Home > Barristers > Peter Wilcock QC

Peter Wilcock QC

  • Call: 1988
  • Silk: 2012
Peter Wilcock QC


Peter Wilcock specialises in criminal defence including regular appellate work, civil actions against the police, inquests and mental health. Peter’s criminal work has encompassed the full range of serious offences from terrorism to professional crime and fraud.

Since taking silk in 2012 Peter has been instructed in two murder trials, the Birmingham riots trial (during which it was alleged the defendants attempted to shoot down a police helicopter), two cases of rape and child cruelty, and an allegation of preparing for acts of terrorism. In addition, he has acted in a number of high-profile criminal appeals including the case of Sam Hallam. Peter continues to accept instructions to advise in relation to criminal appeals and applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). In November 2012 he gave a key-note address to the 7th Annual conference of the UK Innocence Projects.

Peter is also regularly instructed in inquests and civil actions against the police. He is currently representing a number of families in the forthcoming inquest into the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

Peter sits as a Tribunal Judge in the First-tier Tribunal, Health, Education and Social Care Chamber (Mental Health) and is particularly interested in cases raising psychiatric issues.

What others say

“the type of counsel you could never go wrong with’.
Legal 500, 2010

“all-round excellent”
Legal 500, 2009.

Peter has been recommended in both the Legal 500 and, for the last seven years, in Chambers UK.

Significant Cases

R v X (July 2013)
Represented foster carer acquitted of abusing children in her care.

R v Marius (February 2013 – June 2013)
Represented defendant acquitted of murder. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Kearns (May 2013 – June 2013)
Represented Defendant convicted of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Mahmood (April 2013)
Represented Defendant who pleaded guilty to preparing for an acts of terrorism. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v D (December 2012)
Represented mother acquitted of causing life-changing injuries to her six-month-old child.

R v X (October 2012)
Represented defendant acquitted of allegation of historic child rape.

R v Laing (2012)
Represented defendant accused of planning and participating in attempt to lure and attack police officers during the 2011 Birmingham riots during which shots were fired at a police helicopter. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v H (2012)
Represented acquitted defendant accused of armed robbery.

R v Gaskell (2011)
Represented acquitted defendant accused of conspiracy to rig tender for supply of over £1 million of copper cable to Thameslink project.

R v Malik (2011)
Represented defendant accused of soliciting to murder by encouraging undercover police officer to fight coalition forces in Afghanistan. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v B (2011)
Represented defendant accused of conspiring to murder the ex-wife of a member of well-known criminal gang.

R v Lee (2011)
Represented defendant, as leading junior, accused of being part of gangland “hit squad” attempting to murder member of rival gang.

R v Arafat Waheed Khan (2010)
Represented defendant convicted of involvement in plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Neil Tindling (2010)
Represented defendant who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import 225 kilograms of cocaine into the UK. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Khatun (2009)
Represented defendant acquitted of murdering 10-month-old son. This case was reported in the national press.

R v Mohammed Sham Uddin (2009)
Represented defendant acquitted of involvement in plot to blow up transatlantic airliners.

R v Mohammed Ali (2009)
Represented defendant accused of murdering two sisters in their flat in Birmingham in September 2008. This case was reported by the BBC.

R v Suzanne Holdsworth (2009)
Represented a child minder acquitted of murdering two-year-old child as a result of fresh expert evidence suggesting that the child was prone to epileptic fits. This case was reported in the national press.

R v Emmanuel (2008)
Represented the only acquitted defendant accused of “contract murder” of PC Nisha Patel Nasri arranged by husband. This case was covered by the BBC.

R v Schmidt (2008)
Represented a nanny, who was accused of shaking a young baby, both at trial and during subsequent appeals. Her conviction was quashed by Court of Appeal.

R v L (2007)
Kidnapping and blackmail trial allegedly involving notorious “Johnson crew” in Birmingham.

R v Clowsley (2007)
Represented defendant accused of armed robbery of £1 million of antique watches.

R v Grant (2007)
Represented defendant as leading junior in alleged large-scale (over £1m) handling conspiracy.

R v Gay (2007)
Represented defendant acquitted of fatally “salt poisoning” a three-year-old boy he and his wife were planning to adopt. This case was covered in the national press.

R v Ibrahim (2006)
Represented alleged ring leader of failed 21 July 2005 suicide bombings in London.

R v Dixon (2006)
Leading junior in large-scale drug importation.

R v Tipu (2005)
Leading junior in extensive fraudulent work permit and long residency application by immigration adviser. This case was covered in the national press.

R v Anderson (2005)
“Club class people smuggling.” Leading junior representing pilot accused of flying-in illegal immigrants.

R v Long (2005)

R v L (2005)
Successful appeal against attempted murder conviction allegedly involving notorious “Johnson crew” in Birmingham.

R v O’Toole (2005)
Contract murders.

Appellate Cases

R v Thompson (2013 EWCA Crim 1746)
Represented appellant in against conviction for murder based on trial judge’s failure to leave the partial defence of provocation.

R v Malik (2013 EWCA Crim 1649)
Represented appellant in appeal against conviction for soliciting to murder based on interplay between conduct of co-accused’s case and propriety of resulting summing-up.

R v Hallam (2012)
Represented appellant in his successful appeal against conviction for murder following a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referral. This case was covered by the BBC.

R v Traynor (2012)
Represented appellant in his appeal against conviction for murdering his wife following a CCRC referral.

R v Cort (2011) EWCA Crim 1597
Represented solicitor in his appeal against his conviction for murdering his professional partner.

R v Lane (2011) 2011 EWCA Crim 2745)
Represented appellants, following referral by CCRC, in their appeal against conviction for blackmail.

R v Bailey (2011) EWCA Crim 1124
Represented appellant in appeal against minimum term imposed in relation to his conviction for murder.

R v Mackinnon (2011)

Represented appellant in appeal against sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP).

R v Arafat Khan (2011) EWCA Crim 1260
Represented appellant in appeal against conviction for murder arising out of “airlines” case.

R v Francis No 2 (2011) EWCA Crim 375
Represented appellant in appeal (following CCRC referral) against convictions for drug offences.

R v M (2010)
Represented appellant in successful appeal against conviction for rape. Appeal based on fresh evidence resulting from application to the CCRC.

R v McCurry (2009) EWCA (Crim) 2273
Represented appellant in successful appeal against sentence for supplying ecstasy. Appeal based on fresh evidence relating to the active constituent of seized drugs.

R v Francis (2009) EWCA (Crim) 2268
Represented appellant in successful appeal against convictions for drugs offences (following CCRC referral). Appeal based on fresh evidence of police corruption.

R v Shale (2009) EWCA (Crim) 2273
Represented appellant in appeal against conviction for murder following conviction for murder (CCRC referral).

R v Norman (2008) [2009] 1 Cr. App. R. 13

Represented appellant convicted of child abduction. Court of Appeal issued guidance in relation to fitness-to-plead procedure.

R v Christie (2008) (2009) 1 Cr App R 36
Represented appellant convicted of alleged “Johnson Crew” murder of doorman in Birmingham.

Suzanne Holdsworth (2008) [2009] Crim. L.R. 195
Represented appellant convicted of murdering two year old child who she was babysitting. Conviction quashed on basis of fresh medical evidence.

Kennedy (2007) EWCA (Crim) 3132
Represented appellant (currently in the 18th year of his life sentence) in CCRC referral based upon fresh evidence as to the time of the deceased’s death and DNA evidence said to have implicated the appellant at trial.

R v McDaid and Clarke (2007) (2008 Cr App R 2)
Represented appellants in House of Lords where it was held that a trial on an “unsigned indictment” could not be the basis for a valid conviction.

R v Boreman, Byrne & Byrne (2006)
Represented all three appellants in successful appeal against murder conviction based upon evidence of discredited pathologist Dr Michael Heath. This case was reported in the national press.

R v Harris and R v Cherry (2005) (2006) 1 Cr App R 5
Successful appeals involving competing medical approaches to “Shaken Baby Syndrome.”

R v Huckerby (2004)
Appeal allowed in case of security driver convicted of being “inside-man” in what was then the largest cash armed robbery in Europe (£6 million).

R v Nash (2004)
Appeal against murder conviction succeeded on grounds of fresh psychiatric evidence indicating diminished responsibility which the appellant had refused to allow his legal team to place before the jury at trial. Fresh evidence admitted on grounds that the defendant’s mental illness was the reason for his refusal to canvas the issue at trial.

R v Pope (2004)
CCRC reference. Appeal succeeded. This case was reported in the national press.

R v Rowland
Murder. Appeal allowed. Court examined extent of provocation defence.


Wells (2010)
Coroner’s inquest into death of patient detained under Mental Health Acts who was able to hang himself despite nominally being on five-minute observations. The jury returned a narrative verdict critical of the detaining authority.

Mola (2009)
Coroner’s inquest into death of 23-year-old prisoner, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in his teens, who died of smoke inhalation after setting fire to cardboard furniture in his cell. Jury verdict was critical of decision by prison staff to allow him access to lighting materials given his previous history of starting fires both during previous prison sentences and outside. Inquest also covered prison service policy in relation to use of cardboard furniture and inaction in relation to implementation of cell rescue equipment.

Fearon (2006)
Coroner’s inquest into shootings at Turnmills nightclub in April 2003 raising issues of police response to information they had received in advance of the shootings. Jury found that that information was not “communicated effectively between the relevant parties”, and that better communication might “have led to a more proactive action plan”. This case was reported in the Guardian.


Member of 2010 Law Commission working party on “unfitness to plead – consultation paper No 197”
‘A timely reminder’ 158 New Law Journal 466 2008

‘Fresh Evidence in Criminal Appeals – Pendleton revisited,’ Archbold News December 2006

Article on the defence of provocation – Solicitors Journal May 2006

‘Criminal Justice Act 2003’ New Law Journal 2004

‘Fresh Evidence in the Court of Appeal; Pendleton – a Case Note’ New Law Journal 2002

‘Fitness to Plead Procedure: An adequate Protection?’ New Law Journal 2002. 439

‘Crime & Disorder Act’ LAG January 1999


Before joining Garden Court Chambers, Peter practised at Tooks Chambers. Since 2004, Peter has been a tribunal judge on the Mental Health Review Tribunal. He was appointed as an appraiser for Tribunals Service (Mental Health) in October 2009. From 1986-1987 he was President of the London School of Economics Student Union.