As one of the leading firms of Solicitors in Bristol and the South West, over the years Kelcey & Hall has been involved in defending in some of the highest profile cases in the country.
Joanna Yeates murder
R v Vincent Tabak
This case attracted much publicity arising out of the death of Joanna Yeates in Clifton in Bristol over the Christmas period of 2010. Joanna Yeates had disappeared from her flat in Clifton on the 17th December 2010 and her body was subsequently found on Christmas Day of that year within the Failand area of Bristol. Mr Tabak was subsequently arrested and tried for her murder, he being an occupant of another flat within the same building. Mr Tabak admitted being responsible for the death of Joanna Yeates but denied murder on the grounds that he had not intended that she should die. Mr Tabak was represented by Mr William Clegg QC of 2 Bedford Row, London and Mr Dean Armstrong, also of 2 Bedford Row. Mr Tabak was found guilty of the murder of Joanna Yeates.
Police Misconduct in Public Office
R v LW
This was a high profile case in which the prosecution alleged that a number of Police Officers and a PCSO had misconducted themselves in their Public Office. It was alleged that our client LW failed in her public duty to deal properly with a call from Bijam Ebrahimi who was subsequently murdered by Lee James. It was alleged that LW had attended at Mr Ebrahimi’s house and that his neighbour Lee James had assaulted him in his home and had wrongly accused him of being a paedophile. In addition it was suggested that Lee James had made threats to kill Mr Ebrahimi.
The prosecution allegation was that LW had failed to arrest Lee James or deal adequately with his behaviour and had failed to investigate Mr Ebrahimi’s complaint. It was further alleged that on a separate occasion LW had refused to speak to Mr Ebrahimi when he was calling her when she was on other duties. Within an hour Mr Ebrahimi was murdered by Lee James.
LW was unanimously acquitted by the Jury after a seven week trial at Bristol Crown Court where LW was represented by Brian Altman QC of 2 Bedford Row and David Hughes of 9 Bedford Row.
Teenage murder acquittal
R v SW
Kelcey & Hall represented a 15 year old girl who was charged with murder following a man being beaten to death in the street. It was alleged that she had taken a secondary role to an older youth who had pleaded guilty to the murder of the man concerned. It was alleged by SW’s former best friend that she had taken part in the murder by punching the man at the scene on two occasions and had filmed the incident on her mobile phone. Another witness subsequently alleged that SW had admitted her involvement in the matter to him. SW was represented by Brian Altman QC of 2 Bedford Row who was leading Ian Kelcey of this firm.
Following rigorous cross examination of both witnesses, which in itself was a difficult and sensitive exercise, bearing in mind their ages, the defence were able to lay bare before the Court the lies that had been told by the prosecution witnesses and point out the considerable discrepancies in the various accounts leading to SW being acquitted within the hour.
Hair in Hand murder
R v Restivo
Danilo Restivo was an Italian National who had left Italy under a cloud having previously been suspected of being involved in the death and murder of Eliza Clapp whose body had not been found at that stage. On arrival in the UK, Heather Barnett, who lived opposite to the house where Mr Restivo was living was found brutally murdered. Whilst the Police had reason to suspect that Mr Restivo had been involved in the matter they did not have sufficient evidence to charge him. Subsequently the body of Eliza Clapp was found in Italy and DNA belonging to Mr Restivo was found on a towel at the scene of the murder of Heather Barnett. As a result of these factors Mr Restivo was arrested and subsequently charged with the murder of Heather Barnett.
The case became something of a cause celebre in that Mr Restivo had been cutting hair of ladies on buses within the Bournemouth area. This was significant as clumps of hair that had been cut were found in the palms of Eliza Clapp and Heather Barnett. Mr Restivo had been under intense Police surveillance for a number of months and he was believed to have been the last person to have seen Eliza Clapp alive before her death. Evidence relating to Mr Restivo’s DNA was admitted at trial which had been found on the jumper of Eliza Clapp when her body was recovered. That coupled with the similarity in terms of the murders, the hair in the hand and Mr Restivo being identified as the haircutter of girls within the Bournemouth area he was subsequently convicted.
Mr Restivo was represented by David Jeremy QC of QEB Hollis Whiteman and Mr Stephen Mooney of Albion Chambers Bristol. The case had international implications because of the on-going Italian enquiry where Mr Restivo was later convicted of the murder of Eliza Clapp.
DNA fluke traps murderer
R v Hampton
This was a high profile case of murder and sexual assault of Melanie Road, a 17-year-old girl from Bath. The murder took place in 1984 and the prosecution case commenced in 2015 following the arrest of Mr Hampton based on DNA evidence. The DNA had been provided by the defendant’s eldest daughter. Mr Hampton subsequently voluntarily provided an elimination sample, which led to his eventual arrest and charge to which he subsequently pleaded guilty.
Revenge attack murder
R v FI
FI was arrested for the murder of Nicholas Robinson who had been stabbed to death at his flat in St Pauls in Bristol. It was alleged by the prosecution that FI had lured Mr Robinson out of his flat to be confronted by a third party, Luciano Barnes who had murdered him. This allegation was always denied by FI and when the matter proceeded to trial a submission was made at the close of the prosecution case that there was insufficient evidence upon which any Jury properly directed could have convicted the defendant. That admission was acceded to and the defendant was acquitted despite a subsequent prosecution appeal to the Court of Appeal where the Court of Appeal upheld the trial Judge’s decision. Luciano Barnes was later convicted of the murder of Nicholas Robinson.
Bristol Nightclub shooting
R v MR and others
A celebrated case that subsequently went to the full Court of Appeal with five Lord Justices of Appeal presided over by the Lord Chief Justice. The prosecution sought to rely upon anonymous hearsay to support an allegation that MR along with others had been responsible for shooting to death a man called Dean Myiles in a busy Bristol nightclub in 2006. The Court found that the anonymous hearsay was not admissible evidence. This finding was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal and all defendants were acquitted of the murder of Mr Myiles in 2008.
Footballer cleared of rape
R v JA
JA was an international professional footballer, who had been accused of the attempted rape of a girl in a hotel in Doncaster. The allegation was strenuously denied, the allegation being that the incident had occurred whilst the team that the defendant played for had been on an away trip. The defendant was tried at Sheffield Crown Court and acquitted.
Cage fighter clash
R v LB
The defendant played for a championship football club based on the South Coast. He had been charged with a Section 18 wounding, it being alleged that he had smashed a glass into the face of a professional cage fighter in a busy Southampton nightclub. There were issues to identification and following a full trial at Salisbury Crown Court in 2011 the defendant was acquitted of the charges against him. The defendant was represented by Mr Edward Burgess of Albion Chambers, Bristol.
Longest running fraud trial
R v PH
This case, which took place in 2003, was at that stage the longest running fraud trial to have been heard in the United Kingdom. It was alleged that the defendant had made enormous profits from a building project and the matter was prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office. All allegations were denied by the defendant, the architect, the defendant’s building manager and quantity surveyors. After a trial lasting 13 months the defendant, who was a man of exemplary previously good character, was acquitted of the charge, as was his building manager. The quantity surveyors and architect were all convicted.
Large scale VAT fraud
R v PO
The defendant was charged with a large scale VAT fraud arising from building projects. After a trial lasting three and a half months in Birmingham Crown Court the defendant was the only defendant to be acquitted of the charges. He was represented by Mr Dean Armstrong QC and Mr David Patience both of 2 Bedford Row.
Breaking Bad breaks good
R v PK
The defendant was charged with a conspiracy to manufacture and supply Class A Drugs akin similar to the television programme “Breaking Bad”. After a five week trial at Plymouth Crown Court the defendant was acquitted of all charges against him, the only defendant to be so acquitted. Counsel was Mr Dean Armstrong QC and Mr Christopher Saad both of 2 Bedford Row.
This involved the divorce of a titled member of the aristocracy, involving the untangling of Family Trusts and negotiations to reach a satisfactory conclusion to what was a complicated issue which had implications in relation to Tax, Trust Law as well as a financial settlement.