Matthew is a Partner and Head of the Criminal and Mental Health team. He qualified as a solicitor in 2002 and practiced in London before moving to Bath in 2007. He has extensive experience in working in cases of Sexual Offending and Internet Crime, with associated civil expertise. His technical and computer skills combined with extensive legal knowledge set him apart as a leading practitioner in the field.
Matthew has a particular interest and experience in working with those with an ASD diagnosis, including Asperger Syndrome.
“Every case begins and ends with the client. It’s my job to take their case, their concerns, their priorities and succeed in the criminal justice system in a way that would be impossible otherwise. Knowing and understanding the law is just the beginning – I am humbled and fortunate to have the opportunity to represent the people at the heart of an often bewildering and increasingly crumbling justice system. Their world is my case, and I confront each with respect and compassion, but without fear or favour”.
Matthew is a member of the Law Society, is Criminal Litigation Accredited and a Criminal Law Supervisor.
Matthew will use any excuse for adventure travel and has travelled extensively in Europe and Asia. Matthew is a committed microbrewer, an enthusiastic footballer, an energetic cyclist, an often damp canoeist, and is all things Bath Rugby.
Matthew is a trustee with homeless charity Julian House.
Areas of Expertise
- Criminal Law and Mental Health
- Internet Crime - Illegal Images, Grooming, Sexting, Virtual Offending
- Contact Sexual Offences, especially with issues regarding Consent, Historic Allegations and Professionals
Recent Notable Cases
R v M - Crown Court Sentence - Online Sexual Offending and Grooming - paedophile hunter vigilante case - Suspended Sentence and shortened SHPO.
R v B - Crown Court trial – Professional sexual offending. Teacher prosecuted for sexual offences against a pupil – contested trial. Acquitted of all charges at trial. Significant disclosure issues.
R v M – Crown Court sentencing. Vigilante string operation. Plea negotiation, independent risk assessment and sentencing.
R v D – Crown Court trial. Litigation, defendant with Asperger’s, contact sexual offences against a family member and a family friend. Bad character evidence and disclosure issues, including extensive telephone and social media evidence.
R v C Magistrates sentencing. Indecent images, making category A,B & C and prohibited images. Asperger Syndrome. Case usually dealt with in Crown Court dealt with by Magistrates due to force of mitigation, including prospects of successful rehabilitation. Community order imposed.
Police v P – Magistrates Court (Civil Jurisdiction) – Sexual Risk Order. Independent risk assessment and contested proceedings. Resolved through negotiation.
R v S – Magistrates Trial Making Indecent Images – rare Magistrates trial for making illegal images found on mobile phone. Court found there was no evidence the defendant had never seen the images, albeit convicted him and imposed a community order.
R v A – Crown Court Proceedings – Client involved in accessing illegal child images. Profound ASD and other mental health issues. Not fit to stand trial or participate in proceedings. Guardianship and related residential care package.
R v D - Crown Court Proceedings - Elderly client with onset dementia involved in Internet Crime. Mens Rea of Protection of Children Act 1978 challenged. No conviction.
R v J (a youth) - Sexting allegation with subsequent contact offences. Sexting (Malicious Communications Act) dismissed, contact offences not crossing the custody threshold - referral order.
R v M - Crown Court Proceedings. Several thousand Category A images and movies. Guilty plea, immediate custody avoided, community based penalty with Sex Offender Treatment Program and Supervision.
R v V - Magistrates Court (Civil Jurisdiction) - Notification order in respect of foreign conviction