Year of Call: 2003
- MSci (Hons), Physics, University of Bristol
- Post-graduate Diploma in Law, City University, London
- Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law, London
Areas of Work:
James Dick appears in Crown Courts in London and the South-East. He is a Level 3 Prosecutor on the CPS London Advocates’ Panel and defends at a similar level, meaning he deals regularly with cases involving serious violence, firearms, drugs and dishonesty and has acted in a number of cases involving sexual offences. Several recent Prosecution cases have involved public interest immunity considerations. He has substantial experience in appellate work, advising in writing post-trial on out-of-time applications for leave to appeal and appearing in the Court of Appeal where leave is granted. He has also advised the Attorney-General’s Office in relation to the unduly lenient sentencing provisions.
Having completed a degree in physics and decided that life as a scientist was not for him, James Dick completed a law conversion course and has practised at the criminal bar ever since. His scientific background brings a forensic approach and a measured yet robust style to each case, as well as an obvious advantage in cases involving expert scientific evidence.
James Dick is able to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis – for more information see the “Direct Access” link above. He has acted as Chambers’ Representative to the Criminal Bar Association since 2015 and has completed training enabling him to act as external counsel for the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Notable Crown Court cases:
Prosecuted Revenue fraud involving evasion of £ 1.5 million in tobacco duties. Guilty plea shortly before trial – Inner London Crown Court 2017.
Prosecution Junior in seven-week trial of conspiracy to supply drugs along lines between London and Hampshire and Kent over several months. All four Defendants convicted after trial; a further nine had pleaded guilty. The case involved surveillance, undercover test-purchase officers and complex cell-site analysis. Substantial legal arguments included a successfully-opposed abuse of process argument, withdrawal of the defence of duress from the jury’s consideration and argument as to the admissibility of recordings of prison telephone calls between Defendants – Woolwich Crown Court 2015/16. (Also appeared in subsequent appeal against conviction and sentence (see below) – R v Branford and Others  EWCA Crim 1794,  4 WLR 17, http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2016/1794.html.)
Prosecuted trial of man who sexually assaulted his niece on a number of occasions. Convicted – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2016.
Prosecuted s 18 GBH with intent case, involving significant local and national media interest, where a youth Defendant pleaded guilty to spraying a corrosive substance on five boys – Basildon Crown Court 2016. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/aug/05/essex-teenager-jailed-for-acid-attack-on-group-of-friends
Prosecuted case involving alleged immigration offences and benefit fraud in excess of £ 100,000. Guilty plea shortly before trial – Harrow Crown Court 2016.
Prosecuted trial of hospital catering manager for sexual assaults upon an employee. Convicted and sentenced – St Albans Crown Court 2016.
Prosecuted trial of man convicted of possession of indecent images of children, involving live evidence from an expert. The Defendant had sought to blame other people and/or viruses – Kingston Crown Court 2016.
Prosecuted trial of youth Defendant (co-Defendant pleaded guilty) convicted of a stabbing on a joint enterprise basis. Reluctant youth witnesses requiring special measures; one treated as hostile – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2016.
Represented Defendant on trial for penetrative sexual activity with a child aged 13. Undermining material deployed in cross-examination following submissions/applications under the disclosure and bad character provisions as well as under s 41 YJCEA 1999. Acquitted – Aylesbury Crown Court 2015.
Defended on a charge of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life (charged originally as attempted murder), allegation of firing a shotgun at somebody through a door. Acquitted following submissions on poor quality of identification evidence, involving contamination by pre-trial publicity and breaches of PACE Codes in selection of “stooges” on the parade. The latter only emerged as an issue after Mr Dick had sought disclosure of the video footage of the parade, which had not been disclosed pre-trial – Aylesbury Crown Court, 2015.
Prosecution trial for ABH in a domestic context. Conviction secured despite complainant claiming in evidence that she had caused the injuries herself by falling over. Sentence 2 years 9 months – Wood Green Crown Court, 2015.
Acted for Defendant in proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act involving assets abroad where the Crown sought an order in the region of £ 250,000. Legal arguments included (i) whether the figure for the proceeds of criminal conduct asserted but not included on the original indictment could contribute to the benefit figure in addition to the figure yielded by the statutory assumptions and (ii) whether, following Waya  UKSC 51, there existed a discretion not to apply the provisions of POCA literally where it might avoid injustice – Snaresbrook Crown Court 2014.
Prosecuted Defendant in two separate cases, a robbery where a woman’s eye socket was fractured and a burglary where a knife was used upon persons challenging the Defendant, who refused to participate in parts of the proceedings. Ten year extended sentence passed – Snaresbrook Crown Court, 2014.
Prosecution Newton hearing in case of importation of methadone (a Class A drug). Unusual in that the two elderly Defendants claimed that the drug, despite the large quantity involved, was for their personal use and also novel in that the drug is not covered by the sentencing guideline – Isleworth Crown Court, 2014.
Notable cases in the higher courts:
R v Branford and Others  EWCA Crim 1794,  4 WLR 17
Appeared as junior for the Crown in an appeal against conviction (and sentence) on the basis that the judge had incorrectly withdrawn the defence of duress form the jury’s consideration as the threat had been conveyed “second-hand” to the Defendant rather than her witnessing it herself. See above for details on original trial.
R v Buddington  EWCA Crim 1127
Acted for Appellant in Court of Appeal, who had pleaded guilty in the lower Court (with different representation) to an offence of possession of prohibited ammunition, which the Crown’s evidence did not in fact support. Mr Dick spotted the point having being asked to advise on a different aspect of the case. Appeal allowed – conviction quashed.
R v Visan  EWCA Crim 982, 2015 WL 3404856
Acted for Appellant in the Court of Appeal in appeal against sentence for a man, subject to suspended sentence, said to be part of a shoplifting gang responsible for taking almost £ 10,000 worth of goods. Total sentence reduced from 64 to 54 weeks.
R v A (2013)
Defendant accused of two counts of sexual assault on step-daughter, one of which dated back several years, represented at trial and on appeal in application involving contested fresh evidence heard live.
R v Yates  MHLR 313;  EWCA Crim 1657; Lawtel 31/7/2012
Having first advised in writing upon the prospects of an application for leave to appeal out-of-time (others having represented Appellant in the Crown Court), acted in the Court of Appeal when leave was granted. Whilst the Court rejected the submission that an IPP was an inappropriate sentence in the light of the Appellant’s psychiatric history, they did halve the minimum term to be served.
R (C) v Sevenoaks Youth Court and others  1 All ER 735,  EWHC 3088 (Admin)
Successfully defended Kent CPS in an application for judicial review of the decision to prosecute a 12 year-old boy who required an intermediary (offence: assault with intent to rob).