Ben Williams Crime

Call: 2006

Introduction

Ben is ranked as a Leading Junior for Crime in the Legal 500 2019 (Tier 1) and identified as a specialist in murder and fraud. He is described as “self-assured and excellent on his feet.”

Ben is listed in Chambers & Partners 2019 (Crime – Midlands Bar – Band 2) as a well-regarded junior, primarily defending in heavyweight criminal matters. He is described as “super talented, super-efficient” with “outstanding judgment”, and as being “all over the law, very bright and very capable.”

Ben’s practise is in criminal and regulatory law. He has expertise in complex criminal cases, particularly homicide, fraud and organised crime conspiracies. He is experienced in cases of serious sexual offences and serious violence – including attempted murder cases as a junior alone – and terrorism.

He is a Grade 3 prosecutor, appointed to the specialist CPS lists for Rape and Proceeds of Crime.

Current and recent regulatory work encompasses Fire Safety, Food Safety, and general Health & Safety; consumer protection offences; and prosecuting privately on behalf of Severn Trent Water and United Utilities in respect of environmental offences.

His notable recent criminal cases include: R v JB – drive-by shooting with automatic weapon, involving cell-site, phone record and CCTV analysis (ongoing); R v TB – junior counsel for the main defendant in a double shooting relying on painstaking analysis of CCTV evidence, in the absence of eye-witnesses (ongoing); R v TC – privately-instructed junior counsel for a successful financier and property developer in a large-scale alleged real estate fraud (ongoing); R v George & others – junior Crown counsel in a 13-defendant case of immigration fraud; R v Todd & others – junior Crown counsel in a multi-defendant case of ‘historical’ child abuse spanning decades, with a widening follow-up investigation ongoing; R v King – pagan ritual murder; deceased’s headless skeleton found 3 years after disappearance; financial motive.

Ben has appeared in the High Court numerous times in Judicial Review cases and many times in the Court of Appeal.

Alongside the above, Ben has for some time been working and advising on a posthumous reference to the Criminal Cases Review Commission regarding the conviction in 1917 of members of a Derby family for conspiracy to murder the then Prime Minister, David Lloyd George.

Ben has also advised the BBC and ITV on legal matters in relation to scripts for television dramas including Doctors and Coronation Street.


Crime

Ben is ranked as Leading Junior for Crime in the Legal 500 2017 (Tier 1) and identified as a specialist in murder and fraud. He is also experienced in serious sexual offences, organised crime, and terrorism.

Reported Cases

R v Brewster [2011] 1 WLR 601 (Pitchford LJ, Maddison & Macduff JJ). – Leading authority on Non-Defendant’s Bad Character. Ben appeared for the first appellant, who had been convicted of kidnapping and robbery. The convictions were quashed after detailed legal argument.

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Fraud, Business and Financial Crime

Ben’s recent experience includes acting as privately-instructed junior to a senior QC in a complex real estate fraud: the allegation being that residential properties owned by a major utility company had been sold off at an undervalue by an ‘inside man’ to co-conspirators.

He has defended as junior alone in a £2.5million theft concerning car parts being taken from Jaguar Land Rover. The evidence included an in-depth audit trail of ordering records and analysis of financial evidence.

Ben has defended cases including an online credit card fraud; company director’s lavish abuse of a company credit card; an accountant siphoning money into a personal account using false invoices, and a school administrator ‘skimming’ payments made by parents.

He has acted as junior Crown counsel in the prosecution of a string of conspiracies to defraud car insurance companies, and a complex immigration fraud.

Additionally, Ben has been instructed by financial institutions including Barclays Bank to represent their interests in disclosure processes within prosecutions of fraud, protecting confidentiality of employee identity and other data.

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Homicide (Murder and Manslaughter)

Ben is currently instructed as defence junior for the main defendant in a complex murder case arising from a double shooting. The case involves no eye witnesses and depends entirely on technical evidence from CCTV/facial-mapping analysis, cell-site and call record analysis, and forensic science regarding firearms. He is also defence junior in a similar case arising from a ‘drive-by’ shooting involving an automatic weapon (believed to have been a ‘Mach 10’) – also reliant on painstaking analysis of cell-site and phone analysis, cross-referenced to CCTV and ANPR evidence.

In another notable murder case Ben was defence junior to Timothy Raggatt QC in a complex murder case involving a plethora of forensic evidence (archaeology, pathology, anthropology, engineering, radiocarbon-dating etc.), cell-site, banking records, handwriting analysis, theology (paganism & ritual crimes) and a wealth of other material, which involved a 2-month trial before Saunders  J.

Ben has acted as junior alone in cases of attempted murder including a recent trial against John Butterfield QC involving a youth who had stabbed another youth to the neck.

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Motoring and Road Traffic

Ben has ample experience of representing motorists on a private basis.

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Organised Crime and Terrorism

Ben’s experience includes:

  • representing the ‘Slient Bomber’, Mohammed Rehman, on terrorism charges at the Old Bailey;
  • a robbery conspiracy, involving the targeting of Eastern European prostitutes across Birmingham; the use of weapons including firearms; the infliction of serious violence; and high value thefts;
  • numerous large-scale conspiracies to steal high value motor vehicles;
  • international drug-importation, including a case concerning over 100 kilos of heroin concealed inside a pizza oven (defendant acquitted after trial).
  • the biggest cannabis production case ever encountered by Leicestershire Police, which was further connected with a comparable operation in the West Midlands; a museum heist of antiques with million pound valuations; a staged hold-up of a cash-in-transit van involving an ‘inside man’; various conspiracies to steal high value motor cars, to import or otherwise traffic drugs; and several cases involving region-wide campaigns of burglary.

Such cases necessarily involve a significant volume of evidence: covering eye-witness testimony, forensic science, ANPR and CCTV, cell-site mapping, phone contact analysis, and so on. Ben is consequently experienced in dealing with the particular technicalities of such material, and has developed transferable skills in managing voluminous and multi-faceted evidence.

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Prison and Parole Boards

Ben has appeared as an advocate in disciplinary and parole board hearings. He also has experience in Judicial Review of prison-related decisions.

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Restraint and Confiscation

Ben is on the CPS Specialist Panel for proceeds of crime work. He has acted in a number of applications under POCA and preceding legislation, arising from prosecutions for drug, fraud, and trading standards offences in particular, for Restraint, Confiscation, and Enforcement orders. He has appeared in numerous cash forfeiture cases, including an application for forfeiture of c. £1/2 million in cash based on allegations of leasing and tax fraud, and another for c. £300,000 derived from money-laundering. He has represented the CPS as intervener in ancillary relief proceedings in the High Court (clash between confiscation under the DTA and the Matrimonial Causes Act). He is frequently specifically instructed to undertake the confiscation stage of cases, post-conviction.

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Serious Sexual Offences

Recent defence experience includes an alleged rape of a 15-year-old by a man with a conviction for unlawful sexual activity with a minor, following grooming behaviour (acquitted); rape by a man of good character of his partner on multiple occasions (acquitted); historic sexual abuse of relatives by a man now in his 80’s (acquitted of 5 counts).

Ben is currently junior Crown counsel in a large-scale child abuse case, involving numerous defendants and complainants and significant quantities of complex unused material.

He was led by Stephen Linehan QC in the defence of a man in his mid-90s facing sexual allegations dating back to the 1930s, concerning his natural daughters as well as pupils of both sexes who attended a school for maladjusted children which he ran as proprietor and headmaster. The Defendant had been prosecuted, and acquitted, several times in the 1970s & 80s, giving rise to disclosure issues and abuse arguments. The Defendant was also, given his age, beset by a range of mental and physical frailties, giving rise to separate abuse arguments.

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