Stephen Earnshaw has 29 years of experience at the criminal bar both as prosecution and defence counsel. His practice covers the whole spectrum of criminal offending including murder, serious violence, rape and sexual assault and has recently been involved in a number of serious drug supplying cases.

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In addition, he regularly presents cases for the NMC. He is a well-regarded and respected member of the Bar with a reputation for diligent case preparation.

Stephen is a Grade 3 CPS prosecutor and is also a specialised RASSO counsel. He regularly prosecutes allegations of rape and sexual assault often involving young and vulnerable witnesses. As such he has developed a compassionate way of dealing with witnesses and putting them at ease. He is up to date with witness training.

He also defends in such cases where his Prosecution knowledge is invaluable.

He has been instructed to both prosecute and defend in serious drug supplying cases.

Stephen regularly appears as an NMC case presenter.

Notable Cases

R v SD (2019) – 4-day rape trial.

NMC (2019) – 7-day contested hearing.

R v G (2019) – 4-day trial on assault and coercive behaviour within marriage.

R v D ( 2019) – Arson with intent with psychiatric issues.

NMC v I (2019) – 18-day 3-handed regulatory hearing.

R v AB (2018) – attempted murder following a drug deal. This required careful consideration of DNA evidence.

R v G (2018) – A large number of indecent images that required proper consideration of computer evidence.

R v C/S (2018) – 5-day drugs trial.

NMC v 4 (2018) – 4-handed NMC hearing.

R v J (2018) – serious sexual assaults within family background.

R v C (2018) – armed robbery; detailed consideration of cctv evidence.

R v J (2018) – 4-day trial on historic sexual assaults.

R v G (2018) – 6-day trial of rape where complainant was drugged. Consideration of toxicology and cctv.

R v R (2018) – 5-day trial possession of firearm.

R v M (2017) – 8-day trial involving charges of concealing criminal charges; South East complex casework.

R v J and ors (2017) – 11-day 3-handed stranger rape trial.

R v C (2017) – 5-day GBH trial where victim assaulted with a baseball bat.

R v M (2017) – 6-day 3-handed conspiracy to supply class A drugs trial.

NMC v H (2017) – 8-day regulatory hearing.

R v TL (2017) – 16-day £1m multi-identity benefit fraud.

R v B (2016) – 6-day trial of historic sexual assault with identification and bad character.

R v I (2016) – 6 day trial of serious s18 stabbing with consideration of hostile witnesses and dangerousness.

R v C (2016) – 7-day trial of death by dangerous driving requiring proper consideration of experts’ reports.

R v S (2016) – 5-day rape trial focusing on issues of consent and self induced intoxication.

R v L (2016) – 7-day trial on rape and sexual assault within the family. Questions of dangerousness.

R v L (2016) – 9-day possession with intent to supply trial involving undercover police evidence.

R v C (2015) – 4-day rape trial where defence was mistake of fact and self induced intoxication.

R v M/L (2015) – 8-day 2-handed rape trial with issues of admissibility and cross admissibility.

R v H (2015) – 10-day rape trial.

R v AJ (2014) – murder – young defendant with ADHD.

R v FO (2014) – £5m advance fee fraud involving vulnerable and elderly witnesses. Prosecution case served on disc. 3-week trial.

R v T (2014) – attempted murder and s.18: second defendant with case based on principle of joint enterprise. Painstaking review of extensive  cctv coverage.

R v H (2014) – 7-day trial of historic familial allegations of inciting serious sexual offences.

R v L (2014) – oral rape of young complainant by 15-year-old defendant. Intermediary instructed from the outset.

R v O (2013) – murder: revenge murder in South London with extensive cctv and telephone data.

R v H (2013) – rape and indecent assault; successful application of doctrine of doli incapax.

R v AN (2012) – large-scale insurance and banking fraud.

R v M (2012) – machete/knife murder in East London.

R v G (2011) murder plea of guilty to murder and burial of body on first day of trial. Successful sentence reduction in CA.

R v C (2011) – historic cold case of rape and false imprisonment. Leave to appeal against conviction argued but refused. Sentence reduced on appeal.

R v W (2005) – Crim App R (S) 115. DWP case on sample counts and specimen charges.


LLB (Hons)

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association
South Eastern Circuit