Charles Blatchford Crime

Call: 1997

Introduction

Charles is a Senior Junior Regulatory and Criminal Advocate and Advisory Lawyer.  Called to the Bar in 1997 initially Charles accepted the opportunity to qualify as a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in their Corporate Department in their global London Headquarters.  Charles then spent some time in the Army Legal Services and then was in-house Counsel at Hargreaves Services plc dealing with all matters legal arising out of the business.  These experiences give Charles an insight to what commercial clients as well as instructing solicitors want and expect from Counsel.  These previous roles also mean that in an advisory capacity Charles is aware of the wider issues affecting clients.

During his time at the Bar Charles has appeared with notable success before District Judges, Circuit Judges, High Court Judges and in the Court of Appeal in contentious matters.  Charles is also a qualified mediator and has represented clients in mediation proceedings.

Charles is often asked to consider potential criminal appeals on convictions and/or sentence and has appeared before the Court of Appeal on a regular basis since being at the Bar.

His Regulatory practice continues to grow and has involved (in 2017 alone) advice and court appearances in the following areas:

  • Trading Standards cases
  • Food Hygiene cases
  • Environment Agency cases
  • NHS investigations
  • Taxi Licensing

In Spring 2019 Charles was appointed to the Attorney General’s List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (Band B).

He has also been instructed at Inquests and Health and Safety Executive investigations and prosecutions.  Charles was involved in the Inquest into the death of one of the soldiers at Deepcut Barracks and also the HSE prosecution into a death at Immingham Docks.

2019 – Deepcut Inquest – Geoff Gray. Surrey Coroner’s Court at Woking.  Charles represents the Commanding Officer of Deepcut Barracks at the time of the death of Private Geoff Gray.  Private Geoff Gray was found dead with two gunshot wounds at Deepcut Barracks in 2001.  He was the third of four young soldiers to die at the barracks with such wounds between 1995 and 2002.  Engaging Article 2 there is to be a full investigation into Geoff’s death and the wider environment in which he lived at Deepcut. As part of this, the inquest will examine allegations that soldiers were bullied, the camp lacked appropriate supervision by staff, whether there were security breaches (the loss of weapons and ammunition) and intruders at the camp and failings in the subsequent investigations into Geoff’s death.

In terms of his Criminal practice Charles has represented those accused of the most serious offences with a high degree of success including: Homicide, Sexual Offences, Bribery, Large-Scale Fraud, Drug Supply, Aggravated Burglary, Kidnap, Arson, Blackmail and Road Traffic Offences.

Appellate cases

  • Ibrar  [2017] EWCA Crim 1841 – appeal against conviction – joint enterprise appeal on s18 GBH with Intent following ruling in R v Jogee.  Charles was not original trial counsel.
  • Brooks [2017] EWCA Crim 1066 – prolific shoplifter – repeat offender – disparity of sentence with co-accused – sentence length.  Charles was not original counsel on the case.
  • Towers [2017] – Trading Standards – sentence length
  • Ellerby [2016] – Firearms (discharged), threats, ABH, provocation, sentence length.
  • Kerrigan [2015] 1 Cr App R (S) 29 – Robbery, credit for time served, delay, release on licence, return to custody.
  • McAllister [2014] EWCA Crim 2069 – Rape, construction of extended sentences.
  • Taylor [2015] EWCA Crim 732 – False alibi, robbery.
  • Marsh [2014] EWCA Crim 1146 – Sexual activity with children – overturning life sentence.
  • Greenwood [2014] EWCA Crim 838 – Young offenders, sentence length, robbery.
  • Auld [2012] EWCA Crim 2097 – Courts-Martial Appeal Court, ABH, disparity of sentence, joint enterprise.

Crime

Noted for his ability to engage with difficult clients.  Significant successes in defending;

Sexual offences

  • Defending - R v FR [2017] - Sexual assault. Students at a party. Complainant in tears and seen with bruising on upper inner thighs. Defendant apologises publicly. Accusation posted on Facebook. Defendant apologises for behaviour on Facebook.  NG.
  • Defending - R v RA [2017] - Familial rape. Defendant's seminal DNA recovered from complainant’s body. Jury deliberated for 6hrs. G.
  • Defending - R v GM [2017] - Prolific flasher. Defendant decided to plead guilty.
  • Defending - R v GS [2017] - Rape and serious sexual assaults on extremely vulnerable adults.
  • Defending – R v CN [2016] – Sexual activity with a child under 13. Indecent images of defendant discovered on complainant’s tablet device. NG.
  • Defending – R v SM [2015] – Historic rape allegations.  Defendant makes comment whilst giving evidence that he thinks about snatching a child then disposing of body.  Jury deliberated for 7hrs. G.

Child Abduction/Kidnap

  • Defending – R v JM [2017] – Snatch of a child in pushchair at a bus stop.  Incident captured on CCTV.  NG.

Violence/Assault

  • Defending - R v SH [2017] - Aggravated Burglary - Defendant attends ex-partners house with sharpened antique bayonet making threats to kill ex-partners new partner. Seen by his own daughter Defendant enters premises through daughters bedroom window.  Daughter warns step-dad and phones 999. Main evidence from 12yr old daughter but neighbours confirm erratic behaviour of Defendant and the sharpening of the bayonet in their garage.  Defendant admits possessing the bayonet and admits entering the premises. NG.
  • Defending – R v DR [2017] – Aggravated Burglary.  Hammer attack on complainant with learning difficulties.  Defendant known to and identified by complainant.  Jury deliberating for 6hrs.  G.
  • Defending – R v SP [2015] – s20 GBH.  Issues of excessive force/self-defence.  Defendant a serving soldier.  Female complainant loses hearing in one ear permanently during scuffle, defendant totally unharmed.  NG.
  • Defending – R v AM [2014] – Aggravated Burglary, GBH on one police officer, ABH on another police officer, possession of firearm (taser taken from police officer then used on the same officer).  6 police officers required to arrest defendant. NG.
  • R v DM [2015] – s18 GBH.  Domestic violence.  G.
  • R v DCF [2014]. Youths involved in Violent Disorder with weapons resulting in Murder. 8 young adult/youth defendants. Assisting an Offender. Conspiracy to Pervert the Course of Justice. DCF was the only defendant not to receive an immediate custodial sentence.  Even when order breached by commission of a further violent disorder the court was persuaded not to impose custody.

Firearms

  • Defending – R v RE [2015] – Shotgun used on wife’s ex-lover.  Injury caused.  Complainant pursued after shooting.  Guilty plea.  Sentence reduced to 27 months on appeal.
  • Various – possession of prohibited firearms – argued exceptional circumstances to avoid minimum sentences.  Many involving ex-military personnel.

Arson

  • R v SW & RB [2015] – Prosecuting.  Circumstantial evidence.  G.

Drugs

  • R v MF (& 7 Ors) [2017] - Drugs conspiracy - Class A - heroin & cocaine in Leeds & Yorkshire. Defending Ring-leaders right-hand man.  4 Defs have trials.
  • R v IA & KS (& Ors) [2016]. Drugs conspiracy in Lancashire.
  • R v JH [2016]. Large Cannabis Factory operation.
  • R v SM & RC [2015]. Multiple PWITS Class A and Class B.
  • R v IS & PL (& Ors) [2015].  Large scale drugs conspiracy involving 10 defendants for an operation covering Yorkshire & Teesside.
  • R v MC [2014]. PWITS Class A.
  • R v MC (& Ors) [2013].  8 Defendant drugs conspiracy for Class A distribution between Bradford and Harrogate.
  • R v DS [2013]. PWITS Class A.

Fraud

  • R v DB [2014] – Large scale fraud by Financial Controller of plc.  2 week trial.  G.
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