Year of Call:1996
Areas of Work
Steven undertook Pupillage at 2 Harcourt Buildings (Robert Harman QC) in 1996; Supervisors were Jonathan Rees (now QC) and HHJ Ian Darling. He is known as a powerful advocate and to be effective in Cross-Examination, he will fearlessly represent his clients and has the ability to engage with people from varied backgrounds with ease and gain their co-operation and trust, “difficult” clients have become something of a speciality as have those with mental health or learning disabilities.
Steven has undertaken numerous Attempted Murder cases (as Junior alone), one of which was the brutal stabbing of a police officer during a routine traffic stop in Norfolk. He was also involved (led) in a prison system “spice” murder case at Peterborough CC, in which expert evidence regarding the potential effect of the passive smoking of the product whilst sharing a cell with a user was called. Prison officers gave stark evidence of the effect upon them and their colleagues; ultimately the Defendant was convicted of Manslaughter. Steven has also been led in approximately twelve allegations of murder during his career at the Bar.
He is also an experienced Courts Martial practitioner.
Steven also recently defended a case at Reading CC in which an 82-year-old lady with mental health issues (relating both to her physical health and age) was accused of the manslaughter of her husband of 64 years who had unfortunately died from infected deep ulcers. Again, expert evidence was commissioned and called from both clinicians and social care experts. The defendant was acquitted after a two-week trial. During the trial, social services were quite heavily criticised and said to be totally lacking as they “closed the care case”: it would appear that it was their abandonment of this elderly and infirm couple which actually caused the death.
Early on in his career, he was involved in R v Donnelly and Kelly at the Court of Appeal in which the Court enunciated guidelines regarding racially aggravated offences and in particular the principle that where a sentence is increased to reflect racial or religious aggravation, the components of the total sentence must be stated separately by the Judge.
Steven has undertaken many large scale drug importation cases and several tobacco smuggling ones, along with conspiracy to rob and burgle (including elements of car-ringing crime); in addition fraud trials, both as a leading junior and junior alone. The conduct of such matters has involved voluminous and complex material, surveillance, bad character and hearsay applications as well as other legal arguments.
Steven has a particular interest and expertise in crime involving firearms (possession, discharge and use) and has conducted many such matters, securing excellent outcomes
Serious violence, torture and kidnap are also notable highlights. R v Kappler (Leeds CC) involved a wealthy German industrialist who was alleged to have kidnapped two business rivals in Newcastle and then had them beaten with baseball bats to a facially unrecognisable state by people posing as Customs and Excise officers. The victims were then driven to Liverpool where they were forced to dress in cheap tracksuits in the back of the van and to give up all of their clothes and possessions, having been told they were to be killed and burned. The physical and psychological damage was of the highest order. Steven conducted the re-trial, the defendant having been represented in the first trial by leading Counsel at Middlesbrough CC when he was convicted. Jim Sturman QC won the appeal and Steven conducted the retrial. After a trial lasting almost three weeks, the defendant was acquitted.
Steven has also appeared in serious sex cases, particularly those involving children and vulnerable adults.