Graham Reeds QC
- Called to the Bar: 1984
- Queen’s Counsel: 2009
- 2006-2009 Principal Crown Advocate in the Organised Crime Division
- 2010 to date Queen’s Counsel in the Special Crime & Counter Terrorism Division specialising in homicide cases
Career to date
Before joining the CPS Organised Crime Division as one of the first Principal Crown Advocates in 2006, I was in private practise at 11 King’s Bench Walk in the Temple and on the North-Eastern Circuit.
My early practise was in criminal law and common law civil (mainly personal injury work) until the mid-1990s when I started to specialise in crime. By then a grade 4 prosecutor, my practise started to consist of heavyweight prosecutions. Between 1997 and 2001 I appeared as a junior in several substantial drugs, firearms and murder cases. From about 2002 I was regularly prosecuting cases alone against silks.
Between 1992 and 1994 I wrote two books on computer software for lawyers and from 1997 to date I have written and updated computer software published by Sweet & Maxwell for practitioners in personal injury. That background has equipped me for prosecuting cases that contain a substantial amount of technology-related evidence.
Since being appointed Queen’s Counsel in March 2009, in addition to current cases, I have prosecuted the following concluded cases against QCs and other leading counsel.
R v Mansell & Kinsley (Winchester Crown Court, January 2012 before Mr Justice Males)
The defendants acted together to stab a neighbour. M claimed diminished responsibility and called the psychiatrist instructed by the prosecution in support, but both defendants were convicted of murder after a 12 day trial.
R v Akib Ali (Birmingham Crown Court, November 2012, before Judge M Inman QC)
Prosecution of a 15 year old boy for murder after a fight at a mosque. The defendant claimed self defence but was convicted of manslaughter after a two week trial.
R v Scott & Walton (Newcastle Crown Court before Mr Justice Popplewell, October 2012)
Prosecution of two young persons for murder after a fight outside a pub started by the deceased person. Difficult neuropathological evidence meant the case focussed on technical legal issues relating to joint enterprise.
R v Cooper (Nottingham Crown Court, October 2012 before the Recorder of Nottingham)
The defendant pleaded guilty shortly before trial to murder by stabbing his friend five times in the abdomen.
R v Jenkins (Manchester Crown Court before Mr Justice Wilkie July 2012)
The defendant was tried for the brutal murder of a man whom they lured to a flat and then attacked. He was punched, kicked and butted to the ground, hit on the head with a hammer, stabbed and then shot in the head. After death he was decapitated and his body burned. The trial lasted 3 weeks and focussed on a detailed presentation of forensic evidence to identify the defendant as a participant in the attack. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 32 years.
R v Hannah Bonser (Sheffield Crown Court before Mr Justice Cranston, June 2012)
The defendant had a history of mental difficulties. She stabbed a 13 year old girl in the park for no apparent reason. At her trial there was a very detailed focus on the issues of diminished responsibility. The defendant was convicted of murder after a two-week trial.
R v Florian Baboi (Birmingham Crown Court, March 2012)
Defendant convicted of murder after an 8 day trial and failing in defence of loss of control.
R v JM & SM (Newcastle Crown Court, before Mr Justice Christopher Clarke (Feb 2012); and in the Court of Appeal (Nov 2012)
Manslaughter case where the victim died from blood loss due to a ruptured aneurysm in a person thought previously to be fit and well. Issues on the case turned on foreseeability in light of the cause of death. The successful prosecution appeal (before the Lord Chief Justice) against the trial judge’s terminating ruling on the law is reported at  1 Cr. App. R. 10.
R v N.H. (Wolverhampton Crown Court, February 2012 before Mr Justice MacDuff)
Defendant convicted (after two-week trial) of manslaughter after the unintentional discharge of a shortened shotgun, acquired for retaliation against a rival gang, killed his own friend. The prosecution successfully appealed against the judge’s terminating ruling at the close of their case.
R v Masefield (Birmingham Crown Court, February 2012 before the Recorder of Birmingham)
Historical homicide from 1987 where the defendant’s involvement in a killing only came to light in 2011. Defendant pleaded guilty before trial to manslaughter and sentenced to 11½ years imprisonment. Reported on appeal at  Crim. L.R. 899.
R v Cleary (Liverpool Crown Court, February 2012 before the Recorder of Liverpool)
On the first day of trial the defendant pleaded guilty to murdering his wife after a knife attack on her.
R v Adams (Leeds Crown Court, November 2011 before the Recorder of Leeds)
Defendant convicted (after a two-week trial) of murdering his ex-girlfriend by strangling her with the strap of her handbag during a violent argument.
R v Day & Williams (Preston Crown Court, November 2011)
Technical, but important (and successful), argument concerning the validity of the DPP’s authorisation for Serious Crime Prevention Orders.
R v Forster (Newcastle Crown Court, December 2011 before the Recorder of Newcastle upon Tyne)
The defendant pleaded guilty shortly before trial to murdering his wife of 25 years.
R v Royle (Liverpool Crown Court, November 2011 before the Recorder of Liverpool)
Defendant pleaded guilty to murder following a knife attack on his flatmate.
R v Fowkes (Hull CC, October 2011, before Mr Justice Coulson)
Prosecution of a Damien Fowkes for killing convicted sex offender Colin Hatch at Full Sutton prison and attempting to kill the Soham murderer Ian Huntley by slashing his throat in prison with a razor. There were significant psychiatric issues and the prosecution eventually accepted pleas of guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, and to attempted murder. The defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.
R v Regan & Purewal (Birmingham Crown Court, June-July, before 2011 Judge Head)
Complex point on abuse of process in confiscation proceedings following events at the original trial.
R v Lotey, Lotey & Panesar (Wolverhampton CC, July 2011, before Judge Warner)
Prosecution of 2 sons and their cousin for killing their mother’s new partner following the breakdown of her marriage to their father. The crime had been categorised as an “honour killing” by the police and the defendants pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which was accepted.
R v Brown (Reading CC, May 2011 before Mr Justice Cooke)
Prosecution of a husband for killing his wife, whom he then buried in Windsor Great Park. The defendant was convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to 26 years imprisonment. Appeal against sentence later dismissed by Court of Appeal and reported at  2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 27.
R v Grady (Birmingham CC, March 2011 before Mr Justice Lindblom)
Successful prosecution (after a three-week trial) of a father for murdering one child and attempting to murder the other after driving them (and himself) deliberately into a river.
R v Fabian (Maidstone CC, February 2011, before Judge Patience QC)
Prosecution of army reservist for attempting to murder his wife by attaching a grenade to her car as a booby trap. The defendant was convicted after a two week trial.
R v Mosley & McKenna (Teesside CC, December 2010, before Mr Justice Colman Treacy)
Prosecution of two 15 year olds for murder of a homeless man in Darlington by kicking him to death. The defendants were convicted of manslaughter after a 2 week trial.
R v James Thornley (Teesside CC, October 2010 before Mr Justice Calvert-Smith)
Prosecution for murder after the defendant stabbed his neighbour to death and ran the defence of provocation at trial. After the defendant’s conviction for manslaughter the sentence appeal is a reported authority on manslaughter by reason provocation, considering the effect of paragraph 5A of schedule 21 when the defendant used a knife to kill but carried out the killing a short distance from where he obtained the knife. Reported in the Court of Appeal at  2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 62.)
R V Marshall (Birmingham CC, September 2010 before the Recorder of Birmingham)
Prosecution for murder after the defendant stabbed to death his mother’s partner. Psychiatric evidence suggested drug-induced psychosis which permitted accepting a plea of guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility.
Operation Caddy (Leeds Crown Court. (June-July 2010 before Mr Justice Butterfield)
Prosecution of a 4-handed murder trial against the background of a cannabis cultivation enterprise. The brief consisted of 10,000 pages of evidence, 80,000 pages of unused, and 300 witnesses. I was asked to advise whether there was sufficient evidence to charge the defendants with murder. I advised there was sufficient evidence of murder against 2 defendants and of perverting the course of justice against the other 2. All defendants were represented by QC and junior, and all were convicted of the original charges after a 5 week trial.
R v Steven Hodgson Teesside Crown Court. (May 2010 before Mr Justice Davis)
Prosecution of a career burglar for the murder of an 85 year-old lady in the course of burgling her home. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum term of 34years.
R v McNally, Newcastle Crown Court, April 2010
Prosecution for murder of a defendant convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, who died two years after the defendant had been convicted and sentenced.
R v Peter Chapman, Teesside CC Mar 2010 before the Recorder of Middlesbrough
Prosecution of a serial sex offender for murder, kidnapping & rape, in what became known in the national press as the Facebook Killer case. The defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum term of 35 years. In 2012 I appeared in the documentary Evil up Close (Sky TV) in relation to this case.
R v Hanif & Hussain Bradford CC February 2010
Prosecution for murder of 2 from a gang of 4 men who stabbed to death the proprietor of a brothel in an unsuccessful attempt to rob him of the takings. The two defendants were demonstrated to be the 2 least involved gang members and a decision was taken to offer a written agreement under s73 of the Serious Crime and Police Act 2005, by which Hanif agreed to give evidence against the other 3 men in return for a discounted sentence. I advised the police during the course of these proceedings. The decision was successful to the extent that 2 of the remaining 3 members were convicted of manslaughter on his evidence, and the remaining defendant was convicted at trial of conspiracy to rob.
R v Tozer Hull CC January 2010
Prosecution of 1 19 year old man for murder of an 80 year old neighbour during the course of burgling her home. Defendant pleaded guilty before trial and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years
Operation Narratio, Winchester CC September to November 2009 before Judge P Hooton and unsuccessful appeals against conviction(s) in the Court of Appeal reported as R. v Tamiz (Shannon) and others  EWCA Crim 2638.
Eight defendants were convicted after a 12 week trial of conspiracies to import heroin and cannabis by concealing it in shipping containers. Almost all the evidence was from surveillance or was recorded in Bengali on a RIPA authorised probe that produced 900 pages of translated material and was challenged by the defence. The main task was to make the case manageable, which we did, and all defendants were convicted of everything on the indictment. The main defendant was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Appeal against convictions (or renewal of applications to appeal) in respect of 6 defendants successfully defended.
R v Button, Northampton CC July 2009
A media-sensitive prosecution of an adult son who supplied a firearm and ammunition to his father, who was terminally ill in hospital, and who later used it to commit suicide.
Operation Adject, Preston CC June 2009
Five defendants were convicted after a three week trial of trafficking a young woman into the UK for sexual exploitation and then ‘selling’ her to traffickers living in Wales.
Before taking silk I prosecuted cases for the Organised Crime Division.
Organised Crime Division cases – an overview
Almost all of the organised crime cases I prosecuted since 2006 involved substantial multiple defendants, quantities of evidence, RIPA authorised directed and/or intrusive surveillance (probes and/or cameras), Preston material, and substantial pre-trial challenges to disclosure and applications for stays of the indictment. Several were defended by silks.
Following each prosecution there were confiscation proceedings – often more difficult and complex than the trials that generated the convictions. Conducting POCA hearings at this level requires expert knowledge of procedure and the law.
Operation Leydon (Manchester and Chester Crown Courts 2007-2009)
A series of trials where the principal defendant ("PF") was charged with money laundering and had £2.1m in assets under restraint and at risk of confiscation. The remaining eight defendants were charged with assisting him and/or with mortgage fraud. The defendants included a solicitor, estate agent, financial advisor and four members of PF’s family. PF tried to challenge his 1995 conviction for drug trafficking – causing huge disclosure and other legal challenges which he lost - and eventually he pleaded guilty. The confiscation hearing for PF and his cousin RF was one of the largest and technically the most complex undertaken by SOCA, with a benefit of several million pounds alleged against each defendant.
Operation Maceratio (R v Khan & Hussain; R v Yildiz) (Sheffield Crown Court 2007)
Two prosecutions for heroin trafficking. Defendant in Yildiz the defendant pleaded guilty to supplying up to ½ tonne of heroin. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. In Khan the defendant was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.
R v Lundon (Warrington Crown Court, 2007, before Judge Hale)
Successful prosecution of a professional money launderer after a two-week trial.
R v Rita Downey (Liverpool Crown Court, 2008)
Large and complicated confiscation case involving valuations of overseas property and investigation into ownership through third parties.
Scott Myveld (Liverpool Crown Court, 2008)
Similar case to Downie involving tracing and valuing property in Cyprus.
Campion & Mackie (Liverpool Crown Court, 2008)
Prosecution of the defendants for money laundering and cocaine trafficking in the UK.
Operation Lacert (Sheffield Crown Court, 2007, and in the Court of Appeal as R v Burbidge, Newell & Bunn  EWCA Crim 3331)
This involved the prosecution of 10 defendants for conspiracy to supply class A, B and C controlled drugs worth about £4 million in South Yorkshire. The evidence ran to 2,200 pages and 218 witnesses. After receipt of the case opening seven defendants pleaded guilty. The remaining three defendants were split into two trials. One was represented at trial by a silk and junior but all were convicted. The confiscation proceedings were heard as a series of largely contested hearings over 2 days in 2008.
Operation Girder (Warrington Crown Court, 2007, and in the Court of Appeal as R v Kvec (Remus)  2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 90
The defendant, the ringleader of a gang, was convicted of organised smuggling of Roma Gypsy children for arranged/forced marriages. He was sentenced to 8 years' imprisonment which was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
Operation Celery 3 (Blackfriars Crown Court, 2006-7, and in the Court of Appeal as R v Pettit  EWCA Crim 1094)
The defendant was a UK national living in Madrid who was extradited and indicted for conspiracy to import and supply cocaine worth £12 million. The case involved questions of whether the defendant's extradition was lawful (it was) and whether using telephone intercept obtained in Spain was an abuse of process (it wasn't). The evidence and legal argument took place over one-and-a-half weeks. I called the Chief Prosecutor to the Spanish Supreme Court (the Spanish Attorney-General's advisor on extradition) to give expert evidence at the hearing. I also called the Commander of the Guardia Civil. The defendant lost the legal argument and eventually pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 22 years' imprisonment.
R v Eldridge (Southwark Crown Court, June 2008, before the Recorder of Westminster)
Prosecution of the defendant for trafficking cocaine. The defendant was convicted and sentenced to 11 years imprisonment.
Operation Tiger-Fenix (Preston Crown Court, 2006-07)
Eight defendants (four of whom were foreign nationals) were convicted of importing cocaine worth £6.5 million by organising for it to be sailed on a yacht from Brazil and landed on the South Wales coast.
Operation Cateran (Liverpool Crown Court, June 2006 and in the Court of Appeal as R v Farrell  EWCA Crim 511)
The eight defendants were convicted of conspiracy to supply amphetamine worth £8.2 million, ecstasy worth £1.5 million, and cocaine worth £0.5 million. The amphetamine was found in a mixing factory, which the judge described as set up on an "almost unimaginable scale". The evidence ran to 4,000 pages and 224 witnesses.
Just before leaving private practice I appeared in the following cases against silks:
Operation Bungalow (Teesside Crown Court 2005)
Kidnapping and blackmail by one criminal gang against a member of another. I appeared as leading counsel for the defence of defendant no 5 in a 52 day trial. All other defendants and prosecution were represented by QC and junior counsel. This defendant was one of only two acquitted.
R v Swindon & Peart (Teesside Crown Court and in the Court of Appeal as AG's Ref (Nos.108 and 109 of 2005)  2 Cr. App. R. (S.) 80)
I prosecuted this alone in the Crown Court and the case then went to the Court of Appeal on the meaning of "sadistic murder" for the purposes of the starting point for the minimum term of a life sentence.
R v S & L (2005, and in the Court of Appeal as R (Gazette Media) v Teesside Crown Court  EWCA Crim 1983)
I prosecuted this alone in the Crown Court against silk and junior for each defendant. It involved a conspiracy by two defendants whereby one would rape his daughter and film it for the internet. The defendants had never met but were members of the same paedophile chat room. I later advised on the issue of reporting restrictions and Article 10 ECHR when the press challenged the judge's order restricting publication of the details of the trial.
Operation Imago (Teesside Crown Court 2004)
I appeared as defence counsel in large scale trial involving extensive legal arguments and examination of the police methods of investigation. The trial took nine months before the indictment was stayed as an abuse of process.
Graham Reeds QC
Special Crime & Counter Terrorism Division HQ, York