William acts for the defence in high profile and serious organised crime and is well known for his attention to detail, and his ability to assimilate complicated case material rapidly. He defends in complex fraud, terrorist related cases and matters prosecuted by the NCA, UKBA, SFO and the SPA. He has considerable experience in pursuing disclosure disputes on behalf of his clients and in presenting any abuse of process arguments that may follow. He is adept at cross-examining experts in DNA analysis and telephone cell site analysis, both critical areas which often lead to the fundamental undermining of a prosecution case.
William also has extensive experiences in matters relating to alleged sexual misconduct, including historic rape, alleged grooming and serious sexual offending.
William also has notable experience in Military law and courts martials, he is the only counsel to have been instructed in all four of the major “Iraqi abuse trials” that emanated from Operation Telic and the British military occupation of Iraq. He went on to represent a core participant in the Baha Mousa Public Inquiry.
William has been instructed in a wide range of sexual offences both in the civilian courts and the military courts. He has represented clients allegedly involved in both single incident and multi incident allegations of rape, sexual assault, and historical sexual abuse. He has frequently cross-examined vulnerable and young complainants. He regularly represents clients charged with possession and distribution of indecent images.
William has advised on the bringing of private prosecutions and he is an active member of the PPA. (Private prosecutors association). Private prosecutions allow individuals, businesses or organisations who have been the victims of crime to pursue justice in the criminal courts by bringing a criminal case themselves, without the involvement of law enforcement agencies. They offer an alternative remedy in cases where an investigation or prosecution has not been pursued by the state. William is able to advise on the limitations that are relevant to the existing legal framework and to provide support for those wishing to pursue such action.
Notable Crime cases
Operation Sacae. R V Mark Barrett. Birmingham Crown Court
The case involved the first serving British soldier ever to be prosecuted for being a member of National Action (a far right terrorist organization). The crown’s case was predicated on the basis that the defendant was voluntarily and knowingly a member of a proscribed organisation with a view to furthering the aims of that organization. He was found not guilty.
Operation Harpike. R V M.Trubini. Central Criminal Court.
After a murder plot to kill sitting North West MP Rosie Cooper was foiled by anti-terror police, a number of alleged members of right-wing extremist group National Action were arrested for a variety of Terrorism Act offences. 2019. The crown’s case was that Michael Trubini was an active and actual member of National Action and that he had voluntarily and knowingly furthered the aims of the organisation. He denied such an association, he was cleared of any such wrongdoing.
Operation Italici. R v Gurjaipal Dhillon. Central Criminal Court.
An international investigation into the illegal importation and manufacture of anabolic steroids into the UK involving some £80 million of drugs, described as the “worlds most prolific anabolic steroid smuggling gang”. Border Force intercepted a shipment of 632kg of Class C anabolic steroids at Heathrow that were destined for Belfast. The NCA in Belfast uncovered further contraband and more than two tonnes of steroids were seized overall. The investigation identified an overseas criminal group with a global supply network that had been operating for ten years and had trafficked at least 100 tonnes of the product. 2019. The case was described as one of the largest hauls of anabolic steroids in history.
Operation Tabernackler. R v Gjergji Diko. Central Criminal Court.
The case involves the importation of £233 million of cocaine, discovered inside a consignment of bananas. Described as one of the largest ever seizures of cocaine in the UK by the NCA. The importation direct from Colombia involved 41 pallets of bananas, hiding some 2,330 blocks of cocaine. The matter is due for its next hearing in late 2021.
Operation Dogwood. R V Azis Ghanchi. Reading Crown Court.
A £17 million trading standards prosecution, the carrying on of a business for a fraudulent purpose, namely the dishonest sale of solar panel maintenance contracts and green energy equipment using unfair commercial practices. The case due for trial in late 2022.
Operation Rokeby. R V Francis Appiagyei, Central Criminal Court.
Murder and aggravated burglary of a drugs premises. The case involved the attack of a premises to recover drugs and the resultant death of one of the occupants.
Operation Rutland. R V Scott Heaney  Basildon Crown Court.
Murder and attempted murder, the case centered on the robbery of a number of individuals who were targeted whilst they were said to be guarding a large amount of drugs, and the subsequent violent murder that ensued.
Operation Operation Wildwood. R V Lea Smith. Hove Crown Court.
The case involved a £12 million supply of class A drugs throughout the south of England. An organised crime group (OCG) that was based in Liverpool supplied the drugs that were then distributed from Brighton to the rest of the south coast.
Operation Waterfront. R V Ashley Bramante. Derby Crown Court.
A multi million pound class A drugs conspiracy involving the wholesale supply of cocaine. NCA. 2017.
Operation Bistro. R V Jason Fitzgibbon
The case involved the importation of £7 million of heroin, money laundering and organised crime involving the notorious Fitzgibbon family from Liverpool. The case attracted significant press attention. The crown’s case involved the importation of 57 kilos of cocaine from Turkey. The family home was bugged and the recordings were used to implicate them. The SOCA said that the family “revelled in their notoriety”. Graham Johnson, who studied the family, told Channel 4 News: “The Fitzgibbon crime family have been major players in organised crime for 30 or 40 years, and one of the reasons they’ve stayed at the top of their game is because they use extreme violence when necessary to protect their interests”.
Operation Elunjai. R v David Sterling. Central Criminal Court.
An attempted Murder involving the robbery of rolex watches, one of the victims was shot on his own doorstep at point blank range. The defendant was recorded on the families home CCTV shouting at his co-defendant to “shoot him in his head” immediately before he was shot at point blank range. The defendant was found not guilty of attempted murder after the jury accepted his version of events, namely that he said it to intimidate them, and that he did not know his co-defendant’s firearm was loaded with live ammunition.
R Darren Larkin. Operation Breadbasket
The first Iraqi abuse case to arise out of Operation Telic, often referred to as Britain’s’ Abu Gharib. The first British soldiers to be prosecuted for alleged prisoner abuse during Operation Telic.
R V Wayne Crowcroft
The case involved the death in custody of a hotel receptionist (Baha Mousa) whilst being held by the Queens Lancashire Regiment in Basra. Lance Corporal Crowcroft together with Colonel Jorge Mendonca and others were acquitted on the direction of the Judge Advocate General following half time submissions. The Baha Mousa public inquiry followed this case.
R V Roberto Di Gregrio. “The roadside killing in Al-Ferkah
The case involved the death of an 18-year-old who was allegedly beaten to death by soldiers from the parachute regiment, in an alleged revenge attack following the death of an officer in the regiment.
R V Durgahang Limbu
The case involved Three Gurkhas, and the death of a teenage boy in a club frequented by the military in Belize. The riflemen, who were cleared at the court martial that was held in Belmopan (Belize), were among 30 soldiers celebrating the end of a one-month jungle warfare training exercise when a fight broke out between the Gurkhas and a group of local teenagers at the club.
R v W Lewes Crown Court.
20 count multiple incident indictment, historical allegations of rape and sexual assault on vulnerable victims aged between 3 and 13 years old, with a significant breach of trust.
R v J Guildford Crown Court.
Alleged historical sexual assault of the defendant’s granddaughter’s when aged between 7 and 13 years old. Cross-examination of young complainants.
R v A Chichester Crown Court.
Multiple count/multiple victim allegations of rape and sexual assault. Three victims, one of whom had learning difficulties. Cross-examination of vulnerable victim.
R v E Lewes Crown Court.
24 count multiple incident/multiple victim allegations of indecent assault and buggery. Victims aged between 8 and 12 years old.
R v N Portsmouth Crown Court.
Multiple counts of buggery and gross indecency on a boy aged between 10 and 16 years old.
R v D Lewes Crown Court.
Multiple counts of Indecent assault of a child aged 13-15 years old.
R v R Lewes Crown Court.
Causing a child to engage in sexual activity. Causing a child to watch a sexual act. Victim aged 14 years old.