Craig Harris

Craig is a criminal defence specialist whose expertise includes extradition, asset forfeiture and confiscation proceedings.

Acknowledged for his “boundless knowledge” as a contributor to Young, Summers & Corker on Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings (Bloomsbury, 3rd ed.), Craig is instructed in cases requiring a wide breadth of legal expertise, providing detailed case analysis and forensic preparation as well as effective presentation in court.

He has appeared in a seminal case before the European Court of Human Rights, conducted leave proceedings before the UK Supreme Court and is regularly instructed in serious and complex criminal cases before the Court of Appeal and at trial.

He regularly appears in cases of murder, kidnap, serious violence, firearms, large-scale drugs operations (including ‘Europe’s largest drugs conspiracy and the UK’s largest importation), arson, sexual offences and offences of dishonesty, including fraud and proceedings for perverting the course of justice.   He often represents defendants charged in complicated conspiracy cases.

Craig has experience in defending sensitive cases involving informants and Public Interest Immunity-protected material.

He has also defended in significant Trading Standards and Local Authority prosecutions and has represented companies and high profile individuals in proceedings for regulatory and driving offences.

Craig advises independently on appeal following criminal conviction and has advised on making applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

He is experienced in conducting all ancillary proceedings that arise particularly out of drugs, fraud, money laundering and other dishonesty cases and has contested multi-million pound confiscation proceedings, forfeiture applications and applications for disqualification of directors.

He has prosecuted hearings on behalf of the CPS, DWP and RCPO and is appointed to the CPS General Crime Panel of advocates (level 2).

Craig has experience of dealing with cases concerning the mental health provisions.  He has conducted cases centering on fitness to plead, not-insane automatism and insanity defences, and cases involving young and vulnerable defendants and witnesses.

He is equally experienced in dealing with historial allegations.

See the section below for Craig’s recent and notable cases.

Civil proceedings

Craig also conducts civil proceedings and has appeared before:

  • The County Court
  • The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
  • The Coroner’s Court; and
  • Licensing Committee hearings

Craig is available to conduct site visits and provide advice at all stages of the licensing process, from the application and renewal stage through to breach and revocation proceedings.

Appellate proceedings

R v F [2014] EWCA Crim 2788:  Successful appeal against sentence – sexual offences –submissions described by the Court of Appeal as “skilled” and “carefully formulated”

R v Robinson-Pierre [2013] EWCA Crim 2396Successful appeal against conviction – seminal case concerning interpretation of section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 – extent to which liability is “strict” – prosecution application for leave successfully opposed at Supreme Court level – press reports here and here

Harkins and Edwards v the UK (European Court of Human Rights, 2012; Application No. 32650/07): Led by Mark Summers – argued that extradition to the USA to face charges for an “execution style murder” and possible life imprisonment without possibility of parole would violate Article 3 of the European Convention – overturned the House of Lords decision in Wellington regarding application of the Convention in extradition cases – ECHR press release of Chamber judgement here and press reports here

R v Maurice Flanders [2011] EWCA Crim 2121: Appeal against sentence – dwelling burglary – multitude of antecedent burglaries – effect on sentence – application of section 153 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 vis-a-vis public protection in sentencing

R v Lyons [2010] EWCA Crim 155Appeal against sentence against refusal of the single judge to grant leave – appropriate sentence for multiple breaches of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order – submissions described by the Court of Appeal as “exceptionally competent”, “bold” and “succinctly but forcefully made”

Homicide & serious violence

R v Darko-Kwakye (2014-2015): Alleged kidnap and torture after a drugs deal went wrong – second revenge kidnap followed – firearms – hot irons – GBH – perverting the course of justice

The Surjeet Singh killing (2014): Conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm with intent – violent disorder – stabbing – press reports here

The Reece Menzies murder (2013): Gangland murder – shooting – manslaughter verdicts –press reports here

R v Garratty & Others (2013): Armed robbery – Flying Squad prosecution – conspiracy to rob to multiple small businesses with live firearms – press reports here

R v Bethel & Others (2013): Armed robbery – orchestrated raid of a high value goods storage facility – use of cable ties, CS gas and multiple getaway vehicles

Football-related violence:  West Ham and Sunderland violence (2014) – Violent disorder at the Wembley FA Cup Final amongst Millwall fans (2013) – Operartion Balconi (widespread violence between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham fans)

R v Patel (2010): Led by Charles Sherrard QC – gangland drug-related kidnap for ransom

Craig regularly appears in cases of section 18 and 20 GBH, robbery at all levels (from robberies on the street and in the home, to armed cash-in-transit), ABH and all forms of violent offences involving weapons

Drugs

R  v Wild & Others (2015):  Alleged widespread, commercial drug trafficking conspiracy in Kent

R v Bhatia (2013-2014): Led by Oliver Blunt QC – SOCA prosecution – multi-million pound drugs and cigarette importation – approximately 50kg of cocaine, 100kg of cannabis and millions of cigarettes imported through a bonded warehouse

Operation Nemesis (2013) – Acted for Scott Rafferty – family drugs “empire” – press reports here

R v Dang & Others (Operation Opaque; Central Criminal Court, 2012): International organised crime syndicate conspiring to produce cannabis on largest ever scale in the UK – said to be the largest drugs conspiracy ever uncovered in Europe – acquitted following 4-month trial – press reports here

R v Glen Cornick (Operation Beath II, 2011): Led by Oliver Blunt QC – the UK’s largest drugs importation – tonnes of cocaine and cannabis imported worth more than £100million – £28million confiscation proceedings conducted alone – press reports here

The “K Network” (2011): Conspiracy to supply drugs from London to Norwich – flooding Norwich with class A drugs – represented a leading defendant

R v Arslan (2008): Gang-related possession of firearms, ammunition and commercial quantities of class A drugs

Fraud, dishonesty, and regulatory offences

R v Iqbal (2015): Trading Standards prosecution – alleged large-scale conspiracy to produce and import counterfeit clothing from Pakistan

R v Smith (Operation Bugs, 2013): Swansea Trading Standards prosecution – conspiracy to defraud – national Sky box warranty fraud – press reports here

R v S & Others (2013): Newham Borough Council prosecution – extensive HMO and regulatory/welfare offences charged against a limited company and its directors in person – successful application of the ruling in Sumal and Sons to stay confiscation proceedings worth more than half-a-million pounds

R v O & A (2013): Perverting the course of justice – alleged to attempt by a Russian billionaire and a head hotel concierge to “buy off” a prosecution witness – acted for the Concierge – press reports here

R v Nicholas & Smith (2012): Retained as leading junior – DEFRA prosecution – animal welfare and “cattle ringing” fraud

Operation Icicle (2012): Successful application to dismiss charges arising out of a large-scale car ringing and exportation conspiracy

Serious sexual offences

R v SH (2014): Rape following serious violence within relationship – issues surrounding application of the ‘section 75′ presumptions against consent

R v MH (2014): Rape – adult defendant with IQ of a child – fitness to plead in issue

R v MP (2012):  Alleged kidnap, false imprisonment and violent gang rape

R v RJ (2010): Sexual offences against children – historical allegations – multiple complainants – making and possession of indecent images

R v D (2009):  Perverting the course of justice – juvenile charged with making false allegations to have been victim of a double rape by two brothers

Other notable cases

R v Thomas Hitzlsperger (2011): Defence of German international and former Premier League footballer, Der Hammer – press reports here

Derek Chisora (2009): Represented the boxing former World Heavyweight contender

Eric Hall (2008): Represented the flamboyant showbiz and football agent

Kent Police v Rusha (2007): Civil application for forfeiture of cash said to be stolen during the infamous £53million Tonbridge Securitas robbery – application successfully opposed for the Respondent

Publications

Acknowledged contributor to Young, Summers & Corker on Abuse of Process in Criminal Proceedings (Bloomsbury, 3rd ed, 2009)

Policy Knowledge Event Lecture: A New Strategy to Tackle Dangerous Dogs – Assessing the Reforms to the Dangerous Dogs Act, May 2015

Please contact Craig by email or via Chambers’ clerks to discuss inviting him to speak at any event

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