Highly regarded and experienced Criminal Silk instructed in all aspects of both defence and prosecution case work and advocacy. Instructed in serious and high profile cases heard in the House of Lords, Court of Appeal and Crown Court. With forensic case preparation, tenacious cross-examination, careful witness handling and robust Court room presence, has a reputation as a formidable jury advocate. Regularly instructed in complex and document heavy cases including:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Conspiracy
  • Terrorism
  • Serious & Historical Sexual Offences
  • Infant Death
  • Fraud
  • Coroner's Inquests
  • Regulatory
  • Proceeds of crime
  • Serious motor offences – death by dangerous driving 

Heads Trinity's Criminal Practice group.

Caroline Goodwin K.C. was the 2019/2020 Chair of the Criminal Bar Association having previously been elected Vice Chair in 2018.

Nominated for Crime and Extradition Silk of the year 2023 by The Legal 500 Bar Awards.

Tenant at Libertas Chambers, London.

Murder, Manslaughter & Conspiracy

Defends and prosecutes cases involving murder, manslaughter, diminished responsibility, attempted murder and conspiracies. Extensive practical experience of working with a range of experts. Fully familiar with cell site analysis, fingerprint, foot mark, ballistic and DNA evidence as well as the forensic interrogation of computers and smart devices. As part of this practical approach, advocates the use of site visits by the instructing team, Jury and Judge. Regularly deals with vulnerable witnesses and cases requiring video evidence and the use of intermediaries. Specialist practice areas include:

  • Murder
  • Attempted Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Knife Offences
  • Firearms Offences
  • Gang Related Deaths
  • Vulnerable Defendants
  • Vulnerable Witnesses
  • Self Defence & Coercion
  • Provocation
  • Diminished Responsibility
  • Appeals
  • Multi-Handed Defendants
  • Cut-Throat Defences


Instructed in cases involving allegations of terrorist activity, including defending allegations involving membership of proscribed organisations.

Serious & Historical Sexual Offences

Prosecuting and defending cases involving serious sexual assaults including rape, abuse and historic abuse. Recognised expertise in dealing with vulnerable witnesses involved in serious sexual offences, including allegations of sexual abuse made against young and vulnerable defendants.

Having been on the CPS Rape and Serious Sexual Offences List, experience of dealing with cases involving adults, children, the mentally impaired and forced marriage/honour violence. Experienced in dealing with special measures such as video evidence and the use of intermediaries.

Also prosecutes and defends in cases involving internet child pornography and sexual “grooming”. Regularly instructed on behalf of both the prosecution and defence in often high-profile cases involving allegations of historic sexual abuse within families, institutions and other positions of trust. Adopts a forensic approach to assimilating and distilling voluminous amounts of evidence and testimony going back many years. Specialist practice areas include:

  • Rape
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Assault
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Marital/Relationship Rape
  • Coercive Control
  • Sexual Exploitation
  • Human Trafficking
  • Child Abuse
  • Vulnerable Defendants
  • Vulnerable Witnesses
  • Child Grooming
  • Indecent Images
  • Extreme Pornography
  • Honour Violence/Forced Marriage
  • Care Homes
  • Institutional Abuse
  • Schools and Education
  • Sporting Organisations
  • Inter- familial
  • Inter-generational
  • Child Exploitation
  • Child Cruelty

Infant Death

Experienced in dealing with technical medical records and expert evidence surrounding complex causation issues in cases involving infant death, including allegations surrounding neglect and baby shaking. Such cases often involve vulnerable defendants and witnesses requiring intermediaries and the use of video evidence. Specialist practice areas include:

  • Baby Shaking
  • Infanticide
  • Child Neglect
  • Child Cruelty
  • Gross Negligence
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Acquired Brain Injury


Deals with white collar crime including complex and serious fraud cases, including some with an international element.


Following an extensive appointment process, instructed as a prosecuting advocate for Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan de Cuhna. Travelled over 4000 miles to Saint Helena and, on behalf of the Attorney General, prosecuted in a series of 10 trials in cases ranging from rape, sexual assault, including historic, and violence. The cases were unprecedented for the Island as they were the first trials to include intermediaries.

Coroner's Inquests

Regularly instructed in relation to complex Coroner’s Inquest matters acting on behalf of Local Authorities, NHS Trusts, Clinicians, Police Authorities and families of the deceased. In preparing for such hearings, able to meet consultants, nursing staff, police officers out of hours at their place of work recognising the pressures which organisations such as the NHS are under. Heavily involved throughout the pre-inquest stages, including attending conferences, pre-inquest hearings, forensic review of medical evidence and records. Deals with lengthy jury and non-jury inquests involving deaths arising from:

  • Workplace accidents
  • Road accidents
  • Alleged substandard medical care
  • Alleged substandard care in care homes
  • Homicides
  • Suicides
  • Police custody
  • Treatment in prison

Has delivered mock inquest training events.

Regulatory & Motor Offences

Deals with a wide range of regulatory matters including health and safety, trading standards and environmental protection prosecutions.

Instructed in serious motor offences including death by dangerous driving.

Has a particular interest in equine cases.

Direct Public Access

Accredited to accept instructions under the Direct Access scheme.


  • Queen's Counsel 2017
  • Recorder 2010
  • Grade 4 Prosecutor CPS
  • Vice Chair of Criminal Bar Association 2018/2019
  • Chair of Criminal Bar Association 2019/2020


  • North Eastern Circuit Criminal Bar Association 
  • Association of Military Court Advocates


Regularly delivers seminars and training events to solicitors, police authorities and CPS. Recent topics have included advocacy skills, serious sexual offences and vulnerable witnesses. Has also played the role of a Coroner at several mock Inquests and often acts as a Judge in local university mooting competitions.


BA Newcastle upon Tyne

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Clerking team

Paul McNab

Civil & Criminal Silks' Clerk

0113 3235 955

Lead Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9521


01642 247 569
  • "A brilliant court advocate who shows incredible levels of preparation"

    Legal 500 2024

  • "She is the fighter that anyone facing grave allegations would want in their corner."

    Crime, Legal 500 2023

  • "She goes into battle meticulously prepared and leaves no stone unturned. A silk who commands the attention of the court room and is highly respected by judges and juries."

    Legal 500 2022

  • "A tenacious and enthusiastic advocate who builds a strong rapport with the clients she represents"

    Legal 500 2021

  • "Very experienced across a purview of serious criminal cases"

    Legal 500 2021

  • "She has expertise across a broad spectrum of criminal matters"

    Legal 500 2017

  • "Experienced in a range of criminal cases"

    Legal 500 2016

  • "She has vast experience in cases involving cell-site analysis and DNA evidence"

    Legal 500 2015

  • "She adopts a rigorous approach to case preparation"

    Legal 500 2014

  • "...a confident and hardworking counsel who excels at getting to the detail of a case"

    Legal 500 2010

  • "A quick and tough Advocate who can dominate the Court” and “First choice if you can get her.” and “A real fighter who needs early booking"

    Legal 500

R v Bedford: Defending attempted murder, following attack on a female neighbour with a knife. Complex psychiatric evidence. Trial as to fitness and then trial on the facts.

R v Graham: Prosecuting complex attempted murder and rape. Stalker obsessed with former partner, raped her, then attacked her innocent male friend. Evidentially complex as there was no forensic evidence or eyewitnesses.

R v Rought: Cut throat defence. Reliability of main Crown witness with mental illness was a key issue.

R v Webber: House of Lords. Prosecuting where three defendants charged with conspiracy to murder, two of whom were also charged with a firearms offence. Appeal dismissed. Lord Bingham delivered the opinion: a positive suggestion put to a witness by or on behalf of a defendant might amount to a fact relied on in his defence for the purpose of section 34 even if that suggestion was not accepted by the witness.

R v Johnson: Defending murder.

R v Warren: Defending double murder.

R v Trott, R v Murphy and R v Dobbing - part of Operation Burton: Gangland war involving firearms, multi-million pound drugs, multi-handed defendants, involving complex informant "super grass” evidence against former gang.

R v Timney: Prosecuting murder.

R v Edge: Leading member of the English Defence League, 4 week trial in Birmingham in a violent disorder.

R v Lakey: Prosecuted headmistress for historic sexual offences whilst in position of trust against two young male pupils. Extensive evidential arguments and managing vulnerable witnesses in nationally high-profile case. Convicted of all counts.

R v Mohammed: Operation Sanctuary. Largest investigation into sexual exploitation against vulnerable women and girls across the North East. Defending charges of multiple rape, inciting prostitution, drug supply, trafficking for sexual exploitation. Acquitted at trial.

R v Islam: Defending in multi-handed sexual exploitation case. Rape allegations linked to Operation Sanctuary. Vulnerable complainants. Difficult and complex disclosure issues.

R v Robinson: Defending allegations of multi-handed, inter-familial historic (30 years) sexual abuse. Co-defendant’s brothers with convictions for familial sexual offending. Particularly vulnerable complainant. Acquitted at trial.

R v Mitchell: Difficult point of law: lower court. Prosecuted ‘misconduct in a public office’ case involving an ambulance driver alleged to have sexually assaulted a patient. Case was one of a series of cases prosecuted to clarify the test as to “public office holder”.

R. v. F: Acting for the CPS in a defence appeal to the Court of Appeal. Defendant charged with making indecent photographs of a child, possessing indecent photographs of a child and sexual assault on a child - over 21 counts.

R v Todd: Defending in difficult rape trial as the defendant had a personality disorder. 

R v Joginder Chall: Allegations from multiple complainants regarding historical sexual abuse dating back to the 1980's. Lead appellant in conjoined appeal. Court of Appeal leading authority on use of Victim Impact Statements (VIS).

R v McGee and R v McLure: Operation Seabrook. Lead defendant in allegations of historical sexual abuse and violence to young offenders at Medomsley Detention Centre over a prolonged period, including charges of misconduct in public office. High profile case with extensive press attention and pending multi-million pound compensation claims.

R v C: Prosecuting in a case involving the death of a 2-week old drug dependent baby. Cause of death difficult to determine. Complex medical evidence covering head injury, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and baby’s opiate addiction.

R v N: Defending in a case involving the death of 4-month old baby. Complex medical evidence. Both parents indicted. Cut throat defence.

R v Y: Defending following the death of a three week old baby, mauled to death by the family dog.

R v Y: Defending in baby shaking death case involving complex medical issues surrounding causation including detailed medical evidence, extensive medical records and examination of medical experts.

R v Daljit Rai : Defending in complex case including allegations of immigration fraud, creating and using false documents and perverting the course of justice. Involved setting up of elaborate company structures and using illegal labour in multimillion pound government contracts.

R v Lamb: Allegations of international fraud and money laundering. Initially defendant was treated by the police as a witness and consequently taken into protective custody.