Clerk Details


Thomas Acworth is a criminal specialist. His practice encompasses general crime, regulatory crime and police law.


Thomas Acworth’s practice covers the spectrum of criminal and quasi-criminal matters: from cases of serious violence to technical road traffic and regulatory offences. He combines meticulous preparation with excellent client care to deliver personable, pragmatic and effective representation. Thomas prosecutes and defends.


Appellate Work

F v The Queen (Jamaica): Murder. Advising on appeal to Privy Council on issues of identification, character evidence and incompetency of counsel. Case concerned a gangland contract killing.

R v C & D: Armed Robbery: Resisting appeal against terminating ruling following successful submission of no case to answer. Case concerned joint-enterprise and circumstantial evidence.

R v JJ: Making indecent images of children. Appeal against indefinite sexual harm prevention order.



R v Y & Others: Conspiracy to Import Class A. NCA investigation into international cocaine smuggling ring based overseas. Case concerned crew of a super yacht smuggling cocaine into the UK. Evidence included encrypted messaging services and GPS locators.

R v L & Six Others (Operation Warbler): Conspiracy to Supply Class A. Led by 3PB's David Richards. County lines conspiracy. Substantial telephone evidence. Issues of human trafficking, forced criminality and extended abuse of process arguments.

R v W (Operation Orochi): Concerned in the Supply of Class A. Defendant from Essex orchestrated supply of Class A drugs in Sussex. Case turned entirely on circumstantial observations of D together with extensive cell-site evidence.

R v F (Operation Crosslands): Conspiracy to Supply Class A. Conspiracy to supply crack cocaine and heroin. Undercover police officers.

R v R: Possession with Intent to Supply Class A. Schoolboy of previous good character alleged to have supplied fellow pupils with cocaine and MDMA.

R v U: Possession with Intent to Supply – Class A. Prosecution of man found with thousands of pounds worth of cocaine and MDMA at a music festival.


Homicide (Murder and Manslaughter)

R v B: Attempted Murder. Defendant of previous character accused of attempting to kill his wife by drowning her. Complex psychiatric issues.

R v Q and Another: Assisting an offender. Led by Tom Evans. Vulnerable defendant accused of assisting his co-accused (tried for murder and attempted murder) to escape from the police.

R v A Youth: Wounding with Intent. 13-year-old boy stabbed a fellow teenager after following her into a housing estate on Halloween. Defendant asked victim how dead she wanted to be before inflicting wound. Tried in the Crown Court.

R v X: Wounding with Intent. Accused stabbed injured party six times. Wounds inflicted to the neck, abdomen and internal organs. Complex mental health issues.

R v K & Others: Wounding with Intent, False Imprisonment, Robbery, Threats to Kill and Possession of Firearm with Intent. Allegations of detention and torture following a drug deal gone awry.

R v H & Others: Wounding with Intent. Brawl in city centre following a night out. The three defendants were accused carrying out a group attack on the complainant.

R v M: Aggravated Burglary, False Imprisonment and ABH. Defendant accused of taking his ex-partner hostage at their former home.

R v T & H: Armed Robbery. Knife-point joint enterprise robbery of commercial premises. Both defendants ran cutthroat defences.

R v F & X: Aggravated Burglary and Dwelling Robbery. Allegations of armed home invasions in which defendants demanded drugs and drug money.

R v D, E & F: Robbery and Dwelling Robbery. Joint-enterprise ventures. Elderly and vulnerable victims.




Sexual offences

R v Z: Rape of Child under 13. Defendant accused of historic anal and oral rape of step-sibling.

R v P: Sexual Assault of Child under 13, Causing child under 13 to engage in sexual activity. Allegations of grooming and serious sexual abuse on four-year-old complainant. Defendant was C’s biological grandfather.

R v H: Attempting to incite child to engage in penetrative sexual activity and making indecent images of children. Computer professional accused of inciting a fictitious 15-year-old to engage in serious sexual activity and creating numerous indecent images. Case involved copious complex computer evidence.

R v L: Arranging Child Sex Offences. Defendant was a former schoolteacher of previous good character.

R v K: Sexual Assault. Sexual activity in public. Severely vulnerable complainant. Extensive arguments about admissibility of evidence and the restrictions in YJCEA 1999, s.41.

R v W: Sexual Assault. Young client with severe ADHD. Allegations of sexual touching and biting of a teenage woman at a house party.

R v Y: Making Indecent Images of Children. Carer for the disabled of previous good character. Significant number of Category A images.

R v H: Attempting to Engage in Sexual Communication with a Child. Vulnerable defendant. Civilian vigilante groups. Previous SHPO for similar offending.

R v E: Sexual Assault. Allegations of threats to rape and sexual touching following discovery of partner’s infidelity.

R v K: Disclosing Private Sexual Images. Defendant put indecent images of her best friend on Facebook. Defence of consent.

Regulatory crime

R v H: Bankrupt acting as Company Director. Defendant set up two companies whilst bankrupt, one of which traded for an extensive period.

HMRC v X Ltd & Others: Trading in Breach of VAT and PAYE Security Notices.  Notable regional company continually trading in breach of VAT and PAYE security notices.  History of difficulties with HMRC.

Local Authority v X: Contempt of Court. Vulnerable, elderly client.  Allegations of breach of ASBO.

X County Council v F: Failing to Produce Waste Transfer Notice.  Prosecution of a business that was flouting the Waste Regulations and causing a neighbourhood nuisance.

X County Council v Y: Knowingly Failing to Secure Regular Attendance at School. Child in GCSE year. Non-compliance following previous conviction. Dispute over learning centre provision.

Police Force v S: Closure Order. Acting for applicant police force. Suspected crack house. Occupant threatening neighbours with violence.


Fraud, Business and Financial Crime

R v Z: Fraud. Employee accused of defrauding family-run business of hundreds of thousands of pounds. Offences alleged to have taken place over at least 15 years.

R v J: Fraud. NCO in the Grenadier Guards alleged to have perpetrated a number ‘sweetheart’ frauds against vulnerable women that he met on dating apps.

R v H: Bankrupt acting as company director. Defendant set up two companies whilst bankrupt, one of which traded for an extensive period.

R v P: Fraud. Fraudulent misuse of gift cards totalling thousands of pounds.

Military/Courts martial

R v U: Breach of Standing Orders and Assault. NCO in Royal Artillery accused of fighting with other NCOs whilst drunk and on duty.

R v H: Desertion. Private in Port and Maritime Regiment accused of desertion following a two year absence, during which he obtained a civilian job. Defence of intention to return.

R v J: Fraud. NCO in the Grenadier Guards alleged to have perpetrated a number ‘sweetheart’ frauds against vulnerable women that he met on dating apps. Case attracted attention in the national press.

Motoring offences

R v L: Causing Death by Careless Driving. Road traffic collision between van and commercial vehicle. Complex issues of causation, medical evidence and vulnerable witnesses.

R v T: Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving. Serious road traffic collision. Client significantly over the drink drive limit. Victim sustained serious injuries and required a skin-graft.

R v M: Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving. Client drove on the wrong side of the road and caused a collision. Victim sustained significant psychiatric injuries and a broken neck.


Proceeds of crime

R v K: POCA following conviction for Fraud. Extensive arguments on applicability of proportionality to benefit figure, valuation of total benefit and failure to take account of statutory surcharge.

R v K (and Others): POCA following convictions for organised theft. Contested benefit figure and applicability of assumptions based on Crown’s acceptance of a limited basis of plea.


  • Recommendations

    ‘A barrister of great tenacity, very hard working and with an eye for detail. He shows a high level of dedication to his clients and is fearless and straight talking in his approach.’

    Legal 500 2022/Crime (General and Fraud)/Leading Juniors/Western Circuit


    “Words cannot explain how elated I am with the outcome today. I am ever so grateful. Wanted to express my deepest appreciation”

    Client’s email to instructing solicitor

    “I am extremely grateful for the excellent work you have done on this case”

    Email from instructing solicitor

    “I’ve just had a chat with young Mr. F and he’s asked me to pass on his sincere thanks for yesterday. In his words you were top dollar and really cool. Thank you for all your efforts in securing a great result for us”

    Email from instructing solicitor

    “I must say he is absolutely amazing at what he does, firm when he needs to be (and he needed to be with me) and so incredibly quick thinking when he is in court”

    Client’s email to instructing solicitor

View Full CV
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Junior 2022 Logo

Legal 500 rankings

  • Leading Junior 2022

Academic qualifications

  • BPTC (Kaplan)
  • LLB (Newcastle University)


  • Academic Scholar (Canford School)
  • The Luboshez Award (Middle Temple)
  • Arnold and Porter Prize for Competition Law (N’cle)
  • Pinsent Masons Prize for Public Law (N’cle)
  • Cartmell Shepherd Mooting Prize

Professional bodies

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Western Circuit