Toby Wilbraham

Partner specialising in
Criminal Defence & Regulatory

Toby Wilbraham

Toby is a highly experienced solicitor having worked for Olliers for over 25 years. He works mainly as a litigator but also has experience having worked as an advocate in the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Due to this experience he often prepares cases with some complexity or cases that involve unusual areas of law including pre-charge or post-charge representations.

Toby has worked on a wide variety of serious cases including historical sex offences, conspiracy to supply drugs and murders. He is particularly interested in computer related crime and has worked on several ‘hacking’ and NCA led ‘dark web’ cases. This has included global drug dealing on the Silk Road website and other similar sites.

He also undertakes a lot of work on intra-familial domestic allegations where a former partner has alleged that a client has committed a variety of offences (often including sex allegations, coercive control and assaults) against them. This work can be complex and emotive and can include liaising with family solicitors as it is often suspected that the allegations may be being used as a mechanism to gain advantage in family proceedings.

Toby has represented clients facing prosecution for regulatory offences including Trade Mark allegations. He is a member of The Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers, ARDL.

More recently Toby has embraced pre-charge work using the Framework created under the Attorney General Disclosure Guidelines 2020. Pre-charge work involves liaising with the Police and CPS at the investigation stage of an allegation. This makes the process more balanced and enables us to make representations either that the allegations should not be prosecuted or to suggest an out of court disposal may be more appropriate than a prosecution. Due to his experience in this developing area he has created an accreditation scheme that he uses to teach colleagues how to approach such work.

Case Examples and Testimonials

Pre-Charge Work

  • An allegation of public disorder was made against a client at his home address when confronted by the complainant and his associate. We were involved at the investigation stage and obtained various evidence that undermined the allegation and ultimately this was not prosecuted and the case was dropped.


“I am convinced that the work that has been done at the pre-charge stage was the difference between the matter proceeding and not. You did a detailed review of the matter and worked on it to ensure that necessary work was carried out as speedily as possible. You also did a brilliant job with managing all of the personalities involved in the case.

Your expertise was very much appreciated as was your professionalism. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend your services to others. I know that pre-charge work is a somewhat niche area but as far as I am concerned it was the best way to proceed from day one to ensure we got the outcome we wanted.”

  • A 2023 case Mr X was investigated for an allegation of rape following the breakup with his wife. He denied the allegation and suggested it was malicious as his ex-wife failed to cope with the breakdown of their relationship. We obtained a detailed statement from the client and his two sisters. We obtained a number of witness statements from other parties including the complainant’s ex-boyfriend The witnesses we spoke to all described unusual behaviour from the complainant. Due to this we asked a psychologist to look at the behaviour and comment upon whether or not the complainant may have a psychological or psychiatric condition The psychologist concluded that due to the behaviour described, the complainant likely had either a personality disorder or mental health condition. We forwarded all this material to the police and the police dropped the case without referring it to the Crown Prosecution Service.
  • A 2023 case where Mr Y was investigated for a police assault following an incident at a bar after a wake. There was a disturbance between two other people and the client intervened to calm things down as a police officer attended. It was alleged by the police officer that he had pushed the officer back as he tried to intervene. This was denied. We obtained witness statements from 5 independent witnesses. We obtained CCTV footage of the incident and made representations to the police that there was insufficient evidence to proceed. The case was duly dropped. It is likely that the case would have been prosecuted had we not made the representations.
  • A 2023 case where Mr Z, who was a soldier was investigated for an allegation of rape against an ex-girlfriend. She alleged that he had raped her the first night they were together and on a couple of occasions subsequently whilst he stayed with her at her parent’s house. He denied the allegation and stated that all sexual activity was consensual and suggested that the complainant had fabricated the allegation following being upset at the breakdown of the relationship. We liaised with the police to enable them access a number of witnesses that were of assistance to us. We sent the police a number of items as part of pre-charge engagement that corroborated the account that he put forward in interview. We collated a number of character witnesses and forwarded them to the police. We requested a number of lines of enquiry that we thought would benefit the client. As a consequence of liaising with the police expeditiously the police were able to drop the case within a number of weeks following the interview. This enabled him to put this behind him and get on with his career


“After the initial shock of hearing that (Mr Z) was to be interviewed regarding the charge, we were all confused and scared for him. We were raised to respect the Police and trust our

British legal system however there are always doubts that enter your mind when a member of your own family is put in a position such as this. We chose to contact your firm due to the seriousness of the case and because we felt that (Mr Z) deserved to be represented by someone who could dedicate sufficient time to him. That is no disrespect to any ‘duty’ solicitor that may well have been available, it was purely because we felt that the legal system is currently overwhelmed and we didn’t want any evidence to be missed or overlooked due to a lack of knowledge, expertise and experience of this area.

We’re shocked that there are so many cases of this nature that leave people in limbo for months and we are just so glad that we have been lucky enough to have had ours resolved at such an early stage.

Please forward our thanks to your team as from the initial contact through to this conclusion we have been treated with courtesy and efficiency at a time when we were shocked beyond belief. Throughout this whole experience we have felt that you made us fully aware of the process and that you always had (Mr Z’s) best interests at heart. “

  • A 2023 case Mr A was investigated for sexual assault, controlling and coercive behaviour and other allegations against his former girlfriend. This followed a toxic relationship between the two. We were able to obtain evidence from various sources (including witness statements, WhatsApp messages and other) that undermined the allegations against him. As a consequence, following representations, the Police and CPS did not proceed with the case.
  •  A 2023 case Mr B was investigated for sexual communication with a child, which he accepted. The Police had suggested he would receive a caution but after a review passed the case to the CPS to prosecute to court. We made representations that a caution was the most appropriate disposal, which was ultimately accepted and given.

Post-charge Representations

  • A 2023 case involved an allegation of criminal damage and assault against a civilian purporting to be a journalist who started recording a wedding reception following a fire at the premises. This had triggered the sprinkler system resulting in guests streaming out of the premises with smoke and water damaged clothes, some struggling to breathe and others in some distress receiving treatment by ambulances at the scene. A guest asked the civilian to stop recording in the circumstances and they refused leading to a tussle. Mr C was prosecuted as a consequence. We asked the CPS to consider a breach of the peace as a way of resolving the case but this was refused. We then went on the fight the case leading to the CPS discontinuing the case the day before the trial.


“I recently had the pleasure of working with Toby Wilbraham from Olliers Solicitors, and I am delighted to share my experience and express my utmost satisfaction with the exceptional service received. From the very first consultation, I was impressed by Toby’s professionalism and extensive knowledge of the legal field. He took the time to understand the intricacies of my case, patiently listening to my concerns and answering all my questions with clarity and expertise. His ability to simplify complex legal concepts and explain them in a way that was easy for me to grasp was truly commendable.”

Computer Misuse Cases

  • Represented BH in relation to a nationwide investigation by the NCA relating to fraud, money laundering and computer misuse. It was alleged that BH had paid for access to ‘’ and had gone on to use stolen data to commit fraudulent activity. In 2020 the FBI closed down the website, which sold stolen account / password data to users who paid to access the website. The NCA subsequently investigators users who had been identified in the UK. BH was arrested as data showed that he had accessed the website. The NCA believed that was for nefarious purposes. In the course of the investigation, NCA officers discovered a bitcoin wallet which suggested large sums of money had passed through it, more than he could have legitimately earnt. Toby Wilbraham represented BH at the investigation stage and liaised with officers who dealt with the case. Ultimately no further action was taken against BH and arrangements were made to return the bitcoin that had been seized.
  • Represented a client at the Police Station and Court for involvement in a large scale global drug dealing group linked to the ‘dark web’ and notorious website ‘The Silk Road’. The client was a student at Manchester University at the time of his arrest that followed the arrest of the creator of the website Ross Ulbricht in America by the FBI. The National Crime Agency (NCA) led the investigation in this Country which involved evidence obtained from the FBI in America.
  • Represented a client at the Police Station who was alleged to have been trading Class A and Class C drugs over the ‘Dark Web’. Ultimately the client was only charged with possession of Class C drugs and received a financial penalty at court.
  • Represented a client who was alleged to have assisted a ‘hacker’ take down his company website using malware and alter payments systems to direct money to himself. After liaising with the CPS and obtaining good mitigation we were able to persuade a court to impose a suspended sentence.

Indecent Images

  • Represented someone who was found to be in possession of over 300,000 Cat C images. Notwithstanding the CPS suggesting this was so serious only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate, we obtained a psychological report suggesting the volume was due to the clients ‘obsessive personality traits. We persuaded the Court to impose a 6 month suspended sentence.


“From the very first moment I spoke to Toby I knew I was in extraordinarily capable and professional hands. I was extremely reassured to have him by my side throughout what could have been a difficult case with a highly uncertain outcome.

I always felt he had total control of the case and I felt completely involved at every stage of the process. His recommendations for other professionals to assist with the case were spot on and, given the overall circumstances, the final result was far better than I could ever have imagined at the outset.

I will be forever grateful to Toby and to Olliers for everything they have done for me in helping get my life back on track. Thank you.”

  • In 2023 Toby represented a number of clients for indecent images offences. Due to the approach he took, including working with outside agencies to reduce the future offending risk, he was able to avoid all clients receiving an immediate custodial sentence.
  • A 2023 case where a client was prosecuted for indecent images offences and sexual communication with a child (that was in fact an undercover Police Officer) Toby was able help to persuade a court that they should impose a suspended sentence rather than immediate custody.

Sexual Communication Offences

  • A 2023 case where a client was prosecuted for inciting a child to engage in sexual activity Toby was able to refer the client to outside agencies and to engage fully with probation. As a consequence, we were able to persuade the court to impose a suspended sentence rather than immediate custody.


  • Represented a businessman at Manchester Crown Court for trading standards offences. He was prosecuted for selling children’s chairs on ebay which didn’t pass the necessary safety standards and also used trademarked logos.
  • Represented a man alleged to have been involved in manufacturing and selling counterfeit goods in the Cheetham Hill District of Manchester. The case was dropped against him after negotiations with the Prosecuting authority and co-defendants.
  • Represented a client at the Police Station for allegations of unlicensed pharmaceutical drug importation and sales, and money laundering. The client and her partner were alleged to be responsible for importing generic Viagra from India and selling it through various companies on ebay. This was a complex case involving large amounts of financial and transactional records.
  • Represented a client at Court who was prosecuted for unauthorised treatment of waste at his waste management plant.

Money Laundering / Proceeds of Crime

  • Represented a client in POCA proceedings whereby the initial benefit figure was alleged to have been £75,000. By obtaining work receipts and confirmation of International money transfers I was able to reduce the amount to £19,000.
  • Represented a client in POCA proceedings following armed robbery allegations. I was able to break the joint liability presumption for the benefit figure reducing the overall benefit figure. I also was able to account for a large amount of cash that was alleged to have been ‘hidden assets’ by the CPS thereby reducing his overall liability.
  • Represented a client following s22 proceedings where the CPS came back 10 years after a confiscation order was made, having frozen his assets. I was able to reduce the total amount the CPS suggested was owed by him after negotiation with the CPS

Serious Crime

  • Represented a client for murder at Manchester Crown Court. He had handed himself in to a local police Station and stated he had witnessed a friend murder someone. When interviewed he also accepted helping him dispose of the body, under duress. Although he was charged with murder the jury accepted his account and acquitted him.
  • Represented a client for murdering his wife at Manchester Crown Court. He was alleged to have strangled her following an argument after she stated she was leaving him. After looking into potential diminished responsibility defences the client pleaded guilty getting a life sentence with a minimum tariff of 11 years.
  • Represented a client for murder at Manchester Crown Court. He was accused of dousing his sister with petrol and setting her on fire. The case was complex looking into potential mental health defences and various forensic issues.
  • Represented a client for double murder where he was alleged to have killed 2 people in a house with a hammer.
  • Represented a client for gross negligence manslaughter at Manchester Crown Court. She had attended a party during which her sister had stabbed her boyfriend in the leg. The client then told people not to call an ambulance which led to the victim dying due to blood loss.
  • Represented a husband and wife charged with murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice following a large scale disturbance where the victim was killed with a machete.
  • Represented a client involved in a large scale drugs conspiracy where she was alleged to have assisted her partner meet a drugs courier to convey large amounts of Class A drugs to a Manchester based organised crime group.
  • Represented a client for a large scale fraud (Over £1 million) whereby his company was alleged to have been selling a misleading service to a large amount of customers.


“I would like to say thank you for the professional yet personable service that you have provided. You represented me in the exact way that I wanted which allowed me to get the best result possible. I believe that the outcome was fair and the magistrates were very understanding of the circumstances I am in. I will be forever in your debt. Thanks again and stay safe.”

“From the moment I needed legal advice Toby and Olliers were a reassuring and reliable presence. Toby was always at the other end of the phone when I needed him to give sound legal advice and help calm my worries. This not only came in the form of their counsel but

also in giving a fair price for their work and going above and beyond what I could have hoped for the fees I paid them. Thanks to them I got a fantastic result and can get on with my life.”

Criminal Law and Forensics

Toby has a particular specialism in cases involving forensic evidence and has significant experience of challenging such evidence successfully. Toby has written a number of articles highlighting the problems in outsourcing forensic science services.

Toby in the Media

In 2021 Toby was quoted in the Guardian reflecting on the 10 year anniversary of the 2011 riots. Read more.

In 2012 Toby worked on cases relating to the Manchester Riots and was interviewed on Radio 5 live, Radio Manchester, Granada Reports and BBC news. He also contributed to the joint Guardian/ LSE report into the causes of the riots.

Toby was interviewed on BBC Manchester in relation to stop and search statistics in 2015.

Articles written by Toby

Toby Wilbraham



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