Nottingham born and bred, Michael combines an instinctive understanding of how a jury thinks with advocacy and legal knowledge at the highest level.
Assistant Coroner (Leicestershire & Rutland) 2018-2021
Head of Chambers
Advocacy Trainer (Inner Temple)
Nottingham born and bred; Michael is fiercely proud of his city. He grew up in the Mapperley area, helping his father run his Newsagent and Ironmongery business whilst trying to decide on his own future career. Initially, he began a promising career as a guitarist in various rock bands, until Rock ‘n’ Roll finally gave way to Sex and Drugs, no longer as a musician but firstly as a solicitor and then, since 1990, at the Bar. By way of example, he prosecuted Operation Normality (R v Dawes) for which he was commended by the Chief Constable (one of only three barristers locally to have even been so).
More recently, he developed an increasingly niche practice primarily in Homicide and Regulatory Crime. His busy practice in silk has built upon his past success and reputation, with his being highly sought after by both prosecution and defence, in cases of Murder, Manslaughter, and which recently led to his being commended (together with James Varley) by the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the East Midlands both for his formidable advocacy and impressive level of witness care in the case of R v Ataul Mustafa, and again, the following year, in the case of R. v Anthony Davis.
Michael is frequently first choice in cases of particular complexity, novelty or sensitivity and has a broad spectrum of experience across the entire range of criminal cases.
President of Nottinghamshire Law Society 2016
Head of Education at Nova Trust (2013-2020)
Senior Counsel at Criminal Justice Research Centre (Nottingham University)
Vulnerable Witness Facilitator
Bar representative NLS Criminal Law Committee
Murder & Manslaughter
R v Ataul Mustafa.
D lured his victim from her family home in Bradford to Derby with the promise of love, but then forced her to submit to wearing traditional Islamic dress to evade his detection for domestic violence. The pathology could not give a specific cause of death and so the case was pieced together from a variety of different sources and was both highly detailed and factually complicated, whilst having considerable cultural sensitivity.
R v Charlotte Collinge
D and two others were convicted of Murder (the victim being D’s husband) at their original trial, represented by other counsel. Michael represented D in Court of Appeal where the conviction was overturned, despite the fresh evidence not relating to the case specifically, and a retrial ordered. D was ultimately acquitted at re-trial (other two convicted).
R v Ellishia Allen
D murdered her partner in the home they shared when he tried leaving her because of her alcoholism. Issues of Loss of Control and Diminished Responsibility featured. Case featured, as did Michael, in “Women Who Kill” series in USA. (On YouTube, search “Ellisha Allen documentary”).
R v Leon Frye
D shot and killed a member of a rival gang in Birmingham over a drugs dispute. Complicated issues over evidence of background, hearsay (re gang information) and Bad Character arose at trial.
R v Ethan Norris-Turner
Outside D’s 16th birthday party, Lee Marshall, a longstanding associate of Colin Gunn, was killed by a single stab wound to the buttock. This case involved many covert prison and police bus recordings that included many damaging admissions. D was acquitted after an eight-week trial.
R v Anthony Davis
D claimed his partner, who had a long history of psychiatric issues including self-harming, had both injured herself and fallen down the stairs at the home they shared. The case was factually complex involving issues of Loss of Control, causation and intent.
R v Jordan Murray
D alleged to be involved in two shootings (Conspiracy to Murder) in Nottinghamshire as part of gangland revenge.
R v Denovan and Matthews
Manslaughter case in Retford involving the killing of Jordan Sinnott. Case concerned joint responsibility (common purpose) post “Jogee”.
Rape & Serious Sexual Offences
R v Metab Yasin
D was a Muslim schoolteacher who had a sexual relationship with a former pupil at the Christian school where he taught. Case involved both sensitive cultural issues and unusual offences under the SOA 2003 based on the former teacher-student relationship.
R v Joseph Moran
The victim got off the last bus home, being 20 pence short of the fare. D, who had been involved in violence throughout the evidence, brutally attacked a raped her on the Forest site as she made her way to meet her mother. He pretended to be her saviour and to have happened across her naked body by chance. Science and meticulous investigation disproved his account.
R v Andrew Machin
D had sexual intercourse with a woman in a chalet at Skegness, having walked her back with her friends. He claimed he was suffering with sexomnia. Investigation revealed a history of sleeping disorders and other factors present which support this contention. This case considered R v Burgess, still the leading authority on automatism, the distinction between insane and non-insane automatism and has featured in many articles and lectures.
Fraud & Complex Fraud
R v Jeremy Keith
D was Chair of Derby County Football Club and accused of defrauding them of £375,000. Case lasted over 4 months and D was the only one acquitted of that charge.
R v Richard Barr
D was a Fraud officer with HMRC. He was accused of conspiring with two others to defraud his employers. They gave evidence against him. The case concerned a detailed analysis of VAT submissions, receipts and other material.
Derbyshire Dales District Council v Chatsworth & Reason
This concerned the death of a man on the Chatsworth estate when he inadvertently rode his motorcycle into a hidden dip brought about by the horse event course being differently orientated to the usual approach.
Michael has been involved in a number of other cases, for Messrs Browne Jacobson, Mark Croft LLP and others, involving: Natural England, the Fire Service, and various District, City and County councils.
R v Joseph Fletcher
This is a reported case from the Court of Appeal dealing with what should happen in cases where the law has changed since D was convicted and where he may not have been convicted were the law as it had become at the time of his trial, and also whether, in cases where the prosecution were time-barred from adding a count of Having Unlawful Sexual Intercourse with a girl aged between 13 and 16 (and case law prevented them from charging Indecent Assault), the jury could return a verdict of Indecent Assault as a statutory alternative to a charge of Rape under the 1956 Act.
R v Rob Warm
Michael represented a successful businessman for sexual offences committed against his daughters, and which had considerable sensitivity as another offender, who was in the public spotlight, took his own life rather than face prosecution.
R v Mark Bidmead
Michael represented a man who held a very responsible position with the local authority who was said to have evicted a tenant by violent means. His whole reputation and future rested on the outcome. D was acquitted unanimously.
R v Ryan Hoy
The defendant was alleged to have beaten his mother’s partner savagely and was originally charged with Causing GBH with Intent. He was convicted of a lesser offence after trial.