One of the UK’s Best Criminal & Fraud Appeal Barristers
Widely regarded as one of the UK’s very best criminal and fraud appeals barristers, Howard Godfrey QC has an unrivalled track record in overturning convictions and in reducing sentences.
The job of persuading judges in the Court of Appeal is very different from persuading juries, because the Court of Appeal has just three very senior judges and no jury, and the style of advocacy has to suit this type of audience.
Howard focuses on getting the judge to take a strong interest in the case that he’s arguing, and to appreciate the seriousness of his complaint and the strength of his argument.
While there are many grounds for appeal, the most common are:
- complaints about a judge’s summing up to a jury
- where the verdict of the jury is inconsistent and unreasonable
- errors of law made by the judge or prosecution during the trial
- the discovery of fresh evidence
Appealing a Criminal & Fraud Conviction
When Howard persuades the Court of Appeal judges that a criminal conviction is an unsafe one, they will quash that conviction.
Sometimes that’s the end of the matter, but, depending on the circumstances of the case, the Court of Appeal may order a re-trial to be held. This gives a second chance for the accused person to challenge the prosecution evidence, and hopefully be acquitted by the jury.
Appealing a Criminal & Fraud Sentence
When Howard conducts an appeal against sentence, he tries to persuade the Court of Appeal judges that the sentence passed by the criminal trial judge was far too severe. He has done this successfully in very many cases over the years, where sentences have been quashed and replaced with something much more lenient. Sometimes the sentence is reduced so much that the client gets to go home immediately after the appeal hearing.
Encrochat & Sky ECC Evidence | Criminal Appeals QC
Prosecutors are now regularly using Encrochat & Sky ECC cryptophone messaging as intercept evidence in criminal cases. The validity of this evidence is complex both legally and technically. Demonstrating Howard’s reputation as one of the UK’s best criminal appeal barristers, he has experience of arguing both the law and the digital forensic science – including the lawfulness of Targeted Equipment Interference Warrants under the “Investigatory Powers Act 2016.”
Some Sample Appeal Case Wins:
Assault & Battery – Not Guilty [DPP v TAYLOR & LITTLE]
This was the case that changed the law on assault charges. It required the prosecution to specify precisely what the allegation was, because in law, ‘assault’ and ‘battery’ are technically different things. The Appeal Court rejected the DPP’s appeal. Mr Little was found not guilty as charged.
VAT Fraud – 50% Sentence Reduction[ H ]
‘H’ was an American lady attorney convicted of involvement in £44 million criminal VAT fraud. Her sentence was successfully appealed with the Court of Appeal reducing her eight year sentence by almost 50%. This resulted in her being released from prison shortly after the appeal was heard.
Drugs Importation – 45% Sentence Reduction[ T ]
‘T’ was a warehouse worker implicated in large heroin and cigarette importations. He had pleaded guilty at his trial to conspiracies and was sentenced by the trial judge to a total of 18½ years. The Court of Appeal accepted that he did not have a leading role in planning the crimes and reduced his sentence to 10 years' imprisonment.
Financial Theft – Conviction Quashed[ R ]
‘R’ was a company bookkeeper who was tried and convicted of stealing large sums from his employers by fraudulently altering company payments and diverting them to his own bank accounts. The conviction was appealed because of misdirections of law made by the judge in his summing up to the jury. The appeal was allowed and the conviction quashed.