The British Justice system is in danger of total collapse, but the major parties are all ignoring the fundamental threats facing Justice and Law and Order. Why is there No Justice in the General Election?

On Tuesday, 21st April 2015 at 20.00hrs at East Anglian Chambers (5 Museum Street, Ipswich IP1 1HQ) local legal professionals including Barristers, Solicitors, Police Officers and others will put this question to Jane Basham, Labour Candidate for South Suffolk.

The event is being chaired by Simon Spence QC, a leading criminal silk. Simon practises mainly in East Anglia, where he has prosecuted and defended many high profile murder cases including Steve Wright, the killer of 5 young women in Ipswich in 2006.


RSVP TO vra@stedmund.co.uk

17 April / 2015
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

The CCTV never misleads – or does it?

In a recent GBH case, CCTV of the scene in a nightclub appeared at first viewing to show clearly that the defendant had entered the room, and after a few seconds ran at the complainant and assaulted him.

The defendant insisted he was innocent, so Cathy McCulloch reviewed the footage frame-by-frame. This detailed analysis revealed that a third party had come from the back of the room, rushed past the defendant, and committed the assault.

The sequence was then enhanced to highlight the movements of complainant, defendant and assailant, and played in court to great effect during XX of the complainant. The jury returned a Not Guilty soon after they had requested the enhanced video to assist their deliberations.



25 March / 2015
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

Cases of Interest Updated

Cases of Interest updated, including

R v ED Reading Crown Court 2015 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.

25 February / 2015
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

CBA Exec Elections – Personal Statement

C marchingIn a Robing Room the other day I was working unashamedly to get my fellow Barristers to join the CBA and to vote in the forthcoming elections. One senior member of the Bar asked me if I was feisty and would I fight the common cause. I asked what he thought was “the common cause”. He just looked at me and said “I am too young to retire and too old to learn a new career. And why should I, I am good at and love the one I am in”. I made a promise then that I both could, and would be feisty for the cause. I am not a quitter and have been told by many that my Tenacity for my client has won through. I have had clients state that the law is a passion for me which is applied with force and efficacy. If elected, I shall bring the same doggedness to the CBA Exec.

My late father, a Chancery Barrister of 53 years standing, once told me that so long as there were people living there would be a need for compassionate brains to represent them within the legal system. That is as true today as it was in his day. Tomorrow, it may suddenly be far harder than it is now for those most in need to get access to “compassionate brains” rather than a system driven by cost accountants and profit alone, not by client need.

These are times for the Bar which demand both wisdom and extraordinary courage. During my police service in the 1980s I saw the Miners Strike and the death of Kevin Blakelock. I saw families being turned against families. I was witness to people being arrested for merely having a principle. I watched one of my colleagues die after diving off Brighton Pier to assist a drowning child. Today, we all know the criminal justice system is collapsing. Without action within weeks, it will be too late, and the damage which will swiftly follow will take generations to repair. Justice as we have known it in our lifetimes will be history. The Criminal Bar will be history.

What is your cause? Is it merely to keep working? Or is it to save this wonderful, traditional profession, this vocation, which if we are honest, is unlike any other? My cause is to help save it from the very brink and guide it forward. To fight through the current changes. To debate, argue and sort issues out so we can represent ourselves in the battles ahead with the same passion that we have in the Court Room. To do all that is possible to ensure there remains a Vocation as a Barrister for our successors to pursue in the future.

On my way to the practicing Bar, I have been a Solicitor and Solicitor Advocate. I know from both sides how the two professions depend on each other. I opposed “The Deal”. I will support action to heal the rift which ensued between us and our Solicitor colleagues. I will support the reintroduction of “No Returns”, even though some Solicitors’ firms will continue with their contract bids.

Our current fight with the Ministry is existential. If we fail to move the MOJ’s agenda from one of destroying lawyers to one of holistic reform to the CJS, all discussion of matters such as warned lists, poor VHCC management, unpaid hearings and unexpensed travel will remain moot.

Beyond what I have said above, I do not offer a grand and cunning plan which will thwart our opponents. There is only one firm commitment I can make at this point – to listen and act in a collegiate manner. I will seek at all times to respect others on the CBA Exec, CBA staff, fellow Barristers, and others fighting to save the Criminal Justice System. This time we will stand together until we win. United we may prevail, disunited we will each fall.

What do I ask of you who read this?

1. First of all, Vote. Read all the manifestos, and pick the people whom you believe will best represent our profession.
2. Support the Executive when the elections are over.
3. Be active in your input to the CBA Executive.
4. Be active in support of any action which is decided upon.
5. Work with the Solicitorial Profession, closely and compassionately. Without solicitors supporting us in our vocations, we will be extinct.

Cathy McCulloch
St Edmund Chambers

09 December / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

Criminal Bar Association Exec Committee Candidacy

Criminal Barristers all know the criminal justice system is collapsing. Without action within weeks, it will be too late, and the damage which will swiftly follow will take generations to repair. Justice as we have known it in our lifetimes will be history. The Criminal Bar will be history.

As “No Returns” demonstrated, when the Criminal Bar acts, the government listens. Cathy McCulloch is for unity across the professions – for joint action with the solicitors upon whom the Bar depends for Instruction.

This time we will stand together until we win. United we may prevail, disunited we will each fall.

03 December / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

Vulnerable client cleared of Attempted Murder

R v RI Norwich Crown Court 2014 Attempted Murder
After full trial 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.

11 August / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

Police Law

Information is now available about services offered in areas forming part of Police Law

08 July / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

High Court Ruling on protection in court for vulnerable defendants

The High Court has ruled in the case of OP v Secretary of State for Justice that a vulnerable defendant is entitled to the help of a registered intermediary. Vulnerable defendants are thus afforded the same protection in court as vulnerable witnesses. Those who work with vulnerable defendants are greatly relieved that this loophole has been closed.

Thanks to The Justice Gap for their post.

29 June / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

Cases of Interest Added to Site

This site now includes some of Cathy McCulloch’s Cases of Interest.

27 June / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized

Defendant Cleared by Jury in multi-handed Fraud

On Friday 20th June at Ipswich Crown Court, Cathy McCulloch’s client was found not guilty on all counts after a trial lasting 7 1/2 weeks, including 7 days of jury deliberation. The news was reported in the East Anglian Daily Times (see picture), and the Bury Free Press.

With three other defendants in court, the case was prosecuted by a leading junior and junior. Several thousand pages of evidence and complex legal argument were involved.

Cathy was able to assist other counsel and the Court with her expertise in various aspects of company and contract law, including Directors’ duties arising out of the Companies Act 2006. In addition, she contributed to argument as to hearsay, admissibility including S78 of PACE, and possible severance. The case also demanded detailed investigation of the unused, including the use of a portable scanner to copy documents on site.

She was commended by other counsel for her ‘lethal’ cross-examination technique: “At the beginning, you set it up so that later, the witness would create an element of doubt regardless of how they answered.”Gill Eadt


23 June / 2014
Author Clerks
Category Uncategorized