• Terrorism Offences
  • High Profile Defendants
  • Baby Shaking & Infant Death
  • Sexual Exploitation/Assault
  • Professional/Gangland Crime
  • White Collar Crime & Fraud
  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Conspiracy
  • Coroners' Inquests
  • Private Prosecutions
  • Regulatory


  • Crown Court Recorder 1991
  • Queens Counsel 1996
  • Head of Trinity Chambers


  • Bar of Northern Ireland
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Justice


MA. Cantab.


In June 2017, received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Northern Law Awards 2017. The award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the legal profession in the region and to their organisation. 

A longstanding interest in, and knowledge of, planning matters and the built environment (Vice-Chairman Northumberland and Newcastle Society) rendering him a powerful advocate at Public Inquiries e.g. Chester-le-Street National Probation Service Hostel.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Clerking team

Liam Gorman

Lead Criminal & Regulatory Clerk

0191 245 9521

Civil & Criminal Silks' Clerk

0113 3235 955


01642 247 569
  • "He has a towering presence in court, and is always engaging and persuasive. He is an advocate who juries warm and listen to"

    Legal 500 2024

  • "Toby is a truly stellar performer"

    Crime, Chambers & Partners 2024

  • "Accomplished Silk" "adept at handling of complex proceedings" "well thought of."

    Crime, Chambers UK 2023

  • "Toby is a tenacious cross-examiner with vast experience in serious criminal cases. He commands attention in court. "

    Legal 500 2022

  • "His closing speeches are always memorable - he commands the attention of everyone in court"

    Legal 500

  • "A fantastic communicator, who distils complex facts into intelligible themes"

    Legal 500

  • "Toby Hedworth QC's established criminal practice includes prosecutions under the Terrorism Act."

    Legal 500

  • "An accomplished silk whose practice includes a wide range of criminal and regulatory cases. He has experience of handling homicide and terrorism matters, and is recognised for his adept handling of complex judicial review proceedings. Very good in court"

    Chamber & Partners

  • "A strong performer. He is very experienced and has a great presence with the jury"

    Chambers & Partners

  • "He's an outstanding advocate in trials, and he gives peace of mind to clients who are facing the most stressful of times."

    Chambers & Partners

  • "an outstanding advocate with an impressive court presence"

    Legal 500

  • "Impressive heavyweight ... takes instructions nationwide."

    Legal 500

  • "Charismatic and energetic ... ranks at the top of heavy cases."

    Legal 500

  • "A superb Advocate."

    Legal 500

  • "Recommended for white-collar crime cases."

    Legal 500

  • "A very experienced advocate who is very persuasive."

    Chambers & Partners

  • "He's an outstanding advocate in trials, and he gives peace of mind to clients who are facing the most stressful of times."

    Chambers & Partners

  • "charm and talent in equal measures."

    Chambers & Partners

  • "The best criminal Barrister in the City ... incredibly industrious and always thinks the best of his clients."

    Chambers & Partners

  • "A highly respected silk...He's experienced and a good fighter in court."

    Chambers & Partners

R v Abdelah: Attorney General's Reference (No.4 of 2002) [2005] l A.C.264. Conducted first ever U.K. prosecution under Terrorism Act for membership of a proscribed organisation.

R v Feddag [2005] Defended in alleged London and international ricin conspiracy.

R v Tsouli: Attorney General's Reference 85 of 2007 [2008] 2 Cr. App.R. (S.) 45. Represented leader of al-Qaeda cyber-terrorism conspiracy.

Boudhiba -v- Central Examining Magistrate, Madrid [2007] 1 W.L.R. 124. Represented alleged 9/11 al-Qaeda associate in extradition appeal.

R v Davison (2010) Represented white supremacist who had manufactured Ricin.

R v Kahar [2016] EWCA Crim 568 Defending allegations of terrorism related activity under s.5 of the Terrorism Act 2006 including attempting to join and recruit fighters for so called Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, terrorist funding offences, disseminating terrorist publications and supporting a proscribed organisation.

R v Atay (2019) Defending in “coercive control” case following wife’s stabbing of her husband. Defendant cleared of murder and convicted of manslaughter on the grounds of lack of intent.

R v Mitesh Patel (2018) Defending pharmacist, described as a “fantasist” alleged to have murdered his wife to start a new life in Australia with his gay partner.

R v Paddy Jackson & Stuart Olding (2018) Prosecuting allegations of rape against professional international rugby players at Belfast Crown Court.

R v Rolando Aarons (2018) At trial successfully negotiated plea to lesser offence by professional footballer.

R v Nile Ranger (2014) Successful defence in high profile rape trial involving professional football player.

R v Seddon (2013) Two counts of murder and attempted murder, high profile defence following fatal shooting of defendant’s parents and previously driving a vehicle into a canal with them as passengers.

R v Robert Black (2011) Successful prosecution of high profile child killer for murder of Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland 30 years previously. In 1994 junior counsel conducting the then largest ever disclosure exercise in the UK with Black convicted for the murders of Susan Maxwell, Caroline Hogg and Sarah Harper.

R v Mitchell (2010) Defence of uniformed police officer accused of multiple rapes and sexual assaults, including in police cells and vehicles. Charged with 26 offences, convicted of 11.

R v Raymond Scott (2010) High profile defence relating to rare first folio of Shakespeare plays held by Durham University, including counts of theft, handling and removing stolen property. Cleared of theft.

R v Barker & Ishaq (2021) Successful murder prosecution following drugs gang related fatal stabbing in Leeds. Life sentence for each, minimum term of 22 years.

R v Miller (2020) Murder client charged jointly with inflicting more than 60 knife injuries. Acquitted at end of Prosecution case.

R v Exley (2019) Defending allegations of conspiracy to murder, resolved by plea of conspiracy to rob at end of prosecution case following issues surrounding identification procedures.

R v Buckland (2019) Successful manslaughter prosecution of amateur boxer accused of “one punch” attack.

R v Dixon (2018) Defending in case involving death following drunken robbery. Cut-throat defence, client convicted of manslaughter, co-accused convicted of murder.

R v Reid (2017) Prosecuting defendant accused of murdering his father by strangulation and chest injuries, unfit to stand trial, proved to have committed the act.

R v Adey (2017) Murder defence in case involving extensive mobile phone evidence and complex disclosure issues.

R v Waterston (2017) Successful murder defence following fatal stabbing during violent disorder incident.

R v Johnson (2017) Defending murder, fatal stabbing of man in own flat following break in.

R v Corbett (2017) Defending co-accused in multi-handed murder, causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and acts intending to pervert the course of justice.

R v Welsh (2016) Defence murder, fatal stabbing following argument on social media.

R v McCabe (2015) Successful murder and manslaughter defence following death caused from smoke inhalation because of a fire alleged to have been started by the defendant after burgling the victim’s home.

R v Ryan (2014) Murder defence, issues surrounding joint enterprise with two brothers arising from an argument in the street in the early hours leading to fatal stabbing.

R v Smart (2014) Murder defence, pleaded manslaughter, alleged self-defence leading to fatal stabbing of defendant’s wife.

R v Johnson (2014) Murder defence, believing she was possessed by the devil, defendant strangled and stabbed his partner, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility three days into the murder trial.

R v Smith (2014) Murder defence, three handed case resulting in manslaughter conviction.

R v Smith & Others (2013) Murder prosecution, four brothers who burnt down the home of a convicted paedophile and his girlfriend convicted of manslaughter.

R v McKean (2013) Two handed manslaughter defence following nightclub brawl.

R v Carr (2013) Successful murder and manslaughter defence following multi-handed fatal stabbing.

R v Warrender (2012) Murder defence, fatal stabbing of next-door neighbour following altercation. Found guilty of manslaughter.

R v Streener (2012) Murder defence, alleged strangulation and setting victim’s body on fire to dispose of evidence.

R v Johnston (2012) Prosecuting alleged manslaughter of defendants’ severely disabled granddaughter.

R v Northey (2011) Murder defence, initially defendant pleaded guilty to s.18 assault on former partner, following subsequent switching off of life support machine, charged with murder. Attempted to appeal s.18 assault conviction.

R v Saint (2011) Murder defence joint two-handed attack on vulnerable victim.

R v Earle [2011] EWCA Crim 17. Defendant convicted with murder of homeless deceased. Fresh forensic evidence casting doubt on credibility of prosecution witness. Criminal Cases Review Commission referred to Court of Appeal as to whether conviction unsafe given fresh DNA evidence.

R v Robinson & Gladstone (2010) Prosecuting two handed murder following fight at New Year’s party. Cut throat defences.

R v McKenzie (2010) Murder and wounding with intent defence following fatal stabbing at Metro station.

R v Spence (2010) Defence in three handed murder of Senegalese asylum seeker.

R v Dunning (2010) Murder defence following fatal stabbing of partner during drunken argument. Convicted of manslaughter by reason of provocation.

R v Brown & Taylor (2010) Murder prosecution. Complex arguments surrounding joint enterprise following two handed fatal stabbing of teenager and attempted murder and grievous bodily harm of another.

R v Muldoon (2009) Successful murder prosecution after vulnerable victim beaten with vacuum cleaner in own home.

R v Newton (2009) Successful murder prosecution of boyfriend who strangled and slit his partner's throat after being freed on bail for an earlier attack.

R v Rycroft (2009) Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) Murder defence, defendant, with history of fraud having faked terminal illness to raise charitable donations, killed his married lover with a fire extinguisher in a hotel.

R v Blower (2009) Defence in three handed murder, cut throat defences, acquittal secured.

Coroners' Inquests

Re Williams (Deceased) Coroner’s Inquest (2014) Representing Cleveland Police Authority in death in custody case involving adverse drug reaction and overheating. Jury Inquest.

James Johnson (Deceased) (2009) Coroner’s Inquest, representing Northumbria Police following death of teenager riding a motorcycle during police pursuit. Jury returned verdict of misadventure.

Professionals defrauding state agencies, and long firm frauds. Instructed in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) cases including Carousel/Missing Trader Intra-Community (MTIC) Fraud, involving cross-jurisdictional issues, complex and voluminous financial evidence.

North East Property Buyers Mortgage Fraud (2015) Defending client charged in what was dubbed the largest fraud in the UK, following a week of negotiations at trial, prosecution offered no evidence. 

Deals with private prosecution matters including cybercrime and fraud.

R v Chiu (2018) Defending in alleged shaken baby manslaughter case. Complex medical evidence regarding causation.

R v Edwards (2017) Defending in alleged shaken baby case. Acquitted after co-accused gave evidence, and after Defence submissions and the Prosecution was invited to offer no evidence by the Judge.

R v O’Neill (2017) Prosecuting in alleged murder, shaken baby case involving complex expert evidence.

R v Nicholson (2015) Murder defence in shaken baby case, allegations of neglect of 16 week old child involving complex medical evidence.

R v Walker (2013) Murder and causing or allowing the death of a child defence. Complex expert evidence following death of two month old baby.

R v Peacock (2012) Defence of mother accused of causing or allowing the death of a child and neglect following fatal injuries to 13 month old child. Acquitted of any involvement in death.

Gangland executions, conspiracies to import and distribute controlled drugs, conspiracies to commit major armed robberies.

R v Sayers & others (2002)

R v Ashton Webber & Lyons [2004] UKHL1

R -v- Blackburn [2008] 2 Cr. App.R. (S.) 5, CA

R v Railton (2009) Defence in multi-handed conspiracy to murder following sawn-off shotgun attack. Case collapsed as the judge ruled detectives were guilty of serious misconduct when they raided the defendants’ solicitor’s home.

R v Thompson & Others (2012) Prosecuting in complex multi-handed conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

R v Peel (2016) Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) Defence, conspiracy to murder following drive by shooting.

R v Sardar Ahmed Abiet (2019) As part of Operation Emerald, defending allegations of being the leader of a grooming gang. Acquitted following legal argument and allegations of mis-conduct by investigating police officers.

R v Onslow (2018) As part of Operation Seabrook, defending former Medomsley Detention Centre officer in relation to allegations of indecent assault, inflicting grievous bodily harm, wounding and misconduct in public office. Acquittal of all sexual offences.

R v Ali (2016) Successful defence of allegations of prostitution as part of Operations Sanctuary and Shelter, prosecution offered no evidence following extensive preliminary arguments.

R v Brown (2014) Defence of allegations of historical indecency and indecent assault against former teacher/social worker at Feversham Residential School for vulnerable children.

R v Forster (2012) Defence of allegation of sexual assault. Novel arguments surrounding automatism, including expert evidence, as defendant submitted that the alleged incidents happened whilst he was asleep.

Re Williams (Deceased) Coroner’s Inquest (2014) Representing Cleveland Police Authority in death in custody case involving adverse drug reaction and overheating. Jury Inquest.

James Johnson (Deceased) (2009) Coroner’s Inquest, representing Northumbria Police following death of teenager riding a motorcycle during police pursuit. Jury returned verdict of misadventure.

Hypolite v R [2007] Bda LR 85 (Murder) Successful appeal against murder conviction in Bermuda Court of Appeal.

R v Daley Schofield (2003) Alleged conspiracy by 2 soldiers to murder a German national who had allegedly given information to the military police regarding drug dealing by the accused. Detailed abuse of process arguments raised following which no prosecution evidence was offered and an investigation into procedure was subsequently directed.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council v Kans & Kandy (2014) Trading Standards, representing company in allegations of weights and measures breaches.