Noel is an experienced and versatile practitioner in criminal law, with a practice evenly balanced between prosecuting and defending. He has conducted trials of homicide, rape, historic sexual abuse, drugs/people trafficking, serious violence, serious fraud, and has taken instructions as a leading junior. He routinely provides advice and opinion on all aspects of criminal cases, and is moreover fully cognisant of issues regarding disclosure, public interest immunity and confiscation. Noel also sits as a Recorder on the Western Circuit.
As a substantial part of Noel’s practice has involved cases regarding sexual and child abuse, he has acquired significant expertise in trials involving child defendants and/or witnesses, vulnerable witnesses, and cross-examination via video-link. He has been on the Crown’s Rape List since its inception.
Noel has also acquired expertise in workplace-related criminal cases, including sexual offences, and NHS fraud. He has prosecuted regulatory matters for the county of Essex; acts for the General Medical Council; and has defended cases of serious malfeasance in public office.
Noel regularly provides advice on grounds of appeal and has appeared in the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions.
Although a busy practitioner, Noel has invested time in extending his range of activity and qualifications, mainly in the field of international law. He has undertaken major projects, including work in Afghanistan in Kabul and Kandahar, building the country’s first team of public defenders, attending courts and prisons, as well as liaising with embassies, the UN and other international entities. Thereafter, he obtained an LLM in the USA, specialising in international and criminal law. As a member of the Human Rights Clinic he co-drafted a study paper for the UN International Expert on Minorities
Fraud & Corporate CrimeOrganised CrimeHomicide and Violent CrimeSexual Offences
Noel has defended a wide a range of cases involving fraud, ranging from NHS to probate fraud, and has advised and conducted appeals in cases of money-laundering. He regularly advises upon and conducts Proceeds of Crime hearings, often though not always arising from Class A drug and cultivation cases as well as fraud.
- R v M (2019) Leading, Fraud, defending a major systematic fraud on vehicle businesses required to comply with the TFL’s Low Emissions Zone. Case involved cut-throat defences, covert recording, arguments re. waiver of privilege. Unusual legal arguments pursuant to Companies Act. Convicted but sentence suspended.
- R v B (2016) Multi-million pound VAT MTIC fraud
- R v M (2013) Organised fuel card fraud
- R v N (2012) Prescription fraud on the NHS
Noel has prosecuted a varied caseload from wide-ranging drugs gang conspiracies to counterfeit currency schemes. He has also prosecuted organised football violence involving numerous defendants.
- R v B (2019) Leading, conspiracy to produce false ID documents via a moveable ‘factory’. Investigated by SO15 counter-terrorism as documents used to travel to Syria were intercepted. Issues included covert surveillance and intelligence material.
- R v S (2019) Leading, defending in highly organised Trafficking Conspiracy exploiting vulnerable men from eastern Europe through forced labour and ID fraud. A key issue re. the slavery charges was whether there was coercion and if so its nature. A full submission of no case was made relying upon principles established in the ECtHR, which succeeded.
- R v S, Z and others (2018) prosecuted singlehandedly 6-handed Class A drugs Conspiracy; each D represented by leader and second juniors. Result of undercover operation where test purchase officers infiltrated a gang dominating one area. All-G. Thereafter successfully responded to appeals re. conviction/sentence.
- R v M and others (2016) Organised international football violence
- R v Z and others (2015) Human trafficking and sexual exploitation
- R v A (2014) Drugs conspiracy
- R v H and others (2013) Organised football violence
Noel is regularly instructed in cases of murder, conspiracy/attempted murder and manslaughter running the gamut of drugs-related violence to street fights and domestic violence. He now often acts as leading counsel. In tandem with his homicide/drugs practices, Noel has for many years defended and prosecuted in cases of serious violence, including numerous cases involving firearms, other weapons and noxious substances, as well as bomb hoaxes. As a result of his extensive work in rape and child abuse cases, Noel has also developed a specialism in child cruelty and neglect cases.
- R v K (2019-20) Murder, defending only female on indictment, who was “cuckooed” by drugs dealer. Cut-throat defences; joint enterprise; pathology on dying man’s capability. D – G manslaughter; (co-Ds – murder.) Sentence reduced to 7 ½ years on appeal.
- R v SM (2018) for lead defendant of four; prosecuted by leading and second junior. Conspiracy to kidnap/rob, firearms. Allegedly snatched teenage drug dealer off street, threats with firearm, torture, ransom demand, all arising from drugs debt. Acquitted
- R v M (2018) Defending Attempted Murder, D alleged to have stabbed a man in the neck and the back, near-fatal injuries, with a Rambo knife following dispute in crack den with a ‘county lines’ background, positive ID by a principal witness. A submission of no case to answer was successful.
- R v K (2017) Attempted Murder (stabbing arising from local feuds.)
- R v K (2015) Attempted murder, Tottenham gang-related stabbing
- R v T (2014) Murder (where D pleaded guilty mid-trial but gave evidence for the Crown)
- R v B (2013) Manslaughter, club bouncers, death by asphyxiation
- R v B (2012) Conspiracy to murder, boxing-related retribution
Noel routinely advises and conducts trials both for the Crown and defence in cases of rape and sexual assault, historic sexual abuse and child and extreme pornography. He is rape-accredited and specialises in cases involving vulnerable witnesses. He conducts trials of this kind on a regular basis. Given the routine nature of this area of work insofar as Noel is concerned, only a few cases cited specifically below.
- R v P & Others (2018) prosecution of 8 handed paedophile ring, following where extended family and vulnerable neighbours’ children were exploited and abused. All – G.
- R v M x2 (2018) prosecuting a stranger rape by brothers. Victim lived alone on houseboat, her great fear – she would be drowned. Required special measures and care. Absent positive ID, a case based on circumstantial evidence built a complex picture using mapping/chronology, CCTV, cell site, oyster card, DNA. G verdicts. As a prior (not admitted at trial) French case indicated dangerousness, obtained upward review of sentences via AG’s Reference.
- R v W (2017) Rape of disabled women
- R v A (2017) Extensive online grooming and rape of teenage girls
- R v C (2016) Chid abuse between boys; vulnerable defendant and witnesses
- R v T and others (2015) Historic paedophile ring in boys’ choir.
- R v T and others (2015) Gang rapes of several young complainants
- Afghanistan (2004), Noel spent several months in Afghanistan on a pro bono program, working in Kabul and Kandahar, building the country’s first team of public defenders (created under a new constitution and penal code) advising and mentoring the Afghan lawyers, attending court and visiting prisoners, as well as liaising with embassies, the UN and other international organisations.
- Benjamin J. Cardozo School of Law in New York (2207-2008) to obtain a Masters in Law (LLM) specialising in international and criminal law. As a member of the Human Rights Clinic he co-drafted a study paper for the UN International Expert on Minorities. The paper dealt with the use and manipulation of nationality and citizenship rights in Africa. Noel co-presented the paper at a conference of experts at the UN in Geneva.
- “He is well-suited to fraud work as his thorough approach marries with the level of detail it requires.” – Legal 500 2021