Caroline Carberry KC

Caroline Carberry KC

Call: 1995 | Silk: 2017


Since taking Silk in 2017 Caroline has established herself as a leading practitioner in the defence and prosecution of complex and serious cases with an emphasis on homicide, serious sexual offences and organised crime. She has expertise in the highly specialised area of infant murder and manslaughter, both  prosecuting and defending. She is particularly trusted in emotive and high profile cases.

In 2019 Caroline, leading Joel Smith, achieved the first ever conviction for Female Genital Mutilation in the United Kingdom. News story here

In 2017 she made legal history by successfully prosecuting the country’s first ever case of GBH with intent through the transmission of the HIV virus. This ground-breaking trial involved evidence of the utmost sensitivity and complexity.

Her impressive success record is a result of rigorous strategic planning, indepth legal knowledge, skilled advocacy and hard work. Her balanced portfolio of serious defence and prosecution work gives her a 360-degree perspective and ensures her advice is always current, nuanced and insightful.

Caroline is exceptionally good with clients, can build an empathetic relationship with juries and achieves results in the most difficult of cases. She is a sought-after counsel by firms with private clients who wish to retain experienced counsel for advice in the early stages of an investigation through to trial.

She has a deserved reputation for her particular skill in dealing with both defendants and witnesses of the utmost vulnerability. In 2017 she was appointed a Lead Facilitator for the Advocacy and the Vulnerable National Training Programme.

Caroline has considerable experience of slavery and human trafficking cases and is considered a leader in this developing area of law. She has been instructed in serious child cruelty and “baby-shaking” cases which have involved complex medical and forensic evidence and extensive cross-examination of expert witnesses. Her busy practice is wide ranging and she repeatedly delivers excellent results.

Caroline is authorised to accept instructions from members of the public in certain circumstances.

"Caroline is a very forceful prosecutor with a very nice manner - she commands the court." -Chambers UK, 2024
"Caroline has a calm and authoritative advocacy style which works well before judges and juries alike." -Legal 500, 2024
"Caroline is a really polished courtroom performer. She is always totally on top of her brief and is equally at home in front of a judge or jury. Her cross-examination is incisive and devastatingly-effective." -Legal 500, 2023
"An organised and charming advocate who delivers her points absolutely beautifully. She's very impressive."-Chambers UK, 2023
Recent Cases

“The Eunuch Maker case” R v Gustavson (2024): This subject matter of this complex case is unprecedented in the United Kingdom. The case has garnered national and worldwide interest. It involves a complex investigation into the performance of extreme body modifications carried out over a period of five or more years. The procedures range from amputation of penises and testicles to clamping of testicles to the point of castration, the insertion of needles into the genitalia, and the amputation of legs. The investigation revealed that excised genitalia was sold and ingested.

The mastermind is a Swedish national, Gustavson. He recruited others to assist him in carrying out serious medical procedures, without aesthetic in unsanitary conditions of his home and in various rented flats in London. Gustavson set up a website called where he advertised extreme body modification services such as male castration and penis removal. He registered a production company called Nullset Productions Ltd, Companies House. He videoed the procedures with increasing professionalism. These were then made available to purchase on his website.

Caroline was brought in at an early stage to advise the police team and CPS in respect of this significant prosecution. News story here

R v O (2023): This case was tried over many weeks at Winchester Crown Court by a High Court judge. Caroline represented a young man who was jointly charged with murder by stabbing. The prosecution case was that the killing (in broad daylight as he washed his car outside his house) was the execution of a drug dealing rival. It was the prosecution case that the attack was planned. The defendant was a county lines drug dealer. News story here

R v S (2024) Caroline prosecuted the murder of a former barrister who was disabled and homeless and who, at the time of his brutal death, was sleeping rough in a multi storey car park in Canterbury. His assailants were also members of the homeless community there and included a former city worker and two qualified chefs. The deceased was beaten to death by Sibanda in an ordeal lasting 2 hours. His most valuable possessions (a Tag Heuer watch, a chess set made by his grandfather before he fled the Nazis, his grandmother’s ceramic pot and jewellery) were either destroyed or stolen. The group left him to die and when they later realised, he had passed away they removed evidence from the scene of the assault, including the defendant’s property in order to delay the discovery of the body. This was reflected in all five being charged with perverting the course of public justice. News story here

R v W (2024) Caroline advised at an early stage on the prosecution of these parents for the homicide of their infant daughter. The baby received non-survivable injuries at the hands of her father and was left in a coma for weeks before passing away. The case involved complex medical evidence from specialist paediatric doctors. The mother’s own parents were due to give evidence against them at trial. Both parents denied any criminal responsibility for what had happened to their baby and the trial was due to start in January 2024. After careful consideration a plea was accepted to manslaughter. News story here

R v W (2023) The actions of this defendant were described by an Old Bailey judge in her sentencing remarks, which were broadcast on television and news websites, as “a senseless attack of extreme ferocity”. The deceased was the youngest victim to die by knife crime in London in 2021 (the case didn’t conclude until May 2023). The victim, Jermaine Cools, was 14 years old. The brutal murder was carried out with a two-foot machete in front of shoppers and commuters. News story here

R v AA & BB 2019: Successful prosecution of the father and mother of a 3 year-old girl for inflicting female genital mutilation on their child. Although FGM has been unlawful in various guises since 1985, there has never previously been a successful prosecution in the UK. The mother was convicted of female genital mutilation on her daughter and was due to be sentenced in March 2019 to 11 years’ imprisonment (the maximum sentence is 14 years). The trial also involved allegations of the use of witchcraft in an attempt to impede the investigation.

R v IFE 2019: Caroline successfully defended the mother of a Nigerian family, seven of whom were charged with manslaughter, false imprisonment and causing the death of a vulnerable adult. The deceased is the defendant’s 26 year-old son. The Prosecution case was that the family are ‘charismatic Christians’ who, when the deceased displayed sign of mental illness, rather than seek medical attention, they sought to cure him through restraint and prayer. Whilst being restrained his struggles are said the have led to cardiorespiratory arrest and ultimately death. This case raises novel and complex issues issues of law and fact.

R v Childs 2019: Caroline, leading Tim Forster, successfully prosecuted the defendant for offences of murder of his mother in law and attempted murder of his daughter when he set fire to the family home. The Defendants was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 32 years.

R v SKP 2019: Caroline represented a mother charged with the murder of her 7 month month old baby. The infant – a twin who, conceived via IVF – had numerous health problems and had been in intensive care for the first 4 months of life. Post mortem revealed she suffered a fractured skull, deep brain injuries and had sustained numerous fractures to her ribs and leg. The case was complicated by the baby’s very complex medical history. The defence instructed a leading Clinical Geneticist to consider a possible genetic cause of the constellation of injuries. The requires the most sensitive handling and opinions from more than ten leading experts were obtained.

R v Challen 2019: Having successfully prosecuted the original murder trial in 2011 Caroline was instructed for the respondent in the Appeal. Following receipt of medical evidence which was not provided during the original trial the Crown accepted a plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility

R v Rowe 2018: Ground breaking case, first ever prosecution in the UK arising out of the intentional transmission of the HIV virus. Rowe embarked on a deliberate and cynical campaign to infect multiple men with the HIV virus. Caroline successfully prosecuted this pioneering legally and factually complex case. Rowe was convicted after a 7-week trial on all 10 counts of GBH with intent and attempted GBH with intent. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2018 and his conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal in November 2018. BBC Daily Telegraph

R v Moore and Zoberi 2018: Caroline successfully prosecuted Moore, a professional football midfielder, and Zoberi of the rape and serious sexual assault of a young woman Moore met on Tinder. She had arranged meet Moore only but she was raped by both at Zoberi’s home. The men filmed and distributed footage of the sexual acts to their male friends. Lengthy sentences of 11.5 years and 8 years respectively were imposed. Daily Mail

Sexual offences

Caroline has a well deserved, long-standing reputation for excellence gained from dealing with difficult, often high profile and sensitive cases.

Operation Leaside – R v Singh and 11 others 2015:The high profile eleven defendant, 10 week ‘Aylesbury Sex Ring’ trial which was held at the Old Bailey. The case involved the grooming, sexual exploitation and rapes of young girls by a group of Asian men in the Buckinghamshire market town over a number of years. Caroline secured acquittals on the most serious offences of rape and administering a noxious substance with intent to commit a sexual offence following legal argument at the close of the prosecution case. The defendant she represented was later acquitted of all remaining counts by the jury. The trial involved the use of intermediaries to cross examine the girls who were extremely vulnerable.  News stories here (BBC) and here (Guardian).

Operation Kinney – R v Ashley Mitton 2015Caroline was leading counsel in the successful prosecution of the serial prostitute rapist Ashley Mitton. Mitton, over a period of two years, attacked and raped a number of prostitutes in the East London area. Mitton was a privately educated university student. He stalked areas where prostitutes work late at night, he lured them into his car and he raped them using a screwdriver to threaten them. The rapes became increasingly violent. Caroline called evidence from multiple complainants and expert witnesses in cell site, fingerprint analysis, fibre analysis and DNA. News story here (Standard).

R v Mohammed Mechtak 2015Prosecution counsel in the successful trial of this defendant who faced allegations of two stranger attacks on young women involving counts of sexual offences, attempted strangulation and false imprisonment.

R v Christopher Bridger 2014: Prosecution Counsel in the trial of the ‘predatory paramedic’ who was convicted of raping and seriously sexually assaulting a number of female colleagues. News story here

R v Peter Magloire and 4 others:Leading defence counsel in the trial of the first defendant on charges of multiple rapes on multiple complainants. The defendants were all brothers who committed sexual offences against their young sisters when they were in their teens and then their own daughters and nieces. In addition the defendant I represented was charged with prostituting his daughters. Regarded by all concerned as one of the worst cases of its kind.

R v Sahodree:Successful prosecution of a qualified nurse for raping and sexually assaulting extremely vulnerable patients at the National Hospital for Neurology. The complainants were wheelchair bound and had brain injuries and ranged from a woman in her 50s to a young woman in her late teens.

R v Ryan and others: Successful prosecution of nine defendants aged between 10-14 years for multiple rapes on a 14 year old girl.

Homicide & serious violence

Recent cases have underlined Caroline’s reputation in this field. She has defended and prosecuted in cases involving a wide range of forensic expert evidence of complexity.

R v Apat and Apat 2016Allegation of Soliciting Murder in an alleged honour crime. Caroline successfully defended a husband who was accused of soliciting his 16 year old son to murder his wife.

R v Ben Bamford 2016: Successful prosecution of a teenager for the brutal and sustained murder of a gay male senior HMRC civil servant he met on Grindr. The 17 year old murderer met the deceased when he was 15. The defendant then carried out what was regarded by all involved in the case to be one of the most sustained and brutal attacks. He used multiple knives and blunt instruments to inflict multiple injuries throughout the deceased’s home. The fatal wound was a cut throat using a serrated bread knife inflicted from behind which severed the jugular.

R v Ajayi and others, 2016: Caroline, led by Lisa Wilding QC, defended one of three teenagers in this high profile murder case. The case attracted significant media attention and was billed as ‘the Gumtree murder trial,’ a reference to the plan to rob the victim of a Macbook he had advertised for sale on the website. The fatal incident took place shortly after the robbery had failed when the three defendants were pursued by the deceased and his friends who had armed themselves with weapons. The defendants were all acquitted of murder. News story here (Telegraph)

R v M, 2016: Caroline successfully defended in this complex prosecution of a vulnerable woman accused of Child Cruelty by alleged poisoning and starvation. Following an abuse of process application the indictment was stayed.

R v Sharma 2015:Defence counsel in this fatal stabbing which took place in broad daylight on a street in Southall.

R v Georgina Challen: Prosecuting counsel alone in this murder trial. The case is a domestic murder by multiple hammer blows. There was a factually complicated background to the case. The female defendant was employed by the Police Federation. The issues in the case were the partial defences of diminished responsibility and loss of control.

R v Hodgkin & Wade: Prosecuting counsel in the trial of a mother and father charged with GBH with intent and child neglect after their 5 week old baby was admitted to hospital with fractures to her skull, brain damage, 13 fractured ribs, a fractured tibia, fibula and femur and burn marks. Case involved the presentation of complicated medical evidence from a consultant paediatrician and consultant neurologist to deal with causation of injuries.

Organised crime

Caroline’s breadth of experience and ability in conducting multi-handed/multi-complainant work in the most serious of cases gives her the experience to carry out the careful preparation these cases require and to deal with the many issues that they involve including anonymity, PII and RIPA, anonymity.

Operation Falorni – R v Edet and Edet 2015Caroline appeared for the Crown in this high profile successful prosecution of a gynaecologist and his wife, a senior NHS nurse, for trafficking a child in to the United Kingdom and holding him in servitude for 24 years. He worked seven days a week, receiving only small amounts of pocket money now and again, he slept on a mattress in the hallway and his passport was kept from him. The case was evidentially complex and required particularly careful handling of an extremely vulnerable witness. The case was the first to be prosecuted after the appointment of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner and was being closely watched by his office. The case was widely followed in the national press and TV news. Guardian, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, BBC

R v Dzuga and Dzuga 2016:Caroline was leading counsel for the Crown in the successful prosecution of the Dzuga brothers for Human Trafficking Offences. News story here

R v Fray, Lawrence, Dhillon and Nash 2014: Defence counsel in a conspiracy to smuggle mobile telephones and cannabis into HMP Isis, involving inmates, a prison chef, and individuals outside the prison. The case relied on recordings of PIN telephone calls made from within the prison, together with telephone evidence from seized mobile telephones, and was complicated by the fact that those involved used a dialect of “Shelta”, a cryptolect known to be used by some of the Irish Traveller community, but for which there are no Interpreters within the UK.


Caroline also appears in the Coroner’s Court and has a particular expertise in cases where a jury is empanelled. Recent instructions include representing a paramedic who had administered an incorrect dose of medicine and representing the owner/director of a care home where a man died in suspicious circumstances. The case was initially investigated as a corporate manslaughter.

Other Cases of Note

Sexual offences: A notorious grooming ring trial; a serial rapist of vulnerable women; rape alleged to have been committed by a young child on another young child.

Organised crime: Human trafficking of a child into the UK by a professional family who then held him in servitude for 24 years; a criminal gang involved in trafficking scores of people into the UK for work exploitation; the trafficking of young women to be domestic slaves; the trafficking of multiple vulnerable men from Eastern Europe into the UK for the purpose of work exploitation; the trafficking of young women into the UK from Nigeria by a UK doctor and her husband to be held in domestic servitude.

Homicide: The brutal “Grindr” murder of a high ranking civil servant; the murder of a husband by his wife; fatal incidents involving young people and knife crime.

A mother with fabricated-illness syndrome charged with neglect through starvation and drugging of her young child;

An ‘honour crime’ in which a father was alleged to have solicited his son to murder his mother.


Appointed Recorder 2018
Caroline also sits as a Tribunal Judge, is Legal Chair of the Police Disciplinary Panel and is
Governor of a London Primary School.

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