Nicholas Berry

Year Of Call: 
2004

Practice details 

Instructed to defend or prosecute in a wide variety of criminal cases at Crown Court and Appellate level, including allegations of serious violence, sexual offences, dishonesty, supply and cultivation of drugs.   Recent instructions have included allegations of rape, kidnap, aggravated burglary, multi-handed conspiracies.  Has particular experience of representing young or otherwise vulnerable defendants.   

Receives prosecution instructions from the Crown Prosecution Service, Department of Work and Pensions, and the UK Border Agency.   

Recent instructions have included : 

Judicial Review

  • Successful argument that the decision of a Magistrates' Court to proceed to conclude a part-heard trial in the absence of the Defendant was 'Wednesbury unreasonable'  -  R (on the application of Drinkwater) v Solihull Magistrates’ Court [2012] EWHC 765 (Admin)

Violence    

  • defendant charged with robbery and possession of firearms  : 'highly organised' targeting of two high-street jewellers, firearms discharged
  • represented defendant charged with kidnapping, robbery, Section 18 wounding :  sustained and vicious attack including burning
  • defendant charged with 13 offences of robbery, 'car jacking' high value vehicles, force used included threats with handgun and pistol whipping :  successfully argued against finding of 'dangerousness' despite defendant's previous convictions for robbery
  • represented nightclub doorman charged with causing grievous bodily harm to customer, issue of self-defence : acquitted by Jury
  • defendant charged with Section 18 wounding, incident captured on CCTV - acquitted by Jury
  • represented 15 year old charged with affray, one of five defendants in Crown Court trial - acquitted by Jury
  • instructed by police to apply for Violent Offender Order in respect of a prisoner due for release, whose previous convictions included serious attacks upon prostitutes

Sexual offences 

  • defendant acquitted of 4 offences of rape
  • represented defendant acquitted of sexual assault upon a sleeping woman
  • defendant charged with multiple counts of sexual assault upon his five year old granddaughter, acquitted by jury
  • represented elderly defendant acquitted of multiple offences of sexual assault on a child
  • defendant acquitted of offences of sexual assault on a child :  issue of belief as to child's age
  • represented defendant, opposing application for Foreign Travel Order : defendant had served custodial sentence for sexual offences against children outside the UK, and intended to return overseas

Fraud and dishonesty

  • represented an employee of a major clearing bank who had conspired to commit fraud, including the transfer of £260K to fictitious accounts : sentence of imprisonment suspended
  • represented defendant charged with conspiracy to steal property worth over £110K from commercial premises throughout theMidlands, case involved substantial CCTV, ANPR and telephone cell-site evidence  
  • represented student nurse charged with benefit fraud arising from receipt of bursary during benefit claim - acquitted by Jury

Drugs 

  • defendant charged with producing cannabis valued at £300K ('very sophisticated industrial operation') - Suspended Sentence Order successfully argued due to defendant’s mental health difficulties

Other   

  • defendant charged with Class A drug offences, money laundering, conspiracy to manage brothels :  part of a sophisticated criminal organisation
  • represented defendant with Asperger's Syndrome, allegations of prolonged course of harassment of similarly vulnerable persons, through internet chat rooms  :  issues regarding the use of intermediaries, and other special measures
  • represented a defendant charged with offences in relation to threats to detonate a bomb in a public building, in an incident which caused evacuation and closure of parts ofWalsalltown centre : acquitted by Jury
  • defendant convicted of arson with intent to endanger life :  suspended sentence imposed following mitigation  (defendant had suffered PTSD following army service in the Middle East)
  • represented defendant who set fire to psychiatric hospital where he was an in-patient :  special verdict of 'not guilty by reason of insanity'
  • defendant charged with causing death by dangerous driving, who had turned into the path of an oncoming cyclist, causing her death : acquitted by Jury

 

Inquests

Experienced in representing the interests of clients involved in Coroner's Inquests, where there is a link to criminal proceedings.   Recently represented the family of grandfather Mohammed Saleem who had been stabbed and killed outside a Birmingham mosque :  obtained an order for release of the body for burial, prior to identification of a suspect.   

 

Direct Access

Accredited under the Direct Access procedure and in suitable cases is happy to accept instructions direct from members of the public.   Please see the Direct Access section of the website for further details.