Craig is a member of the professional misconduct and criminal law team based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Newcastle office, which covers the North East, 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 challenged 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. 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
- Ensured the acquittal of a man who faced historic allegations from his adopted sister of repeated indecent assault with a unanimous jury verdict.
- Represented a paramedic who had been accused of misconduct in a public office following a sexual encounter with a patient in the back of an ambulance. 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.
- Secured an acquittal for a client who had three charges of sexual activity with a child and a linked charge of grooming. 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 Craig's client unannounced on a number of occasions and their evidence that no sexual activity took place was preferred to that of the complainant.
- Represented a teacher who worked in a school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and was charged with assault after using reasonable force to defend himself against a child with a propensity for violent behaviour.
- Overturned the conviction of a train driver who was judged to have assaulted an individual when using force to move the passenger away from the platform edge so a train could depart.
- Represented and secured the acquittal of seven prison officers in Operation Seabrook, following three lengthy trials.
- Secured an acquittal for a supply teacher who was charged with assault. The bench acquitted our client, insisting the evidence from the complainant was 'vague and inconsistent'.