9 KBW OIC ROADSHOW

In 2014 Robyn Murdo-Smith, a retired career police officer, joined 9 KBW as a tenant and part of our team of criminal law specialists.

Shortly thereafter, Robyn expressed his ideas and suggestions about giving police officers a clear insight into what advocates require when defendants are charged and the case proceeds to trial.

John Clifford, a Grade 4 Prosecutor and Rape List specialist for the London and South Eastern Circuit, joined Robyn in developing a package to meet the needs of police officers.

Initially the package was rolled out on a small scale but after a short amount of time the OIC Roadshow was born!

The Roadshow continued to grow in strength and numbers as we received more requests to present similar programmes to many officers across London and the South East. As the number of Roadshow presentations grew, so did the number of members of Chambers who were willing to provide their services in presenting seminars with question and answer sessions to officers at every level.

9 KBW members can offer a bespoke lecturing service, tailored to meet the precise requirements of particular units and squads, based on the practical, procedural, evidential and disclosure aspects of any or all of the following areas of offending. 

For example:

·      Unused material and disclosure, PII and RIPA

·      The management of trial incidents

·      The use of social media and rap lyrics in prosecutions, in particular in Operation Trident gang cases

·      Proving gang membership at trial

·      The importance of social media in serious crime generally and particularly in sexual offences

·      How to get a case charged first time, i.e. providing all the correct material to the CPS (including youth defendants)

·      Avoiding being derailed by disclosure and defence statements

·      Disclosure in sexual offence matters

Disclosure of Home Office documents - what can be disclosed and why
Dealing with defendants charged with serious offences who have mental health issues
·      Dealing with cases where both defendant and victim or witnesses have mental health issues

·      Taking over as the new OIC in cases of complex fraud or money laundering

·      Effective use of experts in cases of fraud and money laundering

·      Managing multi-offence fraud prosecutions'

·      The suspect says (s)he honestly never intended/ knew/ suspected/ believed..

·      Proving the mental element in cases of money laundering and fraud

·      Making phone attribution work

·      Drugs - turning the search into the conviction

·      He said it in interview/ defence statement, what do we do now?

·      Applying for International Letters of Request

·      Applying for European Arrest warrants

Going overseas to gather evidence/ working with foreign prosecution agencies
Obtaining evidence from foreign embassies/ consulates in the U.K
Current common evidential weaknesses in the Prosecution of Sham marriages and how to know what to do about them
Ensuring statements from Home Office employees withstand defence scrutiny at trial
Presenting interlinked financial evidence between defendants in immigration cases
Joint enterprise: “the post Jogee landscape"
Attempted murder and serious violence matters


·      Child sex exploitation

·      Historical sexual offences

·      Firearms

·      Large scale Class A drug importation

·      Test purchase cases

·      Honour crime

 

For Borough OIC’s there have been seminars on hearsay, the seizure of exhibits, the best use of body cams, digital files, CRIS reports, special measures, bad character, schedules of unused, cautions, hate crime, violence against women and other matters which require particularly sensitive handling, as well as the Codes of Practice to the CPIA and PACE.

Members of Chambers will happily deliver seminars on any aspect of criminal case preparation, tailored to the audience of officers (i.e. those on font line duty).

The purpose of the Roadshow is to ensure that an Advocate has what is needed in order to present a robust but fair prosecution of a case, whatever the level of the offence. Members will advise OIC’s on how to best achieve this in order to provide several outcomes:

Ensure the Prosecution have all evidence properly presented
Ensure the Defence are able to discharge their duties as far as disclosure is concerned
Ensure that when a police officer acts, either as an OIC or as a witness of fact, they fully understand his or her role in the prosecution
·      There have been and will continue to be presentations on PACE and CPIA Codes so that officers can respond appropriately under cross examination and explain why they did or did not take a particular course of action

·      Members will seek to ensure that officers have a better understanding of their duties of compliance with PACE and CPIA Codes and what is required of them in the preparation of the details of the case before it goes to a trial advocate

Robyn Murdo-Smith continues to lead the team and we have an ever growing number of members presenting seminars, assisting with mock trials and training members of the Metropolitan Police Special Constabulary. This consists of issues specific to their role and includes an evidence giving exercise and examination by Barristers.

Both Heads of Chambers Shabeena Azhar and Jonathan Mole Grade 4 Prosecutors John Clifford Robert Evans and Julian Jones are all on the CPS Advocates specialist Rape Panel.

Giving further strength and depth to our team we have Paul Douglass a Grade 3 and Rape List Advocate; John Ojakovoh also Grade 3 with a strong background as a fraud specialist and James Dick a Grade 3 Prosecutor who is currently on secondment to the RASSO unit, specialising in cases of serious sexual assault.

Heads of Chambers, all of the Grade 3’s & 4’s and Rape List specialists have experience in prosecuting crime of the utmost weight and gravity. Members have been instructed in matters of attempted murder, organised crime, gang crime, rape and other (sexual offences (often where the victims are children), large scale Class A drug importation (often with jurisdictional points and complex PII or disclosure issues), sham marriage and honour cases and serious fraud. Members have been instructed as Leading Counsel and have also been in cases where they have been led. The level of experience of our senior prosecutors is exceptional.

In the Roadshows we focus on the OIC Skills of police officers from those who are new to the job up to and including those senior investigating officers who are part of the service that specialise in the most serious crime. We continue to build this team with the newer members of Chambers willingly giving their time and invaluable insight into what is needed by advocates prosecuting cases of a less serious nature than those at the very senior end and where officers are also likely to be junior or inexperienced. We strive to improve the interaction between police investigators and the prosecution in order to promote excellence in investigation and prosecution, at all levels.

Senior members are willing to provide presentations on all areas of complex crime and welcome invitations to speak on any specialist area as well as the general requirements for the preparation of cases at a high level.

We also have members who were solicitor advocates prior to joining 9 KBW and have considerable experience of being on the other side of a prosecution as well as being the prosecutor. Very recently Liam Gregory delivered a presentation to Newham Borough MSC which included a “Giving Evidence” exercise. Currently those seminars are delivered to small groups in Chambers but we are planning to expand this programme so that we can deliver presentations and guidance to Specials at larger venues across London and the South East.

Not only supporting the team but being one of the members who has taken place in the mock trials and delivered her own presentations is Claire Stevenson who joined us as a tenant after a very successful Pupillage at 9 KBW. Claire will be very much a part of the programme of upcoming events as will others at 9 KBW. They include Jeremy Rendle who specialises in both criminal and immigration law. His mastery of these areas gives him an extra advantage in advising in cases where defendants are involved in litigation in both jurisdictions (those facing criminal allegations and related deportation proceedings) and Efstathios Divaris https://www.9kbw.com/members/efstathios-divaris-2005 previously a solicitor advocate in a leading firm of solicitors where he gained extensive experience of general crime, fraud and extradition proceedings.

Mock trials are being set up by Ben Edwards and Sophie Quinton Carter both fairly new to Chambers but with the advantage of having both been Prosecutors for the London CPS prior to joining Chambers. They are also planning to assist officers with a programme of mock trials which is already running.

During their time at the CPS they both experienced prosecuting many types of case in the Magistrates’ Court. Their experience ranges from assault to sexual offences, gaining an important insight into how cases are prosecuted and what is needed from the OIC, both prior to any hearing and when presenting the case in court.

Bill Gatward a criminal trial counsel for over 35 years, both as a full-time prosecutor and defence counsel, has appeared at all levels of trial court, in English and French, in Ontario and Alberta. From 2000 to 2008, Bill was a senior member of the Crown Prosecutors Office in Edmonton. He therefore has a unique insight into prosecuting in other jurisdictions and is currently a Grade 2 on the London and South East Advocates Panel.

We continue to build this team with the newer members of Chambers willingly giving their time and invaluable insight into what is needed by advocates prosecuting cases.

HISTORY OF THE ROADSHOW

The first seminar took place in Chambers and was for members of Shomrim a Pro Active Neighbourhood Watch operating in North East London they were appearing in court as witnesses and wanted some input on giving evidence.

Then with the active support of the Jewish Police Association, John and Robyn attended a seminar at Peel Centre Hendon talking to a group of police officers who also wanted input on giving evidence in court.  It was clear that what officers really wanted was experience of giving evidence in a controlled environment. Therefore, next came a Mock Trial at Inner Temple Hall where 9 KBW provided Barristers to play the role of Judge, Prosecutor & Defence Counsel.  Members of the Hackney Volunteer Police Cadet Corp attended and sat as jurors making this a very realistic event.  Several police officers gave evidence and were examined by experienced Barristers after which they were all given feedback. The evening proved very successful. 

9 KBW was then asked by the Continuation Training Unit at Peel Centre to address a number of training days at Hendon on the skills required to take a good witness statement. Robyn and John responded to this request by presenting their lecture to a camera in Chambers and supplied a DVD to Peel Centre which they then played at the numerous training days which followed.

Successful though the Mock Trial undoubtedly was, it was clear that what was needed was an event capable of being delivered at police venues where there was capacity for a much larger audience.  This is now done on a regular basis and to date the OIC Roadshow has presented to CID and uniform police officers on the Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Hackney, Southwark, Westminster, Kingston, Wandsworth and Tower Hamlets.  Many Boroughs have invited the Roadshow back the following year. It also took part in the Police Now Graduate Recruit Training in August 2016.

We are planning events throughout 2017 and 2018. Should you require any information regarding planned events or if you are interested in holding an event in your area our contact details are below.

CONTACT

If you would like to discuss setting up an event for your area please contact either Robyn Murdo-Smith if you wish to discuss a general OIC Roadshow event or John Clifford if it relates to high level crime or specialist units on 020 7353 9564 or email robynmurdosmith@gmail.com or John Clifford jdc2272@yahoo.co.uk

Christine Eadie, our Managing Consultant christine@9kbw.com will also be pleased to assist with any enquiries regarding our members, such as their particular experience in specialist areas or any other matters not mentioned on our website.

If you are interested in holding a mock trial please contact either Ben Edwards https://www.9kbw.com/members/ben-edwards or Sophie Quinton Carter, https://www.9kbw.com/members/sophie-quinton-carter.