Profile image of Toby Hedworth Q.C.
Toby Hedworth Q.C.
Call 1975
Silk 1996
Specialisms: Regulatory, Crime, Administrative and Public
Toby Hedworth Q.C. CV
Download as a PDF


Tel: 0191 232 1927


Toby Hedworth Q.C.


Crime, Homicide, Terrorism, Regulatory and Judicial Review


"A fantastic communicator, who distils complex facts into intelligible themes"
"Toby Hedworth QC's established criminal practice includes prosecutions under the Terrorism Act."
"an outstanding advocate with an impressive court presence"
"Noted for his preparatory work in serious criminal cases."
"Takes some very serious criminal cases both on and off circuit."
"Impressive heavyweight ... takes instructions nationwide."
"Charismatic and energetic ... ranks at the top of heavy cases."
"A superb Advocate."
"His wide-ranging practice includes murders, drugs conspiracies, white-collar crime and courts martial."
"Recommended for white-collar crime cases."
- Legal 500

"A very experienced advocate who is very persuasive."
"He's an outstanding advocate in trials, and he gives peace of mind to clients who are facing the most stressful of times."
"Senior Silk in Newcastle and operates at a high level"
"is renowned in the Tyneside area for general crime and regulatory work. He led on the prosecution of Paul Robinson and Russell Gladstone in a case alleging murder outside a New Year's party."
"One of the Leading Silks on the North Eastern Circuit."
"Highly adept at making compelling submissions."
"Commended to researchers for having charm and talent in equal measures."
"The best criminal Barrister in the City ... incredibly industrious and always thinks the best of his clients."
“A highly respected silk who has worked on an impressive variety of cases in the criminal and regulatory sphere. He is particularly recognised for his adept handling of complex judicial review proceedings”.."He's experienced and a good fighter in court." 
- Chambers & Partners

"Toby Hedworth Q.C., cool, calm and effective."
- Michael Mansfield Q.C. in 'Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer' 2009


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

Defended in alleged London and international ricin conspiracy R -v- Feddag [2005]
Represented leader of al-Qaeda cyber-terrorism conspiracy, R -v- Tsouli: Attorney General's Reference 85 of 2007 [2008] 2 Cr. App.R. (S.) 45.

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

White Collar Crime: 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, defending client charged in what was dubbed the largest fraud in the UK, following a week of negotiations at trial, prosecution offered no evidence. 

Homicide: Serial murders, gangland murders and conspiracies including: R -v- Sayers & others, R -v- Ashton Webber & Lyons [2004] UKHL1, R -v- Blackburn [2008] 2 Cr. App.R. (S.) 5, CA, and killings by defendants with acute mental deficiencies, shaken baby and child neglect cases.

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

Police Disciplinary Proceedings and Coroners' Inquests: particularly in relation to alleged unlawful killings by the police. Prosecution of corrupt police officers.

Procedure: Conducted the then largest ever disclosure of unused material exercise in the U.K. Strong human rights and appellate practice, including international : Hypolite v R [2007] Bda LR 85 (Murder).

Court Martial: 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: R v Daley Schofield 2003.

Recent cases include:

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

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

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

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

R v Kahar (2015) 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 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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 Robert Black (2011) Successful prosecution of high profile child killer for murder of Jennifer Cardy in Northern Ireland 30 years previously. In 1994 Black was convicted for the murders of Susan Maxwell, Caroline Hogg and Sarah Harper.

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 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 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 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 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.

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

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 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 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.


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


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Justice


MA. Cantab.


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.

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.