East Anglia:
01245 280 880
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020 7520 6000
Jonathan Sandiford QC

Jonathan Sandiford QC

Call: 1992     Silk: 2020 Associate Tenant

T: 020 7520 6000    E: chambers@18rlc.co.uk

Prior to taking Silk Jonathan was a CPS Grade 4 Prosecutor with over 25 years’ experience, in complex and sensitive cases including terrorism, hate crimes (racial, religious and sexual orientation); fraud; corruption and police misconduct; organised criminality and drugs trafficking.

From 2014-2016 Jonathan was retained by the CPS as Junior Counsel to advise the, then, IPCC in respect of the investigation in to alleged offences arising from the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster.

Jonathan has a particular interest and experience in trading standards and regularly prosecutes on behalf of the National Trading Standards eCrime Team.

Jonathan is a Recorder sitting on the North Eastern Circuit and is authorised to hear Class 2 – serious sexual offences.

Crime

Terrorism, Race Hate and Explosives CasesOrganised Crime and Drug TraffickingHomicide

  • R v K and A (2020-2021) – Presently instructed to prosecute two young defendants for encouraging / inciting acts of terrorism by seeking to recruit members for an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria. A complex abuse of process argument has been raised, based upon the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (QC).
  • R v X (2020) – Instructed to resist an application for leave to appeal out of time by the youngest person in the UK to be convicted of terrorist offences. See R v X [2015] below (QC).
  • R v F (2019) – Prosecution of a defendant for two offences of collecting information useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism and soliciting murder by trying to recruit an accomplice to participate in a mass casualty vehicle attack (Junior Alone).
  • R v D (2019) – Instructed to prosecute a defendant for inciting religious hatred against Muslims via the internet (Junior Alone).
  • R v P (2019)  – Instructed to prosecute a defendant for possessing a firearm and several offences of collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism including the IRA Green Book (Junior Alone).
  • R v AW (2018) – Prosecution of a supporter of ISIS for inciting and encouraging acts of terrorism via the internet (Junior Alone).
  • R v MK (2018) – Prosecution of a sympathiser of ISIS for encouraging and inciting acts of terrorism via the internet. The defendant became the first person to have his release from prison delayed following subsequent terrorist attacks on London (Junior Alone).
  • R v D (2019) – Instructed to prosecute a defendant for inciting religious hatred against Muslims via the internet (Junior Alone).
  • R v S (2018) – Instructed to prosecute a white supremacist for preparing an act of terrorism consisting of a murderous mass casualty attack on a Gay Pride event (Junior Alone).
  • R v M (2017) – Prosecution of a “Breaking Bad” type case where the defendant had made crystal meth with intent to supply it and, to protect his illicit trade, had manufactured an improvised explosive device with intent to endanger life (Junior Alone).
  • R v NM (2017) – Instructed to prosecute for possessing explosives with intent to endanger life where the defendant was caught as he tried to smuggle a viable improvised explosive device on to a Ryanair Flight with the intention of detonating it in flight (Junior Alone).
  • R v MH (2017) – Prosecution for preparing acts of terrorism by a defendant who travelled to Turkey intending to enter Syria to join the Al Nusra Front, an affiliate Al Qaeda (Junior Alone).
  • R v C (2016-2017) – Instructed to prosecute one of the first cases to include offences of stirring up hatred on the grounds of race, religion and sexual orientation via the internet. The defendant was a white supremacist who used the Russian Social Media Website “VK” and was also found in possession of the White Resistance Manual which contains bomb making instructions and other information useful to a terrorist (Junior Alone).
  • R v K and K (2016-2017) – Prosecuted husband and wife for preparing acts of terrorism by making arrangements for the male defendant to travel to Syria to join ISIS (Junior Alone).
  • R v X (2015) – Instructed to prosecute the then youngest person to be convicted of terrorism offences in the United Kingdom. The 15 year old defendant was a committed supporter of ISIS who incited another teenager in Australia to commit a murderous attack on the ANZAC Day Parade in Melbourne (including a practice killing before the main attack) (Led Junior).
  • R v S and A (2013-2014) – Prosecution of two prisoners housed in the segregation unit of HMP Full Sutton (Category A prison) who entered into a racially motivate conspiracy to send improvised incendiary devices to Asian firms of solicitors (Junior Alone).
  • Operation Pluton (2012-2014) – Instructed to prosecute two brothers charged with conspiring to travel abroad to attend a terrorist training camp run by Al Qaeda (Leading Junior).
  • Op Catorze (2012) – Prosecuted three young Kurdish women accused of petrol bombing a Turkish club in North London in revenge for an airstrike by the Turkish air force that killed over 30 Kurds in December 2011 (Leading Junior).
  • R v J (2012) – Instructed to prosecute a former member of Al-Muhajiroun for possessing documents useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism (Junior Alone).
  • R v F (2012) – Prosecution of a supporter of Al Qaeda for having a variety of bomb making manuals and other documents useful to a person preparing or committing an act of terrorism (Junior Alone).
  • R v X (2015) – Instructed to prosecute the then youngest person to be convicted of terrorism offences in the United Kingdom. The 15 year old defendant was a committed supporter of ISIS who incited another teenager in Australia to commit a murderous attack on the ANZAC Day Parade in Melbourne (including a practice killing before the main attack) (Led Junior).
  • R v NF (2012) – Instructed to prosecute a defendant for disseminating terrorist documents via eBay (Junior Alone).
  • R v H, R v B (2011) – Prosecuted two defendants who used Facebook to incite riot and stir up racial hatred during the disturbances of August 2011 (Junior Alone).
  • R v C (2010-2011) – Instructed to prosecute a white supremacist for stirring up racial hatred and making and distributing indecent images of children via the internet (Junior Alone).
  • R v Sheppard and Whittle [2010] 1 Cr.App.R 26 CACD (2007-2010) – Instructed to prosecute one of the first cases of stirring up racial hatred via the internet. At first instance the defendants entered a plea in bar to the jurisdiction of the court on the basis that their web servers were situated in California and that there had been no publication in the United Kingdom. The defendants also raised the argument that Jewish people were a religious and not a racial group and therefore not protected by Part III of the Public Order Act 1986 (Leading Junior).

  • Operation Lackway (2019-2021) – Instructed to prosecute a money laundering conspiracy involving the alleged use of a car sales and hire business to launder money and provide high value motor vehicles to organised crime groups across the North of England.
  • Operation Legato (2019-2020) – Prosecution of a multi-handed conspiracy to supply kilograms of heroin and cocaine across the North of England. POCA proceedings are ongoing [Leading Junior].
  • R v G and B (2016-2017) – First Prosecution in the United Kingdom for selling the highly concentrated and dangerous opioid, Fentanyl, via the Dark Web [Junior Alone].
  • Operation Yates (2012-2017) – She successful prosecution of an organised crime group involved in the distribution of several million pounds worth of heroin imported via the postal system from Pakistan [Leading Junior].
  • Operation Eldorado (2008-2011) – Instructed to prosecute a multi-handed, multi-indictment and multi-trial series of conspiracies to supply heroin and cocaine involving defendants from London, Liverpool and Yorkshire [Leading Junior].
  • Operation Stet and Stet 2 (2010-2012) – Prosecution of a nationwide multi-handed, multi-indictment conspiracy to supply Class A investigated by the West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester police forces.
    Included the admission of Dutch intercept material and connected issues of disclosure [Leading Junior].
  • R v D and others (2005-2008) – Nationwide conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine imported from Jamaica via Heathrow and from Holland via Northern airports (Leading Junior).
  • Operation Troon (2004-2006) – Prosecution of a multi-indictment, multi-handed case including offences of conspiracy to burgle and steal motor vehicles and the supply of significant quantities of Class A drugs arising out of a police undercover operation into organised crime (Leading Junior).
  • Op Stirrup (2002-2008) – Instructed as Leading Junior to prosecute in five cases arising from Operation Stirrup – an ongoing investigation into drugs and firearms offences involving or with connections to Jamaican Yardie gangs:
    • R v M and others (2002-2003) – Importation of cocaine from Jamaica using drugs mules and conversion to crack cocaine for supply in the UK.
    • R v Hibbert and others (2003) – Conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.
    • R v Williams and others (2004) – Nationwide conspiracy to supply crack cocaine sourced from London and elsewhere.
    • R v Rease and Beckford (2004) – Conspiracy to Supply crack cocaine
    • Operation Pancrack (1999-2002) – Prosecution of multi-handed, nationwide conspiracy to supply controlled drugs alleged to have been run by a convicted heroin dealer from his prison cell and investigated by the National Crime Squad using covert methods. Took over the prosecution of the case in the Court of Appeal after Leading Counsel was appointed to the Circuit Bench (Led Junior).

  • R v S (2021) Instructed for a defendant alleged to have participated in a five handed murder by stabbing when 17 years of age (QC).
  • R v P (2020) Prosecution of a particularly brutal domestic abuse murder where the defendant sought to raise defences of loss of self-control and / or diminished responsibility (QC).
  • R v K (2014-2015) – Instructed to prosecute 17 years old for attempting to murder a 15-year-old with a hammer in a so called “honour killing” (Junior alone).
  • R v C and others (2013-2014) (Bradford Crown Court) – Prosecution of four men for the gangland motivated murder where the innocent victim was shot through the knees then doused with sulphuric acid (Led Junior).


Fraud and Money Laundering

  • Op Teddington (2005-2017) (12 years) – Instructed to prosecute the then largest case ever brought by the CPS Yorkshire and Humber Complex Casework Unit arising from a covert police operation including the use of undercover police officers and technical surveillance. Multi-handed, multi-indictment and multi-trial case including allegations of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering (using BVI and Bahamian companies) and perverting the course of justice against the main defendant, his solicitor, accountant, bank manager, business partners, a bailiff and various others. Resulted in four successful trips to the Court of Appeal In 2011 the main defendant was ordered to pay £2 million in confiscation proceedings [Leading Junior].
  • R v H (2008-2012) – Instructed by CPS Central Fraud Group to prosecute an estate agent / financial adviser for the theft / defrauding of over £1m from a number of vulnerable clients (Leading Junior).
  • R v B and others (2006-2007) – Leading Counsel for the Crown where defendants were alleged to have been involved in organising staged accident insurance claims. The lead defendant advanced a complicated abuse of process application based on allegations that local officers and Metropolitan counter terrorism officers investigating the 7/7 bombings had colluded to conduct improper searches.
  • R v A and H (2006) – Instructed to prosecute a law student and his brother for multiple frauds including staged accidents; bank frauds and identity frauds [Leading Junior].
  • R v Tharan Ali, Amran Ali and others (2004-2005)  – Instructed to prosecute a defendant for possessing a firearm and several offences of collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism including the IRA Green Book (Junior Alone).
  • R v Samuel and others (2003-2004) – Prosecution of a gang who conspired to clone credit cards and use them to purchase motor vehicle with a potential loss of over £30m [Leading Junior].

Police Misconduct and Corruption
  • R v R (2018-2021) – Presently instructed to prosecute a police employee for fraud and doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice by tampering with and stealing from multiple cash exhibits over a number of years [Leading Junior].
  • R v W (2018-2019) – Prosecution of a serving police officer for stealing money when attending a sudden death and doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of justice (Junior Alone).
  • R v J and L (2018-2019) – Instructed to prosecute a police dog handler for allegedly using his police dog to commit offences of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. Also a colleague for alleged misconduct in a public office by failing to prevent one of the attacks (Leading Junior).
  • Hillsborough Enquiry (2014-2016) – Instructed by the CPS to advise the (then) IPCC in respect of their investigation into allegations against members of South Yorkshire Police and others of perverting the course of justice and misconduct in a public office (Led Junior).
  • R v K and Others (2012-2013) – Successful Prosecution of 29 defendants in multiple trials for offences of perverting the course of justice arising from the actions of a Magistrates Clerk who took payment to secure the removal of driving convictions and penalty points to avoid driving disqualifications.
  • R v A and another (2005-2006) – Successful prosecution of a serving police officer for perverting the course of justice.

Trading Standards

  • Operation Zebedee and Operation Treacle [2017-2021] – Presently instructed to prosecute in two cases alleging multi-million-pound offences of fraudulent trading, breaching the consumer protection from unfair trading regulations and money laundering in respect of internet ticket touting [Leading Junior].
  • Operation Eiffel [2017-2021] – Ground breaking prosecution of internet ticket touts for offences of multi-million-pound fraudulent trading in respect of the acquisition of event tickets using multiple identities and bots and resale via secondary ticket websites. Involved a substantial abuse of process argument based upon the application of the Regulator’s Code; a challenge to the decision to prosecute and issues of contract law. The trial itself raised issues of the relevance of market practice evidence to dishonesty following the decisions in R v Hayes and Ivey v Genting Casino [Leading Junior].
  • R v O [2015-2018] – Instructed to prosecute the operator of copycat websites for breaches of the consumer protection from unfair trading practice regulations including misleading and aggressive commercial practices. The defendant tricked consumers into signing apparent contracts then pursued them for payment by harassment and aggressive practices which included litigation [Junior Alone].
  • Operation Dougal [2014-2018] – Instructed to prosecute the then most substantial case ever brought by National Trading Standards. The defendants operated so called ‘copycat’ websites which misled consumers into believing they were using and making payments to official government websites for services such as driving licence applications. The defendants were convicted of conspiracy to defraud a sum in excess of £30m [Leading Junior].
  • Operation Clio 2 [2014-2018] – Prosecution of alleged multi-million-pound offences of conspiracy to defraud for the operation of what was alleged to be a copycat website. The defendants were acquitted after trial. Successfully resisted an abuse of process argument that challenged the legal authority of NTS to prosecute cases.
  • Operation Angel [2014-2016] – Instructed to prosecute the most-complained about ‘rogue’ trader business in the UK for multi-million-pound allegations of conspiracy to defraud, trade descriptions offences, breaches of the consumer protection from unfair trading practices regulation and money laundering.
    Resulted in the business being closed down permanently and the assets of the absent owner confiscated under POCA 2002 s28 [Leading Junior].

Notable Appeal Cases
  • R v Sheppard and Whittle [2010] 1 Cr.App.R 26 CACD – Leading Junior Counsel instructed to one of the first cases of publishing racially inflammatory material online.At trial the appellants raised a plea to the jurisdiction on the basis that their web servers were situated in California.
    On appeal became and remains one of the leading case on the criminal jurisdiction of the English courts over offences committed via the internet.
  • R v Leeds Crown Court ex parte Uddin [2014] 1 WLR 1742 DC – The decision to grant or withhold bail during the course of a trial was a matter relating to a trial on indictment and therefore was not susceptible to challenge by way of judicial review (Senior Courts Act 1981 s29(3)).

Recommendations

  • “Focuses his practice on prosecution, with a strong track record in trading standards prosecutions” Legal 500 (2021)
  • “He has remarkable attention to detail” Legal 500 (2020)
  • “Very experienced in prosecution work” Legal 500 (2019)
  • “Noted for his experience in prosecution work” Legal 500 (2018)


Education

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LLB (Hons) University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Memberships

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Criminal Bar Association

South Eastern Circuit

Jonathan has been a member of St Pauls Chambers in Leeds since completing pupillage.

Professional Appointments

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Recorder (North Eastern Circuit) (2009)

Class 2 Authorisation (2018)

Awards

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Leading Silk in the Legal 500 directory (see Recommendations)