Nicholas Robinson

Year of Call: 2006
Email Address: nick.robinson@3pb.co.uk
Secure Email: nick.robinson@3paper.cjsm.net
Telephone: 01202 292 102

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Overview

Nick Robinson is a criminal defence specialist. His work includes general and regulatory crime. He exclusively defends. He specializes in heavyweight criminal cases, in particular murder, manslaughter, inflicting GBH with intent, conspiracy to supply controlled drugs and serious sexual offences.

For more information on Nick please see his specialist profiles or visit his external website Nick Robinson Barrister.

Privy Council

Led by John Aspinall QC Nick represented an appellant in a Commonwealth Caribbean appeal to the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal of Jamaica in respect of a capital murder conviction: R v Peter Stewart [2011] UKPC 11.

Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)

Nick is skilled in appellate advocacy having appeared in 32 appeals before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), namely 10 appeals against conviction and 22 appeals against sentence.

Pro bono

Nick Robinson was an intern at the Independent Jamaica Council of Human Rights in Kingston, Jamaica during summer 2004 working on death penalty cases having won a scholarship through the Centre of Capital Punishment Studies (University of Westminster) and the European Commission. Having been called to the Bar Nick has continued to represent Appellants in their appeals to the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal of Jamaica, including one case in which he represented four Appellants each of whom appealed against their convictions for capital murder.

Seminars & Training

  • World Bar Conference 2012 'Advocacy, past, present and future - constant values for a modern Bar
  • South Eastern Circuit International Advanced Advocacy Course, Keble College, Oxford (2009)
  • Human Rights: Taking Liberties Bar Conference 2007

Expertise

  • Crime
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    Nick Robinson is a criminal defence specialist involved in serious criminal cases. He is committed to providing the highest level of advice and representation across the full spectrum of criminal law. His work often involves cases relating to and arising from organised crime including murder, attempted murder, drug conspiracies and serious violence. He also has expertise in defending in cases involving serious sexual offences including rape, indecent images and historic sexual abuse. Nick provides expert advice and advocacy in relation to the full range of driving offences including speeding, dangerous and careless driving (including where death or serious injury arises), alcohol and drug related driving offences, failing to provide and failing to stop. Nick is skilled in appellate advocacy having appeared in 32 appeals before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), namely 10 appeals against conviction and 22 appeals against sentence. Further, Nick represented an appellant in a Commonwealth Caribbean appeal to the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal of Jamaica in respect of a capital murder conviction (Led by John Aspinall QC).

    Recent Crown Court trials have included indictments alleging murder, attempted murder, rape, sexual assault of children aged under 13, inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, conspiracy to import Class A drugs, possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of firearms without certificates, child cruelty and neglect, mortgage fraud and armed robbery (defence); inflicting grievous bodily harm, exposure, indecent assault, possession with intent to supply, fraud and burglary (prosecution).

    Nick’s practice is now devoted exclusively to defence work. He has developed an expertise in assisting those accused of wrongdoing and has appeared in several high-profile cases. Examples of his recent notable cases are as follows:

    Privy Council

    R v Peter Stewart [2011] UKPC 11
    Appeal against conviction for murder from the Court of Appeal of Jamaica to the Privy Council.

    Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)

    R v Thompson [2016] All ER (D) 56 (Dec)
    On the 9 December 2016 Nick Robinson appeared before the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), namely Elias LJ, Sweeney J and Judge Dean QC in an appeal against conviction and a renewed application for leave to appeal sentence, leave having been granted and refused respectively by the Single Judge Sir Stephen Silber. In 2015 at the age of 64 the Appellant was charged with committing four Indecent Assaults in 1972 when he was aged 21 years. The alleged victims were two sisters then aged 6 and 14 who came forward over 42 years after the event. Following the Appellant’s arrest in 2015 the Police examined the Appellant’s laptop and found 23 indecent images of children. At the trial for the Indecent Assaults the Crown applied to adduce this evidence to prove that the Appellant had a sexual interest in children in 1972. The Judge admitted the evidence despite the defendant’s objections on the basis the evidence was not capable of proving a propensity to commit indecent assaults in 1972 and to say otherwise would be to speculate; alternatively, if it did, the admission of the evidence would have such an adverse and prejudicial effect on the fairness of the proceedings that it ought not be admitted. The Appellant was found not guilty of the two Indecent Assaults alleged by the younger sister but guilty by a majority of 10 to 2 of the offences alleged by the elder sister. The Judge sentenced him to 12 months’ immediate imprisonment (6 months consecutive per offence). He appealed against the conviction and sentence. On appeal the defendant submitted that the trial Judge had erred in admitting the evidence because the possession of indecent images of children did not establish a propensity to commit offences of indecent assault some 40 years earlier. Alternatively, if the evidence had been admissible, it had had such an adverse and prejudicial effect on the fairness of the proceedings that the Judge should have excluded it under s 101(3) of the 2003 Act. The Court ruled that the issue for the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) was whether the decision of the Judge to admit the evidence had been a rational one, not whether the Court itself would have allowed the evidence to go before the jury. Applying the authorities, the Court held: the Judge had been entitled to rule that the material had been capable of establishing a propensity; given the lapse in time, some Judges might not have adduced the evidence; however, the jury had been told to take that gap into consideration when coming to their conclusion; notwithstanding the gap in time, it had been open to the Judge to admit the material; the evidence had not been of such potential prejudice that it deprived the defendant of a fair trial; there had been no error by the trial Judge for adducing the evidence. Accordingly, the appeal against conviction was dismissed. In respect of sentence Nick successfully persuaded the Full Court to grant leave to appeal, following refusal of the same by the Single Judge, and subsequently the Court allowed the appeal on the basis that the sentence of 12 months’ immediate imprisonment was manifestly excessive and wrong in principle. The Appellant received two consecutive sentences of 6 months for two indecent assaults against the same complainant some 42 years earlier when aged 21. The Court held that the terms of 6 months' imprisonment each, on counts 1 and 2, should in the circumstances of the case, have been imposed concurrent to one another. Accordingly, the Appellant's total sentence was reduced to one of 6 months' imprisonment thereby effecting his immediate release from custody.

    R v H [2014] EWCA Crim 168
    Nick represented the Appellant in his appeal against sentence. The Crown Court Judge had imposed a sentence of 4 years, reached a finding of "dangerousness" and passed an extended license period of 6 years. The Court of Appeal agreed that the sentence was manifestly excessive and wrong in principle. The sentence was quashed and substituted with a term of 2 years and 8 months. As the sentence was less than 4 years the finding of dangerousness and the extended license were also quashed.

    R v Mark Lee H [2014] EWCA Crim 855
    Nick represented the Appellant in his appeal against conviction and sentence. The Appellant had been tried and convicted by a jury in respect of serious sexual offences. He appealed against his conviction on the basis of information that came to light after the trial, which indicated that the Prosecution had failed to disclose relevant evidence. The Prosecution's investigation resulted in an admission by them that there had been a material non-disclosure. The Court of Appeal held that whilst this caused them "considerable concern" the convictions were not unsafe. The appeal against sentence was allowed. The Court of Appeal quashed the sentence of 3 years and substituted it with a term of 2 years.

    R v Mansell [2014]
    Nick represented the Applicant in her appeal against conviction for murder at Winchester Crown Court: BBC News

    R v Melling [2014] EWCA Crim 742
    Nick represented the Appellant in his appeal against conviction for murder at Liverpool Crown Court having pleaded guilty to the murder of his son: BBC News

    R v Smyth [2013] EWCA Crim 385 
    Nick appeared on behalf of the Appellant who successfully appealed his sentence of 18 months. The hearing took place over two days and the Court (Lord Chief Justice, Mackay J and Sweeney J) unanimously allowed the appeal, quashed the sentence of imprisonment and substituted it with a 2-year community order with a mental health treatment requirement.

    R v Morris [2013] EWCA Crim 350
    Nick represented the Applicant in his application for leave to appeal against his sentence of 16 months, which had been imposed by HHJ Harrow at Bournemouth Crown Court in November 2012. The sentence had been passed for 6 offences of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order ("SOPO"). Nick argued that the sentence was manifestly excessive in terms of its length; that it should have been less than 12 months imprisonment. The second ground of appeal was that the sentence should have been suspended and a programme requirement attached, namely a Sex Offender's Treatment Programme. Whilst the Court rejected the second ground, they allowed the application for leave in respect of the first. Their Lordships held that the sentence of 16 months was manifestly excessive. This was quashed and substituted with a sentence of 10 months.

    R v Knight [2013] EWCA Crim 2486
    Nick defended the Appellant in his appeal against a conviction for rape on the principle ground that the trial Judge erred in refusing to admit the evidence of the complainant’s previous false complaint of rape. The Court dismissed the appeal although it clarified the law in relation to the grounds for admitting such evidence, namely there must be a ‘proper evidential basis’ for concluding that there was a previous false complaint. Fulford J held (at para.50) that Nick’s submissions were “detailed and able”.

    R v Windle [2012] EWCA Crim 2379
    Nick represented the Appellant in his appeal against sentence. Mr Windle successfully appealed against a sentence passed upon him at Oxford Crown Court. The learned sentencing Judge had wrongly imposed a sentence pursuant to section 116 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. The Court of Appeal held that this was unlawful because section 116 was not in force at the time having been repealed in April 2005. Nick was instructed as fresh Counsel following the Crown Court proceedings on the basis of his experience of Appellate advocacy:

    R v Sherriff [2012] EWCA Crim 2381
    Nick represented the Appellant in his appeal against a sentence of 9 years for an offence of wounding with intent contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. In the judgment (at paragraph 8) Lord Justice Aikens held: "Mr Robinson has presented the arguments very concisely, clearly and persuasively".

    R v McDonald [2012] EWCA Crim 1757 
    Nick represented the Appellant in his appeal against sentence from the Crown Court at Bournemouth. He had been sentenced to 32 months for an offence of inflicting grievous bodily harm contrary to section 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The appeal was successful and Moses, LJ; Field, J and Keith, J reduced the sentence to 18 months.

    R v Dillon [2011] EWCA Crim 1454
    Nick represented the Appellant in an appeal against three convictions for sexual and indecent assaults on children. Owing to material misdirections in the Judge's summing up, Nick successfully argued that the convictions were unsafe and accordingly the convictions were quashed.

    R v Ahmed [2011] EWCA Crim 775
    Successful appeal against sentence for a sexual offence. The Court of Appeal substituted a sentence of six months' imprisonment with a community order.

    R v Lewis [2011] EWCA Crim 1510 
    The Court reduced a sentence of 16 weeks to 10 weeks in respect of an offence of possessing a bladed article in a public place.

    R v Woodcock [2011] EWCA Crim 1347 
    The Appellant received a sentence of 7 years and 6 months for six offences of dwelling burglary and a single offence of aggravated vehicle taking. The Recorder’s starting point for the burglaries was 9 years. Blair J held (at para.11): “It is submitted by Mr Robinson, who has argued this case well for the applicant, that this is excessive”. The Court agreed and quashed the sentence and substituted it with one of 6 years and 4 months.

    R v Moss [2010] EWCA Crim 2896 and [2011] EWCA Crim 252; [2011] Crim.L.R. 560, C.A. 
    Appeal against conviction revolving around (i) the admissibility of recognition evidence of police officers, (ii) Turnbull, (iii) Code D of PACE 1984, (iv) the jury being invited to look at a still image (from CCTV footage) of a person that is alleged to be the accused, and (without the benefit of any body mapping evidence) contrasting this with the defendant in the dock.

    R v Jacobs [2010] EWCA Crim 3074 
    A contested confiscation hearing where the Crown sought to confiscate over £200,000 resulted in an appeal to the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division). The Court acknowledged (at para.15) the “draconian” nature of the POCA regime.

    R v Kluver [2010] EWCA Crim 3237
    Successful appeal against sentence. The Court of Appeal reduced a compensation order of £23,000 to £2,880. Moses LJ held (at para.4): "There is ample authority for the proposition that counsel for the defence has so skilfully identified both in his written grounds and in his oral submissions and we are indebted to Mr Robinson for them". For reporting of the original case: Daily Echo

    R v Bennett [2010] EWCA Crim 1032
    A sentence of 21 months’ imprisonment for an offence of making a threat to kill was reduced to 15 months on the basis that the Crown Court Judge afforded insufficient weight to the cogent mitigation in the case (good character, young family, provocation caused by partner’s infidelity, full admissions, guilty plea and ill-health). Davis J held (at para.10): “Mr Robinson, on behalf of the Appellant, has put the case very well”.

    High Court

    R v Fitch
    Successful appeal against a conviction for failing to provide information, contrary to section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, on the basis that the requirement “to give” information does not include an obligation to ensure its safe receipt (this was an appeal by way of “case stated” to the High Court).

    Crown Court

    R v LD
    LD was alleged to have committed a sexual assault upon a lone female walking home from work along an underpass. The agreed evidence was that he came from behind and placed his hand inside her bra onto her right breast. The defendant’s case was that he had attempted to rob her of her handbag, which she had been cradling in her right arm, and when he went for the bag he inadvertently touched her breast in what was a non-sexual assault. This inadvertence and inability to execute the robbery came about through intoxication and an inability to see and judge the size of her breasts from behind. The defendant was found not guilty of sexual assault when the jury were discharged having been unable to reach a verdict and the Crown decided, in light of the evidence at trial in particular the cross-examination of the complainant, to accept a plea to attempt robbery. The defendant, who also fell to be sentenced for two thefts committed either side of the robbery, received a deferred sentence.

    R v JJ
    Nick defended JJ who was cleared of attacking a six-year-old girl whose bedroom he was found in after a night out drinking. JJ was accused of sexually assaulting the child after entering the house in Weymouth, Dorset, in the early hours of 18 October 2016. JJ had denied sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 and a second count of trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offence. He was cleared at Bournemouth Crown Court following a three-day trial. The prosecution told jurors the girl had been asleep in her bed when JJ entered the room and removed her "onesie" pyjamas. Jurors were told the girl later went into her parents' room and told them there was a man in her bedroom who had touched her. Prosecutors said her stepfather found JJ asleep in the child's bunk bed, naked from the waist down. JJ, of no fixed address, told the court he had no recollection of how he ended up in the house. He said he had a female friend who lived nearby and must have entered the wrong house by mistake after a night out drinking. Jurors, who returned a not guilty verdict, heard that none of his DNA was found on the girl's body and he had not previously committed any sexual offences. The case was reported in BBC News Bulletin (video), in BBC News and in The Sun.

    R v KC
    Led by Nigel Lickley QC Nick defended KC who was unanimously acquitted at Winchester Crown Court of attempted murder and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. KC was alleged to have knocked on the door of the complainant’s home and then fired a revolver twice at point blank range in an attempt to assassinate him: Bournemouth Echo. The issue in the case was mistaken identification. The complainant had instantly telephoned police and named the defendant who was known to him. The evidence included gunshot residue evidence, bad character evidence relating to the defendant’s purported involvement in an organized criminal network, cell site and ANPR evidence and over 100 hours of CCTV footage. A novel point of law arose relating to the admissibility of the hearsay evidence of three eyewitnesses who refused to attend court and whose comments to police at the scene in the aftermath of the shooting suggested that someone other than the defendant was the assassin: Daily Echo.

    R v KI
    Nick defended Mr Islam at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court in a trial on an indictment containing nine counts of alleged sexual assault made by three females who worked for the defendant at his restaurant. After a weeklong trial and just three minutes in retirement the jury returned an unanimous not guilty verdict on all counts. Further, the defendant managed to recover the majority of his privately funded legal fees after Nick made a successful application to the National Taxing Team for costs on the grounds this was an exceptional case.

    R v AM
    Nick defended Mr McBride who pleaded guilty to and fell to be sentenced for an offence of causing death by careless driving whilst unfit through drink. The defendant was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months imprisonment: BBC News

    R v JD 
    Mr Robinson represented as junior alone the defendant who was charged on an indictment containing an offence of Attempted Murder. Mr Darby suffered a psychotic episode and stabbed the victim multiple times to the skull, head and face. The issue was whether the defendant’s mental ill health was genuine, if so to what extent, and whether the victim triggered violence by sexually assaulted. The defendant was found not guilty of attempted murder owing to psychiatric evidence obtained on his behalf the Crown accepted a plea to an offence of GBH with intent contrary to section 18: Daily Express

    R v SB
    Nick defended Mr Bailey at his trial for an offence of inflicting GBH with intent contrary to section 18 OPA 1861. The complainant refused to leave the defendant’s home and threw the first punch. The defendant responded by using physical force and caused serious injuries in removing him from his home. The defendant successfully argued self-defence following a one-week trial.

    R v SB
    Successful defence at trial of a young defendant charged with a sexual activity with a child. The case involved a child complainant, child witnesses and a defendant who had the benefit of an Registered Intermediary throughout the trial. The defendant did not give evidence.

    R v PB
    Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Two defendants. Cutthroat defences. Defendant did not give evidence. Unanimous not guilty verdict. Co-defendant convicted.

    R v NP
    Led by Nigel Lickley QC Mr Robinson represented Mr Price at his trial lasting 3-weeks in respect of an indictment counts of murder and attempted murder. The defendant argued that he lost his self-control and acted in self-defence as a result of the complainants attempted rape and assault of his partner whose home the complainants were using as a base from which to sell drugs. Case involved gangland violence, firearms, Class A drugs, “cuckooing", bad character of defendant and non-defendants: BBC News and BBC News

    R v HS
    Nick defended the principal defendant in a four handed section 18 trial that lasted a week. The jury unanimously acquitted all defendants.

    R v JB
    Successful defence of a defendant charged with causing a danger to road users by interfering with a road vehicle contrary to section 23 RTA 1988. The defendant was alleged to caused the motor vehicle he was a rear passenger to crash. The three witnesses in the car including the driver all said he grabbed and yanked the steering wheel when the vehicle was travelling at about 70mph thus causing the vehicle to flip multiple times thereby occasioning serious injuries to those involved. The defendant denied doing so. The jury unanimously acquitted the defendant.

    R v CBC
    Nick represented the defendant in a two-handed weeklong section 18 trial. After a submission of no case to answer the defendant was acquitted by the jury upon the direction of the trial Judge. The issue was whether on the Crown’s own evidence taken at its highest the defendant was part of a joint enterprise wherein the co-accused stabbed the victim in the back.

    R v JG
    Nick defended Miss Gaffikin in a four-week trial involving three defendants al charged with conspiracy to inflict GBH with intent. Nick’s client was the principal defendant charged with masterminding and orchestrating a planned attack by a hit man hired from London who proceeded to assault the victim in the case thereby fracturing his spine following sustained attack that included stamping on the victim’s neck. The trial involved a frightened witness giving evidence over the live-link from Los Angeles California. The circumstances of the case included a background of organised crime (drug dealing), police informants and expert evidence: Daily Echo

    R v ZA
    Nick successfully defended Mr Akhtar in his appeal against a conviction for two offences, namely assault by beating and resisting arrest. The defendant was convicted in the Magistrates’ Court then appealed to the Crown Court and successfully advanced, with medical (psychiatric) evidence, the defence of non-insane automatism. Specifically, the case for the defence was that the defendant lacked capacity to understand his actions, which were without voluntary control as a result of the combination of his clinical depression, prescribed medication, and the alcohol he had consumed. He was unable to form mens rea due to suffering from involuntary intoxication and was suffering from a non-insane automatism brought about by the combination of his depressive illness, trauma and the effect of prescribed medication.

    R v AP
    Nick represented a defendant in a high-profile multi-million pound fraud at Winchester Crown Court that involved 5 defendants, 41 counts and over 20,000 pages. The issues in the case included the effect of police misconduct upon the fairness of the investigation and the integrity of the evidence in the case. The defendant was found not guilty: Daily Echo

    R v NR
    Nick represented NR who was tried for the murder of his father at Winchester Crown Court. The Crown’s case was that the victim was murdered for his money. The Defence case was that the defendant was mentally unwell as a result of childhood trauma and he denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility and loss of control. Accordingly there was a significant amount of competing psychiatric evidence and a long and complex history of mental ill health. The novel issue in the case involved whether the jury were entitled, in the absence of direct evidence, to infer a loss of self-control. Nick was led by Michael Vere-Hodge QC: BBC News

    R v JW
    Nick represented the defendant who faced an indictment containing two counts of indecent and sexual assault. The allegations were historic and related to the defendant’s granddaughter. The defendant denied the offences and contended that they were the product of malice and/or fantasy. The evidence in the case involved extensive unused material including third party material from social services and the complainant’s school. The defendant was acquitted of both counts.

    R v TS
    The defendant killed one of her two children and severely injured the second following an attempt to commit suicide by fire. This was a highly sensitive and high profile case involving complex psychiatric evidence and periods of assessment under section 35 of the Mental Health Act 1983. The Crown accepted pleas to manslaughter and arson instead of murder and attempted murder owing to compelling expert evidence that supported the defence of diminished responsibility. The sentence hearing was not straightforward as it involved the victim impact evidence of the children’s father in open court. Moreover, Dingemans J had to resolve the discrete issue of whether to pass a sentence of imprisonment or a hospital order. He passed the latter and careful submissions were advanced in support of an order without restrictions, which was the ultimate sentence of the Court: BBC News

    R v LM
    Nick represented the defendant who was charged with Exposure contrary to section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. Two 16-year-old girls alleged that the defendant exposed his penis in the communal showers at a family leisure centre. The defence was that the complainants were mistaken. The defendant was acquitted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

    R v RH
    Nick defended an 83 year-old defendant at his trial in respect of an indictment alleging historic familial sex offences. The defendant was found not guilty of three of the four counts.

    R v KS
    Border Force Officers at Heathrow Airport intercepted a package sent from Istanbul that was destined for the defendant at his business premises in the UK. The package contained seemingly innocuous items including a chessboard. However, this was hollowed out and secreted in a hidden compartment was 2kg of pure Opium. The defendant was charged with importation of a prohibited item, namely a controlled drug. The issue in the case was whether the defendant was responsible for the package and its contents. The case was investigated by the National Crime Agency and prosecuted by the Crown. Reliance was placed upon the fact that a similar chessboard was discovered at the defendant’s home and postal and flight records proved that he had strong links to Istanbul and Turkey. The defendant was acquitted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

    R v SM
    The defendant was charged with handling stolen goods, namely the goods stolen in an elaborate fraud by insiders against a multi-national company. Her employer had interviewed her about the alleged offences. Following applications for disclosure it came to light that there was evidence that the investigator had coerced, pressured and intimidated the defendant, who was a young lady of good character, into confessing to the crimes alleged (and had done likewise to other staff). The defendant had been promised that there would be no police involvement should she admit the offences. The employer seemingly broke this promise and the Crown prosecuted her and others. The preliminary legal issue in the case, which was the subject of an application to stay proceedings as an abuse of process, was whether it was fair for the defendant to be prosecuted in such circumstances. Following the resolution of issues of fact, as the investigator denied making such promises, Nick’s argument was successful and resulted in the Crown offering no evidence against his client.

    R v CS
    Nick represented the defendant who faced a five-count indictment alleging serious sexual offences against a child, namely his stepdaughter, when she was aged 7 years. The case involved issues of disclosure and admissibility of third party material relating to the school, social services and medical records of the complainant. The defendant was acquitted after a weeklong trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

    R v HK
    Nick represented the defendant who was found not guilty of sexual assaulting a young girl following a week long trial.

    R v SM
    Nick represented the defendant who faced an indictment alleging an offence of inflicting GBH with intent. Four doormen alleged that the defendant in an unprovoked attack kicked one of their number thereby fracturing the complainant’s leg and kneecap. The defendant averred that any injury was an accident and the consequence of their excessive force towards him. The case involved issues of bad character, CCTV and the analysis of medical evidence. The defendant was acquitted after a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

    R v TA
    Nick successfully defended TA who was charged with Possession with Intent to Supply a Class A drug. The defendant was tried by a jury at Dorchester Crown Court. He was searched as he entered a nightclub to celebrate New Year's Eve. A small bag containing 40 Ecstasy tablets was found tied to the drawstring of his trousers seemingly concealed between his legs. His defence at trial was that they were nothing to do with him and in a rush he had put on trousers belonging to someone else and he was unaware that the drugs were concealed within the clothing.

    R v RB
    Nick’s client was charged with inflicting GBH with intent following a stabbing at a shopping centre in Poole. The defendant pleaded guilty and following submissions and expert evidence was made the subject of a Hospital Order: Daily Echo

    R v IF
    Nick represented the defendant who was charged with exposure contrary to section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The defendant had entered a family tennis club, took his clothes off and proceeded to masturbate. When interviewed under caution the defendant stated that his drink had been spiked and he did not, and could not, intend to cause harassment, alarm or distress. Nick persuaded the Court to stay the proceedings as an abuse of process because the police had failed to obtain a sample of blood or urine from the defendant whilst in police custody. The failure to do so deprived the defendant of a defence, namely automatism, which he raised in his police interview and which the interviewing police officers seemingly ignored.

    R v DL
    Nick represented the defendant in respect of an indictment alleging conspiracy to supply 10kg of heroin and transferring criminal property. Following legal argument the Crown accepted pleas to lesser offences and the defendant received a community order.

    R v GC
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial in respect of an allegation of inflicting GBH with intent. The defendant was alleged to have bitten the victim's nose off during an altercation. The defendant denied being responsible and averred that another male also involved in the incident was to blame. The case involved expert forensic Odontologists who contrasted the suspects' teeth with the bite mark inflicted upon the victim. After 9.5 hours in retirement the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict.

    R v KB
    Nick defended KB at his trial at Dorchester Crown Court. Charged with two others, KB was alleged to have been the leader of a gang in prison who perpetrated a revenge attack against a fellow inmate. The defendant denied being involved in the assault and was found not guilty by the jury (unanimous verdict).

    R v NN
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial where he was found not guilty (unanimous verdict) of possession with intent to supply a controlled substance of class A. The Crown alleged that the defendant threw away 71 wraps of heroin and cocaine when he was approached by two police officers for a stop and search. The defendant denied this and said that the drugs were nothing to do with him and he had been “set up” by the police.

    R v LR
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial where he was found not guilty (unanimous verdict) of inflicting GBH with intent. The Crown alleged that the defendant ‘bottled’ the complainant before kicking the unconscious victim to the head seven times. The defendant pleaded guilty to a lesser offence and whilst he accepted using a bottle he contended that he used it in the heat of the moment to protect his friend. He accepted going over the top in defending his friend and he denied kicking the complainant or intending to cause him GBH.

    R v JH
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial in respect of a multi million pound mortgage fraud involving over 11 defendants. JH had been charged with 3 counts of mortgage fraud relating to properties he purchased between 2004 and 2006. JH was found not guilty of 2 of the 3 counts and received a suspended sentence for the charge that he was found guilty of: Daily Echo

    R v LW 
    Nick represented the defendant at his sentence hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court before HHJ Wiggs. LW committed an armed robbery using a hand gun at a HSBC bank in Broadstone, Dorset after drug dealers he owed money threatened to kill his son if he didn't pay up: BBC News and Daily Echo

    R v LD
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial with respect to an allegation of wounding contrary to s.20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861. The jury found him not guilty (unanimous verdict) of the offence. It had been alleged that the defendant had stabbed the complainant with a kitchen knife during an altercation at his home address. The defendant argued that the injury was an accident that was caused whilst he was defending himself from the complainant who was at the time suffering from a psychotic episode.

    R v SH
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial in relation to an allegation of inflicting GBH with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861; and in the alternative, an allegation contrary to section 20 of the same Act. The jury returned unanimous verdicts of not guilty in respect of both counts. SH's defence was that he was acting in self-defence when he himself was assaulted during a homophobic attack in Boscombe, Bournemouth in December 2011.

    R v DF
    Nick represented the defendant at his trial in Dorchester Crown Court. DF was charged with having an offensive weapon, namely a knuckleduster; assault occasioning actual bodily harm and battery. The allegations arose after an altercation on Trinity Street in Weymouth. The jury found Mr Ford not guilty of all counts: Dorset Echo

    R v BH 
    Nick's client was found not guilty of inflicting grievous bodily harm (majority verdict) following a 3-day trial at Bournemouth Crown Court. It was alleged that he punched and broke the jaw of the complainant in an "off the ball" incident during a 5-aside football match in Dorset. The jury concluded that he had been acting in self-defence.

    R v KP
    Nick's client was found not guilty (unanimous verdict) of being the owner of a dog that was dangerously out of control in a public place. The allegation related to an incident that occurred at Whitecliff Park in Poole, Dorset in the summer of 2011 and the case was reported in the national press. The jury found that the dog was not "dangerously out of control" as is required by section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991: Daily Mail

    R v GD
    Nick represented a defendant charged with rape. The alleged offence was said to have occurred in the 1990s when the complainant and defendant worked as a waitress and DJ respectively at a well-known hotel in Hampshire. The jury returned an unanimous verdict of not guilty after a week long trial at Bournemouth Crown Court.

    R v RD
    Nick represented one of five defendants in a high profile case arising out of an armed robbery at a farm in Bloxworth, Dorset and an elderly victim. The first four defendants were charged with robbery and Nick’s client with handling stolen goods, namely 5 shotguns. After a 5-week trial before HHJ Harvey Clark QC and a jury at Bournemouth Crown Court, RD was unanimously acquitted: BBC News

    R v BP
    Nick mitigated on behalf of a defendant who pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual activity with a girl under 16 and arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sexual offence. He was found not guilty of a sexual grooming offence.

    R v LC
    Nick mitigated on behalf of a defendant convicted of being involved in a conspiracy to supply cocaine, worth £25 million wholesale and £125 million on the street: Daily Echo

    R v PH
    After a four-day trial at Southampton Crown Court, Nick's client, a National Express Coach driver, was found not guilty of two counts of dangerous and careless driving. PH had lost control of his coach in the New Forest in the late evening, drifting onto the hard shoulder, up an embankment and into foliage before crossing three lanes of the motorway and coming to a stop on the hard shoulder. The 49 passengers on a journey from London Victoria to Poole were said to have been “shocked” and “frantic”. This case involved extensive expert evidence of a Neurologist and a “Sleep Expert”. Nick successfully argued that his client had not fallen asleep as alleged, but had suffered from an episode of automatism/unexplained loss of consciousness and the jury unanimously agreed. His further argument, that the driver's decision to proceed on to Ringwood soon after the initial incident did not constitute either dangerous or careless driving, was also successful: Daily Echo and Daily Echo

    R v AT
    Led Junior in a six-handed conspiracy to import Cocaine. The case involved a sophisticated international drug-smuggling operation utilising car fuel tanks. Multi-jurisdictional disclosure issues arose and the case reportedly involved the first ever extradition of a co-defendant from Brazil: BBC News

    R v DC
    Nick’s client was found not guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act, following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court. The Judge held that there was no case to answer owing to unreliable and unsafe identification evidence.

    R v MH
    Nick defended an accomplished and renowned mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, was found not guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial lasting one-week at Bournemouth Crown Court.

    Youth Court

    R v JF
    Successful defence of a youth charged with two offences, namely an offence of killing a deer contrary to the Deer Act 1991, and in the alternative cruelty to a deer contrary to the Wild Mammals (Protection) Act 1996: Daily Mail

    Magistrates’ Court (Road Traffic)

    R v MH
    Client was found not guilty of failing to provide a specimen of urine despite the absence of medical evidence; this followed legal argument as to what constitutes a “failure to provide”.

    R v AP
    Police arrested the defendant who was driving his Ferrari whilst under the influence of excess alcohol. The Court was persuaded to find “special reasons” not to disqualify the defendant on the basis that the defendant’s two friends laced his drinks without his knowledge or consent. The defendant was absolutely discharged.

    Asset and Tax Recovery

    Nick has represented clients in cases involving civil aspects of Asset Forfeiture and the Proceeds of Crime. He has undertaken Confiscation hearings under the CJA and POCA at the Crown Court where the alleged benefit has exceeded £1 million. Nick has appeared in and advised on cash detention and forfeiture hearings under POCA involving the proceeds of criminal conduct, for instance from the employment of illegal immigrants, the sale of illegal drugs and the importation of counterfeit goods. Nick has appeared in the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in an appeal against a confiscation order: R v Jacobs [2010] EWCA Crim 3074.

Recommendations

Court of Appeal

In an appeal against sentence R v Sherriff [2012] EWCA Crim 2381 Lord Justice Aikens said:
"Mr Robinson presented the arguments very concisely, clearly and persuasively".

In an appeal against sentence R v Kluver [2010] EWCA Crim 3237 Lord Justice Moses said:
"There is ample authority for the proposition that counsel for the defence has so skilfully identified both in his written grounds and in his oral submissions and we are indebted to Mr Robinson for them".

In an appeal against sentence R v Bennett [2010] EWCA Crim 1032 Mr Justice Davis said:
“Mr Robinson, on behalf of the Appellant, has put the case very well”.

In an appeal against sentence R v Woodcock [2011] EWCA Crim 1347 Mr Justice Blair said:
“Mr Robinson has argued the case well for the applicant.”

Chambers and Partners Legal Directory

Acts in a variety of cases including murder, sexual offences and crimes against children as well as mortgage fraud and armed robbery. He also handles appeals against conviction from the Court of Appeal in Jamaica to the Privy Council.
Strengths: "He is both responsive and proactive, and his advocacy skills are fantastic."
Chambers UK 2018/Western (Bar) - Crime - Band 3

Legal 500

‘Self-assured and dedicated.’
Legal 500 2017 / Crime - Western Circuit

"Extremely diligent in his approach to cases."
Legal 500 2016 / Crime - Western Circuit

'Known for his defence work in the Crown Court, and his practice has an emphasis on serious crime.'
Legal 500 2015 / Crime - Western Circuit

'He specialises in sexual offence cases, particularly those involving children and historical allegations of misconduct.'
Legal 500 2014 / Crime - Western Circuit

'3PB’s Nick Robinson is "a very confident and knowledgeable advocate".'
Legal 500 2013 / Crime - Western Circuit

Nick was also recommended by the Legal 500 directory for 2012 and 2011.

Judiciary, Instructing Solicitors, Lay Clients & Social Media Recommendations

Mr Recorder Don Tait said in open court following the acquittal of Nick's client Mr Reece Creighton:
"Mr Robinson you did an excellent job defending this man. You very skilfully revealed all of the inadequacies in this investigation … I am sure Mr Creighton is very grateful."

Instructing Solicitor
"Truly grateful for your proactive case management, first class professionalism and dedication".

Instructing Solicitor
"This was a difficult case in one sense and your efforts and assistance went beyond the call of duty. I very much appreciate it”. 

Instructing Solicitor
"Please accept my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for all your incredible and excellent hard work on this firm’s cases and for always doing over and above what is required in every matter that you deal with. Not only that, well done on all of your outstanding results and faultless client care!"

Instructing Solicitor
“Thank you Nick, I am very grateful for your assistance. Your professionalism and support is unbelievable”.

Lay Client
In September and October 2017 at Bournemouth Crown Court Nick represented one of two defendants who faced an Indictment containing six counts. The trial lasted over two weeks and the defendants were found not guilty on all counts. Nick’s client sent an email to the CEO Simon Astill where he provided, inter alia, the following appraisal:

"I write to you to express my sincere gratitude about a member of your Chambers Mr Robinson who defended me at trial … The case required complete concentration and an eye for detail. This worried me as being on legal aid I thought I might not receive the same service as a client paying privately. This wasn’t the case at all and in fact the complete opposite. Mr Robinson genuinely cared about his client and even spent time to reassure my co-defendant … During the trial Mr Robinson’s charisma was a breath of fresh air; he kept the Jury on their toes and concentrated throughout and also he was very calming during the breaks when tensions were high. Finally Mr Robinson’s closing speech was mesmerising and got across every possible point I could think of and more. I knew after his speech there was no way I would be convicted. I feel in debt to this man and feel that the literature in my email doesn’t allow me to explain my true gratitude."

Lay Client (defendant’s mother)
“Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into F’s case; I can't thank you enough Mr Robinson".

Lay Client
“Just wanted to express my thanks, for the confident, reassuring and supportive way that Mr Robinson has handled my case. At short notice he has been able to defend me to his confident best.  His caring and clear way in which he dealt with me and my family and friends was top notch”.

Lay Client (Direct Access)
"Nick - I'm eternally indebted to you and will never be able to thank you enough for today's outcome … thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done for me. You've given me my life back”.

Lay client’s relatives (letters to instructing solicitor and Nick respectively)
"I would also like to say a specific thank you for bringing Nicholas Robinson in as L's barrister. L felt very comfortable talking to Nick, and Nick, in turn, put L at ease. The relationship barristers have with their client, the trust and confidence in the barrister's ability is paramount, and we certainly had that with Nick. I think it also proved that a barristers relationship with his counterparts on the other side is also important and in our case this definitely proved to be significant”.

"I just wanted to repeat our thanks for your sterling work in L''s defence”. 

Social Media
"You can’t beat Nick Robinson when it comes to mitigating circumstances".

Social Media
“You can always rely on Nick Robinson to come up with something original when it comes to mitigating circumstances”.

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Academic qualifications

  • BA Criminology & Sociology, The University of Liverpool (First Class Honours)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Law, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Bar Vocational Course, BPP London

Professional bodies

  • Bar Pro Bono Unit
  • Criminal Bar Association

Direct Access

Nicholas Robinson is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

More Information

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