Crime Team blog: this week in Chambers

In: News Published: Friday 03 July 2020


David Nathan QC leading Paul Williams and Nigel Edwards QC leading Nichola Cafferkey, instructed by Mohammed Ally of HAL Solicitors, have been given the go-ahead for a long awaited trial to take place from the 10th of August for 2-3 weeks at Southwark Crown Court. The alleged offence is Murder.

Nigel Edwards QC, a much sought after defence specialist in cybercrime and related matters has been asked to advise and assist in relation to a number of cases, arising out of Thursdays arrests. The arrests were reported in the Daily Mail.

Neil Mercer has been instructed to settle the indictment in a substantial six handed fraud. Neil has also been asked to advise, leading Robert Fitt in another substantial fraud which has an “election” component. Both of who are members of the CPS Fraud panel.

Neil Mercer continues to attend the South Eastern Heads of Chambers meetings to discuss the current situation in the Court Service and receive updates about the Lord Chancellor’s current plans. Neil joined with other Heads of Chambers in opposing the removal of the right to trial by jury in some either way criminal trials, and is pleased that the Government appears to have shelved this proposal. 

Nichola Cafferkey secured at 3 year sentence at Chelmsford Crown Court for offences of Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs (heroin and crack cocaine) and Possession with Intent to supply Class A drugs in a large scale “county lines” case.  Nichola was instructed by Afzal Mohammed at UK Law.

Sharmila Salvi secured a 28 month sentence for a defendant who pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply ('pwits') cocaine and cannabis. He was on licence in respect of a 32 month sentence for pwits cocaine. Instructed by Dexter Henry Solicitors.

Emma Reed secured a Community Order at Norwich Crown Court for a defendant facing custody for an offence of affray, being his 8th conviction for a violent or public disorder offence.  Miss Reed was instructed by Lowri Marks of Credence Law.

Ravinder Saimbhi, representing a defendant in custody to Isleworth CC facing 2  counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs was able to make focused and robust representations on evidence resulting in the prosecution agreeing to review the case and accept pleas to simple possession. Happy client was sentenced and released immediately. Instructed by Jag Phull at Langfield Law.

Emma Scott secured a sentence of 30 months’ imprisonment for a ‘third strike’ burglary committed in a group at night in the home of an elderly couple. Emma was instructed by Shahnawaz Yaqub of Langfield Law.

Jennifer Brenton and Robert Fitt have confirmed they will be hosting a webinar on Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 on 23rd July 2020 at 13:30. A link for the webinar will be made available via the chambers website and social media accounts in due course.

Mohammed Saqib concluded a matter at Luton Crown Court this week, the Defendant was charged with ABH and possession of an offensive weapon. Guilty pleas to both counts were entered at the lower court, however Mohammed successfully navigated an application to vacate the guilty plea for the ABH, which resulted in the Crown offering no evidence. The Defendant was ultimately sentenced on the remaining count to a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. Mohammed was instructed by Sarah Moulange of National Legal Service.

The Crime Team supports the rejection of the scrapping of the jury system. See the Criminal Bar Assocation announcement 29th June 2020.

I’m pleased to say that, as of Monday 6th July 2020, Chambers’ building will be re-opening under new safety guidelines and reduced hours. Monday couldn’t come soon enough for me, I never thought I’d find myself stuck in the house for three months!


Jamie Smurthwaite

1st Junior Criminal Clerk