Called to the bar in 2004
Ben has worked in legal Manchester since 2004 and has experience in many areas of common-law practise but is, above all else, a criminal barrister.
Ben has experience both alone and led in the Court of Appeal and High Court.
In the Crown Court, Ben defends at the most serious end of the criminal spectrum, in cases involving homicide, firearms, gang violence, serious organised crime, drugs and people trafficking, and the most serious cases of wounding and causing grievous bodily harm, rape and sexual assault.
Ben is used to defending without a leader in cases prosecuted by a two-counsel prosecution team (silk and junior).
Many solicitors select Ben to deal with cases where mental health is a key feature. He has also appeared before the Mental Health Tribunal in prison law matters.
Ben appears before courts-martial. Many service personnel are keen to know that their counsel is truly independent to the armed forces and does not answer to their chain of command. Military discipline staff have commented that Ben’s persuasive advocacy before courts-martial has yielded better results than expected.
In addition to his Crown Court practice, he has dealt with a number of Judicial Review matters related to prison law and has appeared before the Parole Board on many occasions.
Ben has a niche practice in software licensing and intellectual property. This stems from his computing background and years of experience in assisting start-up software houses to protect their work. This work is undertaken on a Direct Access basis.
R v T (2017) – acquittal in “bedsit” rape trial at Liverpool Crown Court.
R v O (2017) – extensive drug-supply conspiracy.
R v D (2017) – secured acquittal in a complex armed robbery trial.
R v G (2017) – s.18 involving life-changing injury.
R v W (2017) – complex case involving multiple child victims of sexual assaults and rapes.
R v AB (2016) – successfully defended an elderly gentleman accused of historic, familial sexual assault.
R v SS (2016) – multi-handed firearms conspiracy within a gang context. Only defendant acquitted of the most serious charge. Prosecuted by QC and junior. Defended without a leader.
R v H (2016) – domestic abuse spanning 30 years. Very complex procedurally.
R v JH (2015) – GBH allegation successfully defended twice and third trial successfully resisted.
R v H (2015) – one of the longest-running confiscation cases in England and Wales. Concluded on the terms offered by the defence a year earlier.
R v D (2014) – firearms possession in Merseyside – successfully forced CPS to withdraw before trial on two separate occasions;
R v S (2014) – a near fatality child cruelty case involving methadone and fractured bones;
Some of Ben’s reported Cases
R v Martin  EWCA Crim 2565 – successful legitimate expectation argument;
R v Robinson  EWCA Crim 758 – appeal against sentence where guidelines misapplied;
R v Maughan  EWCA Crim 1037 – a multi-handed youth appeal where the Court of Appeal was obliged to restate the governing principles of youth sentencing;
Gareth Wealleans v Sec of State  1658 PT (HESC);
R v Geoffrey McMillan-Smith  EWCA Crim 732
- Labour Party member
- Criminal Bar Association Member
- Presenter and producer of Northpod Law
Sheffield Hallam University – LLB (Hons.)
Universite de Paris XII – Maitrise en droit francais
Manchester Met. University – BVC
BPP – QLTT
Called to the Bar by Middle Temple.
Languages – English, French