The cases outlined give a flavour of the practical results of what Cathy McCulloch offers.

Abuse of Process Application granted

R v GA at A Crown Court – Publishing of Indecent Images of a Child
Client aged 16 when index event took place, not charged until 19. Police rendered defence material (an iPhone which could have proved the client’s defence) inaccessible by repeatedly inputting the wrong pin. Full details here.

Sex-related cases

R v WX at A Crown Court Incestuous Rape (8 counts over a six year period) “50 Shades of Grey
Not Guilty. Brought onto the case 2 days before ground rules hearing, a week before trial. No realistic defence in prospect. Successful argument of S41, S76/78 and Special Measures submissions. Careful interview of client on Day One of Trial unearthed that complainant was a fan of the book version of Fifty Shades of Grey (client was unaware of its subject matter).

Successful submission that a short adjournment was in the interests of justice to allow for preparation of an addendum DCS. On afternoon and evening of Day Two, research and cross-referencing of ABE content with the content of Fifty Shades of Grey identified 17 claimed incidents which appeared to have been lifted from the book. Used 7 in addendum DCS. Thorough XX Plan prepared – anticipated duration 2–3 hours.

On morning of Day Three, 2–3 minutes into XX, put to complainant that she had fabricated the story. On being given some examples, she agreed, and gave details from Fifty Shades and other books. XX complete in seven minutes.

Crown took advice and offered no evidence. HHJ directed the jury to acquit, stating that this case is “unique” in the whole of his career at the Bar and Judiciary.

R v MC Newcastle Crown Court Historic Rape
Gained full disclosure of all telephone data in face of on-going Prosecution refusal to disclose evidence. Successful rebuttal of new allegations by complainant during testimony.

R v MB Teesside Crown Court Historic Sexual Assault (8 Counts)
Skilful cross-examination revealed multiple inconsistencies in complainant’s version of events. Not guilty on all counts.

R v JD at A Youth Court Sexual Assault
Discovered that Expert Report on behalf of the Crown was completely incompetent. Advised CPS that proceeding with case not in the public interest; with Judge’s permission explained to all parties in open court how and why the case had collapsed. Persuaded Judge that Costs Order against the Crown would be inappropriate.

R v AS St Albans Crown Court Historic Rape
Not Guilty after third trial. 1st halted for lack of court time; hung jury twice. Established in cross-examination that the witnesses were all giving conflicting evidence on several points. Closing speech described as “inspired” by her client.

R v RW Durham Crown Court Rape
Not Guilty. “He said – she said” rape. Established in cross-examination that the one alleged independent witness could not possible have seen what she claimed to have seen, key issue was thus the credibility of the complainant’s and defendant’s version of events. Unanimous not-guilty verdict in 43 minutes.

R v AC Durham Crown Court Rape
Not Guilty after 2 week trial. Prosecution held that complainant had been unable to consent due to intoxication, defence was of reasonable belief that the client had consented. Closing speech was a a forensic dissection of the prosecution case, described by one member of the national press as “the most powerful I have ever heard”. Considerable national press interest during and after trial.

R v CD at A Youth Court Appeal to the Crown Court 2017 Rape of a child under 13 
Both complainant and 3 youth defendants were vulnerable. Close cooperation with intermediaries required throughout both trial and Appeal to the Crown Court. Point raised in Court concerning application of Youth Court rules when defendant giving evidence during an Appeal to the Crown Court.

R v BK St Albans Crown Court Sexual Assault
Not Guilty after seven day trial. Despite a misjudgement by the client which could have led to another (non-sexual) criminal charge, skilful cross-examination demonstrated that the sexual act had been consensual, and that the complaint had been driven by malice.

R v XY at A Crown Court Incestuous Rape
Guilty plea. Thorough research found little-known case – ZBT (Rape of a sibling is not a breach of trust). HHJ commended ’rounded’ mitigation, and handed down sentence of 6 years (half would normally have been expected). Successfully argued defendant should not be permanently removed from family contact by the Sexual Risk and Restraining Orders.

R v FI Ipswich Crown Court Historic Rape
Case hinged around consent when intoxicated.

R v RS Basildon Crown Court Sexual Assault
Not Guilty after five day trial. Skilful use of evidence in cross-examination of complainant. Judge remarked on “powerful and persuasive nature” of S41 submission.

R v SW Isleworth Crown Court Indecent Assault on a child under 7 years old and Wounding x 2
Two trials for the indecent assault – hung jury first time. Put very young complainant at ease. Established during XX that the child had been fed answers by her mother. Jury were out for 9 mins before acquitting. Wounding: pleaded guilty. Had used excessive force when attacked as an alleged Paedophile, taking a knife to an unarmed man. Mitigation called “Powerful” by HHJ who was extremely lenient, sentencing defendant to 9 months for both wounding matters.

R v RF Norwich Crown Court 2009 Indecent Assault on a child under 13 years
Five trials. Client found Not Guilty after use of “Lethal” XX techniques. Successful handling of numerous disclosure matters.

Various in the Youth Court
Regularly instructed in connection with serious offences

Fraud and dishonesty

Suffolk Trading Standards v CG & 5 Ors Ipswich Crown Court Fraud
Client was last of sixth defendants on the indictment facing a total of 42 counts, and the only one found Not Guilty over all charges. 7.5 week trial prosecuted by leading junior and junior. Complex Points of Law: Disclosure, Hearsay, S78 PACE, Company Law (Co Act 2006 – Directors Duties), Contract Law.

R v EM Central London Criminal Court Theft from Employer
After a full plea in mitigation, The Common Sergeant said he was “persuaded” to allow defendant to remain in the community. Suspended sentence awarded despite the sum stolen – aggravated by the defendant spending the £10k on a boob job, holiday and mortgage. Much publicity concerning the “boob job”.

R v KB Blackfriars Crown Court Fraud (10 Counts)
2 week trial in complex Betting Shop Fraud. Legal argument concerning disclosure and hearsay in addition to mastering the issues surrounding betting shop operations.

Violent crime

R v AC and ors Derby Crown Court GBH
Current Matter.

R v JP and ano Ipswich Crown Court GBH
Both Not Guilty after full trial. Originally instructed for both defendants; severed on own application so Bad character could be used against the complainant without harming the Co-Defendant’s case.

R v ED Reading Crown Court GBH
Not Guilty after full trial. CCTV appeared at first sight to prove guilt. Detailed analysis by Counsel showed otherwise; video enhanced and used to conclusive effect in court during XX of complainant..

R v RI Norwich Crown Court Attempted Murder
After full trial vulnerable client found Not Guilty of attempted murder. Complex legal argument including arguing in of Expert Evidence, and exclusion of Police Interview due to breach of PACE Code C. Also Bad Character, Admissions, Duplicity.

R v RI Ipswich Crown Court ABH; Burglary; Threatening a person with a bladed article; False Imprisonment (x3); Threats to Kill and Assault by Beating
Successful mitigation: defendant had severe Mental Health issues, but attempt to get a Hospital Order was thwarted by expert report which held otherwise despite medical records. For all counts he received a total of 7 years immediate custody.

R v LL Central London Criminal Court (Old Bailey) Burglary
Acting for prosecution. Persuaded that defendant was being set up by complainants, so sought third party disclosure. Spent 5 days going through resultant material with Defence and OiC. Found proof of defence assertion; Police investigation confirmed complainants had “groomed” her and she was the victim. Sought to have defendants prosecuted for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Diligence commended by the Court, Police and CPS.

R v AB Central London Criminal Court 2008 Attempted Murder (later dropped via Robbery to an ABH and carrying a weapon in a public place)
Won trust of devout Muslim defendant. Attempted Murder matter stayed on first day of trial following “on the hoof” Abuse Argument before HHJ Peter Fingret. During preliminary hearings argued successfully for a Non-Defendant’s bad character to be admitted, s78 PACE evidence to be excluded. Advised client to claim compensation. Significant sum awarded as he had been in custody since July 2007.


R v TT Ipswich Crown Court Taking drugs into a prison
Guilty after trial. Unprecedented suspended sentence order following thorough research and effective mitigation both written and oral.

R v AP Ipswich Crown Court NAKED BICYCLIST (Appeal vs Conviction)
Negotiation with Crown led to CPS offering no evidence. Argued that prosecution evidence very weak, especially as to charge of causing distress to those who witnessed the naked cyclist on the public highway. Much local media interest.

R v KG Colchester Court Martial Centre GBH
Successful half-time submission, having discredited seven prosecution witnesses of varying ranks by applying understanding of military life.

Reported Cases

Marsh v DPP [2015] EWHC 1022 (Admin)
Clarity on the defence of self-defence. It is now no longer necessary for a court to identify whether the defendant in a physical altercation is being attacked.

Peter Craig HITCHEN [2011] EWCA Crim 1626 Court of Appeal 2011 ABH (Domestic)
Acted in original trial. S3 Criminal Law Act clarified following recommendation to appeal and submission of skeleton argument (withdrawn from the Court prior to hearing with permission of LJ Gross). Further details available on request.

Between 1998 and 2000 commended by the Court of Appeal on three occasions for research:

Brady v Morgan (2000) 25th July CA
Commended by Sedley and Hale LJJ for research on the Contra Proferentem Rule, having contributed to research and attended Court, assisting Counsel for the Appellant.

R v Nabina (1999) 5th July CA (Transcript)
Contributed to skeleton argument on voidable title in use of credit card obtained by fraud, which the Court (Ld Bingham CJ and Heather Steele and Alliott JJ) said had “…far reaching effect…”.

R v Tameside ex. parte Coleman: R v Tameside Justices ex parte Davenport (1998) LG.R CA.
Contributed to research, and attended Court, assisting Counsel for the Appellants.

R v Coles and Ors (1998) BCCR
Assisted in research.