Charley Pattison

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Charley was awarded a Pegasus Scholarship and spent three months working at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Charley focussed on cases brought against the UK and covered a broad range of human rights abuses including right to life, right to fair trial and a number of very interesting privacy cases.

Charley joined the crime team as a tenant in October 2014 and has a busy defence and prosecution practice in the Crown, Youth and Magistrates’ Court. Charley is a Grade 2 panel advocate and a member of the CPS Serious Crime Group.

Charley is instructed as trial counsel in matters relating to drugs supply, sexual offences, violence, fraud and burglary. She also has experience of confiscation proceedings for both prosecution and defence at all stages.

‘Charley is very client-friendly, and quickly builds good rapport with clients. In my view, Charley is particularly impressive on her feet, a supremely effective cross-examiner, and a calm persuasive voice that gets the point across to the court. All told, she exudes maturity and a skill-set far beyond her year of call.’ – Instructing Solicitor

‘I am so grateful for your professional skills. At all times I felt that you did everything that you could within very difficult circumstances. I am happy, grateful and content . You achieved more than I expected and I will never forget what you did for me.’  – Lay Client

Recent instructions include:

Sexual Offences

R v JS Worcester Crown Court (2018)

Represented at trial JS, accused of historic sexual offences committed against his step-daughter. Following mixed verdicts and highly relevant, prejudicial previous convictions secured a suspended sentence.

R v GA Bristol Crown Court (2017)

Junior Defence Counsel in complex multi complainant Historic Rape & Sexual Assault case. Sensitive third party disclosure and novel non defendant bad character issues.  Responsible for cross examination of witnesses and argument as to admissibility.

R v GG Swindon Crown Court (2017)

Successfully defended at trial a 20 year old man with learning difficulties who had been accused of 14 counts of sexual assault on 5 difference boys aged between six and twelve. Cross-examined the vulnerable complainants over a two day period with limited questions permitted.

R v DG Swindon Crown Court) (2017)

Successfully defended a man accused of sexual penetration of his wife’s best friend. A very emotive case where it was successfully argued that recent sexual history should be before the jury and be cross-examined upon.

R v IS (2017)

Instructed to represent IS where allegations of indecent (sexual) assault, false imprisonment and threats to kill had been made in the late 1990’s. The complainant was a very vulnerable witness and other witnesses had language and memory problems. The jury returned not guilty verdicts in relation to sexual assault and threats to kill and a sentence of 12 months was passed for false imprisonment, and 6 months for contempt of court/bail act offence of absconding for 18 years.

R v SB Swindon Crown Court (2016)

Representing a young muslim male accused of violent and sustained sexual assault. The trial was religiously and culturally complex and requiring a sensitive and measured approach to cross-examination of the complainant who had been disowned by her family for being alone in her home with a male friend. Despite strong forensic and telephone evidence, and a witness who heard the attack over the telephone; SB was acquitted on one of the three counts on the indictment.

R v H Bristol Crown Court (2016)

Prosecution of stranger approaching and sexually assaulting a young Muslim woman. Issues of race and culture were central in the case.

R v RC Salisbury Youth Court (2015)

Representing a 17 year old defendant accused of sexual touching of a 14 year old. Many young witnesses, including one who had made a previous complaint. Issues of bad character and vulnerable witnesses.

In the news:

Defended ‘a sex offender who molested a dementia suffering grandma while on a suspended sentence for abusing a child has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.’


R v PR Bristol Crown Court (2017)

Instructed to prosecute a prisoner accused of inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm on another prisoner whilst serving at HMP Bristol. The complainant is deceased and his statement was adduced as hearsay. The defendant was convicted and three years added to his existing sentence.

R v PW & DB Bristol Crown Court (2017)

Successfully prosecuted a two handed s.20 Grievous Bodily Harm where two men had attacked bar staff in a village pub. Half a day of the four-day trial was used for a legal argument relating to joint-enterprise.

R v MA & Others Swansea Crown Court (2016)

Represented MA, facing one count of s.18 Grievous Bodily Harm. Convicted of s.20. MA had significant bad character and had stamped repeatedly on an unconscious complainant’s head whilst he was lying over a kerb.

R v MO Taunton Crown Court (2016)

Prosecution of a street preacher accused of common assault for words and behaviour he used relating to homosexuality and Islam. Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights were engaged and questions as to the issue of ‘bearing witness’, public reactions to speech, the absence of a right not to be offended and the need for protection of controversial speech were argued. There were also arguments as to the admissibility of Prosecution evidence and the defendant’s Article 6 rights to a fair trial.

R v Kane Jones Court Of Appeal, Criminal Division [2015] EWCA Crim 1317

Defending KJ at trial on allegations of domestic violence where hearsay evidence of the complainant who had not attended was admitted. The Court admitted the evidence under s.114(1)(d). On reading my advice the single judge was persuaded to grant leave to appeal and I later argued the case before the full court. The conviction was quashed, the Court finding Article 6 ECHR was engaged.

R v DH Swindon Crown Court (2015)

Successfully argued there was no case to answer to both counts on the indictment. The defendant, who was accused of affray and common assault for threatening to fire a bow and arrow at a police officer holding a taser, suffered from significant mental health problems and the trial proceeded in his absence. Submissions that affray was not made out (supported by R v Plavecz and R v Sanchez) were accepted, and through cross-examination of the police witnesses, self defence was not disproved on the prosecution case.

R v JS Bristol Crown Court (2015)

Representing JS, securing acquittal on two counts on a four-count indictment. Counts included common assault, ABH and making threats to kill. JS was convicted of common assault and threats to kill but in representing him at sentencing, was able to persuade the court to make a suspended sentence order.


Fraud and Dishonesty Offences

R v SK Bristol Crown Court (2017)

Instructed to prosecute a robbery whereby the complainant was gagged, had his hands bound and his house ransacked in a drugs related feud.

R v  JB & Others (2017)

Instructed to prosecute a multi-handed fraud.

R v MP & Others (2016)

Successfully argued that the case against MP, accused of multiple counts of trading standards breaches, should be dismissed.

R v BB Bristol Crown Court (2014)

Represented BB from preliminary hearing through to trial. BB was accused of a fraud against his company of £15,000. He was acquitted on all counts following a three day trial.


R v SH Bristol Crown Court (2017)

Instructed to represent SH who is accused of Possession with Intent to Supply Class A drugs. Issues of entrapment arose out of this large police operation.

R v SS & Others Bristol Crown Court (2016)

Representing SS in a multi handed drugs conspiracy. Following successful legal argument relating to public interest immunity issues, the case against all three defendants was not proceeded with.

R v CD Bristol Crown Court (2015)

Instructed as trial Counsel to represent CD, accused of supply of Class A and Class B drugs (MDMA and cannabis) in a nightclub. Following a guilty plea, CD was given a two year suspended sentence.

R v PM  Gloucester Crown Court (2015)

Defending at trial someone alleged to have supplied Class B drugs at Glastonbury festival. Successfully argued expert evidence was not admissible.

R v M Bristol Crown Court

Successfully defended M, accused of possession of Class A drugs and common assault.

Actions Against the Police & Inquests

Representing the claimant, a woman who had significant mental health issues and a know history of self-harm but who was placed in a custody cell without proper assessment of regular checks. X tried to take her own life.

Representing the claimant, a police informant, who has had threats to his life due to a letter uploaded to Facebook. The letter had only been provided to two police officers and contained extremely sensitive information.

Representing the claimant bringing the claim as the administrator of the deceased’s estate. The deceased was known to police and was taken whilst intoxicated to a highly unsuitable location (not custody) where she later died.

Careless/Dangerous driving

R v LB Swindon Magistrates’ Court

Instructed to represent LB, charged with careless driving when his van collided at high speed with the rear of two cyclists. Successfully made a s.8 application for disclosure of documents that ultimately assisted in securing an acquittal.

R v DL Bristol Crown Court

Dangerous driving sentencing hearing for a 19 year old with many previous driving convictions and many other aggravating features such as injuries to the public and injuries to passenger. Advanced mitigation and DL received a suspended sentence order.

R v CW Swindon Magistrates’ Court

Successfully kept a case of drink driving in the Magstrates’ Court where there were significant injuries to a number of child pedestrians and CW had only recently completed a period of disqualification for drink driving. Suspended sentence order.

Road Traffic

Charley has experience of prosecuting and defending speeding, exceptional hardship arguments, s.142 offences, drink driving, fail to stop and other similar road traffic offences.

Background and Education:

2004 – 2008 Business Administration and European Studies BSc : First Class Hons

2009 – 2011 CPE (part time) Pass

2011 – 2013 BPTC (part time): Very Competent


Lincoln’s Inn Denning Major BPTC Scholarship

University Prize for Outstanding Final Year Results

Other Information:

Charley is the Justice spokesperson for The Green Party, a trustee of the Avon and Bristol Law Centre and on the steering group for the Bristol Immigration Detention Campaign.

In her spare time Charley can be found wheezing her way up and down various hills and mountains on her bike, or braving the Atlantic on her surfboard.

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