Background Gavel
Charles Burton
Year of call:


As a leading junior Charles defends across the spectrum of serious crime including homicide, serious sexual offending, organised crime, fraud, confiscation and asset restraint.

Charles is known for taking on difficult cases and achieving results through strategic planning and tactical awareness. His fully rounded style of advocacy means that he is both adept in legal argument and persuasive with juries. A highly focussed and tenacious approach to all aspects of case management and disclosure means that no stone is left unturned in the preparation and presentation of cases. 

Both lay and professional clients across the wide spectrum of offences with which he deals value his ability to engage and inspire confidence.

Charles is Direct Access qualified.

Memberships & Professional Committees

Senior South Eastern Circuit rep on Bar Council
Elected Bar Council rep on South Eastern Circuit Committee
Criminal Bar Association
Inner Temple



R v GB - Central Criminal Court -
D alleged, together with another, to have inflicted multiple blows and stab wounds. Cut-throat defence giving rise to issues of causation and requiring extensive analysis of expert pathological, neuro-pathological and blood distribution evidence.
R v KA - Attempted Murder - Central Criminal Court.
D identified as shooter in drive by gang related shooting. Victim shot in leg. Acquitted of attempted murder and GBH.
R v BD - Central Criminal Court -
D smashed skull of 18-month-old child. Plea of guilty to manslaughter on grounds of     diminished responsibility accepted. Sentenced to a s.37 MHA 1983 hospital order. Leading judgment on relevant factors where “hybrid orders” being considered
R v G and ors. - Central Criminal Court -
D alleged to be party to murder of rival gang member. Present at scene but denied participation. Acquitted.
R v L - Central Criminal Court -
D accepted inflicting fatal stab wound claiming to have acted in self-defence. Acquitted.
R v L and ors. - Central Criminal Court -
Victim fatally stabbed in course of robbery. Conviction appealed on grounds, inter alia, of change of law relating to liability of secondary parties.
R v H - Central Criminal Court.
D stabbed mother and set fire to her flat. Plea to manslaughter accepted on grounds of diminished responsibility.  
R v B - Central Criminal Court -
D and co-d accused of strangling and smothering long term partner of latter. Cut-throat defence where co-d (good character) adduced D’s similar fact previous conviction for manslaughter. Co-d convicted. D Acquitted.

Serious Violence/Kidnap/Modern Slavery

R v Z and ors. – Kidnap, False Imprisonment, and Blackmail – St Albans Crown Court.
D alleged to have kidnapped and blackmailed “groomed” drug dealers selling drugs on their behalf. Ordeal included sustained     punishment beating. Defence of set up by alleged victims to avoid     repayment of drug debt. D acquitted.
R v CL - S.18 Wounding and Violent Disorder - Birmingham Crown Court - Represented CL alleged to be leading member of “Drillaz” gang accused with others of knife attack, causing multiple stab wounds, on opposing gang in Birmingham shopping centre.  
R v SRA - Harassment - Snaresbrook Crown Court - D pursued campaign of harassment involving threats to petrol bomb complainant and rape his wife. Phone evidence relied on but complainant refusing to hand to police. Multiple disclosure issues. Following section 8 application, prosecution offered no evidence.  
R v TP - Modern Slavery - Blackfriars Crown Court - complainant alleged to have been held in servitude for 7 years. D acquitted.
R v D - Modern Slavery (s.2 MSA 2015) /controlling prostitution- Southwark Crown Court -
D arranged/facilitated travel from Thailand and Vietnam of women for the purposes of working for her escort agency. Crown alleged women held in conditions of servitude. ·        
R v A and ors. -Kidnap, False Imprisonment, Blackmail - Complainant kidnapped by criminal gang and subjected to seven-day ordeal of torture and violence including sexual assault. ·        
R v W and ors. -Kidnap - D, a member of Birmingham’s Johnson Crew, together with others, alleged to have kidnapped rival gang member. Acquitted. 

Fraud/Money Laundering/Cybercrime

R v AF
- Fraudulent Trading - St Albans Crown Court - AF, a company director, alleged to have made false representations in relation to various businesses for the purpose defrauding its customers. Acquitted.
R v DB - Conspiracy to defraud - Inner London Crown Court - D, a bank manager of a major city bank, conspired with others to defraud account holders of in excess of £1m. Acquitted.·        
R v ZC - Misuse of Computers - Hacking - Blackfriars Crown Court. ZC charged with hacking into the US servers of both Microsoft and Nintendo and downloading source codes for new software products causing damage in excess of $2.5 million. ZC’s autism was, exceptionally, considered by the imposition of a suspended sentence. The court’s approach, acknowledging the challenges faced by autism sufferers within the criminal justice system, was welcomed by autism charities.      
R v KC and ors.
 – Money Laundering - Woolwich Crown Court. Represented leading participant in conspiracy to launder proceeds of people smuggling operation by diverting criminal property using the “hawala” banking system. Prosecution’s financial expert conceded in cross-examination not possible to determine whether source of funds constituted criminal property.
R v CC and ors. - Money Laundering -Snaresbrook Crown Court - Proceeds of large-scale fraud on clothing retail company All Saints laundered through D’s company’s business accounts. ·        
R v T and ors. - Conspiracy to Defraud and Money Laundering - Leicester Crown Court - £20m conspiracy to defraud NHS and other public bodies by diverting payments due to contractors into bank accounts set up across several different jurisdictions.·        
R v E and others - Conspiracy to defraud- Lincoln Crown Court - Multi-million pound “subprime” mortgage fraud. Acquitted following successful argument that the proceedings should be stayed on the grounds of serious disclosure failings by the prosecution.
R v S -Conspiracy to defraud - Southwark Crown Court - Multi-million-pound bond warehouse excise fraud. Proceedings stayed at re-trial on grounds of non-disclosure by prosecution. 

Drug Trafficking 

R v PH – Conspiracy to supply class A drugs - Northampton Crown Court. PH was lead defendant (of eleven) alleged to have supplied class A and B drugs throughout the Midlands. D accepted phone traffic with co-conspirators (including the use of12 burner phones and Aquarist encrypted phones) but claimed contact related to class B supply only. Acquitted. ·      
R v M - Conspiracy to supply class A drugs - Liverpool Crown Court - D alleged to have orchestrated large scale drug supply line between Liverpool and Scotland.·      
R v D - Conspiracy to import class A drugs -Winchester Crown Court - D was alleged organiser of largest ever importation of cocaine from Columbia. Acquitted.·      
R v H
- Conspiracy to import class A drugs - Canterbury Crown Court - Drugs flown over in private planes and dropped by parachute in Kent.

Serious Sexual Offences

R v IH - Assault by penetration - child under 13 - Wood Green Crown Court - Representing IH charged with sexual assault of eleven     year old daughter. First ever s.28 video recorded cross-examination where complainant giving evidence from abroad due to Covid19 travel restrictions. (Current)
R v MB - Historic Rape and Sexual Assault - Harrow Crown Court -Representing D charged with rape of his wife’s younger sister every other     day for a period of 5 years between the ages of 10-15. Contested defence     application pending for wife to give evidence from India under Coved 19     amended 2020 Criminal Procedure Rules. (Current)
R v WW - Rape and Sexual Assault- Birmingham Crown Court - Representing WW accused of     rape of child under 16 over period of 5 years. (Current)
R v PS - Rape - Kingston Crown Court - Complainant discovered unconscious on public footpath by police moments after sexual intercourse with D. Allegation that she was incapable of giving consent rejected by jury. D acquitted.

Notable Cases

R v Blackford (1989) 89 Cr. App. R 239 - police officer deducing previous conviction of D. Whether jury should have been discharged. Appeal allowed. ·      

R v Tyler and ors (1993) 96 Cr. App R. 332 - Riot - defective indictment - whether nullity or capable of amendment. Appeal against sentence allowed. ·
R v Stevens (2001) 10 WLUK 328 - Misleading statements (s.47Financial Services Act 1986) - defective directions re ingredients of offence -R v Brown (1984) IBCC 9874 applied. Appeal allowed.·
R v Chrysostomou (2010) EWCA Crim 1403 - firearms - implied assertions in text messages - whether inadmissible hearsay.·  
RCPO v Taylor (2010) EWHC 715 (Admin) - confiscation - appeal by RCPO against decision of DJ that s.76(2) MCA 1980 did not provide a power to postpone the issue of a warrant until the conclusion of a sentence (20 years)imposed for an offence to which the relevant confiscation order did not relate. Decision quashed but proceedings stayed in magistrates court.·  
Taylor v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court (2009) EWHC 1498(Admin) - whether confiscation proceedings in the magistrates’ court relate to an indictable offence for the purpose of regulation 12 of the Criminal Defence Service Regulations·      
R v Agera and ors (2017) 2 Cr. App. R. 22 - murder - whether prejudge direction on joint enterprise rendered verdict unsafe - whether arrest of juror for racially aggravated public order offence while drinking with other jurors ought to have resulted in jury being discharged where all four defendants on trial were black - whether 30 year sentence excessive.·  
R v Prince Allison (2019) EWCA Crim 537 - conspiracy to defraud -whether summing up defective - judge’s directions deficient but conviction not unsafe.·  
R v Bailey and ors (2020)
EWCA Crim 537 - conspiracy to supply drugs- application of totality principle in sentencing guidelines where concurrent or consecutive sentences imposed.·    
R v Conteh (2020) AG Reference (2020) EWCA Crim 349 -whether sentence of 4 years for series of knifepoint robberies unduly lenient. Sentence increased to 6 years.