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Robyn Murdo-Smith

Admitted as a solicitor: 2006

Year of Call: 2013

Inn of Court: Middle Temple

Areas of work

Experience

Robyn has an in depth understanding of the Criminal Justice System having served in the Metropolitan Police and retiring as a Sergeant in 2005. Qualifying as a Solicitor in 2006 he gained Higher Rights of Audience in 2008 rapidly gaining experience in weighty matters such as Murder, Sexual Offences, Fraud and Proceeds of Crime. He was called to the Bar at Middle Temple in October 2013.

Notable cases:

Murder

R v. X Snaresbrook Crown Court

Robyn was led by Queen’s Counsel in a macabre case where the body of the deceased had been dissected and stored in three suitcases before being abandoned in a country lay-by where it were found after a failed attempt by the defendant to incinerate the remains. Robyn's knowledge and understanding of the disclosure of unused material was particularly useful. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Serious physical violence

R v. X Snaresbrook Crown Court.

The defendant was charged with GBH s.18. Robyn obtained disclosure of the police crime report and the details of the police investigation seriously undermined the account that a witness gave in his statement. The defendant was acquitted.

R v. X & Y Luton Crown Court

Robyn represented a man charged jointly with his son of GBH s.18. The son was separately charged with a further s.18 where he felled the complainant with a blow to the head with a scaffold pole. The complainant who was air lifted to hospital remained in a coma for months leaving him with no recollection of the incident. Relevant to the case was intelligence obtained by the defence team that the complainant was a cage fighter in organised mixed martial arts bouts. Robyn was able to get this fact admitted into evidence. He also highlighted significant inconsistencies in witness testimony. The father was acquitted of GBH whereas the son was convicted on both counts and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.

Arson

R v. X Croydon Crown Court

The defendant was charged with Arson with intent to endanger life. It was alleged that the defendant had inserted burning paper through the letterbox of the front door of a house, which was occupied by two adults and his child. The jury acquitted the defendant after Robyn exposed weaknesses in the police investigation wherein the alleged crime scene was not preserved.

People Trafficking

R v. X & Y Snaresbrook Crown Court

Robyn represented a foreign lorry driver who along with another man was accused of facilitating the entry of five Non-EU Nationals into a member State. The case depended on at least one of these individuals appearing as a witness but when the trial was listed none of the five people were available. The Prosecution applied to introduce their evidence under the hearsay rules but Robyn successfully argued against this happening. The Prosecution then offered no evidence and both defendants were formally found not guilty by the Judge.

R v. X & Y Canterbury Crown Court

Robyn represented the wife of the co-defendant both of who were convicted of attempting to facilitate the entry of a Non-EU citizen into the UK via the Channel Tunnel. A conviction for this offence normally carries an immediate custodial sentence. Robyn was able to persuade the Judge not to order immediate custody for his client arguing that it would impinge on her European Court of Human Rights, Article 8, Rights to Family Life as it would have risked her children being taken into care.

Drugs

R v. X Aylesbury Crown Court

The defendant was indicted for possession with intent to supply Class A Drugs (Cocaine and Heroin). His fingerprints and DNA were found on wrappings found by police in premises, which they had raided. Robyn represented the defendant throughout his attendances at Crown Court and a jury acquitted him.

R v. X Maidstone Crown Court

Robyn represented the defendant in a Newton Hearing because the police officer's estimated yield from cannabis plants belonging to the defendant was in dispute. Robyn advised solicitors to obtain an expert's report, which estimated the yield to be significantly lower than what was being alleged. The court accepted the defence expert's estimate and the defendant avoided a custodial sentence.

Sexual Offences

R v. X St Alban's Crown Court

The defendant was charged with indecent assault on a close adult relative who lacked capacity. The defendant suffered from a degenerative illness so that this was a sad and emotive trial, which resulted in the defendant being acquitted by a jury.

R v. X and five others six others Croydon Crown Court

Robyn represented one defendant in an alleged paedophile ring case involving allegations dating back nearly 40 years. This was a trial lasting 7 weeks involving 6 defendants, 4 complainants and a 25 count indictment. A Silk and a Junior Counsel prosecuted it, a Silk represented one defendant and a Leading Junior with a Solicitor Advocate represented another

Fraud

R v. X Liverpool Crown Court

This was a Proceeds of Crime case in which the prosecution alleged that the defendant had acquired assets valued at £2.5 million. Diligent enquiries by Robyn and the early instruction of a Forensic Accountant produced a compelling argument that the case was not made out and the Prosecution withdrew the proceedings.

R v. X Nottingham Crown Court

Robyn was instructed in this complex alleged business fraud involving a multi-national company. What was in dispute was the quantum of loss suffered by the victim. Mr Murdo-Smith's argument that the quantum of loss suffered was in fact £90,000 less was finally accepted.

R v. Y Chelmsford Crown Court

Robyn was instructed in a sizeable Fraud where the defendant was alleged to have defrauded his employer of over £1 Million over a 10 year period, enquiries by Robyn enabled him to reach an agreement with the Prosecution reducing the quantum of the Fraud to £800,000 instead of £1000,000.

Burglary

R v. X & Y Snaresbrook Crown Court

Robyn represented one of two defendants charged with attempted residential burglary and going equipped. The co-defendant was convicted of the going equipped and sent to prison. The man who Robyn represented was acquitted of all alleged offences. Robyn highlighted a number of inconsistencies in the continuity of the police surveillance evidence.

Judicial Review

As a Solicitor, Robyn drafted a number of Judicial Review applications. In one of these cases a serving prisoner was denied Natural Justice in a Discipline Hearing before a Prison Governor. He had named witnesses whom he wanted to call but was not allowed to call all of them. Robyn launched a Judicial Review of the finding of guilt. A Judge at the High Court ruled that there was merit in the application and set it down for a full hearing. In the meantime the authorities conceded the issue and the prisoner's finding of guilt and the punishment were set aside.

Police Training

Robyn is actively involved in promoting Chambers’ OIC Roadshow Scheme, which delivers training for Police Officers.  This takes the form of lectures delivered at Police Stations and Crown Courts and Court Exercises giving police officers early experience in giving evidence in the Crown Court.

Robyn regularly defends and prosecutes and believes that doing both makes him a more rounded advocate.

Direct Access

Robyn is qualified to take instructions under the Direct Access rules and is happy to do so in any criminal case including motoring cases. His experience as a solicitor in terms of litigation makes him particularly well qualified to deal with clients directly from the earliest stages of any proceedings. Details of how to instruct Robyn under the Direct Access rules are available on our website.

Affiliations

South East Circuit
Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association

Mr Murdo-Smith 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 Murdo-Smith 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 Murdo-Smith 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 Murdo-Smith 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/    

News

9 KBW Bill Gatward successfully prosecutes masseur accused of sexual assault.
A Brighton masseur who told one of his clients she “would be surprised what goes on within these four walls” after he sexually assaulted her is now facing a lengthy prison sentence.

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Surinder Singh Gohlan joins 9 KBW.
Surinder Singh Gohlan joins 9 KBW. 9 KBW is delighted to announce that Surinder Singh Gohlan has joined the 9 KBW team from July 1st 2021. Surinder specialises in defence crime at all levels and we are very pleased to welcome him on board.

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Hospital Managers Power of Discharge
Chambers are pleased to announce that Robyn Murdo-Smith will be appointed an Associate Hospital Manager with North East London NHS Foundation Trust on 1st July 2021.

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High Court upholds decision to refuse to extradite to Turkey on multiple grounds
On 21 June 2021 Lord Justice Dingemans and Mr Justice Johnson handed down a judgment dismissing Turkey’s appeal against District Judge Zani’s refusal to extradite a Kurdish activist. The District Judge had refused the request on the basis there would be no fair trial, the requested person would be prejudiced because of his beliefs, and he would be likely to suffer cruel and inhuman treatment because of Turkey’s policy of prolonged solitary confinement for persons they regard as “terrorists”.

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Suzanne Fewins achieves not guilty result for defendant in drink driving case.
Suzanne Fewins achieves a great not guilty result for a client who stated that they could not provide a specimen of blood, in a drink driving case, due to a fear of needles, despite having tattoos.

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