Alistair joined Cobden House Chambers in July 2014, having qualified as a barrister after 7 years practicing as a solicitor.
Throughout his career Alistair has specialised in criminal advocacy, initially in the Magistrates and Youth Courts before being granted Higher Rights of Audience in 2010. Prior to being Called to the Bar, Alistair worked for well known and respected solicitors firms in the Manchester area.
Alistair’s extensive experience as both a duty solicitor and a Crown Court Advocate has given him an understanding of how to develop strong professional relationships with instructing solicitors, while also allowing him to relate to clients from all backgrounds.
Since being Called, Alistair has received instructions to defend clients for a range of offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, conspiracy to defraud, robbery, wounding and sexual assault. Alistair has established a reputation for providing clear advice to instructing solicitors, as well as establishing good rapport with defendants.
Alistair is a Category 2 Prosecutor, and is frequently instructed to conduct trials in the Crown Court for the Crown Prosecution Service. These cases have included robbery, production of cannabis, domestic burglary, wounding, and conspiracy to steal. Alistair has provided detailed advice on the National Referral Mechanism for the victims of trafficking, and how that impacts on the public interest to prosecute in relevant cases.
In addition, he often prosecutes on behalf of the Probation Service for alleged breaches of Community Orders and Suspended Sentence Orders in the Crown Court.
RSPCA and Dangerous Dogs cases
Before joining Chambers, Alistair had experience defending animal cruelty cases prosecuted by the RSPCA. He was regularly recommended by former clients, and received instructions from individuals throughout the country.
Alistair has developed this area of practice and has extensive experience being instructed in Dangerous Dogs cases. Alistair has successfully defended allegations of owning dogs dangerously out of control causing injury, and is frequently instructed in a range of cases brought under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Specialist Motoring Practice
During his time at one of the region’s leading specialist road traffic practices, Alistair quickly established himself as the firm’s first choice advocate for all motoring cases. He has represented actors and professional footballers, and successfully defended allegations including driving with excess alcohol (drink driving), careless driving, dangerous driving, and driving without insurance.
In addition to trial cases, Alistair has represented many defendants in Special Reasons and Exceptional Hardship cases, enabling them to retain their driving licenses.
- R v A, Minshull Street Crown Court- Defending A, charged with serious sexual offences. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury returned a unanimous Not Guilty verdict within an hour of retiring.
- R v P and N, Carlisle Crown Court- Instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service in the case of 2 Vietnamese nationals who were arrested in a cannabis farm. This case involved careful analysis of the law relating to the victims of people trafficking, and was ultimately heard by the Court of Appeal who ruled that the Judge had wrongly stayed the indictment as an abuse of process.
- R v S, Manchester Crown Court- Instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service for a man charged with conspiracy to steal over £100,000 worth of electrical goods from a large warehouse facility. This case required careful consideration of electronic records showing the defendant’s movements throughout the warehouse, and establishing the role he played as part of a wider gang. The defendant was convicted of the conspiracy.
- R v G, Minshull Street Crown Court- Defending G, accused of being part of an armed gang who robbed a man in his home. G was forensically linked to the offence after his fingerprints were recovered from the tape used to restrain the victim. The jury was persuaded that these fingerprints did not establish G’s involvement in the robbery and returned a Not Guilty verdict.
- I v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, Manchester Crown Court- Prosecuting the appeal of I, a cleaner working employed at a hospital who was accused of a series of sexual assaults on a patient. Having heard the evidence, the Circuit Judge and magistrates dismissed the appeal, finding the appellant guilty of all allegations.
- R v M, Manchester Crown Court: Defended M, accused of threatening to kill his partner and holding a knife to her throat. The jury returned a Not Guilty verdict within 10 minutes after the complainant admitted lying under cross examination.
- R v A, Liverpool Crown Court: Defending a man accused of attempted child abduction in Merseyside. After representations about the credibility of the evidence against A, no evidence was offered on the abduction offence.
- R v D, Newcastle Crown Court: Representing one of thirty defendants charged with violent disorder in organised football-related violence between West Ham United and Sunderland supporters.
- R v M, Manchester Crown Court: Defending a 74 year old man with dementia, accused of sexual assault. Having heard expert evidence, the Court accepted that M was not fit to plead in criminal proceedings.