Year of call: 1996
Areas of Work:
Paul Douglass is an experienced criminal practitioner, both defending and prosecuting. He is a grade 4 prosecutor and specialist rape advocate. He is also a registered pupil supervisor.
Paul has a successful practice defending and prosecuting a wide variety of serious cases including rape and other serious sexual offences, serious violence, drugs conspiracies, fraud and money laundering.
As a defence advocate, Paul has represented many hundreds of clients from a very wide variety of backgrounds. He has represented members of the armed forces, police officers, single parents, journalists, political activists, business people, the unemployed, students, academics and a member of the clergy - to name but a few. He has represented clients from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. He has also represented particularly vulnerable clients including minors and those with mental disorders and learning difficulties. Paul has defended in a wide variety of cases including murder, rape, armed robbery, other serious violent offences, sexual activity with a child, sexual assault, serious drug offences, including importation and conspiracy to supply large quantities of prohibited drugs. He has also defended clients accused of immigration offences, fraud and other offences of dishonesty.
Paul understands that being the accused in a criminal trial is one of the most stressful experiences one can face. He provides clients with comprehensive oral and written advice at an early stage in proceedings and does all he can to make sure that clients understand precisely what the case against them involves and, in the event that the matter goes to trial, how most effectively to prepare for it.
Recent Defence Cases
2019. R v M. Snaresbrook. Assault by penetration. Paul successfully defended a client accused of penetrating the complainant’s vagina with his tongue as she slept in her bedroom. D accepted the act but claimed it had been consensual, he and the complainant, who was not asleep, having got carried away while her partner was downstairs. Fearing D might be indiscreet, and that her partner would eventually find out what had just happened, she pre-empted this eventuality by making a false allegation.
2018. R v M. Harrow. Paul successfully represented a 73-year-old client accused of historic sexual abuse of two foster children in the 1990s. The allegations included repeated rapes of one of the complainants over a three-year period. The complainants had a long history of being in care and had come forward independently. They did not know each other and there was no evidence of collusion. The matter first went to trial in January 2018 but the jury were discharged after 6 days due to serious disclosure problems relating to what turned out to be voluminous social services material regarding both complainants and the defendant in his capacity as a foster carer with his wife over a period of 20 years. After a two-week trial in May the defendant was acquitted on all counts.
2018. R v F. Woolwich. Paul successfully defended a client accused of perverting the course of justice. The Crown’s case turned on evidence that, during a trial on one count of fraud, D had provided a fraudulent document at court for the purpose of undermining the Crown’s case. In addition to evidence purporting to demonstrate that document was fraudulent, it was alleged that the officer in the case had overheard D at court admitting on the phone that the document was fraudulent. This was, for a number of reasons, a complicated case. After a day and a half of legal argument, during which the Crown made a number of applications regarding the admissibility of evidence, which were successfully resisted, the Crown offered no evidence.
2018. R v B. Reading. Paul successfully mitigated on behalf of a client who had pleaded guilty at the court below to distributing category A images and videos of child sexual abuse. His client received a suspended sentence order.
2016. R v C. CCC. Paul successfully represented a former police officer accused of fraud by false representation, it being alleged that she had dishonestly exaggerated the extent of injuries received in the course of her duty as a police officer for the purpose of making a fraudulent personal injury claim. The prosecution relied on 8 hours of covert surveillance footage of the defendant, as well as expert evidence provided by an associate professor or orthopaedics and the consultant orthopaedic surgeon who provided the report for her personal injury claim. After numerous hearings and extensive legal submissions, the Crown eventually offered no evidence and the client was formally acquitted.
2015. Paul successfully defended a client accused of rape at Reading Crown Court, the issue being consent.
He successfully defended a serving member of the Parachute Regiment charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent to his estranged wife’s stepfather.
As a prosecution advocate, Paul has prosecuted many trials including those involving allegations of serious sexual offences, serious violence, including domestic violence, offences against children, gang related offences, firearms offences, arson with intent to endanger life, false imprisonment, kidnap, aggravated burglary, and armed robbery. He has also prosecuted serious drugs offences and offences of dishonesty.
Paul provides comprehensive written advice shortly after being instructed to prosecute a case. He endeavours in all cases to make email and/or telephone contact with the lawyer, the caseworker and the officer, in order to assist where necessary with the preparation of a case to trial or other disposal. Paul is acutely aware of the necessity for full and prompt disclosure of all material that is required to be disclosed.
Paul is also aware that appearing at court as a witness can be a very intimidating experience for anyone, but particularly so for those witnesses who are especially vulnerable. He takes care to introduce himself to witnesses in good time before they are required to give evidence, to explain his role, to explain court procedure and any other relevant matters, and generally to give reassurance.
Paul is registered with the Bar Council as having completed all stages of the Advocacy and the Vulnerable Training.
Recent Prosecution Cases
R v Saleem. 2019. Wood Green. Assault by penetration of a child under 13. The defendant lured a child of 10 with learning difficulties into his flat and sexually assaulted her during an ordeal lasting 5-10 minutes.
R v Graden. 2019. Snaresbrook. Stranger rape. D came across a young woman in the early hours of the morning trying unsuccessfully to get into a shop where she worked. He helped her to get in and then raped her in a basement toilet after the victim had put up a very considerable struggle.
R v Shah and Hussain. 2019. Snaresbrook. Section 18. Perverting the Course of Justice. Stabbing of a 16-year-old boy by his brother-in-law with the connivance of the victim’s sister, the wife of D1. The victim had supposedly been having a relationship with D1’s niece. The victim gave a detailed statement to the police. He then became overwhelmed by the situation in which he found himself, withdrew his complaint and attempted to resile from his initial account of the attack and his sister’s attempts to cover it up. Both Ds made unsuccessful applications to dismiss and eventually entered pleas acceptable, on public interest grounds, to the Crown (D1 – s20; D2 Perverting).
R v Richards. 2018. Wood Green. Operation Trident case. Successful prosecution of PWITS class A. 6-day trial involved a large amount of telephone data and cell-site analysis. D was stopped when driving in Wood Green. He had no drugs on his person and none were found at his address. His passenger had £1,000 of crack and heroine secreted between his buttocks. He pleaded guilty but gave evidence at court that D knew nothing about his dealing. D also called his mother and girlfriend to assist him in putting his defence, viz, he was a fledgling music impresario and had no truck with drug dealing. He was convicted unanimously.
R v Sweeney and Pantelli. 2018. Wood Green. Aggravated domestic burglary. Trial involving meta-tracking data. Ds were part of a well-planned burglary in which an elderly brother and sister were subjected to a 20-minute ordeal one evening in January 2018. The culprits, of whom there were at least 5 (Ds being the only ones caught) made off with approximately £80,000 in cash and jewellery. 20 minutes after the burglary, Ds were clocked speeding on the North Circular in a Mercedes sports car, several miles from the burglary. But for this they would have got away scot-free. Nothing from the burglary was found in their possession. However, the car, which they had borrowed, had a tracker. The Crown’s case relied mainly on data from the tracker, some grainy CCTV footage and one eye-witness who had seen 3 men emerge from the burgled house and get into a car resembling that in which Ds were stopped. On day 6 of the trial both Ds pleaded guilty to simple burglary, which pleas the Crown accepted. The matter did not end there. Both Ds put forward bases of plea the Crown did not accept. After hearing their evidence at a Newton Hearing, the trial judge commented that he had never heard such nonsense.
R v Kalam. 2018. Wood Green Crown Court. Stranger rape. D preyed on drunken females in a cocktail bar one Friday evening. He lured one into the men’s toilets and raped her. The defence was consent. A complication was a mistake made by the officer conducting the ABE, who mistakenly made the assumption that the complainant had initially consented to having sex and suggested this to her. Confused, the complainant appeared to adopt this assumption. Defendant convicted on all counts.
R v Aslett. 2018. Kingston Crown Court. International Justice and Organised Crime Division Case. The defendant had downloaded thousands of images of child sexual abuse from the Dark Web using a Tor browser. His IP address had been identified during an investigation by the FBI.
R v Steltner. EWCA Crim 1479 2018. Kingston Crown Court. Court of Appeal. Rape. Complainant 14, Defendant 17. The defendant groomed the complainant on-line and then raped her on their first meeting. The Crown’s case to a large extent relied on the interpretation of over 500 whatsapp messages between the two. At the Crown’s application the messages were edited to comply with section 41 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999. The defendant was unanimously convicted. The defence was granted leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal on the grounds that, inter alia, the editing of the whatsapp messages had been misleading. After hearing full argument the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.
R v William. Blackfriars. 2017. S18. The defendant stabbed his sister’s estranged partner twice in broad day light on the Holloway Road, almost killing him. The victim refused to co-operate with the police and did not give evidence. The defendant was unanimously convicted.
R v Lito & Borta. 2017. Blackfriars. International Justice and Organised Crime Division Case. Paul successfully prosecuted two defendants who were part of a large-scale conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
R v Gordon & Ors. Woolwich. 2017. County-Line case. Paul successfully prosecuted 8 defendants who were party to a large-scale conspiracy to supply drugs to coastal towns in Essex.
R v Roe. 2017. Harrow. Attempted Rape. The defendant, whose account was supported by the evidence of his sister, was convicted of attempting to rape his half-sister.
R v McLellan. 2017. Inner London. Sexual activity with a child family member. The defendant was accused of having groomed his stepdaughter and having had sex with her from when she was in her early teens. He was unanimously convicted after a 9-day trial at which his wife, the complainant’s mother, gave evidence on his behalf.
R v Saunders. 2017. Kingston Crown Court. Indecent assault/Gross indecency. Successful prosecution of retired academic now 75, who groomed an 11 year-old boy in Kingston in the mid-1970s. Unanimously convicted. Received 7 years imprisonment.
R v Komolafe. 2017. Woolwich. Possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Successful prosecution of defendant who chased rival gang members with a sawn-off shotgun through residential streets in Erith, South London.
R v Armstrong. 2017. Hove. Section 18. Successful prosecution of a defendant who brutally attacked his ex-girlfriend’s new partner on Valentine’s Day. At the conclusion of the trial, Paul was approached by the defendant’s mother and thanked for the fairness with which he had conducted the prosecution against her son.
R v Afrisib and 4 others. 2016. Kingston Crown Court. Conspiracy to supply opium on a commercial scale throughout the UK. 5-week trial prosecuted as junior alone. All defendants convicted save one regarding whom the jury failed to reach a verdict. The principal defendant received a sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
R v B. Woolwich Crown Court. 2016. Sexual Activity with a Child Family Member. Step father of the complainant convicted of sexual activity with her when she was between the ages of 9 and 16.
R v Ravindranathan and two others. 2016. Snaresbrook Crown Court. Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent. The victim, who sustained a fractured skull, broken arm, fractured 5th vertebra and multiple cuts and bruises, was a married man who had been having an affair for several months with an aunt of the first two defendants. The third defendant was a close friend of the first two defendants, and also their aunt’s lodger.
After a ten-day trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court, the first two defendants were unanimously convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The first defendant was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment, the second to 11 years. The third defendant was unanimously convicted of inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment.
R v J. Harrow Crown Court. 2015. Rape. A case involving multiple rapes and physical assaults by the defendant on his partner over a period of 4 years. The defendant was convicted unanimously on all counts. He received an extended sentence of imprisonment of 16 years.
R v B. Snaresbrook Crown Court. 2015. Sexual Activity with a Child Family Member. The defendant was accused of sexual activity with his 15 year-old niece over a period of a year. After an 8-day trial, the jury convicted unanimously on 14 counts. The defendant was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment.
South Eastern Circuit
Criminal Bar Association
Paul is a member of chambers’ pupillage and tenancy committee.
Mr Paul Douglass is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, holds a current practising certificate and his details can be found on the BSB’s Barrister Register https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers'-register/
Mr Paul Douglass holds insurance cover for all legal services supplied through professional indemnity insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) The coverage is worldwide subject to their terms which are available on their website https://www.barmutual.co.uk/
Mr Paul Douglass is registered with the Information Commissioners office under the Data Protection Act https://ico.org.uk/
If you are not satisfied with the service that Mr Paul Douglass provides you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on Chambers Complaints Procedure is available on Chambers website www.9kbw.com/about-us/complaints-procedure
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/