Di Middleton QC
Di Middleton QC is an experienced criminal defence barrister who, as leading and junior counsel, has been instructed across the full spectrum of high-level crime including murder, serious violence, controlled drugs, fraud and serious sexual allegations. She has extensive experience of cases involving intelligence led investigations, specialist operations and covert surveillance.
She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in January 2017 and formally became a silk when she made her declaration before the Lord Chancellor at the ceremony on Monday 13 February 2017.
Di is known for her assiduous close analysis in high-volume cases including those which involve special procedure material, forensic audio and visual material, and expert scientific evidence. 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 upmost gravity. Due to her extensive familiarity with cases involving fitness to plead, hospital admission and serious sexual allegations, she is frequently counsel of choice in cases where witnesses or defendants are vulnerable due to age (very young and very elderly) or mental illness.
Di is ranked for Fraud in the Legal 500 2016.
“She appears in confiscation proceedings and challenging fraud trials.”
Legal 500 2016
R v JN  Southwark Crown Court
Op.Greengrass: Currently instructed on behalf female defendant charged with people trafficking, controlling prostitution and money laundering. Ongoing.
R v AD  Cambridge Crown Court
Op.Pheasant / Endeavour: Currently instructed for first defendant charged with operating as an unlicensed gangmaster and fraud. This is a further prosecution arising out of the operation described below (R v Ivars Mezals). Ongoing.
R v X  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  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.
R v X  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).
R v Roman Ziga and others  Central Criminal Court
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  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  Croydon Crown Court
Malicious allegations of serious sexual assault made by son of gay man. Defendant acquitted.
R v Ivars Mezals and others  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.
R v Noor Omar  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  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  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  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  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  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  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  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
- Speaker at Criminal Law Friendly Society Crime Conference 2015 – Legal Professional Privilege
- Speaker at Criminal Law Friendly Society Crime Conference 2014 – Defence Statements & Disclosure
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.