Charles Burton

Call: 1983

Areas of expertise

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A criminal law practitioner specializing in serious crime including: organized crime, homicide, serious violent and sexual offences, drug trafficking, fraud, confiscation and asset restraint. He defends in prosecutions brought by various regulatory bodies.

As a leading junior he has established a reputation as a highly skilled jury advocate achieving results through dedication and commitment to both the preparation and presentation of cases.

His fully rounded style of advocacy commands both respect from judges and the attention of juries. A highly focused and hands on approach to all aspects of case management and a tenacious approach to disclosure means no stone is left unturned in the preparation of cases for trial.

Clients across the spectrum of offences with which he deals value his ability to engage and inspire confidence.


Selection of Past Cases

Homicide/serious violence/firearms

R v D: Murder: murder of 18 month old child. Plea of guilty by reason of diminished responsibility accepted by crown. Sentenced to section 37 MHA 1983 hospital order.

R v Gbadamosi: Murder: joint enterprise revenge killing of rival North London gang member. Evidence of motive provided by participation in gang related rap videos. Despite presence at scene defence of non-participation accepted. Defendant acquitted.

R v Lucas: Murder: defendant accepted inflicting fatal stab wound but claimed to have disarmed victim who approached him with other members of south London gang. Defendant acquitted.

R v Lansana: Murder/Robbery: victim stabbed with “Rambo” style knife by co-accused in course of a robbery. Conviction appealed following change of law relating to liability of secondary parties in R v Jogee. Instructed to advise on appeal to Supreme Court.

R v Holboll: Murder: defendant stabbed mother and set fire to her flat. Acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.

R v A: Murder: allegation of “baby shaking” by father where evidence of non-accidental death challenged and where mother (co-accused) sought to blame father.

R v.Billia: Murder: defendant and co-defendant alleged to have strangled and smothered long-term male partner of latter. Cut-throat defence, co-defendant with good character adducing client’s previous and “similar fact” conviction for manslaughter to establish propensity; client alleging set-up by co-defendant; co-defendant convicted of murder. Defendant acquitted.

R v Eugene Peters: Firearms: defence of “fit-up”. Defendant acquitted

R v Truman: Firearms: Expert evidence re firearm challenged successfully. Defendant acquitted of possessing firearm with intent to endanger life.

R v Dos Santos: Section 18: alleged stabbing of rival south London gang member. Proceedings stayed on grounds of abuse of process arising from investigative failures.

R v Abed: Kidnap, false imprisonment, blackmail: complainant kidnapped by organized crime group, subjected to torture, violence (including sexual assault) and false imprisonment for period of 7 days.

R v. Walker and Others. Kidnap: successful defence of alleged member of Birmingham’s “Johnson Crew” charged with kidnap arising from a dispute between rival drugs gangs.



R v Goodyear: Drug trafficking: defended as leading junior ringleader of South East England network supplying class A drugs.

R v Dymott: Conspiracy to import cocaine. Defended alleged organizer of UK end of largest ever operation to import class A drugs from Columbia. Defendant acquitted following nine month trial.

R v. Hennes. Leading junior defending in large-scale drugs importation (heroin flown over channel in private planes and dropped by parachute in Kent)

Sexual Offences

R v S: Rape: complainant discovered by police unconscious in a public place momnets after sexual intercourse with the defendant following an evening of drinking. Allegation that she was unable to consent due to state of intoxication rejected by jury. Defendant acquitted.

R v I: Rape: defendant alleged fabricated and malicious allegation by complainant. Defendant acquitted.

R v. Parker. Sexual abuse by gang on 15 year old complainant culminating in group rape filmed by one of accused.

R v. Vince. “Historic” child sex abuse case based on expert evidence relating to memory distortion due to encephalitis and issues concerning collaboration. On appeal: appropriate directions to jury where similar fact capable of providing corroboration.



R v T: Divert fraud. Conspiracy to defraud NHS and other public bodies in excess of £20 million. Payment due to contractors “diverted” by fraudsters.

R v Dymott and Others: Conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and perverting course of justice. Limited basis plea to money laundering accepted. No evidence offered in respect of fraud charge and perverting, where it was alleged that the defendant had made transfers to avoid previous confiscation proceedings.

R v. Evans and Others. Multi-million pound “sub-prime” mortgage fraud. Prosecution offered no evidence following abuse of process argument based on prejudice arising from Crown’s failure to disclose relevant material.

R v. Camp and Others. Successfully defended as leading junior in high profile £2 million fraud on United Synagogue.

R v Stevens. Conspiracy to defraud: solicitors implicated – arising from arrest and charge of William Relton (Relton’s solicitors). Conviction quashed on appeal. On re-trial convicted of lesser charge of recklessly making misleading statements (s.47) Financial Services Act).

R v. Silver and Others. Excise fraud: successfully defended as leading junior in multi-million pound bond warehouse excise fraud. Proceedings stayed during re-trial on grounds of non-disclosure.


Reported Cases

R v. Chrysostomou [2010] EWCA Crim 1403. Represented the Crown in appeal against Firearms conviction where trial judge’s ruling that implied assertions contained in text messages were not hearsay and therefore admissible, was upheld. Conviction quashed on other grounds.

RCPO v. Taylor [2010] EWHC 715 (Admin). Appeal by RCPO (case stated) against decision of district judge that section 76 (2) MCA 1980 did not provide a power to postpone the issue of a warrant until the conclusion of a sentence (20 years) imposed for an offence to which the relevant confiscation order did not relate. Decision quashed but proceedings in magistrates’ court stayed on grounds of abuse of process.

Taylor v. City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2009] EWHC 1498 (Admin). Whether confiscation enforcement proceedings in the magistrates’ court relate to an indicatable offence such as to permit, under regulation 12 of the Criminal Defence Service Regulations, representation by an advocate.


Appointments and Qualifications

Elected Member of South Eastern Circuit (SEC) Committee

Criminal Bar Association Executive Committee

Senior SEC representative on Bar Council General Committee.

Authorised to undertake public access work