Paul Taylor

p.taylor@doughtystreet.co.uk

Year of Call

1989
Paul Taylor
What the directories say

A Chambers and Partners source said “He is an absolutely standout barrister, and in terms of his criminal appeal work, he is second to none, as a senior junior. There is no one else at his level.” (Solicitor)

 

Chambers and Partners (2017): [Paul is] An "outstanding" advocate who is highly regarded for his specialism and expertise in appellate work. He attracts plaudits for his preparation and intellect, and has been instructed in some of the most complex and challenging appeals of recent years, including those relating to fresh evidence, murders and historic sexual offences....

 

"He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of appeal authorities and is a very persuasive advocate."

 

"He is ruthlessly well prepared and extremely committed."

 

The Legal 500 has described Paul as “the leading junior authority on criminal appeals” and as having “an unrivalled encyclopaedic knowledge of appeal issues’.

 
Profile

Paul Taylor specialises in criminal appeals and is Head of the Doughty Street Appeals Unit. He has developed a particular expertise in cases involving fresh evidence, homicide, and offenders with mental disorders

 

He regularly represents appellants before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) (being instructed at the appellate stage). In July this year he represented Gary Robinson in his challenge to his 2007 murder conviction. The case involved fresh expert analysis of CCTV footage.

 

Paul has appeared as junior counsel before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, in capital and other appeals from the Caribbean. In January this year, he led a team before the Privy Council in an appeal against a murder conviction from St. Kitts and Nevis in Philips v The Director of Public Prosecutions (St Christopher and Nevis). [Watch the hearing: Morning session; Afternoon session]

 

He has also extensive experience in drafting submissions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, and representations in relation to the judicial setting of tariffs in murder cases under the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

 

Paul is the author of Taylor on Appeals (2000), the leading practitioners’ textbook dealing with procedural aspects of criminal appeals and review. He is editor and a contributor to the second edition (Taylor on Criminal Appeals) which was published by OUP in March 2012. The book has been well received, with positive reviews. He also regularly lectures on appellate matters and has provided commentaries for Criminal Law Review. He is editor the monthly DSC Appeals Unit bulletin which includes case commentaries on appellate cases from England and Wales, Northern Ireland and from the Caribbean. Click here to see previous issues.

 

Paul is licenced under the Direct Access Scheme and can accept instructions directly from members of the public in appropriate cases.

 

Paul’s listed cases have a hyperlink to the judgment where available. Click on the case name to access. 

 

Recent Significant Cases

  • Gary Robinson [2017] EWCA Crim 923: Paul was assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals to represent GR who had been convicted of murder in 2007. The case involved fresh expert evidence relating to the analysis of CCTV footage.
  • Warrington Philips v State of St. Kitts and Nevis [2017] UKPC: Paul was leading counsel in this murder appeal from St. Kitts and Nevis to the Privy Council. The grounds were based on fresh DNA expert evidence, errors in the summing up, and criticism of prosecutor and trial defence counsel. 
  • Qerkini [2016] EWCA Crim 2211: This case involved the sentencing framework for the top tier of class A drug importations. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be in excess of £166m. The judge stated that it was difficult to imagine a much larger scale of organized Class A drug supplying. Paul argued that the sentence failed to take account of those passed in linked operations.
  • CS [2016] EWCA Crim 2135: CS was convicted of 3 counts relating to sexual assault against a child under 13. The grounds contended that the judge should have given an alibi direction when there was evidence that CS was living elsewhere during the indictment period, and that the verdicts were inconsistent with acquittals on 7 other counts.
  • Colborne [2014] EWCA Crim 286; [2014] MHLR 381: C had been sentenced to an IPP. Fresh psychiatric evidence demonstrated that C had been and was still suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. A hospital order was substituted.

As junior counsel

  • Mark Dorling [2016] EWCA Crim 1750: MD was convicted of murder and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 25 years. The appeal against conviction was based on fresh post trial evidence (in unrelated civil judgments) that undermined the credibility of key prosecution witnesses.
  • MG [2015] EWCA Crim 1462: MG was convicted of rape and indecent assault against family members. He was sentenced to 14 years. The grounds centred on the failure of the CPS to make full disclosure, and on a report from an expert in genetics. Paul drafted submissions to the Registrar, Single Judge, and the grounds of appeal, as well as the submissions to the CCRC.
  • Hussain [Dilwar] [2015] EWCA Crim 1967: DH was convicted of attempted murder, conspiracy to cause gbh, and gbh following a petrol attack causing the victim 65% burns. He was sentenced to 25 years. The grounds centred on errors in the summing up and route to verdict document.
  • Williams (Dean) [2013] EWCA Crim 2749; [2014] 1 Cr App R 23. DW was convicted of murder. Paul drafted submissions to the Criminal Cases Review Commission based on a critique of the psychiatric evidence prepared for trial. The CCRC initially refused to refer the case back to the Court of Appeal. Paul then drafted proceedings for judicial review of the CCRC’s refusal. The CCRC agreed to re-consider and then referred the case back to the CACD. Paul was lead? at the appeal by Rebecca Trowler QC. The conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered.

Homicide

  • Baker [2012] EWCA Crim 2843: B had been convicted of murder. Paul argued that the Judge misdirected the jury in relation to diminished responsibility.
  • Petrolini [2012] EWCA Crim 2055; [2012] MHLR 308: P had been convicted of murder in 1994 when he was 19; the defence of diminished responsibility having failed. He had carried out a random killing with his co-defendant as part of a fictional "SAS initiative test". The conviction was quashed and manslaughter and a hospital order substituted on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence.
  • Jones (aka Malik) [2012]: J had been convicted of murder. The grounds criticised the judge’s failure to leave self-defence to the jury.
  • Ahad [2011] EWCA Crim 2736: A’s murder conviction was quashed on the basis of a misdirection on joint enterprise. Manslaughter was substituted together with a determinate sentence.
  • Lewis [2010] EWCA Crim 151: L had been convicted of manslaughter after he chased after a student who then ran into an oncoming car and was killed. The grounds criticised the judge’s directions on foresight.
  • Hill [2008] EWCA Crim 76: H’s murder conviction was referred back to the CACD by the CCRC. The grounds were based on fresh neuro-psychiatric evidence relating to brain damage caused by alcoholism, and its impact on defences of diminished responsibility and provocation.

As junior counsel

  • Evans [2009] EWCA Crim 2243; [2010] Crim. L.R. 491: E had pleaded guilty to murder. It was argued that the plea had been entered on erroneous legal advice and that fresh psychiatric evidence, and expert evidence relating to memory recall, supported defences of diminished responsibility and provocation.
  • Erskine [2009] Crim EWCA 1425; [2009] 2 Cr App R 29: (“The Stockwell Strangler”.) The CACD quashed E’s 7 murder convictions and substituted manslaughter and a hospital order. This was a guideline case on raising fresh psychiatric evidence on appeal in support of diminished responsibility.
  • Symmons [2009] EWCA Crim 734; 173 C.L. & J. 270. S had been convicted of murdering his wife. Fresh psychiatric evidence was relied on in relation to S’s fitness to give evidence at trial, provocation and diminished responsibility. 
  • Dass: [2009] M.H.L.R. 288: D had been convicted of the murders of his grandparents and uncle. The convictions were quashed on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence showing that D was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, substitution of manslaughter and discretionary life sentences.
  • Coard and others [2007] UKPC 7. C was the former deputy prime minister of Grenada. In 1986, C and others were convicted of the murder of the then Prime Minister and ten others. C and the others were sentenced to death.  Although the sentences were later commutated to natural life imprisonment by the Governor General, the Privy Council agreed that the mandatory death penalty was unconstitutional, and that the substituted life sentences had been wrongly imposed without any judicial consideration. Consequently, the cases were re-mitted to the local court for re-sentencing.
  • Waters [2006] EWCA Crim 139: W’s conviction for murdering his baby referred back to the CACD by the CCRC on the basis of fresh medical evidence relating to the time of death.
  • Hendy [2006] EWCA Crim 819; [2006] 2 Cr App R 33: H was convicted of the random murder of a stranger. The conviction was quashed and manslaughter and a hospital order substituted on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence supporting diminished responsibility.
  • Bath [2006] EWCA Crim 862: B pleaded guilty to murder and to an offence of arson with intent to endanger life. The murder conviction was quashed on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence and manslaughter and a hospital order substituted.
  • Anciuaux v CCRC (17.3.06) Admin Court. This was an application for permission to judicially review the CCRC's refusal to refer A’s murder conviction back to the CACD. It was argued that the CCRC had erred in rejecting fresh psychiatric evidence, and the submission that the trial judge had misdirected the jury in relation to diminished responsibility.
  • Graham Coutts [2006] UKHL 39; [2006] 1 WLR 2154: GC was convicted of murder. The conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered. This guideline case was argued before the CACD and then the House of Lords. It sets out the circumstances in which a trial judge is under a duty to leave an alternative defence open to the jury, even if the prosecution and defence object.
  • The Queen (On Application by Nicholas Farnell) v The Criminal Cases Review Commission [2003] EWHC 835 (Admin); Times, June 2, 2003; Independent, May 2, 2003: This was a challenge by way of Judicial Review to the decision of the CCRC not to refer NF’s murder conviction back to the CACD. Paul was instructed on behalf of the CCRC.
  • Mackenney [2003] EWCA Crim 3643; [2004] 2 Cr App R 5 CA. The CCRC referred M’s four murder convictions to the CACD. The issues raised at appeal were the admissibility of psychiatric evidence as to the co-defendant’s ability to give credible evidence for the prosecution, the difficulty in detecting that his evidence was not reliable, and other evidence undermining his credibility. Expert evidence was relied upon in relation to psychiatric issues and from an expert in fire damage. The CACD quashed all four murder convictions.
  • Hampton and Brown [2004] EWCA Crim 2139; (2004) Times, October 13, 2004; [2006] Crim LR. This was an appeal against murder convictions based on fresh alibi evidence.
  • Mahwhinney [2004] EWCA Crim 2234: M had been convicted of murder. The appeal was based on fresh evidence undermining a witness at trial, and criticism of the direction on joint enterprise direction.
  • Gibbs [2003] EWCA Crim 1435: G’s murder conviction was quashed on the basis that fresh psychiatric evidence supported a defence of diminished responsibility. A retrial was ordered.
  • Davidson (Leroy) [2003] EWCA Crim 2428; (2003) 147 S.J.L.B. 1088: D was convicted of murder. He was aged 15 at the time of the killing. The conviction was quashed as a result of misdirections regarding joint enterprise and adverse inference.
  • Foster [2003] EWCA Crim 178 CA: F had been convicted of murder. He had made admissions to the police and then in evidence at trial. The CCRC referred this historic conviction to the CACD. The grounds centred on breaches of PACE, the Judges’ Rules, and fresh psychological evidence relating to F’s vulnerability.
  • Downing (Stephen) [2002] EWCA Crim 63 CA. SD had been convicted of murder in 1974 when he was aged 17. He had subsequently served 27 years in prison. The CCRC referred the case back to the CACD. The conviction was quashed on the basis that there had been significant breaches of the Judges’ Rules prior to SD making “admissions”, and that the forensic evidence at trial was flawed.
  • Smalling [2001] UKPC 12; (2001) 58 WIR 341 PC: This was an appeal to the Privy Council from Jamaica. S was convicted of three murders and sentenced to death. The grounds raised fresh psychiatric evidence that impacted on S’s culpability. The matter was remitted to the local court.
  • Charlie Smith [2002] EWCA Crim 840 CA: The CCRC referred the murder conviction back to the CACD on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence that had been produced after CS killed his prison cell mate whilst serving life for the first killing. The murder conviction was quashed and manslaughter substituted.
  • Solomon [1997] UKPC 59; (1999) 57 WIR 432 PC: This was an appeal to the Privy Council from Trinidad against a murder conviction. The grounds related to fresh evidence of mental illness. The matter was remitted to the local court.
  • Ravalia (16.10.1998) CA: R killed his wife and was convicted of murder. The conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered on the basis of serious errors by the trial lawyers and fresh psychiatric evidence.
  • Hobson (Kathleen): [1998] 1 Cr. App. R. 31: This was an appeal against a murder conviction based on fresh psychiatric evidence of “Battered Women’s Syndrome”. The conviction was quashed and a retrial ordered.
  • Campbell (1997) 1 Cr App R 199: The Home Secretary referred this murder conviction back to the CACD. The appeal was allowed on the basis that expert neuro-psychiatric evidence showed that C suffered from brain damage to the front temporal lobe arising from epilepsy and this supported a defence of diminished responsibility.
  • Henry (1996) WIR PC: Appeal to the Privy Council against conviction for murder, sentenced to death. Grounds based on the improper use of emotive language by the judge.
  • Holder [1996] UKPC 27; (1996) 49 WIR 450 PC: This was an appeal to the Privy Council from Trinidad against a murder conviction. H had been sentenced to death. The grounds criticised the directions on joint enterprise and jury irregularity.
  • Alfred Codrington [1996] UKPC 6; (1996) 48 WIR 86: In this appeal from Belize against a murder conviction to the Privy Council it was argued that as a result of flawed legal advice C had been denied the opportunity of stating his defence to the jury. The appeal was allowed.
  • Logan [1996] UKPC 64; [1996] AC 871 PC. In this appeal to the Privy Council from Belize against a murder conviction (sentenced to death), the issues of the PC’s jurisdiction and the misdirections on provocation were considered. Conviction and sentence of death were quashed, and manslaughter substituted.
  • Taylor [1995] UKPC 35; [1995] 46 WIR 318 PC. T appealed to the Privy Council against his conviction for murder in Jamaica. The grounds argued that it had been an abuse of process to order a retrial.
  • Hopson [1994] UKPC 20; [1994] 45 WIR 307 PC. In this appeal to the Privy Council from Jamaica H’s murder conviction (sentenced to death) was quashed. The grounds raised criticism of the judge’s direction on identification and the dying declaration of the deceased. The conviction was quashed.

Sexual Offences

  • P (J) [2007] EWCA Crim 2707: P had been convicted of 7 counts relating to sexual offences against his young daughter and sister in law. Some years after the trial his daughter contacted the police and retracted the allegations she had made at trial. The appeal centred on the approach that the CACD should take to the “fresh” retraction evidence.
  • A(M) [2006] EWCA Crim 905: A was convicted of 4 counts of rape against his step son. The prosecution case was based in part on the findings of a medical expert. The grounds challenged the reliability of this evidence and relied on a critique of the expert’s methodology in an unrelated civil case. The convictions were quashed.
  • C (A) [2005] EWCA Crim 2138: D was convicted of 2 counts of rape against his wife. The CCRC referred the case to the CACD on the basis that there was fresh evidence that arose post trial which affected the credibility of the complainant. The fresh evidence included statements on a benefits claim form and in an unrelated civil case. The convictions were quashed.

As junior counsel

  • EW [2012] EWCA Crim (Rape, fresh evidence, request to CA for CCRC investigation). Paul’s grounds related to the admissibility of expert opinion that purported to show the link between reported rapes and the absence of genital injuries, misdirections and criticisms of trial counsel.
  • Hamadi (Z) [2007] EWCA 3048: H was convicted of rape. The grounds of appeal centred on the extent of the restrictions imposed by section 41 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act, and fresh expert evidence relating to DNA findings.

Drug Offences

  • Qerkini [2016] EWCA Crim 2211: This case involved the sentencing framework for the top tier of class A drug importations. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be in excess of £166m. The judge stated that it was difficult to imagine a much larger scale of organized Class A drug supplying. Paul argued that the sentence failed to take account of those passed in linked operations.
  • Stringfellow [2008] EWCA Crim 2825; Times, November 14. S was convicted of   conspiracy to supply a class A drug. He was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment.  The grounds related to the failure of the trial court clerk to follow the correct procedure when taking the verdicts.
  • Claydon [2001] EWCA Crim 1359; (2004) 1 WLR 1575 CA: This was an appeal against the Judge’s findings in a preparatory hearing, and raised questions of the CACD’s jurisdiction in such cases. (junior csl)

Sentence Appeals

  • In Re Gill [2012] 1 W.L.R. 1441  [2012] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 26: Paul successfully argued that in pre-2003 cases a mandatory lifer’s “exceptional progress” post sentence should result in a reduction in the minimum term.
  • Roden [2006] EWCA Crim 1121: R pleaded guilty to two counts of arson with intent to endanger life. A hospital order was substituted for his sentence of imprisonment on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence).
  • Bradish [2006] EWCA Crim 2829: B was convicted of offences involving 23 armed robberies. The grounds challenged the imposition of life sentences or the length of the tariff.
  • Hempston [2006] EWCA Crim 2869; [2011] MHLR 99: H had been convicted of rape and an offence under section 21 of the OAPA 1861. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He had been detained for 28 years. Paul drafted the application to the CCRC who referred the sentence back to the CACD. A hospital order was substituted on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence.
  • Ashbridge [2002] 2 Cr App R(S) 408: A was convicted of kidnapping and malicious wounding. The appeal related to the length of sentence for kidnapping.
  • S (Paul Lee) [2001] M.H.L.R. 46: S was convicted of rape. The appeal was based on fresh psychiatric evidence regarding S’s mental state. The sentence of imprisonment was quashed and a hospital order substituted. 
  • Sewell (2000). S pleaded guilty to four counts of rape on a boy; a count of indecency on a male and gross indecency with a child. A sentence of discretionary life imprisonment was passed. The appeal challenged the calculation of the length of the minimum term. It was reduced from 10 years to 6 years.
  • Mynors [1998] 2 Cr App R(S) 279: M pleaded guilty to an offence of destroying property, being reckless as to whether life was endangered. The sentence was challenged on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence.

As junior counsel

  • Symmons: [2009] EWCA Crim 1304; S had been convicted of his wife’s murder. The appeal against sentence related to S’s old age (78) at his earliest release date.
  • Hamadi (Z) [2007] EWCA 3048: H was convicted of rape. The appeal against sentence challenged the judge’s finding that H presented “a significant risk of causing serious harm” which justified an IPP.
  • Madden: [2010] EWCA Crim 2258: The minimum term in the mandatory life sentence for murder was reduced as a result of fresh psychiatric evidence.
  • Beatty [2006] EWCA Crim 2349; (2006) 92 B.M.L.R. 22; [2006] M.H.L.R. 333: B pleaded guilty to rape, kidnapping and making threats to kill. He was given a discretionary life sentence. An application was made to the CCRC to refer the sentence back to the CACD on the basis of fresh psychiatric evidence. The CCRC initially refused. Paul then drafted proceedings for judicial review of the CCRC’s refusal. The CCRC agreed to re-consider and then referred the case back to the CACD. A hospital order was substituted for the life sentence.
  • Gibbs [2004] EWCA Crim 1762;  [2005] 1 Cr App R 3: This was a guideline case before a 5 judge Court of Appeal which set out the correct approach to the setting of minimum term of life sentences under the Criminal Justice Act 2003)
  • Szczerba [2002] EWCA Crim 440; [2002] 2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 86: The CACD set out guidelines for setting the “relevant part” of discretionary life sentences.
  • Gabb (1999) CA: Attorney-General’s Reference; seeking to increase sentence to life imprisonment
  • Daddow (1996) 2 Cr App R(S) 10 CA: C was convicted of conspiracy to murder. Her husband was shot dead by a man whom C had paid to carry out the murder. Appeal against the sentence of 18 years' imprisonment based on psychiatric evidence.
  • Hall (1996) 2 Cr App R(S) 406 CA: H was convicted of the manslaughter of his baby. The appeal challenged the level of the sentence.
  • Hefferman (1996) 1 Cr App R(S) 90 CA: This appeal related to the level of sentence for terrorist offences. H was a member of the INLA and had been convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions.

Other cases

  • Islam [2007] EWCA Crim 1089: I’s conviction for assault was quashed on the basis of fresh evidence of civil proceedings that undermined the credibility of the complainant in the criminal matter.
  • Iredale [2006] EWCA Crim 646: I’s conviction for gbh was referred back to the CACD by the CCRC. It was quashed on the basis of previously undisclosed police photographs.
  • Iroegbu [2003] EWCA Crim 2317: CCRC reference based on fresh evidence relating to the informant status of a prosecution witness.
  • Martindale [2003] EWCA Crim 1975: M’s conviction for conspiracy to supply a class A drug was referred back to the CACD by the CCRC. It was quashed on the basis of previously undisclosed prosecution material that undermined the main witnesses credibility.
  • Allen [2001] EWCA Crim 1607: Paul was junior counsel. A had been convicted of robbery. The CCRC referred the case back to the CACD. The conviction was quashed on the basis that A’s alleged admissions had been wrongly admitted in evidence.
  • Mulcahy [2000] EWCA Crim 106: M had been convicted of robbery. The conviction was referred back to the CACD by the CCRC on the basis of fresh forensic evidence relating to fingerpr ints. The conviction was quashed.
  • Fallon [1993] Crim LR 591 CA: F’s conviction was quashed as a result of misdirections regarding corroboration

Murder (mandatory life) judicial tariff setting

Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 serving mandatory life sentence prisoners (that is, those convicted of murder) could have their minimum term or “tariff” set by a High Court Judge as opposed to the previous practice where it was set by the Home Secretary. Paul was involved in drafting a number of the written submissions in these applications.

  • Trusler [2012] EWHC: T pleaded guilty to two counts of murder. The minimum term recommended by the sentencing judge was reduced as a result of fresh neuro-psychological evidence of the effects of historic brain damage.
  • Storey [2006] EWHC 3256  (QB): JS’s minimum term was reduced from the figure recommended by the trial judge as a result of her exceptional progress in prison.
  • Steele [2005] EWHC 1176 (QB): S, aged 19, had murdered her abusive partner.
  • Erskine [2007] EWHC 2703 (QB): E had been convicted of 7 counts of murder. The submissions were made on the basis that the medical evidence showed that E’s mental state reduced his culpability. The minimum term was set at 40 years. [The convictions were later quashed on appeal and a hospital order substituted.]
  • Cornelius [2007] EWHC 1010 (QB): Guilty plea to murder of a 16 year old.
  • Iqbal [2007] EWHC 516 (QB): 8 murders of the members of one family in an arson attack. The minimum term was set at 22 years.
  • Ali [2009] EWHC 1551 (QB): The victim had been attacked by a group of men in balaclavas, and armed with a hunting knife and CS gas. The judge described the killing as a racially motivated murder. The submissions argued that A had a legitimate expectation that his minimum term should not exceed the 16 years recommended by the trial judge. The minimum term was set at 16 years.

Publications

Paul has published the following book and articles:- 

Taylor on Criminal Appeals (Editor: OUP 2012) Reviews of the book 

The following case commentaries were first published by Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited in Criminal Law Review and are reproduced by agreement with the publishers

Taylor (Bonnett): Fresh evidence on appeal (Case Comment) [2013] Crim. L.R. 10, 844-848 

Fresh evidence, whether Pendleton test applied correctly.

R. v Pope (John Randall)(Case comment) [2013] Crim. L.R. 421-425 

Fresh evidence, safety of conviction - three trials - husband acquitted at first trial - appellant convicted at second trial following DNA evidence.

R v McCook (Jason):  (Case comment) [2015] Crim LR 350  

Requirement of fresh appellate legal representatives to contact trial lawyers.

R v Gray and others  (Case comment) [2015] Crim LR 352  

The Court of Appeal's approach to making loss of time directions and whether they are proportionate to the initial term of imprisonment.

R v George (Dwaine) (Case comment) [2015] Crim LR 715

Admissibility of fresh expert evidence on appeal.

R v McCarthy (Jamie) (Case comment) [2016] Crim LR 145

Challenging convictions based on guilty pleas; criticism of trial counsel.

Online book review of  Lil Scherdin ed. Capital Punishment: As Hazard to a Sustainable Criminal Justice System? [Statute Law Review [2015] 1 July]

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