John David Clifford

Year of Call: 1998


  • MPhil Criminology (Trinity Hall, Cambridge)

Area of work



John has extensive experience in serious and complex criminal litigation acting as both Leading and Junior Counsel in cases involving Attempt Murder, Rape; Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs; Drugs Importation, Fraud and Appellate Advocacy. He has been referred to as,’ ‘careful, diligent, determined and well prepared', and 'conducts himself with the highest standards in Court’. Grade 4 Prosecutor on CPS Advocates Panel.

Pupillage Supervisor

Inner Temple Advocacy Assessor

Inner Temple Interviewing Panel member for Scholarship Awards

Evidence training for Metropolitan Police at Hendon

Visiting Lecturer King's College, London

Secretary to Chambers and Member of the Management Commitee 

R –v- Brandford & Ors, Court of Appeal Criminal Division/Woolwich Crown Court

Operation Pibera - Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs: Instructed to prosecute as Leading Counsel. This case involved an investigation by Operation Trident Central Gangs Unit into multi handed county drugs lines operating out of London to the South Coast. All 15 Defendants were convicted. On Appeal against Conviction the defence of duress was considered and: (i) the circumstances in which a judge is entitled to withdraw the defence from the jury, (ii) whether the fact that a threat was conveyed indirectly is a fatal bar to the defence, and (iii) whether the defence is available where there is mere pressure based on the exploitation of a relationship, see R. v. Brandford (2016) 160(48) S.J. 43, CA ([2016] EWCA Crim. 1794) and  [2017] 4 W.L.R. 17. The Appeal against Conviction was dismissed.


R –v- Harwood – Blackfriars Crown Court.

Attempt Murder: Instructed to Prosecute. The Defendant was represented by a Q.C. Victim sustained life changing injuries in a domestic related incident. Convicted and sentenced under dangerousness provisions in Criminal Justice Act 2003 to an equivalent sentence of 18 years imprisonment.


R –v- GP & AL, Croydon Crown Court.

False Imprisonment & Sexual Assault:  Instructed to Prosecute in case where Defendants were represented by two Q.C’s. The case involved extensive legal argument around disclosure and abuse of process. A ruling that stayed the case was successfully appealed under s.58 Criminal Justice Act 2003 a re-trial ordered. Acted as junior Counsel to Duncan Atkinson Q.C. T.C.


R-v- Darren Scott - Central Criminal Court

Attempted Murder. Instructed to Prosecute. The Defendant befriended the victim on the gay dating app 'Grindr' and stayed at his Mayfair address during which time he told friends that the victim's flat was his own and helped himself to use of the victim's credit cards. After two weeks during the course of which both had a sexual relationship, the Defendant stabbed the victim as he lay in bed twenty two times, causing life changing injuries.

The case involved the use of blood splatter forensic analysis, complex mobile and cell site analysis.

The Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 17 years imprisonment.


R-v- Kenan Bakht & John Howard - Wood Green Crown Court

AG Reference No. 48/49 of 2015

Conspiracy to facilitate unlawful immigration: Instructed to Prosecute. Bakht was a lecturer at the Kensington College of Business, which was accredited to offer University of Wales degrees, and a director of a company concerned in the recruitment of overseas students.

Over a period of about a year, Bakht and Howard plotted to provide false documents and educational certificates which enabled students to apply to the Home Office for visa extensions.

Students paid up to £4,000 each for the certificates. In total there were some 177 Home Office visa applications which were found to be fraudulent with a value of £300k.

Both Defendants were convicted. Sentences of 5 years for Bakht and 2 1/2 years imprisonment for Howard were subsequently increased by the Court of Appeal to 8 years and 5 years imprisonment respectively.


R –v- Owen Saunders & Ors – Woolwich Crown Court

Attempt Murder: Instructed to Prosecute. Case involved dispute within the travelling community which resulted in one victim sustaining life changing injuries. One Defendant was represented by a Q.C. The victims did not appear on the day of trial and an application was made and allowed to have the ‘sole and decisive’ evidence read to the jury under s.116 Criminal Justice Act 2003. Due to events, the Defence renewed the application on two further occasions and on each occasion the Court upheld the initial ruling.


R-v- Ky-Shan Muir - Blackfriars Crown Court

Violent Disorder: Instructed to prosecute. The Defendant acted in an aggressive and threatening manner as the leader of a gang with a, 'Rambo-style' knife when he was challenged by the victim who was defending his friend at a party attended by nearly 400 young people at the Andover Community Centre. The victim was then dragged along the ground and stabbed in the thigh. Fifteen similar knives were seized from the Defendants room as well as rap lyrics which were of a violent and sadistic nature.

The Defendant was convicted and sentenced to 51 months imprisonment.

The case involved an anonymity and voice modulation application under s.88 Coroners and Justice Act 2009.


R-v- Mirembe & Ors - Isleworth Crown Court

Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. 9 Defendants. Instructed as leading Prosecution Counsel. The principal defendant, Wilson Mirembe, was running an organised criminal drug supply network from his prison cell. Operation Trident Gang Command carried out surveillance in Maidenhead. One vehicle was stopped which was found to be loaded with 8 kilos of ketamine, 8 kilos of mephedrone and eight kilos of methadrone-hydrochloride, also known as meow meow. More than £54,500 in cash was discovered in two other vehicles.


R –v- Balzer - Snaresbrook Crown Court

Successfully prosecuted historic multiple count rape and sexual abuse case. Defendant received sentence of 13 years imprisonment.


R -v- Ducille & Ors - Wood Green Crown Court

Prosecution Lead Counsel in 9 handed conspiracy to blackmail case involving multiple bad character applications on gang culture [criminality, lifestyle & association] as well as cell site analysis.




Graeme Molloy prosecutes man accused of racially abusing MP
Graeme was instructed by the Crown to prosecute in the sentence of Andrzejv Gajowniczeka, a Polish National, who had pleaded guilty to racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm and distress

Read more

James Dick appointed as Rape List Counsel
Congratulations to Jim Dick on his successful application to join the Rape and Serious Sexual Abuse Panel Counsel list. Chambers are delighted to see a valuable addition to the strong team of Rape List Counsel at 9KBW.

Read more

Julian Jones and John Ojakovoh appointed as Serious Fraud Office Panel Counsel
Chambers are delighted to announce that following their successful applications, Julian Jones has joined panel A and John Ojakovoh Panel B of SFO External Counsel. Many congratulations to both of them.

Read more

9 KBW OIC Roadshow and Mock Trials feature in The Times
Chambers highly successful Roadshow and Mock Trial programme was featured in an article by “The Brief” on August 9th 2017. The article outlined the growth of the Roadshow from birth to present day and showcased the work our tireless team undertake in the training of police Officers.

Read more

John Ojakovoh instructed in cyber crime case
John Ojakovoh has been instructed to prosecute in R v Esteves at Blackfriars Crown Court

Read more