Leading law firm specialising in defending allegations of murder and manslaughter
Olliers Solicitors have significant experience of defending people charged with murder.
These cases can vary greatly, from a ‘one on one’ fight where tragically the victim dies, to an organised gangland execution, or a group incident where all participants (whether administering the fatal injury or not) are charged as part of a joint enterprise.
Olliers have dealt with many types of murder cases. Some murder cases end up as manslaughter, other cases are charged as manslaughter.
At Olliers we undertake a thorough analysis of the evidence and consider all issues pertinent to each case. Remember it is for the prosecution to prove the case. The types of evidence relied on will vary in complexity depending on the type of case.
Where there are eye-witnesses to the incident they will invariably be interviewed and where possible relied on by the prosecution. Additionally the prosecution may obtain CCTV, telephone records, cell site analysis, ANPR evidence of vehicle movement, or forensic evidence in the form of DNA, fingerprints, or gunpowder residue. It may be necessary for us to instruct an approved expert in one of the above fields in order to comment on, check and sometimes challenge the prosecution’s assertions.
If you require representation when arrested or charged with this most serious offence please contact Olliers.
Common issues in murder/manslaughter cases:
To be guilty of murder the prosecution have to prove not only that you committed or participated in the act alleged but also that you intended to kill or to cause really serious harm to the victim. It is less common for a person to be charged from the outset with manslaughter although this can happen where it is alleged that the accused person is responsible for victim’s death but did not intend to kill that person or to cause them really serious harm.
In some cases, an accused person may accept responsibility for victim’s death but denies the requisite intent to kill or cause really serious harm and pleads guilty to manslaughter. Such a case may involve an exploration of the accused’s mental state at the time of the offence which requires the instruction of a psychiatrist or psychologist to assess the accused.
Sometimes, manslaughter is the verdict of the jury in a trial as an alternative to murder, where for example they are sure that the accused person caused the death of the victim or was responsible for it, but they were not sure that he or she intended to kill or to cause really serious harm. On other occasions, the issue may be much more straightforward. The defence case might be one of self-defence where the accused acted in a proportionate and reasonable way in defending himself or another.
There may also be issues of causation. For example was it the accused person’s actions which caused the victim to die or was there another intervening act.
The accused may in fact simply be disputing that he was even present at all at the scene of the incident. He may have an alibi.
More complex issue concerns ‘Joint enterprise’ where the accused person is said to have been part of a group activity where his actions may have simply been to encourage others to commit the act of murder. The prosecution would have to prove that even though he may not have been the assailant, he shared the same intention of killing or causing really serious harm to the victim.
Conspiracy to murder
In a so called ‘gangland’ type murder, the accused need not be the person who ‘pulled the trigger’, he might have lured the victim to his death, he may be the getaway driver, he may have supplied the gun knowing its intended use, he may have planned it, organised it or ordered the ‘hit’.
Within Olliers Solicitors, Matthew Corn and Zita Spencer deal with serious crime such as murder and as part of the process of defending a person accused of murder we instruct approved barristers who have significant experience of such cases.
Assisting an Offender
Assisting an offender involves carrying out an act with the intention of preventing another person being arrested or prosecuted, with the knowledge or belief that said person has committed a ‘relevant offence.’ In the context of assisting an offender a relevant offence is any offence that can be punishable by more than five years in prison and commonly includes murder. It requires another offence to have been committed and acts that could otherwise be considered perfectly innocent (in the absence of the underlying offence) become illegal and punishable by a prison sentence.
Examples of assisting an offender can include:
- Washing the clothes of that person to remove evidence
- Allowing them to hide in their house/garden/shed/car
- Giving them a lift to the airport/ train station/ taxi rank
- Hiding or disposing of a weapon for them
- Disposing of a vehicle linked to the offence on their behalf
For more information in relation to assisting an offender please click here.
Recent murder cases include:
- 2022: Carlisle Crown Court – Operation Denmark; representing defendant accused of Assisting an Offender (murder case)
- 2022: Liverpool Crown Court – R v X; representing defendant accused of Assisting an Offender (murder case)
- 2021: – R v A – Representing 18-year-old, one of 13 alleged gang members, in relation to murder of 15-year-old member of another gang in Manchester
- 2021: – R v N – Representing 14-year-old boy charged another youth, with murder of 15-year-old boy in Bolton
- 2021: Preston Crown Court – Operation Collingdale. Representation of defendant charged with murder following alleged gangland shooting. Read more
- 2021: Manchester Court. Representation of defendant charge with murder following arson attack which killed mother and four children. Read more.
- 2021: Manchester Crown Court. Representation of defendant in connection with shooting of 18 year old male in Bury. Read more 2020 Representation of man arrested in connection with ‘joint enterprise’ murder allegation following Wythenshawe stabbing. Following three days of police interviews suspect released without charge. Read more.
- 2019: Manchester Crown Court. Acquittal of 17 year old youth referred to as ‘Boy A’ accused of killing Manchester Grammar School pupil Yousef Makki. Read more
- 2019: Defending a person accused of carrying out a machete attack on a drug rival.
- 2018: Acquittal of client who was prosecuted for murder. He handed himself into a local police station a few days after the incident stating he witnessed another male beat the victim to death in this case. Both males were prosecuted on the basis our client may have been involved due to being present at the scene. Our client was found not guilty with the other male being convicted. Read more.
- 2018: Representation of defendant facing allegation of murder following fatal stabbing. Read more
- 2018: Operation Image. Representing defendant charged with a gang related murder at Manchester Crown Court.
- 2017:Operation Troop.Represented juvenile defendant charged with gang related murder at Manchester Crown Court. Defendant acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
- 2017: R v T: Represented defendant who pleaded guilty to the murder of his friend – Manchester Crown Court.
- 2017: Acquittal of youth charged in connection with gang related murder. Prosecution case relied upon joint enterprise. Read more.
- 2016: Operation Coda. Represented defendant in multi handed gangland execution style murder at Liverpool Crown Court.
- 2016: Chester Crown Court – Operation Reactor. Represented defendant charged with murder. Issues relating to causation. Defendant acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter.
Older high profile murder cases include:
- 2013 : Acquittal of defendant charged with gang killing alongside police killer Dale Cregan. Read more.
- 2012: R v A; represented defendant charged with planning the murder of his brother in law. Due to disclosure requests made by the defence, the Crown offer no evidence resulting in not guilty verdicts being entered.
- 2009: Representation of Gooch gang member charged with double murder.
- 2003: Not guilty verdict for defendant charged with the Stockport murder of petty criminal David Barnshaw.
- 2002: Representation of alleged serial killer named by police as being responsible for 1986 murder of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh.
- 1997: Representation of hit man charged with the 1992 murder of Chorley accountant Michael Austin.
Olliers Solicitors – specialist criminal defence lawyers
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