Benjamin Newton

b.newton@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

2004
Benjamin Newton
Profile

Benjamin Newton is instructed to defend those accused of the most serious and complex criminal offences, and regularly appears in high profile and legally significant cases.

 

What others say

Benjamin is ranked as a leading junior (Band 2) in Crime by the editors of the Chambers & Partners guide to the legal profession, whose sources say that “Benjamin Newton is superb.  He’s very thorough and likeable, and is fantastic with clients.  No matter what kind of client or what kind of case he gets their trust and respect very quickly.  What’s more, he’s a fantastic advocate – very persuasive.  He’s very attentive, articulate, and good with detail.”  It is also said “He’s an excellent advocate with regard to higher courts appellate work.”  Sources for their Fraud section say “He has an excellent eye for detail, is very practical in terms of getting to the heart of what the issues are, and he is able to come up with solutions. He shows very good judgement.” 

 

He is also rated by The Legal 500, which describes him as “A thorough, caring and articulate barrister” and “An exceptional junior who obtains excellent results” (Crime), “Completely attentive and client oriented” (Fraud), and “A hardworking junior who brings the best out in silks” (Business and Regulatory Crime

 

Benjamin has substantial experience across all areas of criminal law, but has particular expertise in relation to financial crime, serious sexual offences, and murder/manslaughter. In addition to criminal trials, he regularly advises on and conducts fresh criminal appeals, and has expertise in extradition, courts martial proceedings, and criminal-related public law. 

 

Publications

Benjamin has contributed chapters to Human Rights in the Investigation and Prosecution of Crime, edited by Jonathan Cooper OBE and Madeleine Colvin (OUP 2009), and Taylor on Criminal Appeals, edited by Paul Taylor (OUP 2012). For five years he wrote a quarterly column, Life in Crime, in the Solicitors' Journal. He also regularly authors articles and presents seminars on his specialist areas of practice.

Financial, Regulatory and Business Crime

Benjamin is consistently instructed in relation to substantial allegations of fraud and money laundering and is ranked as a leading junior for both Business and Regulatory Crime and Fraud in The Legal 500. He studied economics to degree level and is comfortable dealing with cases involving the financial markets. Benjamin also has experience in licensing matters and in cases brought by the Health and Safety Executive and other bodies appointed to enforce safety regulations.

He is currently instructed as junior counsel for one of the former Barclays employees accused of manipulating the Euribor rate.

He is also representing (led by Adrian Waterman Q.C.) the accountant of a highly successful restaurant and property developing partnership; the three defendants facing allegations of cheating the public revenue of £8m

In the spring of 2017 Benjamin represented one of six defendants accused of a large-scale conspiracy to commit identity fraud against mobile telephone customers across the UK (R v H, Guildford Crown Court).

In 2016 he acted for a defendant accused of fraudulently posing as the freeholder of properties so as to extort payments from lessees (R v M, Bournemouth Crown Court), concluded an SFO case against a defendant extradited from Malaysia in relation to a £17m Ponzi Fraud (R v D, Southwark Crown Court) and, at the Central Criminal Court, represented a defendant involved in a multi-handed confidence fraud targeting retired individuals across the south of England.

In recent years he has also been involved in Operation Inertia at Kingston Crown Court representing a former company director implicated in a large scale MTIC fraud (led by Rebecca Trowler Q.C.) and Operation Aloof at Kingston Crown Court, representing the second of three defendants in a three month trial relating to large scale money laundering through a bureau de change (led by David Hislop Q.C.).

Serious Sexual Offences

Benjamin continually appears in cases relating to the most serious allegations of sexual offending, including cases attracting publicity and requiring careful and delicate conduct both in and out of court.

He is currently instructed in relation to historic allegations of familial sexual abuse (R v Y, Isleworth Crown Court), allegations of marital rape and sexual abuse (R v Q, Blackfriars Crown Court – led by Sarah Elliott Q.C.) and of brothel keeping (R v H, Canterbury Crown Court).

In early 2017 he represented a retired home tutor accused of sexually assaulting a child (R v B, Central Criminal Court) and a masseur accused of sexually assaulting a client (R v D, Isleworth Crown Court).

In 2016 he acted for the defendant in relation to thirty child-complainants on allegations of inciting and paying for sexual acts (R v Y, Guildford Crown Court), and a defendant extradited from Canada in relation to allegations of rape and sexual assault of his niece (R v S, Woolwich Crown Court).

He also recently defended one of three teenage boys accused of a gang rape on a school friend (R v H, Croydon Crown Court), and one of four cousins accused of systemic sexual abuse of younger family members (R v A, Warwick Crown Court).

Other notable cases in recent years include the trial of a retired vicar on historic allegations, led by Sarah Elliott Q.C. (R v H, Central Criminal Court), and a double jeopardy re-trial on new evidence following acquittal for rape in 1999, led by James Wood Q.C. (R v B, Central Criminal Court

Homicide

Benjamin has experience of murder and manslaughter cases at first instance and in advice on appeal.

In early 2017 he defended a man who had killed his girlfriend with the infliction of over a hundred knife wounds, the issues being fitness to plead and diminished responsibility (R v A, Central Criminal Court, led by Rebecca Trowler Q.C.). 

In early 2016 he led Kate O’Raghallaigh in the defence of a nightclub doorman who, along with two others, stood trial for gross-negligence manslaughter following the death of a restrained customer through positional asphyxiation (R v R, Central Criminal Court).

Later in 2016 he was led by Rebecca Trowler Q.C. in the defence of a nurse alleged to be criminally culpable for the death of a patient following a surgical procedure (R v P, Central Criminal Court). The prosecution offered no evidence following six days of legal argument on abuse of process.

Other recent notable cases include the defence of a well respected property developer embroiled in a multi-handed alleged murder of an innocent bystander at a public house on Borough High Street in London (R v A, Central Criminal Court).

Serious Criminal Offences

Benjamin is consistently instructed to act for defendants charged with the most serious of offences across the criminal spectrum.

Notable examples have included the three-month trial of twenty allegations of perverting the course of justice in relation to serious sexual offences, led by Sarah Elliott Q.C. (R v B, Bristol Crown Court), and the first trial on indictment without a jury – a £1.75m armed robbery at Heathrow Airport, led by Kirsty Brimelow Q.C. (R v C, Central Criminal Court).

Benjamin also acted for Trenton Oldfield, who disrupted the 2012 University Boat Race, and many other defendants involved in peaceful protest, including the cases giving rise to the undercover police officer scandal and the UK Uncut activists who occupied Fortnum & Masons during a TUC rally.

In 2017 Benjamin has represented one of nine defendants in an HMRC prosecution in relation to evading duty, tried over the course of a month at Woolwich Crown Court (R v Z), and a local councilor tried for allegations of domestic violence at Blackfriars Crown Court (R v K). In July he will represent a young defendant in a s18 malicious wounding (stabbing) trial (R v F, Inner London Crown Court).

Criminal Appeals

In addition to first instance cases Benjamin is frequently instructed to advise on fresh appeals and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal. He was a contributor to Taylor on Criminal Appeals (OUP 2012), edited by Paul Taylor.

Benjamin Is currently instructed to seek judicial review of a magistrates’ court in relation to an issue of procedural unfairness (R (on the application of G) v Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court).

In 2016 Benjamin achieved the quashing of a conviction for sexual assault (R v Ay [2016] EWCA Crim 1605), and for two separate victims of trafficking whose status was overlooked at first instance.

Earlier significant cases have included R v Kail [2015] Crim. L.R. 359, a guideline judgment by Leveson LJ following joined appeals concerning the elements to be proved in relation to defendants who are unfit to plead.

Also, R v Henry [2014] 1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 55, in which he acted for a previously unrepresented defendant in relation to an unlawful sentence of imprisonment which was halved on appeal.

Benjamin also appeared as junior to Sarah Elliott Q.C. in Attorney General’s Reference No. 71 of 2014 [2014] EWCA Crim 1998, where they successfully protected a merciful sentence imposed upon the mother of a young baby.

Older cases of importance included R v  Barkshire (and others) [2012] Crim. L.R. 453, the quashing of twenty convictions due to the involvement of the undercover officer Mark Kennedy. Also, R v Buxton (and others) [2011] 1 W.L.R. 857; [2011] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 23 , the quashing of restraining orders imposed upon thirteen environmental activists following an obstruction of the railway at Ffos-y-Fran opencast coal mine. R v Twomey (and others) [2010] 1 W.L.R. 630; [2009] 2 Crim. App. R. 25 was the appeal leading to the first judge-only trial on indictment (led by Kirsty Brimelow Q.C.).

Extradition

Benjamin has significant experience in extradition matters, particularly those raising an issue of human rights.

Recent cases include Kemp v Court of Instruction of Orihuela, Alicante, Spain [2016] EWHC 69 (Admin), which related to the proportionality of extradition following a lengthy delay under tagged curfew.

In Korkosz v Circuit Court, Warszawa-Praga, Poland [2015] EWHC 698 (admin) an Article 8 challenge was based on the establishment of a new life in this country with a British academic. Cousins v Grand Instance Tribunal of Boulogne Sur Mer, France [2014] EWHC 2324 (Admin) related to the Article 8 rights of a retired woman sought for VAT offences in France, whilst AM v Spain [2014] A.C.D. 111 concerned the breach of the appellant’s young daughters’ Article 8 rights.

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