- Clerk Name: Stuart Pringle
- Clerk Telephone: 01962 868 884
- Clerk Email: [email protected]
Tom is a criminal barrister ranked as a leading individual in the legal directories: “calm, measured and conspicuously good for his year of call.” (Legal 500, 2021); “a forceful, hard-working, tactically astute advocate.” (Legal 500, 2022); “his eloquence in court captivates the jury” (Chambers UK, 2023).
Tom is recognised as a skilled advocate and talented tactician representing clients charged with offences of the upmost seriousness and complexity. His practice encompasses the fields of general and regulatory crime. He also prosecutes for the Crown Prosecution Service and other agencies.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Tom worked as full-time paralegal in two firms of London solicitors where he ran his own caseload. He was the case manager in R v Thakrar ; which resulted in the Defendant being acquitted of two counts of attempted murder, and one count of GBH, following his wounding of three prison officers at HMP Frankland.
Tom also worked in the Judge’s Chambers of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (‘UNITCR’) based in Arusha, Tanzania.
R v Birol  (defending): The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) concluded that the sentence of 4 years' imprisonment had been manifestly excessive and substituted a sentence of 3 years and 2 months' imprisonment for Tom's client who had entered a guilty plea to falsely imprisoning his daughter on the second day of his trial.
R v Digby  (defending): The Court of Appeal significantly reduced the compensation order that had been imposed on Tom’s client. The Court found fault with the Judge’s handling of proceedings but did not overturn the Defendant’s conviction. At the conclusion of Tom’s submissions, Lord Justice Stuart-Smith stated, “whatever the outcome, your client should know that he has been well-served in this appeal and at his trial."
R v Thomson  (defending): Tom successfully appealed Mr Thomson's 18-month sentence for possession of a Samurai sword in a public place. The Court of Appeal found that the sentence imposed had been "manifestly excessive" and substituted a sentence of 12 months' imprisonment. Mr Justice Goss described Tom’s submissions as "cogent and economical”.
Fraud / Dishonesty
Operation Uptown : Conspiracy to rob: Tom was led by Tim Bradbury in this successful prosecution of a conspiracy to rob a high-end jewellery store in Bournemouth. The Defendants received a total of 98 years’ imprisonment https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-50585149 - warning this link contains graphic footage of the violent armed robbery.
Operation Barren: Cheating the public revenue [2018/2019] (prosecuting): The Defendants were alleged to have engaged in numerous ‘phoenix frauds’ over a period of some 10 years defrauding the public revenue of more than £3.2 million. Tom acted for the prosecution in a trial lasting 7 weeks (led by Tim Bradbury). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-47092844
R v Woods & Ors [2021-2023] (defending): 17 Defendants were convicted of involvement conspiracies to supply cocaine and cannabis (£500,000 of cannabis was seized in the investigation). Tom’s client had entered a plea on a basis at an early stage in proceedings. The Prosecution invited the Court to conclude that the starting point for his sentence was 8 years imprisonment, he received 18 months. https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/23279269.pair-jailed-part-southampton-drugs-empire/
Operation Keyhole [2021/2022] (defending): An Encrochat case where the intercepted evidence revealed a highly structured organised crime group dealing in substantial quantities of cocaine (in excess of 70kg during the period of the conspiracy). The messages also provided insight into ‘turf wars’ with rival gangs as well as the accumulation and use of firearms. Tom’s client acted as the driver for the OCG and was arrested while driving a van within which was a hidden compartment containing 3kg of cocaine. He received the lowest sentence of all the conspirators. https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/23150896.gang-jailed-combined-75-years-supplying-49m-year/
Operation Map  (prosecuting): Prosecution of an organised crime group. A surveillance operation lasting some 6 months identified members of the group being involved in supply of cocaine in wholesale quantities from London to Dorset. In a coordinated sting operation, the police intercepted a drug exchange in process with 1kg of cocaine being exchanged for £41,000. Tom was instructed as junior for the Crown (led by Robin Leach), 7 Defendants were charged and tried in split trials. https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/19921351.police-caught-dorsets-first-albanian-organised-crime-group/
Operation Kodak  (defending): Tom’s client was alleged to have been the courier of Class A drugs on at least 7 occasions between Liverpool and Bournemouth (led by Robin Leech). Out of 9 alleged co-conspirators, their client was the only one found to have been not guilty. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-51048996
Operation Daraga  (defending): The Defendant was alleged to have been involved in a significant conspiracy supply class A drugs. An undercover operation had identified numerous suspects and recovered over a kilogram of heroin. Tom acted for the Defendant in a trial lasting 2 weeks (led by Nick Robinson).
Operation Energy  (prosecuting): An undercover operation in the Weymouth area targeting Class A drug supply networks. Tom acted for the Prosecution.
Operation Arches [2022-2023] (prosecuting): Tom was instructed as junior counsel for the Crown in this murder trial (led by James Newton-Price KC). The Defendant was alleged to have killed his drug dealer after she fought back when he tried to rob her in the early hours of the morning. The Defendant denied presence. But was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 14 years’ imprisonment. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-61763982
Operation Powerboat  (defending, leading Thomas Acworth): This prosecution related to an alleged murder and attempted murder by a then 16 year-old drug dealer in June 2020. Tom’s client was said to have assisted the murderer by helping him to escape from Dorset and by hiding various items of clothing linked to the murder. He was unanimously acquitted by the jury.
R v Rose  (prosecuting): Tom successfully prosecuted this vicious aggravated burglary and s.18 GBH. The Defendant attended the victims’ home in the early hours of the morning armed with two empty bottles of wine. He kicked down the door, woke the occupants and caused GBH-level injuries to two of the occupants.
R v Hoppe: kidnap, aggravated burglary, attempted robbery  (prosecuting): Tom successfully prosecuted the Defendant who was found to have engaged in a spree of offending including kidnap, two aggravated burglaries and an attempted robbery. In total, the Defendant was convicted by a jury at the Crown Court in Bournemouth of 13 offences including historical allegations of violence. HHJ Climie determined that the Defendant was a ‘dangerous’ offender and sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment with an extended licence period of 5 years. BBC Report: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-50045229
R -v- O’S: s.18 GBH  (defending): The Defendant engaged in a sustained attack on his 14-year-old son during which he used a skateboard and a baseball bat. His son suffered a fracture to his kneecap as a result of being hit with the baseball bat. At an early hearing the Defendant entered a guilty plea to an offence contrary to s.20 OAPA 1861 but maintained that he did not intend to cause his son grievous bodily harm. Following a 4-day trial, the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict to the indictment.
R -v- D: s.18 Wounding  (defending): The Defendant and his wife were involved in a neighbour dispute. One evening there was an argument over their playing the bongos at an excessive volume. The Defendant and his wife their neighbour’s property armed with a kitchen knife (his wife armed with a golf-umbrella). The Defendant stabbed his neighbour in his abdomen whilst allegedly shouting “I’m going to fucking kill you”; his wife repeatedly struck the neighbour to the head with the umbrella. Following a 6-day trial the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts to the indictment. Both the Defendant and his wife were found guilty of the alternative offence under s.20 OAPA 1861. At an earlier hearing the Defendant had offered to plead guilty to such an offence and following mitigation he was sentenced to a suspended sentence of imprisonment.
R v A  (defending): This was a retrial in respect of two alleged incidents of rape during a relationship. The Defendant had already been tried when represented by alternative Counsel and had been convicted of coercive and controlling behaviour, but the jury had been unable to reach verdicts on the sexual allegations. The Defendant was acquitted of both rape allegations.
R v C  (defending): Tom was instructed to represent a convicted paedophile following further allegations of sexual impropriety while acting as a scout leader. The Defendant was acquitted of this more recent historical allegation.
R v G  (defending): Historical allegations of sexual abuse by the Defendant against his then neighbour. The Defendant was acquitted.
R v R  (defending): An allegation of sexual touching of a child under 13, the Defendant was said to have entered the bedroom of his partner’s daughter and touched her inappropriately. The Defendant was unanimously acquitted after trial.
R v R [2019/20] (defending): A historical allegation of sexual touching of the Defendant’s step-granddaughter. Following a contested trial, the jury were unable to return verdicts. At the Complainant’s request the Crown did not pursue a retrial and no evidence was offered against Tom’s client.
R v B: Buggery  (defending): A historical allegation of anal rape on two separate occasions made against the Defendant by his step-brother. Following the Defendant’s conviction, the Judge found that in the ‘exceptional circumstances’ of the case the Defendant should receive a suspended sentence of imprisonment.
R v C: Sexual activity with a child  (defending): The Defendant was alleged to have touched his step-sister indecently on a number of separate occasions. Following a 7-day trial the Defendant was unanimously acquitted.
A Crown Court advocate, Tom represents Defendants in cases of serious sexual offences. He will appear in the Magistrates’ Court on a direct access or private basis. Acting alone he has conducted cases of sexual assault (including historical accusations).
Tom is ranked as a leading individual in the Legal 500: described as “calm, measured and conspicuously good for his year of call.” He is recognised as a skilled advocate and talented tactician representing clients charged with offences of the upmost seriousness and complexity. His practice encompasses the fields of general and regulatory crime. He also prosecutes for the Crown Prosecution Service and other agencies.
Cases of note are:-
R v R 
An allegation of sexual touching of a child under 13, the Defendant was said to have entered the bedroom of his partner’s daughter and touched her inappropriately. The Defendant was unanimously acquitted after trial.
R v R [2019/20]
A historical allegation of sexual touching of the Defendant’s step-granddaughter. Following a contested trial, the jury were unable to return verdicts. At the Complainant’s request the Crown did not pursue a retrial and no evidence was offered against Tom’s client.
R v B: Buggery 
A historical allegation of anal rape on two separate occasions made against the Defendant by his step-brother. Following the Defendant’s conviction, the Judge found that in the ‘exceptional circumstances’ of the case the Defendant should receive a suspended sentence of imprisonment.
R v C: Sexual activity with a child 
The Defendant was alleged to have touched his step-sister indecently on a number of separate occasions. Following a 7-day trial the Defendant was unanimously acquitted.
R v L 
Indecent Assault: Client acquitted unanimously of historical allegation.
R v T 
Sexual Assault: charges dropped by the prosecution following a review of the evidence on the morning of trial.
R v J 
Sexual activity with a child: Client faced accusations in relation to two separate girls. He entered guilty pleas on a basis to five out of six counts and was dealt with as a dangerous offender owing to his previous conviction for the same offence.
Tom has significant experience of cases concerning the following driving offences:
- Causing serious injury by dangerous driving
- Dangerous driving
- Careless driving
- Drink driving (including failing to provide a specimen)
- Driving without insurance
- Failing to stop (report an accident)
- Using a mobile phone whilst driving
- Failing to provide information
Many of Tom's clients have avoided disqualification as a result of him successfully arguing special reasons or exceptional hardship.
V -v- R  - Tom successfully represented his client in her appeal against a 6-month disqualification from driving and a requirement that she complete a re-test before having her licence removed. She had entered a guilty plea to an offence of careless driving which had regrettably resulted in two pedestrians suffering serious personal injury. The Court allowed her appeal finding that an endorsement of her licence was the appropriate penalty in all the circumstances of the case.
R -v- K  - Tom's client was charged with speeding and alternatively failing to provide information of a driver's identity. Following a contested trial the Court found that he had not been the driver and that due to the chaotic nature of his life at the relevant time he had provided the information as soon as reasonably practicable.
Re. Offences under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994  - Tom represented the leasing arm of a well-known vehicle manufacturer in respect of numerous offences of failing to tax and insure vehicles. Although each case amounted to a separate prosecution, the Court were persuaded to take into consideration the Totality Sentencing Guidelines when assessing the appropriate financial penalty.
Tom’s familiarity with both civil and criminal jurisdictions makes him uniquely placed to traverse the rigours of Regulatory Law. He regularly accepts instructions across the spectrum of regulatory and quasi-criminal matters. His particular interests are in trading standards, fire regulation, environmental law, Health & Safety, planning enforcement and maritime.
Tom was a member of TSOL’s ‘Junior Junior’ and has extensive experience of the judicial review process.
Poole Borough Council v Wilson
Breach of a tree preservation order. This case is believed to be the first contested confiscation hearing in England and Wales where the issue was the extent of the Defendant’s ‘benefit’ resulting from the increase in light to his property occasioned by the Defendant’s wilful damage of a tree. Tom acted for the prosecution. The Case received national media attention, including in The Telegraph and in The Times.
R v B
Trading Standards prosecution under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
R v L
Prosecution for failing to comply with a restriction imposed by a Prohibition Notice under Article 31 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
Thomas Evans boasts impressive experience acting as lead counsel in criminal proceedings and appearing in the Court of Appeal. His practice covers organised crime, charges of homicide, GBH and arson.
Strengths: “He is able to quickly grasp complex technological information and detail.” “Thomas's advocacy skills are excellent.”
Chambers UK 2024/Crime/Western Bar
Strengths: “He is a very skilled advocate and cerebral counsel.”
“Thomas is an extremely accomplished, knowledgeable and hard-working barrister who goes over and above in case preparation.”
“Thomas is a rising star. He is bright, tenacious and very effective in court.”
Chambers UK 2023/Crime/Western Bar
Thomas Evans boasts impressive experience acting as lead counsel in criminal proceedings and appearing in the Court of Appeal. He handles a wide range of cases, including those relating to charges of homicide, GBH and arson.
Strengths: "His eloquence in court captivates the jury."
Recent work: Appeared on behalf of a defendant charged with causing death by careless driving.
Chambers UK 2022/Crime/Western Bar
'demonstrates an agility of mind and perspicacity possessed by very few indeed’.
'He has masses of common sense and gets to the nub of cases very quickly. He is highly intelligent, a very effective advocate, and judges like him.'
Legal 500 2024/Crime (General and Fraud)/Leading Junior/ Western Circuit
‘A dedicated advocate who is well liked by clients.’
Legal 500 2023/Crime (General and Fraud)/Leading Junior/Western Circuit
‘A forceful, hard-working, tactically astute advocate.’
Legal 500 2022/Crime (General and Fraud)/Leading Junior/Western Circuit
‘Tom is always well-prepared and on top of his brief. He has clearly thought about it in detail. His speeches are assured and well-constructed. He is calm, measured and conspicuously good at his job for his level of call. He engenders confidence in the trial judge, jury, client and opponents alike. A very good and talented barrister.’
Legal 500 2021/Crime
"Mr Evans came to 'his fore' when cross-examining the defendant. I have been party to many a prosecution cross-examination, but his delivery and attention to detail was the best I have ever witnessed, it was clever and directed at the appropriate level. I was most impressed that the defence barrister was to comment that the cross-examination was "forensic and exact". His direct cross-examination ultimately caused the defendant to enter a "guilty" plea mid-way through his evidence."
CPS court case - Officer in the case.
“Just a quick letter to say thank you for the result we had in court. The barrister you gave me was brilliant and couldn’t have done better. Please tell Mr Evans I said thank you, his final speech was amazing with great attention to detail.” Lay client acquitted of s.18 GBH to instructing solicitor.
"Tom - I just wanted to say thank you for all your efforts.
I have always found the law fascinating. My grandmother was one of the first female Magistrates, my grandfather, father and brother are all lawyers. So I have always been surrounded in the language of the law and during many lunches and suppers we would debate the meaning of certain words.
Yesterday was a fantastic example of a Barrister using diplomacy and tenacity in equal measure to make your point in regards to the substantive / significant point of law. It will no doubt become an incidental footnote in just another legal brief - but it was an important matter that needed to be brought to the courts attention and one which you made eloquently and resolutely.
Your job must be incredibly rewarding when the court makes a decision that both the prosecution and defence believe to be best for all parties. I believed we reached that equilibrium yesterday and I will always be indebted to you for helping the judge reach that decision."
Lay client who narrowly avoided an immediate sentence of imprisonment following his guilty pleas to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.