Nick Robinson is a criminal specialist involved in serious criminal cases. He mainly defends. His work often involves cases relating to and arising from organized crime including murder, attempted murder, drug conspiracies and serious violence. He is also proficient in defending in cases involving serious sexual offences including rape, indecent and sexual assaults. Nick has appeared in over 30 appeals against conviction and sentence at the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and he represented the Appellant in a Commonwealth Caribbean appeal against a murder conviction at the Privy Council.
Recent Crown Court trials have involved indictments alleging murder, attempted murder, rape, sexual assault of children aged under 13, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to import Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of firearms without certificates, child cruelty and neglect, mortgage fraud and armed robbery (Defence); inflicting grievous bodily harm, exposure, indecent assault, possession with intent to supply, fraud and burglary (Prosecution).
In 2004 Nick was an intern at the Independent Jamaica Council of Human Rights in Kingston, Jamaica working on death penalty cases having won a scholarship through the Centre of Capital Punishment Studies (University of Westminster) and the European Commission. Nick continues to be instructed as Counsel in appeals against conviction from the Court of Appeal in Jamaica to the Privy Council.
Nick is a Grade 2 CPS Prosecutor; he also prosecutes for the National Probation Service, Department for Work & Pensions, Revenue & Customs and Local Education Authorities. Recent cases
R v KC - Nick defended KC who was unanimously acquitted at Winchester Crown Court of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. KC was alleged to have knocked on the door of the complainant's home and then fired a revolver twice at point blank range in an attempt to assassinate him: Bournemouth Echo. The issue in the case was mistaken identification. The complainant had instantly telephoned police and named the defendant who was known to him. The evidence included gunshot residue evidence, bad character evidence relating to the defendant's purported involvement in an organized criminal network, cell site and ANPR evidence and over 100 hours of CCTV footage. A novel point of law arose relating to the admissibility of the hearsay evidence of three eyewitnesses who refused to attend court and whose comments to police at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting suggested that someone other than the defendant was the assassin. Nick was led by Nigel Lickley QC.
R v AP - Nick represented a defendant in a high-profile multi-million pound fraud at Winchester Crown Court that involved 5 defendants, 41 counts and over 20,000 pages. The issues in the case included the effect of police misconduct upon the fairness of the investigation and the integrity of the evidence in the case. The defendant was found not guilty: Bournemouth Echo.
R v NR - Nick represented NR who was tried for the murder of his father at Winchester Crown Court. The Crown’s case was that the victim was murdered for his money. The Defence case was that the defendant was mentally unwell as a result of childhood trauma and he denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility and loss of control. Accordingly there was a significant amount of competing psychiatric evidence and a long and complex history of mental ill health. The novel issue in the case involved whether the jury were entitled, in the absence of direct evidence, to infer a loss of self-control. Nick was led by Michael Vere-Hodge QC: BBC News. R v JW - Nick represented the defendant who faced an indictment containing two counts of indecent and sexual assault. The allegations were historic and related to the defendant’s granddaughter. The defendant denied the offences and contended that they were the product of malice and/or fantasy. The evidence in the case involved extensive unused material including third party material from social services and the complainant’s school. The defendant was acquitted of both counts.
R v TS - The defendant killed one of her two children and severely injured the second following an attempt to commit suicide by fire. This was a highly sensitive and high profile case involving complex psychiatric evidence and periods of assessment under section 35 of the Mental Health Act 1983. The Crown accepted pleas to manslaughter and arson instead of murder and attempted murder owing to compelling expert evidence that supported the defence of diminished responsibility. The sentence hearing was not straightforward as it involved the victim impact evidence of the children’s father in open court. Moreover, Dingemans J had to resolve the discrete issue of whether to pass a sentence of imprisonment or a hospital order. He passed the latter and careful submissions were advanced in support of an order without restrictions, which was the ultimate sentence of the Court: BBC News.
R v LM - Nick represented the defendant who was charged with Exposure contrary to section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Two 16-year-old girls alleged that the defendant exposed his penis in the communal showers at a family leisure centre. The defence was that the complainants were mistaken. The defendant was acquitted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.
R v RH – Nick defended an 83 year-old defendant at his trial in respect of an indictment alleging historic familial sex offences. The defendant was found not guilty of three of the four counts.
R v KS - Border Force Officers at Heathrow Airport intercepted a package sent from Istanbul that was destined for the defendant at his business premises in the UK. The package contained seemingly innocuous items including a chessboard. However, this was hollowed out and secreted in a hidden compartment was 2kg of pure Opium. The defendant was charged with importation of a prohibited item, namely a controlled drug. The issue in the case was whether the defendant was responsible for the package and its contents. The case was investigated by the National Crime Agency and prosecuted by the Crown. Reliance was placed upon the fact that a similar chessboard was discovered at the defendant’s home and postal and flight records proved that he had strong links to Istanbul and Turkey. The defendant was acquitted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.
R v SM - The defendant was charged with handling stolen goods, namely the goods stolen in an elaborate fraud by insiders against a multi-national company. Her employer had interviewed her about the alleged offences. Following applications for disclosure it came to light that there was evidence that the investigator had coerced, pressured and intimidated the defendant, who was a young lady of good character, into confessing to the crimes alleged (and had done likewise to other staff). The defendant had been promised that there would be no police involvement should she admit the offences. The employer seemingly broke this promise and the Crown prosecuted her and others. The preliminary legal issue in the case, which was the subject of an application to stay proceedings as an abuse of process, was whether it was fair for the defendant to be prosecuted in such circumstances. Following the resolution of issues of fact, as the investigator denied making such promises, Nick’s argument was successful and resulted in the Crown offering no evidence against his client.
R v CS - Nick represented the defendant who faced a five-count indictment alleging serious sexual offences against a child, namely his stepdaughter, when she was aged 7 years. The case involved issues of disclosure and admissibility of third party material relating to the school, social services and medical records of the complainant. The defendant was acquitted after a week long trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.
R v HK – Nick represented the defendant who was found not guilty of sexual assaulting a young girl following a week long trial.
R v SM - Nick represented the defendant who faced an indictment alleging an offence of inflicting GBH with intent. Four doormen alleged that the defendant in an unprovoked attack kicked one of their number thereby fracturing the complainant’s leg and kneecap. The defendant averred that any injury was an accident and the consequence of their excessive force towards him. The case involved issues of bad character, CCTV and the analysis of medical evidence. The defendant was acquitted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. R v TA - Nick successfully defended TA who was charged with Possession with Intent to Supply a Class A drug. The defendant was tried by a jury at Dorchester Crown Court. He was searched as he entered a nightclub to celebrate New Year's Eve. A small bag containing 40 Ecstasy tablets was found tied to the drawstring of his trousers seemingly concealed between his legs. His defence at trial was that they were nothing to do with him and in a rush he had put on trousers belonging to someone else and he was unaware that the drugs were concealed within the clothing.
R v RB – Nick’s client was charged with inflicting GBH with intent following a stabbing at a shopping centre in Poole. The defendant pleaded guilty and following submissions and expert evidence was made the subject of a Hospital Order: Bournemouth Echo.
R v IF – Nick represented the defendant who was charged with exposure contrary to section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The defendant had entered a family tennis club, took his clothes off and proceeded to masturbate. When interviewed under caution the defendant stated that his drink had been spiked and he did not, and could not, intend to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Nick persuaded the Court to stay the proceedings as an abuse of process because the police had failed to obtain a sample of blood or urine from the defendant whilst in police custody. The failure to do so deprived the defendant of a defence, namely automatism, which he raised in his police interview and which the interviewing police officers seemingly ignored.
R v DL – Nick represented the defendant in respect of an indictment alleging conspiracy to supply 10kg of heroin and transferring criminal property. Following legal argument the Crown accepted pleas to lesser offences and the defendant received a community order.
R v GC - Nick represented the defendant at his trial in respect of an allegation of inflicting GBH with intent. The defendant was alleged to have bitten the victim's nose off during an altercation. The defendant denied being responsible and averred that another male also involved in the incident was to blame. The case involved expert forensic Odontologists who contrasted the suspects' teeth with the bite mark inflicted upon the victim. After 9.5 hours in retirement the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict.
Rv KB - Nick defended KB at his trial at Dorchester Crown Court. Charged with two others, KB was alleged to have been the leader of a gang in prison who perpetrated a revenge attack against a fellow inmate. The defendant denied being involved in the assault and was found not guilty by the jury (unanimous verdict).
R v NN - Nick represented the defendant at his trial where he was found not guilty (unanimous verdict) of possession with intent to supply a controlled substance of class A. The Crown alleged that the defendant threw away 71 wraps of heroin and cocaine when he was approached by two police officers for a stop and search. The defendant denied this and said that the drugs were nothing to do with him and he had been “set up” by the police.
R v LR - Nick represented the defendant at his trial where he was found not guilty (unanimous verdict) of inflicting GBH with intent. The Crown alleged that the defendant ‘bottled’ the complainant before kicking the unconscious victim to the head seven times. The defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser offence and whilst he accepted using a bottle he contended that he used it in the heat of the moment to protect his friend. He accepted going over the top in defending his friend and he denied kicking the complainant or intending to cause him GBH.
R v LW - Nick represented the defendant at his sentence hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court before HHJ Wiggs. LW committed an armed robbery using a hand gun at a HSBC bank in Broadstone, Dorset after drug dealers he owed money threatened to kill his son if he didn't pay up: BBC News and Daily Echo.
R v LD - Nick represented the defendant at his trial with respect to an allegation of wounding contrary to s.20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The jury found him not guilty (unanimous verdict) of the offence. It had been alleged that the defendant had stabbed the complainant with a kitchen knife during an altercation at his home address. The defendant argued that the injury was an accident that was caused whilst he was defending himself from the complainant who was at the time suffering from a psychotic episode.
R v SH - Nick represented the defendant at his trial in relation to an allegation of inflicting GBH with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861; and in the alternative, an allegation contrary to section 20 of the same Act. The jury returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty in respect of both counts. SH's defence was that he was acting in self-defence when he himself was assaulted during a homophobic attack in Boscombe, Bournemouth in December 2011.
R v DF - Nick represented the defendant at his trial in Dorchester Crown Court. DF was charged with having an offensive weapon, namely a knuckleduster; assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery. The allegations arose after an altercation on Trinity Street in Weymouth. The jury found Mr Ford not guilty of all counts: Dorset Echo.
R v BH - Nick's client was found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm (majority verdict) following a 3-day trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. It was alleged that he punched and broke the jaw of the complainant in an "off the ball" incident during a 5-aside football match in Dorset. The jury concluded that he had been acting in self-defence.
R v KP - Nick's client was found not guilty (unanimous verdict) of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control in a public place. The allegation related to an incident that occurred at Whitecliff Park in Poole, Dorset in the summer of 2011 and the case was reported in the national press. The jury found that the dog was not "dangerously out of control" as is required by section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
R v GD – Nick represented a defendant charged with rape. The alleged offence was said to have occurred in the 1990s when the complainant and defendant worked as a waitress and DJ respectively at a well-known hotel in Hampshire. The jury returned an unanimous verdict of not guilty after a week long trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.
R v RD – Nick represented one of five defendants in a high profile case arising out of an armed robbery at a farm in Bloxworth, Dorset and an elderly victim. The first four defendants were charged with robbery and Nick’s client with handling stolen goods, namely 5 shotguns. After a 5-week trial before HHJ Harvey Clark QC and a jury at Bournemouth Crown Court, RD was unanimously acquitted: BBC News.
R v BP – Nick mitigated on behalf of a defendant who pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with a girl under 16 and arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence. He was found not guilty of a sexual grooming offence.
R v LC – Nick mitigated on behalf of a defendant convicted of being involved in a conspiracy to supply cocaine, worth £25 million wholesale and £125 million on the street: Bournemouth Echo.
R v PH - After a four-day trial at Southampton Crown Court, Nick's client, a National Express Coach driver, was found not guilty of two counts of dangerous and careless driving. PH had lost control of his coach in the New Forest in the late evening, drifting onto the hard shoulder, up an embankment and into foliage before crossing three lanes of the motorway and coming to a stop on the hard shoulder. The 49 passengers on a journey from London Victoria to Poole were said to have been “shocked” and “frantic”. Nick successfully argued that his client had not fallen asleep as alleged, but had suffered from an episode of automatism/unexplained loss of consciousness and the jury unanimously agreed. His further argument, that the driver's decision to proceed on to Ringwood soon after the initial incident did not constitute either dangerous or careless driving, was also successful: Daily Echo. This case involved extensive expert evidence of a Neurologist and a “Sleep Expert”.
R v AT - Led Junior in a six-handed conspiracy to import Cocaine. The case involved a sophisticated international drug-smuggling operation utilising car fuel tanks. Multi-jurisdictional disclosure issues arose and the case reportedly involved the first ever extradition of a co-defendant from Brazil: BBC News.
R v DC - Nick’s client was found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act, following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court. The Judge held that there was no case to answer owing to unreliable and unsafe identification evidence.
R v MH – Nick defended an accomplished and renowned mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, was found not guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a week long trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.