Craig is a member of the professional misconduct and criminal law team based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office which covers the North East region as well as Cumbria and North Yorkshire.
Having qualified in 2007, Craig is engaged in three main areas of work. The majority of his caseload is made up of criminal law matters. This often involves providing advice and representation to clients at the police station, magistrates court and the crown court. Craig also advises on the prospects of appeal against both conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division. Most of the criminal cases he deals with involve defendants who are professional people. He has significant experience defending those accused of historic sexual offending, misconduct in public office and serious physical assaults.
Craig also specialises in inquest law which involves providing advice and representation to clients at coroners’ inquests. This work is undertaken primarily on behalf of the Prison Officers Association following a death in custody.
Craig has significant experience in the field of public law, including challenges by way of judicial review to Disclosure and Barring Service Certificates. Finally, he has experience of actions against the police. Specifically, he has successfully challenging unlawful arrests as well as decisions by chief constables in relation to adverse entries on Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced Certificates. This area of work requires a sound knowledge of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Client care is extremely important to Craig and he always takes time to listen carefully to his clients before providing clear advice in plain English. For those who assert their innocence, Craig strives to achieve an acquittal by securing and examining all relevant evidence to ensure the strongest possible case is presented to the court. Where a client accepts culpability, Craig provides robust mitigation in an effort to secure the best possible outcome.
Craig is committed to defending professionals who are, more often than not, experiencing the criminal justice system for the first time. He is acutely aware that his clients require significant support when faced with allegations which have the potential to deprive them of their liberty, career, home and family.
He particularly enjoys working for Thompsons because of its commitment to the trade union movement. Craig believes that the support of a union can be vital in ensuring that working people accused of criminal offences are able to put forward their strongest possible case, especially given the reduction in legal aid and access to justice.
In his spare time Craig is a volunteer football coach at a local club and is an avid Newcastle United supporter.
Craig’s Case Experience
R v JL (2014)
Craig represented a man who faced historic allegations from his adopted sister of repeated indecent assault. A complaint was made to the police around twenty years after the alleged abuse was said to have occurred. Craig had significantly undermined the credibility of the complainant’s evidence and at the conclusion of a week-long trial, the jury acquitted the defendant in a unanimous verdict.
R v WM (2014)
WM was an experienced paramedic who had been accused of misconduct in a public office following a sexual encounter with a patient in the back of an ambulance. Whilst CCTV footage categorically demonstrated sexual activity had occurred, the Court of Appeal Criminal Division found in favour of Craig’s argument that a Paramedic was not, as a matter of law, a public office. The legal argument had initially been rejected at the crown court.
R v ML (2016)
ML was unanimously acquitted of three charges of sexual activity with a child and a linked charge of grooming, following a four day trial at Newcastle Crown Court. The presiding judge accepted a “no case to answer” submission on the grooming allegation as it had been established that the complainant had travelled to meet ML and had done so unannounced on a number of occasions. ML’s evidence that no sexual activity took place was preferred to that of the complainant. It was significant that the complainant was demonstrated to have repeatedly lied to authorities and family members about various issues, including, but not restricted to, her real age.
R v PR (2015)
PR was employed as a teacher in a school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The school had been heavily criticised by regulators for its use of restraints on violent and disruptive pupils. A trawl of CCTV footage was undertaken and an incident in which PR had restrained a violent pupil was uncovered. PR was subsequently charged with assault on the basis of the footage. Following a successful application to admit evidence of the pupil’s propensity for violence within the school, PR was successful in establishing that he had used reasonable force to defend himself and to prevent the prejudice of good order and discipline at the school.
R v MW (2013)
Craig represented a train driver, MW, who was convicted in the magistrates court of assaulting a passenger. MW had unsuccessfully argued that the complainant was behaving aggressively and erratically near his train as he prepared to leave the platform. MW had asserted that he used reasonable force to move the complainant away from the platform edge so the train could depart. Whilst magistrates initially rejected MW’s evidence that the complainant was behaving aggressively, Craig was able to have this conviction overturned at crown court. It was established that the Crown Prosecution Service had incorrectly asserted that the complainant had not been reprimanded by police about his behaviour on the day in question. In fact, he had received a ‘youth reprimand’ from police for his behaviour at the station. The CPS accepted the magistrates court had been unintentionally misled and did not contest the appeal.
Craig is currently involved in Court proceedings arising out of Operation Seabrook, the largest police investigation in the history of Durham Constabulary, into allegations of non-recent sexual and physical abuse, with over 1,400 complainants to date. He is representing former prison officers accused of sexual and physical abuse within a youth detention centre. Three lengthily trials, involving seven defendants, have now been concluded with each prison officer acquitted of all allegations of sexual abuse they faced. One further trial will being in 2020.
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to […] Mr Hunn. His expert knowledge, patience, tenacity and skill are commendable and I would like to thank him for all his efforts on my behalf during what has been a challenging few months. I firmly believe that his preparation for the case and his attitude towards the court, colleagues and witnesses […] contributed to a dignified ending to my case. […] I could not have wished for better representation”.