Oliver Haswell

Email

Oliver joined Chambers in 2017 after spending his first ten years of practice with the Crown Prosecution Service. After securing an overall grade of ‘Outstanding’ in his Bar Exams, Oliver undertook his pupillage with the CPS where he quickly became known for his advocacy skills.

Since joining chambers Oliver’s defence practice has grown significantly. He is well regarded for his manner with lay clients and his interpersonal skills. He has extensive experience of working with vulnerable people and has represented clients with learning impairment and physical and mental disorders.

Oliver accepts instruction across all aspects of criminal defence work and has a particular interest in violent crime and drug offences. Oliver brings his considerable experience of prosecuting and his knowledge of the inner workings of the CPS to all his defence cases. His understanding of CPS policy and practice and his ability to keep the ongoing duty of disclosure at the forefront of the Crown’s considerations, is reflected in the number of times he has achieved acquittals before and after trial.

Oliver is a Grade 2 Prosecutor and still undertakes a cross-section of criminal work for the CPS.

Read more

Qualifications

  • Grade 2 Prosecutor
  • Accredited Advocacy Trainer: Gray’s Inn
  • BVC Cardiff Law School
  • LLB (Hons) Cardiff University

Associations and Memberships

  • The Honourable Society of Gary’s Inn
  • South Eastern Circuit and CBA

Notable Cases

R v P (2018) - Successful defence of a teenager accused of assaults and religiously aggravated public disorder after he sought to make a citizen’s arrest for alleged “Human Rights” violations upon a VIP at a prestigious horse racing event. The defendant was a member of the catering staff. Having been challenged and restrained by the VIP’s Close Protection Team, it was alleged that assaults and religiously aggravated public disorder followed. The defendant based his initial actions upon his Article 10 ECHR rights and then sought to advance self-defence in answer to the alleged assaults. After cross-examination of the three principle Prosecution witnesses, the Crown offered “no further evidence” and all charges against the defendant were dismissed.

R v G (2018) - Successful representation of a young male facing trial for a S.18 Wounding committed in the course of a “cuckooing” county lines drugs operation. The defendant was indicted for stabbing the victim in the face with a large hunting knife causing life threatening injuries. The defendant had convictions for drug dealing and knife crime. On the day of trial, a number of significant issues in the Crown’s case were highlighted. Further to these submissions, the Crown offered a S.20 disposal which was accepted. Mr Haswell was briefed on the eve of the trial. What started as a “Category 1” S.18 resolved by way of a two-and-a-half-year sentence, less the substantial time spent on remand.

R v E (2018) - Successful defence of a male accused of “being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs”. The case against the defendant hinged on telephone download evidence. The defendant maintained he was nothing more than a “user”. After cross-examination of the Crown’s expert witness, a successful submission of “no case to answer” was made.

R v B (2018) - Successful defence of a man accused of placing a hoax bomb in a high street bank causing a town centre evacuation and deployment of the bomb squad. The case turned on disclosure made by the Crown during the course of the trial. Further to representations made by Mr Haswell regarding forensic evidence relied upon by the Prosecution, the disclosure of further unused material was triggered which was then deployed to undermine the Crown’s case. The defendant was convicted of making a hoax call to the Police. Crucially, given the finding of the jury on the principle allegation of placing the hoax bomb (Count 1 on the indictment) the Court had a limited factual basis for assessing culpability and, after legal argument, the Court accepted the representations made by the defence and handed down a suspended sentence.

R v T (2018) - Successful defence of a serving prisoner accused of false imprisonment and violent assault with weapons upon a fellow prison inmate: an incident caught on CCTV and where the alleged victim and senior prison officers gave evidence for the Crown at trial. The defence involved attacking the character of the complainant and challenging the prison officers about various policies and procedures. A significant issue was keeping the defendant’s conviction for murder (serving a 22-year sentence at the time of this alleged offence) from the jury, which was achieved.

R v M (2018) - Successful defence of a man charged with a “Category 1” ABH assault when he was caught on CCTV punching the complainant at least ten times in the head with a knuckle duster. The defence was based upon the defence of another and involved highlighting vulnerable victims (neighbours) who had allegedly been targeted by the complainant, one of whom the defendant maintained was about to be attacked again. The defence also involved setting out a complex PTSD background which was relevant to the defendant’s actions, and which was evidenced with a psychiatric report. The Crown were persuaded to “offer no evidence” before the trial date.

R v P (2018) - Successful defence by way of half-time submission, of a male charged with multiple assaults on a group of females after a night out in Norwich. By the close of the Prosecution case cross-examination of the Crown’s witnesses had sufficiently undermined the Crown’s position that the Court agreed to stop the case.

R v K (2018) - Successful defence based on “non-insane automatism” of a man committing indecent acts in a public place. The Crown were persuaded to “offer no evidence” shortly before the trial date.

R v S (2017) - Successful defence of a male charged with “possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply” at the Latitude Music Festival. The Crown’s case involved the defendant being found in possession of substantial amounts of cash and Class A drugs (MDMA), festival staff overhearing a drug deal linked to the defendant’s tent and admissions regarding certain Class B drug activity. Through cross-examination of the Prosecution witnesses and interrogation of key exhibits before the jury, the defendant was acquitted.

R v L (2017) - Successful defence of a male charged with assault and criminal damage arising from a road traffic collision in which he was involved - the alleged victim being the other party to the collision. The case was stayed after a successful “Abuse of Process” argument founded on repeated disclosure failures by the Crown.

R v D J (2017) - Successful defence of young defendant charged with Joint-enterprise: “being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs”. He and others were found in a Peterborough hotel room with a significant amount of Class A drugs, cash and dealing paraphernalia. The defendant was first on the indictment and was already a convicted Class A drug dealer, which the jury heard about during the course of the trial.