Joe Stone QC is a specialist in criminal defence.
He graduated from Manchester University in 1985 with a first class degree in Politics and Philosophy. He has been a registered pupil supervisor with the Inner Temple since 2004. He has sat on the professional standards committee of the Bar Standards Board (BSB) the disciplinary body that regulates the independent bar. He is a member of the Criminal Bar Association, Hibiscus (the registered charitable trust that supports jailed women overseas), the Howard League For Penal Reform and Fair Trials International.
His primary focus is trial work. He regularly represents “target” criminals and those involved with serious crime throughout the UK.
Joe has a reputation as a committed and tenacious defence barrister with a proven track record in murder defences and other serious non-fatal assaults. He is highly skilled in advancing complex multi witness pro-active defences in the most demanding of cases. He is regularly instructed by those who have been abused by both the police/prison services and other figures of authority.
He is constantly instructed by the most high profile defendants in the UK prison system. He has extensive understanding of the operations of Category A dispersal prisons (HMP Frankland, HMP Full Sutton, HMP Wakefield, HMP Whitemoor and HMP Woodhill) that house those convicted of the most heinous of crimes.
With over 25 years experience in representing those indicted with serious class A drug importations Joe understands the operational techniques and practices utilised by Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC). He represents “drug supergrasses” and is familiar with the rules and procedures surrounding Witness Protection Units (WPU), law enforcement debriefing procedures and immunity/inducement packages under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 and in camera (closed/secret) hearings. He has represented diplomats facing allegations of drug importation and is familiar with the rules/procedures concerning diplomatic immunity.
He is skilled in presenting highly technical expert evidence to juries in a clear and lucid manner in the fields of forensic psychiatry, forensic pathology and forensic medicine. He maintains and regularly reviews a database of the leading UK, European and US experts in these fields. Joe is particularly interested in cases where scientific and medical evidence is disputed such as allegations of shaken baby syndrome and unexplained deaths in infants (SIDS). He has a detailed knowledge of all facets of criminal investigation including cell site analysis, gunshot residue (GSR) analysis, facemapping, shoelift and key areas of trace evidence – fingerprints and DNA.
Joe regularly advises solicitors on criminal appeals and has a particular interest in serious miscarriages of justice cases. He regularly deals with Criminal Case Review Commission (CCRC) referrals for profile murder convictions.
Current Cases: 2014
R v Katie Hall – Allegation of Causing Death by Careless Driving – January 2014
A rare and highly complex defence of non-insane automatism advanced to the homicide allegation. Leading UK defence experts instructed in the fields of neurology, clinical genetics, forensic psychiatry and forensic collision investigation. Joe was responsible for liaising with all these experts, coordinating overall trial strategy and was lead counsel at trial. This sensitive case was prosecuted by the specialist Homicide division of the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) based in Pimlico, London. The defendant was acquitted at Snaresbrook Crown Court (January 2014) on the single allegation she faced. Read:
R v Lee Newell and Matthew Thomas – Compatibility of a whole life order (WLO) with Article 3 of the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights] – January 2014
This appeal against sentence has been described by a leading legal/media commentator as “one of the most important sentencing hearings in many years to come before the court of appeal”. Read and here andhere. Judgment expected February/March 2014.
The appeal was argued on the 24/01/14 in front of a 5 judge court of appeal headed by the Lord Chief Justice (Thomas CJ), President of the Queen’s Bench Division (Sir Brian Leveson), Lady Justice Hallett (Vice President of the Court of Appeal), the chairman of the Sentencing Council (Treacy LJ) and Burnett J. The appeal concerns the highly political issue of whether whole life orders (WLO) reserved for the most serious of offenders should mean that the defendant should never be released or whether in accordance with Article 3 there should be the possibility of sentence review (“reducibility”) after an extended period of time. This case will have major implications for the making of all future whole life orders and those currently serving WLORead The judgment will be carefully scrutinised by policy makers at the highest political level:Read more:
R v Clifton Jeter – allegations of double attempted murder on two prison guards at HMP Strangeways by a notorious murder lifer – due to be tried at Manchester Crown Court in 2014. Read
R v Ambrose Dear – allegation of murder concerning Thorpe House Farm, Leeds – Multi-handed murder –due to be tried at Leeds Crown Court in 2014. Read
R v Piotr Juszczak – “the grave in the garden” murder of Zbigniew Michniewicz – multi handed allegations of conspiracy to prevent the lawful and decent burial of a body – due to be tried at Isleworth Crown Court in 2014. Read
R v Dano Sonnex – allegations of Attempted Murder/Section 18 GBH on three staff at Broadm
oor High Security Hospital, Crowthorne, West Berkshire – by notorious double murder lifer – due to be tried at Reading Crown Court in 2014. Read
R v Abdul Khan – allegation of money laundering – Operation Patton – North East Regional Organised Crime Unit investigation targeting organised crime gangs operating in the North East Region. 10 defendants – due to be tried at Newcastle Crown Court in 2014 Read