James Tucker

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James is an easy to instruct criminal barrister. Renowned for his hard work and diligent client care he enjoys has a loyal following of solicitors who rely on his willingness to deal with vulnerable and challenging clients. He defends and prosecutes the most serious and complex cases in the Crown Court including murder. Well known for his ability to deal with technical defences in he is also a specialist in proceeds of crime applications. He is a CPS Grade 3 prosecutor and is on the rape panel. He has significant experience in challenging the decisions of the criminal courts in the High Court using judicial review. He complements his mainstream criminal practice with regulatory and maritime work. James is trained can advise and represent clients through the direct access scheme.

Judicial review and abuse of process

James has a particular interest in this uniquely useful area for criminal lawyers. He is always happy to advise those unfamiliar with the process of making or resisting an application in the High Court.

R (AS) v Cardiff Crown Court 2014: successful judicial review of a decision to revoke bail. AS was subsequently acquitted.

  1. (MB) v Gwent Magistrates’ Court [2012] EWHC 3550 (Admin): conviction quashed after a successful judicial review of the District Judge’s refusal to state a case where the Defendant admitted the offence in the PSR.

R (on the application of Smith) v CPS [2010] EWHC 3593 (Admin): successful application in the High Court to quash a CPS decision to proceed to trial in pursuance of domestic violence policy. The prosecution was deemed an abuse of process and an affront to justice.

R (on the application of Birmingham City Council) v Birmingham Crown Court [2009] EWHC 3329 (Admin); [2010] 1 W.L.R. 1287; [2010] P.T.S.R. 1229; (2010) 174 J.P. 185; [2010] A.C.D. 34; Times, January 05, 2010: successful resistance to a High Court application to quash leave granted to two youths to appeal their ASBOs (see Criminal Law Week CLW/10/01/06)

Regulatory and maritime

James deals with cases involving both individuals and companies alleged to have committed offences contrary to an array of regulations.

R v NP & Another: HSE defence in domestic gas fitting case

R v D & Another: defence of fast food franchise and manager in relation to kitchen hygiene

R v Bashir: led in a Trading Standards case of international counterfeit clothing conspiracy operating on eBay

R v Mossman: Maritime & Coastguard Agency cockling prosecution

R v F & Another: due diligence defence of a limited company and director to allegations of import of counterfeit Honda motorcycle from China and its advertising for sale

R v JF; led in an alleged criminal liability of members of an unincorporated association (golf club) for strict liability offences under the environmental regulations for an oil leak into a reservoir


James accepts instructions on inquests which touch on criminal proceedings, in particular where charges have already been brought or are under consideration.

Re Dan Stephenson: jury inquest investigating the death of a young chef who suffered an epileptic fit in a commercial kitchen

Fraud, money laundering, dishonesty and confiscation

This is an area that forms a large part of James’s practice. Offences range from straight burglary, thefts in breach of trust and benefit fraud through to complex and lengthy Fraud Act offences. Confiscation matters routinely involve allegations of jointly held assets (such as family homes held with spouses and ex-spouses), overseas assets and tainted gifts. He has advised clients after orders have been made as to how to vary orders and appeal them.

R v Habane 2016: International tax evasion case covering multi million pound business activity in the UK, EU, Somaliland and the Indian Ocean

R v O’C & others 2015 and 2016: Multi-handed IFA fraud targeting vulnerable, elderly victims

R v Cossins-Price 2015: Welsh gold mine fraud

R v Harris [2010] EWCA Crim 2515: Court of Appeal confiscation appeal of HHJ Ticehurst’s judgement in which the assumptions on benefit were largely overturned

R v Salter [2010] EWCA Crim 2429: Inconsistent verdicts appeal in relation to credit card fraud

R v Davies: successful defence to fraud allegations based on the defendant’s lack of beneficial interest in real property despite having full legal title

R v Chan: multi-million pound VAT fraud and subsequent confiscation proceedings involving assets based in the UK, Hong Kong and mainland China

Drugs and related conspiracies

James routinely deals with drugs cases, including cases from street level supply & possession through to kilos of import quality cocaine. He has also represented foreign nationals with no English alleged to be involved in the cultivation of cannabis.

R v Taylor: multi-kilo cocaine distribution case

R v McIntosh: application to quash an indictment for want of evidence despite uncontested committal proceedings in a serious drugs and money laundering case

Violence, firearms, robbery and offences against the person

James has appeared in trials ranging from murder to the armed robbery of a drug dealer. Firearms work includes advising on the technicalities of minimum term cases especially disguised firearms. He also regularly advises on dangerousness.

R v C 2015: acquittal in alleged s 18 machete attack after trial in absence

R v Gill [2010] EWCA Crim 1154: Court of Appeal reversal of a HHJ Lambert’s finding of dangerousness after a plea on a basis to a crack house stabbing

R v Booth: led in a VHCC multi-handed post-mortem allegation of care home neglect involving

R v G (a youth): branding allegation involving cross examination of a 6 year old complainant

R v Caley-Knowles [2006] EWCA Crim 1611; [2006] 1 W.L.R. 3181; [2007] 1 Cr. App. R. 13; [2007] Crim. L.R. 61; Times, October 4, 2006: Criminal Cases Review Commission referral to the Court of Appeal involving historic convictions misdirected by the judge (see Criminal Law Week CLW/06/34/11 and Archbold at 4-411)

R v H: vulnerable female defendant suffering from MS who was alleged to have technically assaulted a police officer who was arresting her in the course of a suicide attempt


James appear in cases involving the most serious allegations, both under the 2003 Act and historic provisions. He is used to dealing with cases involving vulnerable witnesses, including children.

R v Stephens 2015: Stranger attack and false imprisonment

R v DB 2015: acquittal after trial in family historic allegations (Swindon Crown Court)

R v TB 2015: acquittal after trial in family historic allegations (Swansea Crown Court)

R v Grender 2015: mitigation to secure a suspended sentence in an extremely serious case where the Defendant had offended as a child whilst suffering from PTSD triggered by his sister’s rape and murder

R v I: allegation of sexual assaults by a teacher; numerous child witnesses

R v N: historic familial rape allegations from multiple family members going back to the 1970s

‘Recommended for cases involving murder, serious sexual offences and violent crime.’ - Legal 500 2018 Contact Us

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