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murder and manslaughter

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As a murder barrister Nigel Power QC has a wealth of experience acting for those charged with murder. There is no more serious charge and no more worrying allegation to face. Nigel has appeared in a very large number of murder cases, many of which had national press coverage. Nigel successfully represented Christopher Spendlove, who was charged with the murder of PC Neil Doyle and assaults on his two colleagues. Mr Spendlove, a professional football coach in the USA, has been reinstated in his post by Oklahoma City Energy FC (see report here). 

Nigel appeared in the Anthony Walker racially aggravated murder trial in Liverpool and has experience of complex medical, scientific and telephonic evidence. He has a particular expertise with DNA evidence and is familiar with all of the recent developments with mixed DNA profiling. 

Chambers and Partners 2014, the world’s leading directory for lawyers, said of Nigel that: “He is highly regarded for his expertise on complex and high-profile cases such as gangland murders.”

Nigel represented Tony Downes when he was acquitted of the murder of Lucy Hargreaves despite compelling telephone evidence, and represented Patrick Smeda when he was acquitted of the murder of Liam Kelly, who was shot dead in Toxteth when only 15 years of age. 

Nigel Power QC has also had notable success in other notable murder cases. He represented Ijah Lavelle-Moore, who was found Not Guilty of murder and three attempted murders after a gangland shooting in a pub car park in Nottingham. Read the Press Report here and for more details see Nigel’s Blog entry here.

He also obtained Not Guilty verdicts on murder and manslaughter charges representing Christopher Curran, who was alleged to have murdered a 65-year-old female pensioner while burgling her house, even though the defendant entered the house during the burglary and helped to remove the safe as she lay dying in the bedroom. Read the Press Report here and for more details see the Nigel’s Blog Entry here.

Nigel has also recently appeared for Michael Cope, who pleaded guilty to the high profile murder of Linzi Ashton in Manchester. Read the Press Report Here


To instruct Nigel Power QC in a murder or manslaughter case, email directly or call 0845 450 0707.



R v Burrows (2019) Gross negligence manslaughter by a carer who failed to check whether the deceased had returned from hospital; she then starved to death . Report here. (Defending)

R v McConville (2019) Murder of a drug addict resident of a Salvation Army hostel by a defendant who had a severe and enduring psychotic illness; the case centred on diminished responsibility. Report here. (Defending)

R v Ward and another (2019) Murder of a 18-year-old boy by a 17 -year-old, who had a “Pirates of Caribbean” knife passed to him by a 15-year-old. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Jones, Gibbons and Butterworth (2019) Murder of a 17-year-old boy by four men who ran him of the road on a scooter stolen from Jones and stabbed him to death; complex mixture of eye-witness, phone and DNA evidence. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Lee Blowes (2019) Defendant acquitted of conspiracy to murder; he was alleged to have been involved in the gangland execution of Blake Brown. Report here. (Defending)

R v A & B (2018) Killing with a knife of Ian Schofield in Macclesfield by a 15-year-old boy in the course of a conspiracy to rob with an older man. The case had a drug dealing background. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Connor Kirby (2018) A troubling case involving allegations of manslaughter, causing or allowing a child to die and cruelty. Report here. (Defending)

R v Paul Byrne (2018)  A murder case involving the punching to death of Anthony Condron in the Maya Nightclub in Liverpool; the prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter and he was sentenced to 6 years' imprisonment.  Report here. (Defending)

R v Bartholomew and Black (2018)  A murder case involving the fatal stabbing of a vulnerable man in Barrrow-in-Furness and and a clean up operation by his co-accused.  Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Sukhwinder Singh (2018)  Prosecuted a paranoid schizophrenic who stabbed his friend to death, both were unlawfully at large on bail pending appeal for murder in India. The Court made an order pursuant to section 45A of the Mental Health Act 1983 with the custodial term being life imprisonment. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Ian Robertson (2018)  Notorious case where the defendant recorded himself stabbing his friend to death. Report here. (Defending)

R v Charles Stapleton (2018)  Prosecuted a drug addict who burgled the house of an 80-year-old woman then raped and murdered her. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Darren McKie (2018)  High profile murder of GMP police officer DC Leanne McKie by her husband Darren McKie, himself an Inspector in the same force. The case to prove that he was the killer involved a complex mixture of CCTV, cell-site, financial, soil, DNA and pathology evidence. The defendant changed his plea to manslaughter at the close of the prosecution case but was convicted of murder. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v CC (2018)  The 17-year-old defendant was convicted of the murder of 71 year old Richard Percival, using a claw hammer to his head repeatedly. The defence called a psychiatrist to support diminished responsibility.  Report here. (Prosecuting) 

R v Jamie Grimes (2018)  Represented the lead defendant in the drug-based kidnapping, torture and murder of Joseph McKeever, whose body was found completely burnt in a car in Everton; the case involved complex scientific and phone evidence and was a "cut-throat", Report here. (Defending) 

R v Phillip Daniels and Kimberley Daniels (2017)  Phillip Daniels was convicted of murder, having inflicted a single stab wound to a love rival, Paul Millea. His sister Kimberley entered into a "SOCPA" agreement with the prosecution and gave evidence against her brother, having admitted assisting an offender by helping to wash his clothes and taking him to have his distinctive long hair cut off at the barber's. Report here. (Prosecuting) 

R v Z (2017)  Represented a 15-year-old defendant charged with murder (stabbing to the neck) and section 18 assault, who was sentenced to 6 years' detention for manslaughter and section 20 assault. Report here. (Defending)

R v Boyan Antonov (2017) The defendant was a Bulgarian paranoid schizophrenic who pleaded guilty on the basis of diminished responsibility.. The sentencing judge was persuaded to make a hospital order rather than pass a life sentence. Report here. (Defending)

R v McCool (2017) The defendant murdered an acquaintance of hers in his own home, suing a dumbbell to feature his skull, but never properly explained why it happened. Sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of seventeen and a half years. Report here. (Prosecuting)

R v Cody (2017) Represented a defendant charged with the murder in Old Colwyn of a man arguing with his partner in the street. (Defending)

R v Hill (2017) Represented a defendant charged with murder; complex issues in relation to neuropathology and causation led to the prosecution accepting a plea to section 18 assault. (Defending)

R v Y (2017) Represented a 16-year-old defendant charged with the murder of his Mother's neighbour. Her fractured the deceased's skull with a wooden pole and stabbed him twice to the heart, but was acquitted of murder and manslaughter on the basis of self-defence. (Defending)

R v Ennis (2017) Represented a defendant charged with three others of murdering a rival drug dealer in Rhyl. Despite admitting being a career drug dealer and getting out of a car with the co-accused, two of whom had knives and stabbed the three rivals in a van, the defendant was acquitted of two section 18 assaults upon 2 of the men and was acquitted of murder but convicted of manslaughter in relation to the front passenger who was stabbed 22 times. (Defending)

R v Donnellan (2017) Represented a defendant charged with murdering his partner's new lover; case involved substantial phone and very difficult pathological evidence.   (Defending)

R v Dabbs and Scragg (2017) Two young defendants were alleged to have stabbed to death a 63-year-old man who had caused trouble for one of their mothers. The case involved the marshalling of bad character evidence from 12 witnesses.   (Prosecuting)

R v Bilsborough (2017) Represented defendant alleged to have been part of a 4-man team who shot dead a rival drug dealer. The case involved complex mixed profile and gun shot residue evidence.   (Defending)

R v X (2016) Represented a 15 year-old defendant who when drug dealing was charged with the murder of a customer but was acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.  (Defending)

R v John Martin (2016) Represented a defendant charged with the point blank shotgun shooting of 16-year-old Lewis Dunne by the canal in the Eldonian Village in Liverpool.  (Defending)

R v Christopher Davies (2016) Represented a defendant who drowned his friend at a fishing lake near Bebbington, Wirral after his cannabis pipe was spiked with the psychoactive drugs known as "spice". His plea to manslaughter through loss of control and was accepted and he was sentence to 7 years' imprisonment. Report here.  (Defending)

R v Dwayne Turner and Kevin Darbyshire (2016) Defendants pleaded guilty to manslaughter of a defenceless man in Leigh Town Centre in May 2016. Report here.  (Prosecuting)

R v Ryan Bate and Luke Kendrick (2016) Defendants were convicted of the shooting of Vincent Waddington in Garston in July 2014.  Report here.  (Prosecuting)

R v Kandyce Downer (2016) Defendant was convicted of the murder of an 18-month-old baby to whom she had become Special Guardian. (Prosecuting)

R v Ian Gordon (2016) Defendant was convicted of murdering his partner in their flat in Southport, pleading guilty to murder after 4 days of the trial. (Prosecuting)

R v Wayne Erskine (2015) Defendant was accused of the murder of Vincent Holligan, with related alternative charges of manslaughter and causing death by dangerous driving. He was acquitted of all charges. (Defending)

R v Christopher Spendlove (2015) Defendant was accused of murdering an off-duty police officer and seriously assaulting his two colleagues.  The defendant, a professional football coach in the USA, was acquitted of all charges. (Defending)

R v John Hore (2015) Defendant was accused of luring a drug dealer to an ambush where he was stabbed to death by other drug dealers. The case involved complex arguments about withdrawal from joint enterprise and bad character. (Defending)

R v Michael Haigh (2015) Defendant drove a 4.7 litre Jeep Cherokee at his friend after an argument over obtaining the telephone number for a "bent" vet to treat a dog injured when badger baiting. The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter but was convicted or murder after trial. (Prosecuting)

R v John Dyer (2015) Defendant stabbed his friend to death outside a relative's house. Successful opposition to the reading of the statement of an eyewitness despite the live evidence of two consultants who said that she was unfit to attend court. (Defending)

R v Jamie Hughes (2015) Defendant killed his friend in his own home. He had a complicated psyhchiatric background  but diminished responsibility was defeated and he was convicted of murder. (Prosecuting)

R v Annie Kennedy (2015) Defendant alleged to have killed a 64-year-old-man in her flat. There were complicated difficulties with causation, a consultant having missed the fatal injury when the deceased first went to hospital. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 9 years' imprisonment. (Prosecuting)

R v Wayne Smith (2014) Defendant alleged to have killed his wife's new lover by stabbing him to death in his own home then creating a false alibi. (Defending)

R v David Dempsey (2014) Defendant alleged to have stabbed to death a pensioner in his own home in order to steal his money for drugs. The defendant was convicted following a retrial in October 2014. (Prosecuting)

R v Reese O'Shaughnessy (2014) Defendant was one of six teenagers (some as young as 13) alleged to have murdered Sean McHugh in the back room of the Liver Launderette, Anfield, with a sword-stick. (Defending)

R v Michael Cope (2014) Defendant pleaded guilty to assaulting and murdering Linzi Ashton, in a high-profile Manchester case of domestic violence. (Defending)

R v Christopher Curran (2013) Defendant acquitted of murder and manslaughter of a 65-year-old pensioner despite planning a professional burglary at her house and entering to remove the safe. (Defending)

R v Kevin Jones (2013) Defendant convicted of murdering a man he had met for the first time on the day of the fatal incident, both were alcoholics. (Prosecuting)

R v Ijah Lavelle - Moore (2013) Defendant alleged to be part of a wide-ranging gangland joint enterprise to kill four men in a car on a night-club car park in Nottingham. He was acquitted of the single murder and three attempted murder charges that he faced. (Defending)

R v Maureen Smith (2012/2013) 12 -week murder trial in which this first defendant on the indictment was alleged to have organised the robbery and killing of her partner in order to take £40,000 of his drug trafficking proceeeds. (Defending)

R v Dean Brennan (2012) The 20-year-old defendant was convicted of the murder of a 71-year-old man who had made sexual advances towards him. (Prosecuting)

R v Aaron Ward (2012) The defendant was convicted of manslaughter through loss of control rather than murder after using a pickaxe handle to cause massive head injuries to his friend who was attacking his brother. (Defending)

R v Paul Holmes (2012) The defendant was charged with the murder of his wife after breaking into her house and inflicting multiple injuries with a kitchen knife. (Defending)

R v Neil Johnson (2012) The defendant was convicted of murder after attacking his wife with a hammer, using a screwdriver to cause neck injuries and trying to suffocate her with a tea towel. (Prosecuting)

R v Stephen Thomas (2012) The defendant was charged with the murder of a former inmate of a Salvation Army Hostel but ultimately was convicted of manslaughter by virtue of lack of intent to cause really serious harm. (Defending)

R v David Butler (2012) The Defendant was charged with the murder of a sex worker in 2005 in Liverpool. The case involved live evidence from 6 experts and involved standard SGM+, Low Template, SenCE, Y-STR and Identifiler DNA and the statistical analysis of the evidence by David Balding, Professor of Genetical Statistics at UCL. (Prosecuting)

R v Darren Laird (2011) The Defendant was a drug user and alcoholic who suffered schizophrenia and personality disorders. He was charged with the murder by strangulation of his former best friend. The case involved expert evidence from three consultant psychiatrists and was one of the first cases to be tried involving defence of diminished responsibility and loss of control. (Prosecuting)

R v Gordon Harding (2011) The Defendant was charged with murdering his girlfriend's father by stabbing him to death in his own home, following arguments over missing jewellery. The co-accused were his girlfriend, her sister and her sister's boyfriend, all of whom blamed Mr Harding. The case involved controverial pathology and scientific evidence about the number of knives used and the mechanism of the fatal struggle. (Defending)

R v Kelvin Wilhelm (2010) The case involved a "cut throat" murder in the Benchill area of Wythenshawe, Manchester between two friends who were involved in gang related incidents. The main witnesses had all been extensively interviewed as suspects and witnesses, resulting in extensive cross examination of each. Retrial pending in June 2014 after conviction was quashed in the Court of Appeal. (Defending)

R v Brent Mott (2010) The Defendant, a nurse in Southport, raped then murdered his wife on the eve of their final ancillary relief hearing. He then staged a car accident and pretended that the deceased was still alive, and made concerned phone calls to friends and family. There was a very large amount of controversial bad character evidence adduced through hearsay. The case attracted considerable local and national press interest. (Prosecuting)

R v Dean Eastham (2010) The Defendant was a 16-year-old boy charged with manslaughter where he killed his best friend as they played with a loaded gun. There was associated firearm and perverting the course of justice counts. (Defending)