Icah Peart QC is a heavyweight criminal defence barrister who is particularly keen to defend in cases which have political, civil libertarian, or racial dimensions.
Icah has always been first and foremost a criminal defence practitioner, although he has also undertaken both general civil and family work in the past. Additionally, he has experience of both inquests and courts martial, and sits regularly as a Recorder in the Crown Court at a variety of locations in London and the south east. He is authorised to sit in cases involving serious sexual allegations and to sit as a Recorder at the Old Bailey.
Coming from a working class, mixed heritage background, Icah has a 'down to earth' and pragmatic approach to his work, and win or lose, will always give 100% commitment to his clients.
Icah Peart QC is ranked for Crime in the Legal 500 2022 and Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022.
Icah's criminal practice has been for many years of the 'heavyweight' variety. Even as a junior, Icah led in cases where allegations included murder, attempted murder, rape, armed robbery, large-scale conspiracies to import and supply drugs, fraud and public order offences. Icah has always been particularly keen to defend in cases which have political, civil libertarian, or racial dimensions.
As a member of Chambers, Icah is often engaged in cases in London. However, he has travelled to the provinces to conduct defence work throughout his career and since taking silk, he continues to make himself available for work outside the capital. In addition, in recent years, Icah has accepted instructions to conduct the defence of clients abroad.
As a junior, Icah defended in cases arising from the troubles in Ireland and from the Southall, Brixton, Bristol and Tottenham disturbances in the 1980s, as well as in cases arising from the miners' strikes of the same era.
In more recent years, Icah has led for the defence in a number of high-profile cases, often with great success.
R v Michael Shields – 2022 – Birmingham Crown Court – D was charged with murder of a child [Dea-John Reid]. The case involved 5 others, three of whom themselves were children, and there were cut-throat issues. After a much-publicised trial lasting 6 weeks, D was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.
R v AH – 2021-22 – Old Bailey – D was aged 15 when he and 5 others were accused of conspiring to rob and murder a taxi driver. After a 4 month trial, although he was convicted of conspiracy to rob, he was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter.
R v Marcus Griffiths – 2021 – Harrow Crown Court – D was charged with the attempted murder of a child and the murder of his father. The case involved complex issues relating to mental health.
R v Leon Joseph – 2021 – Isleworth Crown Court – D was charged with the murder of his own father in a case which had a mental health background. Acquitted of murder, but convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
R v Dube – 2021 – Old Bailey – 4-handed, ten-week, multi-directional cut-throat murder case in which the defendant was ultimately convicted by minimum majority.
R v Wasim Hussain – 2020-21 – Birmingham Crown Court – D was charged with conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to possess a firearm with intent to endanger life. The allegations arose out of an incident involving a “drive-by” shooting which resulted in three men being shot, one of whom died. After a four-month trial involving six defendants, D was acquitted by the jury on both counts. The case was covered extensively in the local press, on ITV News and the BBC.
R v Gazmir Nuzi – 2021 – Old Bailey – D was charged with conspiracy to traffic people arising out of a well-publicised incident in which 39 Vietnamese people were found suffocated to death in a trailer in Essex. Negotiation between counsel resulted in D offering a plea to a lesser substantive offence and no evidence being offered against him on that fatal conspiracy.
R v Younis – 2020 - Southwark Crown Court - Widely reported “Canning Town Freezer Murders” case. D was charged with the murder of two women, over two years apart, whose bodies he had admittedly stored in his flat in a domestic freezer.
R v Kowalski – 2020 - Wolverhampton Crown Court – D (a bouncer) was charged with assaulting a club-goer in West Bromwich, as a result of which the club-goer died. The issue was identification. Acquitted by the unanimous verdict of a jury of both murder and manslaughter.
R v Semia Hussain – 2020 – Leeds Crown Court – A three-handed cut-throat case, in which the defendants were all charged with attempted murder x 4, arson with intent to endanger life and reckless arson. D was prepared to plead guilty to reckless arson at the outset, as she was caught on CCTV setting light to a house in which a family were sleeping. However, the Crown would not accept such a plea. After a six week trial, she was acquitted of attempted murder and arson with intent, and convicted of reckless arson only.
R v James Farrar – 2020 – Southwark Crown Court – D (a union leader) was charged with assaulting two police officers at a demonstration in Parliament Square by speaking too closely to them through a megaphone. He was acquitted on a submission of no case to answer on the basis that to speak through a megaphone cannot amount to an application of force.
R v Chaise Gray – 2019 – Old Bailey – D was charged with murder, manslaughter and conspiracy to rob in a multi-handed case arising out of a “Honeytrap" plot. After a “cut-throat” trial lasting six weeks, D was acquitted of murder and manslaughter and convicted of conspiracy to rob only.
R v Galloway – 2019 – Croydon Crown Court – D charged with murder by shooting, following a “drive-by” incident in Walthamstow. The issue in the case was identification and the matter necessitated the instruction of experts in facial mapping, gait analysis and cognitive neuroscience, in order to demonstrate the unreliability of the Crown’s identification evidence. D acquitted.
R v Wild – 2019 – Liverpool Crown Court – An eight-week trial, in which the defendant was charged with the murder of a 22-month-old child. This case involved extremely complicated medical evidence concerning the cause of the child’s death.
R v Salmon – 2019 – Birmingham Crown Court – 20-year-old Reggie Salmon was one of six defendants tried on an indictment alleging murder, manslaughter and conspiracy to rob. He alone was acquitted on all counts on a submission of no case to answer at the close of the prosecution case.
R v Tyrone Farquharson – 2018 – Old Bailey – 3-handed, two-month long murder case involving teenage defendants, in which the deceased was allegedly attacked with zombie knives and an axe and died of multiple stab wounds.
R v Osbourne - 2018 - Old Bailey - Defendant charged with joint enterprise murder following a stabbing outside York Hall Bethnal Green after a boxing event in a trial that lasted seven weeks. Acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
R v Sabrina Kouider - 2018 - Old Bailey - Nationally reported case in which the defendant was charged with torturing and burning the body of her nanny, in a trial that lasted 10 weeks. This case involved a cut-throat defence and mental health issues.
R v Oliver-Rowlands - 2018 - Old Bailey - Six-week, 5-handed, teenage "postcode" gang murder case involving cut-throat defences.
R v Tashika Mothen - 2017 - Grand Court, Cayman Islands - 30-year-old mother of 4 charged with attempted murder by shooting x 2; threats to kill; possession of a firearm; GBH x 2; and ABH x 2 in an alleged revenge attack. Acquitted on all counts after a month-long trial.
R v Craig Smith - 2017 - Liverpool Crown Court - Widely publicised five-week case involving the alleged murder of a two-year-old child by his de facto step-father (The "Teddy Tilston" case). The case involved extremely complex medical evidence relating to causation. Defendant convicted by a majority.
R v Muanza - 2017 - Old Bailey - 14-year-old defendant in five-week, cut-throat, gang-related murder case.
R v Wiltshire - 2017 - Old Bailey - Six-week cut-throat murder case in which the defendant and his partner each blamed the other for the murder of their 16-week old baby in a case which attracted national media attention ("The baby on the bus" case). Acquitted of murder and manslaughter. Convicted of child neglect only.
R v Phillips - 2017 - Croydon Crown Court - Three-week murder trial involving mental health and alcohol addiction issues.
R v Richards - 2016 - Old Bailey - Teenage Defendant charged with gang-related, joint enterprise murder. After a ten-week trial, acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter.
R v Syeedy - 2016 - Manchester Crown Court - Defendant alleged to have been inspired by ISIS to murder an Imam in a case that attracted national media attention.
R v Bacon - 2016 - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Defendant alleged to have murdered his partner of 36 years following her decision to sell their home. The case involved complex psychiatric issues.
R v Butler - 2016 - Old Bailey - Defendant alleged to have murdered his six-year-old daughter in a ten-week trial which attracted widespread national media coverage. The case involved extremely complex medical issues in relation to causation.
R v Corette - 2016 - Old Bailey - Defendant guilty of the manslaughter of his mother by reason of diminished responsibility rather than murder as alleged.
R v Gatewood - 2016 - Leeds Crown Court - Defendant acquitted in 7-handed, six-week trial, alleging joint enterprise, drug-related murder by shooting.
R v Wade - 2015 - St. Albans Crown Court - Defendant acquitted of "one-punch" manslaughter.
R v Alam - 2015 - Chelmsford Crown Court - Lead defendant in 6-handed, eight-week trial alleging gang-related murder.
R v Campbell -2015 - Old Bailey - Teenage defendant in 3-handed murder, alleged to be drugs related.
R v Sawyers - 2015 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant (aged 15) in a 3-handed cut-throat murder and robbery.
R v Furniss - 2014 - Nottingham Crown Court - Lead defendant in 3-handed, nine-week trial, which alleged a contract killing by shooting. Convicted by a minimum majority.
R v Rahman - 2014 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant (aged 18) in 6-handed alleged gang murder.
R v Noor Omar - 2014 - Old Bailey - A murder trial in which the defendant was accused of shooting and killing a young man. The defendant was unanimously acquitted by the jury after only 90 minutes of deliberation. This case was reported in the Wandsworth Guardian.
R v Tesfay - 2014 - Kingston Crown Court - Four-week re-trial of a defendant charged with murder by use of an illegal sawn-off shotgun in an alleged gang shoot-out. Although the defendant was captured on CCTV footage shooting at the victim twice, he was only convicted by a majority verdict.
R v Tayyib - 2014 - Old Bailey - 4-handed, six-week murder trial, in which Tayyib was the only defendant acquitted. This case was the subject of a BBC documentary, Guilty by Association.
R v Mikhaimar - 2014 - Old Bailey - 7-handed, three-month gang-related murder of Hani Abou El-Kheir.
R v T - 2013 - Kingston Crown Court - Defendant charged with murder by use of a sawn-off shotgun in alleged gang shoot-out. The incident was captured on CCTV. Hung jury. Re-trial 2014.
R v Jamal Walters - 2013 - Old Bailey - Two month, five-handed, cut-throat murder and conspiracy to cause GBH trial. Case arose out of an alleged gang revenge attack. 18 year old Defendant acquitted on all counts.
R v Kevin Richards - 2013 - Old Bailey - Five month, ten-handed, cut-throat, murder and conspiracy trial. Defendant acquitted on all counts. This case received a great deal of publicity because one of the defendants was a high profile football and entertainments agent, whose clients included Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand. Although he was third on the indictment, Kevin Richards was universally acknowledged as being the most important defendant in the case, being variously described as the "lynchpin" and the "bottleneck". His acquittal ensured the acquittal of most of the other defendants in the trial.
R v Dale Williams - 2012 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant in a three month, eight-handed alleged gang murder trial.
R v Powell - 2012 - Old Bailey - Five month re-trial - Defendant convicted by minimum majority of attempted murder and possessing firearm with intent
R v Michael Williams - 2012 - Liverpool Crown Court - "Operation Greengage" - Defendant one of three men forming the ruling tier of an international organised crime group involved in the importation into the UK of drugs, guns and ammunition. Acquitted of 2 of the 4 conspiracies alleged against him.
R v Maroof - 2011 - Stafford Crown Court - Five-handed conspiracy to murder by shooting.
R v CB - 2011 - Snaresbrook Crown Court - Daughter of well known show business celebrities acquitted of "glassing" alleged victim.
R v BB - 2011 - Kingston Crown Court - Son of ex-cabinet minister convicted by minimum majority of sexual assault.
R v Powell - 2011 - Old Bailey - Five month trial in which the Defendant charged was with 7 others on an indictment alleging murder, attempted murder, possession of firearms with intent and perverting the course of public justice. All defendants convicted save for the Defendant and one other, in respect of whom there was a hung jury. This result was viewed as remarkable by many, in the light of the fact that the Defendant - whose defence was self defence - was to be seen on CCTV footage pursuing his victim and shooting him five times.
R v Freeman -2011 - Nottingham Crown Court - Possession of firearm - defendant acquitted by the jury in seven minutes.
R v Krasniqi - 2011 - Leeds Crown Court - Lead defendant in a case in which three Muslim prisoners at HMP Wakefield (each serving a life sentence with a minimum tariff) faced allegations of attempting to murder Radislav Krstic, a Serbian war criminal serving 35 years for aiding and abetting genocide. Acquitted of attempted murder and convicted of GBH only, thus avoiding an indicated whole life sentence for the more serious offence and receiving a custodial term which did not extend the tariff.
R v Jumah - 2010 -Old Bailey - Lead defendant in multi-handed "Matalan Murder" - Defendant pleaded guilty to organising the robbery, but not guilty to murder. Acquitted of murder; convicted of manslaughter only
R v Silingis - 2010 -Old Bailey - Lithuanian defendant in multi-handed case acquitted of murder and rape
R v Wilson - 2010 - Bristol Crown Court - Defendant acquitted of blackmail
R v Whyte - 2009 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant, a successful record producer, only one of seven accused acquitted of the murder of one man and of conspiring to murder another in a case involving the first black "supergrass"
R v Zajovic - 2009 - Old Bailey - Gang related multi-handed murder. 17 year old defendant acquitted
R v Thompson - 2009 - Old Bailey - 15 year old defendant one of seven in "The Honeytrap Murder" (This case was the subject of a BBC3 film "My Murder" in 2012 and inspired the 2015 feature film "Honeytrap")
R v Gunter - 2009 - Old Bailey - 15 year old defendant one of only two out of seven accused acquitted of murder
R v Bhatessa -2009 - Snaresbrook CC - Defendant charged with rape of one woman and attempted rape of another. Acquitted of all save a single offence of sexual penetration
R v Costa - 2009 - Old Bailey - "The Oxford Street Stabber" - Defendant acquitted of murder
R v Viera - 2008 - Court of Appeal - Five Judge Court of Appeal, presided over by the Lord Chief Justice, decided anonymous hearsay was inadmissible on an interlocutory appeal by the Crown. Defendant acquitted of murder in multi-handed gang related shooting (Reported as R v Mayers)
R v Desnoes - 2008 - Old Bailey - 15 year old defendant acquitted of murder in multi-handed "post code" gang killing
R v Gray - 2008 - Court of Appeal - 14 year old defendant's murder conviction quashed on causation point
R v Amos - 2008 - Winchester Crown Court - Defendant in multi-handed animal rights case
R v Davis - 2008 - Croydon Crown Court - Defendant charged with murder but acquitted of that offence and convicted of manslaughter only
R v Rodgers - 2007 - Old Bailey - Defendant acquitted of murder of alleged drug dealer
R v Jaswal - 2007 - Old Bailey - Defendant in multi-handed murder case acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter only
R v Gordon - 2007 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant in complex gang-related murder
R v Emeh - 2006 - Old Bailey - Defendant acquitted of murder in multi-handed gang killing
R v Mason - 2006 - Bristol Crown Court - Defendant acquitted of murder in 10-handed case involving multiple gang killings
R v Muir - 2005 - Old Bailey - "Dog chair murder" - Widely publicised case in which the defendant was acquitted of murdering his friend in a row over a dog. Defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter
R v Alvis - 2005 - Old Bailey - Defendant acquitted of gang-related drug murder
R v Toby Edwards - 2005 - Maidstone Crown Court - The "body in the bag" murder..Defendant (an ex soldier) acquitted of killing an alleged drug dealer
R v Morgan - 2005 - Old Bailey - Defendant a member of the So Solid Crew involved in shoot-out resulting in the murder of a love rival
R v Roberts - 2005 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant in complex gang killing following the Notting Hill Carnival
R v Kerlit - 2004 - Old Bailey - "Murder in the Gherkin" case. Defendant acquitted
R v Briscoe - 2004 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant in gang rape case acquitted
R v Mills - 2003 - Old Bailey - Lead defendant in complex conspiracy to rob and murder. Acquitted of murder; convicted of conspiracy to rob after a re-trial.
R v Yones - 2003 - Old Bailey - Widely reported case in which the defendant admitted the "honour killing" of his daughter.
R v Mahrad - 2002 - Northampton Crown Court - The 'Ross Parker' race murder case. Of the four accused, only Mahrad was acquitted
R v Maddison - 2002 - Nottingham Crown Court - Defendant acquitted of the murder of a DJ
R v Jackson - 2002 - Old Bailey - Defendant acquitted of murder by shooting
R v Ranique Edwards - 2002 - Old Bailey - Defendant, aged 12, was the youngest defendant to stand trial for murder at the Old Bailey for 100 years He was acquitted.
Reported cases include Craig Andrew Smith  EWCA Crim 110; Wiltshire and Baker  EWCA Crim 1686; Boateng  All ER (D) 104 (May); AG's Reference (Nos.32, 33, 34 and 35 of 2010)  EWCA Crim.2900; Mayers  EWCA 2989; Taylor  AER(D)32; Kiffin  AER(D)361;Grant  1 CAR 73; McKecknie and others  94 CAR 51; Birmingham and others  CLR 117; Phillipson  91 CAR 226; Inner London Crown Court ex p Benjamin  85 CAR 267; and O'Loughlin and McLoughlin .
R v Mudassar - 2012 - Newcastle Crown Court - Conspiracy to defraud and to breach immigration controls. Defendant acquitted
R v Arachchi - 2011 - Southwark Crown Court - Defendant indicted with fraudulently conspiring to launder the proceeds of crime (said initially to be £69m, later revised down to £39m). Acquitted
In the autumn of 2010, Icah was a member of the five-person Bar Human Rights Committee delegation which taught criminal procedure at the Law School of Tanzania, based at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
Icah was assigned to the list of counsel for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 2011.
In 2012, Icah was one of two Garden Court barristers who spent a month in South Africa assisting with the training of lawyers employed by the South African Human Rights Commission.
In 2013, Icah travelled to Nigeria with an ISLP colleague to assist in advocacy training for lawyers employed by the Nigerian Ministry of Justice. In 2014, Icah returned once again to Tanzania with one other to teach criminal procedure at the Law School of Tanzania.
In 2017, Icah successfully defended a young mother charged with multiple counts (including attempted murder by shooting x 2) in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.