S) 92: A judge had been wrong to express scepticism about a basis of plea which had been accepted by the prosecution, and then go on to sentence the defendant on a different basis without affording her the opportunity to give evidence.

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  • Regulatory

    Richard advises and acts in proceedings involving alleged breaches of health and safety and environmental legislation.  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.


    HSE v T (2019): Defending company in prosecution, under the Work at Height Regulations 2005, following an injury sustained in a fall on a building site.

    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.

    Environment Agency v T (2015): Defending 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.

    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. 

    Environment Agency v F (2012): Defending company in relation to 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): Defending 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.

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