PDS Advocacy Unit

John M. Burton QC appears in landmark Court of Appeal decision.

John represented Dr Yilkes Bala at his trial which concluded in December 2013. Dr Bala had entered into a polygamous marriage with his second wife in Nigeria. They were both charged with the offence of conspiracy to breach certain immigration rules. John argued that section 2(2)(a) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 should apply to… Read more

Active defence: Use of Defence statements as a weapon

rather than a shield reaps rewards as Crown offers no evidence in three separate indictable only matters upon receipt of Defence Statements drafted by Emma Nott. R v SW, JUNE 2015 MANCHESTER MINSHULL STREET CC The defendant was charged with several counts of violent rape, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent and penetration of… Read more


In R v BC, SEPTEMBER 2015, WORCESTER CC Emma defended a man accused of a series of historic rapes and sexual assaults upon his step-son and step-grandchildren over a period of 25 years. After a two week trial, the jury acquitted the defendant of all 14 counts on the indictment.   In R v ES,… Read more

John Burton QC Court of Criminal Appeal success

JOHN M. BURTON QC PERSUADES THE COURT OF APPEAL IN A CASE OF MURDER, TO REDUCE THE MINIMUM TERM OF A LIFE SENTENCE FROM TWENTY YEARS TO EIGHTEEN YEARS. R v SCOTT JEFFERSON, 2015 CA The applicant was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.… Read more

Keith Raynor appointed as Circuit Judge

Keith Raynor, who was a PDS barrister from September 2014, has now been appointed as a Circuit Judge based at Woolwich Crown Court with effect from 20 April 2015. Visit the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website for more details about Keith’s judicial appointment.

Eugene Hickey secured an acquittal on all charges in a 3-month high profile fraud trial at Reading Crown Court. The case involved an alleged conspiracy to cover up a long running fraud by employees of a Welfare to Work company upon the DWP.

John Burton QC and Greg Bull QC secure acquittals in historic sex case. Jury acquitted defendant on seven counts in trial and twelve remaining counts in retrial. For more information about our work on such cases, please contact our Senior Clerk, Robin Driscoll, on 020 3334 4253 or pdsclerks@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk

Recent success in sexual offence case managed under new Liverpool pilot protocol. Case involved careful and sensitive cross-examination of six-year old child by PDS advocate, Rob Lancaster, in line with the protocol, and led to two acquittals.