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Di Middleton QC

  • Call: 1997
  • Silk: 2017
Di Middleton
Legal 500 UK Awards 2015: Winner
"A great new addition to the silk ranks."

Legal 500, 2019


Di Middleton QC is an experienced criminal defence barrister who has been instructed across the full spectrum of high-level crime including murder, manslaughter, serious violence, controlled drugs, fraud and serious sexual allegations. She has extensive experience of cases involving terrorism and intelligence led investigations, international human trafficking, specialist operations and covert surveillance.

Di is known for her assiduous close analysis in high-volume cases including those which involve complex medical and scientific evidence, special procedure material and forensic audio and visual material. She is also highly regarded for her tactical acuity in cases involving multiple defendants, cross-allegations and “cut-throat” defences.

Di is frequently instructed in cases which involve vulnerable defendants and witnesses. Having spent several years as a secondary school teacher prior to her career at the Bar, she has a proven ability to gain the trust of even the most justifiably self-protective juvenile defendants in order to successfully represent them in criminal cases of the utmost gravity.

She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2017.

Significant Cases

R v Robert Butler and others [2017] Central Criminal Court – Op.Markington: Leading Counsel (leading Piers Marquis of Doughty Street Chambers) in high-profile multi-handed murder trial involving the fatal stabbing of one inmate and the wounding of another in a dispute about contraband brought into HMP Pentonville. The Defendant, who had sought to make peace between feuding parties, was unanimously acquitted of all charges. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-42234346

R v RK and others [2018] Warwick Crown Court – Leading Counsel (leading Christian Wasunna) in multi-handed murder trial involving alleged deliberate motor vehicle collision with victim. Trial in January 2018

R v EJK and another [2018] Oxford Crown Court – Leading Counsel (leading Susan Wright) involving novel prosecution of defendant under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to the death of parent. Trial in March 2018

R v JL and another [2017] Central Criminal Court – Leading Counsel (leading Tom Wainwright) in high profile case involving the parents of a young man who travelled to Syria who are charged with funding terrorism having sought to send him money to assist his escape from ISIS territory. Trial in 2018.

R v Abdallah Salaheddin and others [2017] Central Criminal Court – Leading Counsel (leading Paramjit Alhuwalia) in joint enterprise shooting homicide. Defendant acquitted on all Counts. http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/news/crime-court/jordan-bari-two-islington-men-among-trio-cleared-of-killing-talented-martial-arts-fighter-1-5104901

R v Pawel Sroka  [2017] Central Criminal Court – Leading Counsel in a murder trial where the defendant ran partial defence of “loss of control”, having killed his partner

R v Marie Maltby and another [2017] Cambridge Crown Court – Leading Counsel (leading Susan Bryant) in a serious and complex child cruelty case, defending female accused of failing to protect her child against coercive and controlling partner. Defendant ran duress / lack of “wilfulness” defence and was acquitted on all Counts. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-40057673

R v Romelia Radu and others [2017] Kingston Crown Court – Instructed on behalf of female charged with trafficking for  sexual exploitation and controlling prostitution offences. The case was the first ever prosecution for child child sex trafficking under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

R v Janina Nuta and others [2016] Isleworth Crown Court – Op.Greengrass: Instructed on behalf of female defendant charged with people trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering.

R v Audrius Dambrauskas  [2016] Cambridge Crown Court – Op.Pheasant / Endeavour: Instructed for first defendant charged with operating as an unlicensed gangmaster and fraud. This was a further prosecution arising out of the operation described below (R v Ivars Mezals)

R v Michael Ellis [2016] Southwark Crown Court – Op.Wentworth / Yewtree: Historical sex abuse allegation against ex member of staff from prominent public school. Defendant also charged with abuse which took place in 1970s at home of BBC staff member.

R v Ben Butler [2016] Central Criminal Court – High-profile trial of father accused of murdering his 6-year-old daughter. Complex medical evidence from UK, France and USA in relation to catastrophic skull fracture and fatal brain injury. Led by Icah Peart QC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36516384

R v Yasser Abukar [2015] Central Criminal Court – Represented first defendant in high-value ‘vishing’ fraud, involving co-ordinated investigation by National Terrorism Financial Investigation Unit and local police forces across south of England (the so-called “Bank of Terror” case). https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/apr/29/bank-terror-syria-fraud-gang

R v Roman Ziga and others [2015] Central Criminal Court – Op.Svenatia: Leading Junior Counsel for the first of six defendants charged with international and domestic people trafficking. Complex case involving a large scale multi-jurisdictional investigation by joint UK and foreign police authorities. Imposition of first extra-territorial Serious Crime Prevention Order.

R v Abdinasir Osman [2015] Isleworth Crown Court – Attempted murder with defence of accident/self-defence. Aggrieved stabbed himself with own knife in unprovoked attack on unarmed defendant, causing life-threatening abdominal injury. Defendant acquitted.

R v X [2015] Croydon Crown Court – Malicious allegations of serious sexual assault made by son of gay man. Defendant acquitted.

R v Ivars Mezals and others [2014] Blackfriars Crown Court – Leading Junior Counsel for defendant charged with operating as an unlicensed gangmaster, fraud and arranging sham marriage following a joint operation conducted by the National Crime Agency, the Gangmasters Licensing Authority and Cambridgeshire Constabulary. Operation Pheasant / Operation Endeavour remains the largest prosecution mounted in relation to alleged unlicensed gangmaster activity since the legislation came into force following the Morecombe Bay disaster. Defendant acquitted of fraud and arranging sham marriage. Leading Michael Goold. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/may/11/gangsters-on-our-doorstep

R v Noor Omar [2014] Central Criminal Court – Defendant accused of murdering young man by motiveless assassination-style shooting. The defendant was unanimously acquitted by the jury after only 90 minutes of deliberation. Lead by Icah Peart QC.

R v Akila Kassam and another [2013] Central Criminal Court – Represented one of two trustees of Afghan Poverty Relief accused of defrauding the charity of £400,000. Co-defending with Peter Rowlands.

R v X [2013] Woolwich Crown Court – Serving police officer tried for multiple counts of marital rape spanning 13 years. Defendant acquitted on all counts.

Other notable cases:

R v Kashif Ahmed [2011] Bradford Crown Court – The prosecution of a police officer, by his own constabulary, in relation to a number of fraud and dishonesty allegations. Acquitted at judge’s direction following lengthy and successful abuse of process hearing. 

R v Anton Eprikpo [2011] Central Criminal Court – Multi-handed “cut-throat” trial where both sets of defendants were alleged to have repeatedly shot at each other from moving vehicles. Acquitted of attempted murder and convicted of lesser offence.

R v Lenny Smith and others [2010] Chelmsford Crown Court – Acted for the only acquitted defendant in the “Rayleigh have-a-go-hero” case. Allegations involved high-value armed robberies of cash-in-transit vehicles, one resulting in the shooting of a civilian.

R v Amjad Mahmood and others [2008] Leicester Crown Court – The “Muslim soldier plot”. Defendants accused of a plan to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier and funding terrorism. Defendant acquitted.

R v Aaron Mullis [2008] Central Criminal Court – Defendant accused of attempted murder by repeatedly driving his car at the aggrieved, who had seriously injured him in a road-rage incident. Cross-examination of aggrieved on previous acquittal for murder, and untried attempted murder. Aggrieved subsequently one of the first “double jeopardy” re-trials, convicted of those offences.

Seminars and Media Appearances

  • 2017: Keynote speaker London Criminal Courts Solicitors Association annual autumn conference, Seville
  • 2017: Conference chair ‘Women in Law: Overcoming Barriers’ – panel included Hon. Dame Linda Dobbs DBE
  • 2015: Keynote speaker at Criminal Law Friendly Society Crime Conference
  • 2014: Keynote speaker at Criminal Law Friendly Society Crime Conference

Previous training and presentations include:

  • Defence Use of Forensic Photography and Imaging
  • Silence at the Police Station and at Trial
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
  • Appearances on TV as legal expert


Di joined Garden Court Chambers in 2013, having previously practised at Tooks Chambers. Prior to being called to the Bar, Di spent six years as a state school teacher in Inner London.