David was appointed Queen's Counsel on 11 March 2019.
His appointment comes after 23 years of practice in criminal defence. David has acted in numerous high profile cases covering all serious crime including murder, terrorism, serial rape and complex frauds. Since taking Silk David has been instructed in a number of murders and other serious cases.
It is not just in the Crown Court that David excels; he is widely recognised as one of the leading criminal appeal lawyers. David is regularly instructed to advise on out of time appeals and CCRC applications, has appeared in the Supreme Court and frequently appears in the Court of Appeal.
In 2021, David co-authored an academic article which was published in the highly prestigious Criminal Law Review. The article, entitled 'The sentencing of young adults: a distinct group requiring a distinct approach' charts the increasing recognition by the criminal courts that offenders aged between 18 and 25 should be treated as a distinct category for sentencing purposes, and considers in detail the implications this has for practitioners.
Since taking Silk David has continued to be instructed in high profile and complex cases including representing individuals tried for serial rape - Nottingham Crown Court, murder - historic baby shaking death - Chelmsford Crown Court and murder and robbery - Central Criminal Court.
Forthcoming cases in 2021 include trials for murder, historic sexual assault and conspiracy to supply class A drugs and firearms possession.
Recent high-profile cases have included the successful appeal of the so called 'match.com rapist', acquittals of professional footballer Ched Evans for rape and ex-professional boxer, Anthony Small for encouragement of terrorism.
David was defending in a murder trial at the Old Bailey when the current pandemic caused the jury to be discharged at the end of the fourth week of the trial. The retrial finally commenced in November 2020 and David’s client was acquitted of any involvement in the killing in January 2021.
David successfully secured an acquittal at Chelmsford Crown Court in November 2020 in a highly unusual murder case where the Defendant had been convicted in 2002 of GBH for shaking his baby son. The child died of his injuries in 2016 and the Defendant was then charged with his murder. The prosecution relied on the 2002 conviction to evidence the requisite intention for murder. David relied on fresh medical evidence to demonstrate that the GBH conviction had been based upon scientific opinion that was no longer valid and the prosecution were persuaded to offer no evidence on the murder allegation.
November 2019: Defending in long-running, multi-handed rape and grooming trial involving multiple complainants at Oxford Crown Court.
July 2019: High profile rape trial of defendant, so called "match.com rapist", serving life for serial rape. Further complainants came forward after media coverage of his original convictions. Covered by the BBC. Case led to ground-breaking and successful appeal case on definition of consent. Also covered by the BBC.
February 2019: At Central Criminal Court, acquittal for murder of man who killed associate when he found out he was a child sex offender. Covered by the Daily Mail.
August 2018: At Cardiff Crown Court, after a second retrial, David's client was finally acquitted of a conspiracy to rob a jeweller with firearms. In a highly unusual set of facts, the prosecution argued that a series of messages between the defendant and an unidentified third party were evidence of an actual planned robbery, whereas the defence successfully persuaded the jury that they were nothing more than a fantasy discussion about a crime that was never intended.
June 2018: David represented (alone) ex-professional boxing champion, Anthony Small, at his trial at the Old Bailey for the encouragement of terrorism contrary to section 1 Terrorism Act 2006 at the Old Bailey. After a four day trial and nearly 10 hours of deliberation the jury acquitted. See Asian Image and the Metro.
May 2018: After a six-week duty evasion trial at Wood Green Crown Court, and after a successful submission of no case to answer on money laundering charges, the jury acquitted David's client of the main allegation.
At Aylesbury Crown Court on 22nd February 2018, the prosecution of five men for money laundering and evasion of duty offences collapsed three weeks into the trial due to the prosecution's failure to comply with its disclosure obligations. All five defendants were acquitted. David was leading counsel for the main defendant and took the lead in submissions that led to the case collapsing. Read more about the case here.
In the Summer of 2013, David was approached by the family of Ched Evans to consider whether there were any grounds to make an application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC). David had not been involved in the case before. After a comprehensive review he considered there were arguable grounds of appeal.
He submitted a detailed application to the CCRC application in 2014: see the Daily Star and The Telegraph. The CCRC (exceptionally) agreed to give the case level one prioritisation based on David's written submissions. This case was reported by the BBC.
On 5th October 2015, the CCRC announced that the case would be referred to the Court of Appeal for a full hearing. The CCRC accepted that based on David's submissions there was a real possibility that the Court of Appeal would quash the conviction. This case was reported by the BBC.
21st April 2016: After a two day hearing where fresh evidence was heard, the Court of Appeal (David was led at the hearing) held the conviction to be unsafe and quashed it, ordering a retrial which was heard in October 2016 at Cardiff Crown Court. This case was reported by Sky Sports News and The Daily Post.
On 14th October 2016, after a two week re-trial at Cardiff Crown Court, Ched Evans was found not guilty of rape. This case was reported by ITN.
Contrary to some reports and opinions, the decision of the Court of Appeal, in this case, to allow evidence of a complainant's previous sexual history to be admitted into evidence under section 41(3)(c)(i) Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 sets no new legal precedent. The Court of Appeal explained in its detailed judgment why it reached its decision based on the exceptional circumstances of Mr Evans' case. The Court's decision - which endorsed the view of the CCRC and which was approved by the trial judge at the retrial - does not in any way open the floodgates to the admission of evidence of a complainant's previous sexual history in other cases.
October 2017 - February 2018 - Junior counsel for one defendant in 10 handed historic rape and grooming trial at Oxford Crown Court.
August 2017: In a highly unusual case, David secured an acquittal in a murder case where the victim died 9 years after he was stabbed and the defendant was already convicted of attempted murder. Led by Peter Wilcock QC. See press coverage.
August 2017: Represented Liverpool FC footballer, Lloyd Jones, at his sentence for affray and assault at Gloucester Crown Court. Successfully persuaded the court to pass a community penalty. David's plea in mitigation was widely reported. This case was reported by the Mirror.
April 2017, after an 8 week trial at the Old Bailey the jury acquitted David's client of murder and manslaughter. The defendant, a mother of two young children, was the victim of long-term domestic violence at the hands of her partner who she stabbed to death with a kitchen knife after an incident at their home. David, who was led, conducted a number of the legal arguments in a highly complex case involving non-defendant's bad character, police breaches of the codes of conduct, hearsay and expert evidence admissibility. The case attracted national media coverage, including on the BBC, the Guardian and The Telegraph.
July 2016: In a joint enterprise case, David's client was acquitted on one count of murder, four counts of attempted murder and one count of violent disorder. The judge at the Old Bailey directed the jury to enter not guilty verdicts after hearing legal submissions - see press coverage.
January - March 2016: Leading counsel in 8 week complex money-laundering/alcohol diversion fraud trial at Southwark Crown Court.
2015 and earlier
April 2015: Acted as junior counsel for Ben Carr in the trial at Winchester Crown Court of the high-profile murder in the New Forest. This case was reported by Sky News.
In March 2014 at Southwark Crown Court, David's client was acquitted of allegations of conspiracy to defraud after a six-week trial. The case involved an alleged multi-million pound mortgage fraud on Barclays Bank and centred on highly technical and complex expert evidence relating to chartered surveyors and commercial property valuations.
In 2013, after an 18-week-long trial at Preston Crown Court, David's client was acquitted of murder, attempted murder and causing an explosion in the high-profile case of Dale Cregan and others. The case involved the murder of four people including two police officers.
David's client was charged on a joint enterprise basis with Cregan in relation to the first case in British criminal history to involve the detonation of a military grenade. The jury acquitted unanimously. This case was reported widely across the media including in The Guardian.
He has also appeared in a multi-million pound counterfeiting case, a multi-handed armed bank robbery case, a multi-million pound gold smuggling VAT fraud, a multi-handed international telecoms revenue fraud as well as the successful mortgage/banking fraud at Southwark CC. This case was reported by the BBC.
David is regularly instructed in complex fraud and money laundering trials involving analysis of bank accounts and business records and working closely with forensic accountants.
In January 2019 he defended in a complicated car ringing fraud and money laundering trial at Hove Crown Court.
Autumn 2018: David led in a multi-handed large scale housing benefit fraud at Southwark Crown Court.
February 2018: David successfully argued that the case should be thrown out due to serious prosecution disclosure failings, three weeks into a complex Customs prosecution for tobacco smuggling and money laundering.
Leading counsel for defendant at Southwark Crown Court in 2016 in complex money laundering prosecution involving allegation of fake company records over a number of years as a front for large scale duty evasion conspiracy.
May 2018: After a six week duty evasion trial at Wood Green Crown Court, and after a successful submission of no case to answer on money laundering charges, the jury acquitted David's client of the main allegation.
At Aylesbury Crown Court on 22nd February 2018, the prosecution of five men for money laundering and evasion of duty offences collapsed three weeks into the trial due to the prosecution's failure to comply with its disclosure obligations. All five defendants were acquitted. David was leading counsel for the main defendant and took the lead in submissions that led to the case collapsing: Read more here.
February 2016 Multi-handed money laundering trial involving fake business records as cover for large scale alcohol importation. Case involved cut-throat with co-defendant and instruction of intermediary to assist with defendant's severe dyslexia.
Represented the first of seven defendants in five month trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in 2015 relating to prosecution of defendant's business practices over previous six year period, defendant's acquittal led to the acquittal of other defendants.
David has regularly been instructed to represent young and vulnerable defendants. Notable cases include the successful defence of a 12 year old on an attempted murder charge at the Central Criminal Court. He has a particular interest in the way the criminal justice system treats those who have only just passed the age of 18 at the time of the offence. Having successfully appealed the sentence of such an offender in the ground-breaking case of R v Balogun where the Court of Appeal stated that the principles that apply to children and young offenders still had relevance to young adults, David has written and lectured on the subject of the sentencing of young adults.
In 2021, the Criminal Law Review published an article, 'The sentencing of young adults: a distinct group requiring a distinct approach', that David co-authored with Dr Laura Janes and Claire Mawer. The article sets out the way in which the criminal courts have slowly but surely recognised the relevance of youth and immaturity as significant mitigation when it comes to sentencing young adult offenders. It reviews the significance of R. v Clarke (Morgan) (CA) and subsequent cases which have taken account of a defendant's youth and vulnerability with relevance to culpability, how maturity is to be assessed, and relevant guidance from the Sentencing Council.