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. His uses his understanding of the workings of Police Officers, to the advantage of his clients when examining police witnesses. 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.

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 has been called upon by the Metropolitan Police to assist with the training of Police Officers. In April 2015 he organised a Mock Trial Exercise during which he attended Hendon Training School to give a presentation and then set up a mock court room in Inner Temple Hall where police officers gave evidence and were cross examined by Barristers.

Robyn also responded to a request for assistance with a new course on statement preparation. He arranged for a presentation by himself and a Chambers colleague to be filmed. This was reduced into a Power Point Presentation and supplied to the Training School where it was incorporated into the new course.

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

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Association of Military Court Advocates
  • Extradition Lawyers Association

Published Articles

Robyn writes a regular column in Pegasus, the Journal of the Parachute Regiment and Airborne Division.

News

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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