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Welcome to

New Park Court Chambers

"Regarded as ‘one of the most prominent sets for crime in the North of England’."
- Legal 500 2015

Private Client

"Clients 'would strongly recommend New Park Court Chambers to anyone looking for a strong criminal or regulatory lawyer'."
- Chambers and Partners 2016

Matthew Donkin 2004


Called – 2004 – Inner Temple

LLB (Hons), University of Leicester, 2002.

BVC, University of Northumbria, 2004.

Level 4 Prosecutor.

Matthew Donkin is a much sought-after barrister, trusted to conduct cases of gravity and complexity.  His dedication to the preparation of his cases has resulted in a terrific record of success for his clients.   Having developed a strong reputation for defending and prosecuting cases of general crime, Matthew’s practice is now concentrated on accepting instructions to defend and prosecute serious and specialised cases.

Matthew has a busy defence practice, applying a high level of attention to his cases from an early stage, including written advice and multiple conferences.  His preference is to meet clients at as early a stage as possible to fully understand their case and expectations.   Matthew is recognised for his expertise in handling criminal cases of gravity and complexity.  At only ten years call Matthew was appointed to the CPS panel of prosecutors at level 4, and prior to that had already been a member of the panel of approved advocates to conduct specialist rape and serious sexual offences.  He accepts instructions to act as a junior alone, has significant experience as a led junior and also as a leading junior.

Matthew presently holds instructions, or has recently acted in, cases concerning homicide, significant and high-value financial crime, complex medical evidence, the fraudulent running of businesses and cases with an international element.  Matthew has long experience of general crime including specifically fraud, Misuse of Drugs Act offences, sexual offences and non-fatal offences of violence.

Business, Organised and Individual Crime

R v Adam Parkin.  The murder of Julie Parkin.

Murder.  Junior to Robert Smith Q.C.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2017.

Prosecution of the defendant for the murder of his wife, the attempted murder of another person and offences of making indecent images.   Matthew was instructed at a very early stage in this case which required particular sensitivity as the defendant had been a manager employed by the Crown Prosecution Service.

R v Naveen Devalapally, Anila Riaz and Devi Garaga.

Fraud and Money Laundering.  Junior alone.  Leeds Crown Court.  2017.

Prosecution of the defendants following a high value commercial fraud and the distribution of significant funds through a network of business and private bank accounts.  The initial offence revealed that the network was used to manoeuvre criminal assets worth well over £1 million.

R v Brendan Teague.

Attempted murder.  Junior alone.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2017.

Prosecution of a defendant for the attempted murder of his brother.  The defendant carried out a pre-arranged plan to attend at his half-brother’s home under the pretence of supplying him with cannabis, and when his brother’s attention was diverted the defendant stabbed him three times with a kitchen knife before fleeing the scene.  The victim survived only by virtue of the prompt arrival of the emergency services and medical treatment.

R v Daniel Johnson.  The murder of David Wilson.

Junior to Robert Smith Q.C.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2017.

Prosecution of a defendant identified fifteen months after the killing of David Wilson, and at a stage too late to obtain direct or scientific evidence.  The case involved the use of digital image comparison, facial morphology comparison, comparison of evidence of gait, consideration of DNA evidence, voice comparison evidence and the calling of a witness with significant mental health difficulties who had named another person as being responsible for the killing.

R v Liam Morris.  The death of Daniel Brelsford.

Manslaughter.  Junior alone.  Sheffield Crown Court.  2017.

Defence of a 21 year old man accused of ‘one punch’ manslaughter.  The defendant had been spending time with friends in the city centre and was approached by the deceased who was trying to sell him a watch he had just stolen.  During the course of this exchange, the defendant swung out with his arm, making contact with the deceased’s face and causing him to fall to the ground and his head to strike the floor.  The features of the case were the lawfulness of the blow struck and the detailed neuropathology of the impact and consequences of the contact with the ground.

R v Jahangir Zaman and others.  Case known as ‘Operation Emerald’.

Junior leading Graham O’Sullivan.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2016 and 2017.

Prosecution of leading role defendants for the bulk importation of heroin and crack cocaine into Newcastle and Middlesbrough from elsewhere in the country, for subsequent distribution to street dealer level.  This case concerned involved presenting the evidence of some six months of investigation and surveillance evidence.

This case also involved the use of a police intelligence source known as ‘XY’, a convicted child rapist who had assisted the police investigation as an informant.  In October 2016 the defendants sought to have the proceedings stayed on the grounds of an abuse of process – along with other defendants in Operation Shelter – proceedings in which Matthew acted as a further junior to John Elvidge Q.C.  The circumstances of the conduct of the defendants after conviction, and the deployment of ‘XY’ by the police, attracted widespread media attention.

R v Taleb Bapir.  Case known as ‘Operation Monroe’.

Rape.  Junior alone.  Sheffield Crown Court.  2017.

Defending a client in a multi-handed case in which six different vulnerable complainants gave evidence of historical sexual abuse including being forced into prostitution and raped over a period of time when they were in the care system or had otherwise left home in their adolescence.

R v Ali, Zaman and others.  Case known as ‘Operation Highbank’.

Junior leading James Gelsthorpe.  Bradford Crown Court.  2016.

Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit to prosecute eight defendants who were involved in the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods.  The criminal enterprise ran for a period of years generating enormous income.  The principle offenders, one of whom was serving a custodial sentence as the activity began, traded the goods through eBay, by using multiple different trading accounts and then dissipating the funds across a network of Paypal accounts before being realised as cash withdrawals.  The case involved the understanding and presentation of thousands of transactions and the interlinking between dozens of eBay trading accounts and PayPal accounts.

R v Duggan, Lamont and others.  The murder of David Walsh.

Junior to Robert Smith Q.C.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2016.

Prosecution of four defendants for the horrific killing of David Walsh using knives and a pipe cutter.  Mr. Walsh attended at the rear of an address in Sunderland following an assault upon his son, and was then set upon by attackers emerging from the rear of a property carrying an assortment of weapons.  Issues in the case were principally of joint enterprise and culpability as primary or secondary offenders.

R v VB and CN.  The death of TB.

Junior to Robert Smith Q.C.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2015.

Causing or allowing the death of a child.  Junior to Robert Smith Q.C.  Newcastle Crown Court.  2015.

TB was three months old when she was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead.  The defendants were her mother and partner, who failed to provide a truthful account of events leading to her collapse.  The baby was found to have bruising consequent to blunt force impact.  Expert medical evidence demonstrated the findings of the classic ‘triad’ in this case indicating that the cause of death was forceful acceleration and deceleration consistent with the child being shaken or thrown.

R v Parkin.

Attempted Murder and Arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Sheffield Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Prosecution of a defendant who poured petrol over his partner.  After then beating her, on two occasions the defendant tried to spark a lighter to set fire to the complainant, by good fortune failing to do so.  The offences were committed in the presence of children and the complainant had to flee the house leaving her infant son inside the property.  The defendant then tried to set fire to the house.

R v Hassan, Foster and Ismail

Kidnap, False Imprisonment, Blackmail and Possession of a Firearm with Intent.

Sheffield Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Prosecution of three defendants who kidnapped two other men at gunpoint before detaining them in Sheffield and making ransom demands.  The ordeal ended when armed police officers intercepted the defendants.  Issues of identification, DNA evidence and voice recognition.

R v O’Brien, Walters, Walters and Poppe.  The murder of Mohammed Khalil.

Murder.  Perverting the Course of Justice.  Junior to Robert Smith Q.C.  Sheffield Crown Court.  2015.

Prosecution of four defendants following the fatal stabbing of a man in Sheffield over a drug debt.  There was no direct evidence of who was responsible for the murder, but the case was proven by some DNA evidence, telephone call data and cell-site and voice recognition. That voice recognition included the evidence that one of the two men accused of murder had shouted “Stop” during the attack.  The man who inflicted the injuries was convicted of murder, and the man who shouted “stop” of manslaughter.  Two other defendants were convicted of perverting the course of justice.  Issues of joint enterprise, interpretation of DNA and blood analysis, cell-site and telephone interrogation.

R v Wilson.

Attempted Murder.  Junior alone.  Nottingham Crown Court.  2015.

Represented a defendant who was accused of Attempted Murder after deliberately driving his car at his own father, and then repeatedly driving backwards and forwards over him when on the ground.  The defendant was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, contrary to section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.  Issues of the defendant’s mental health and relevant intent.

R v Harding, Moate, MacInnes and othersCase known as “Operation  Trimgill”.

Conspiracy to Steal and Handling of motor vehicles.

Leeds Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Successful prosecution of nine defendants who were all variously involved in a widespread criminal enterprise of stealing high value cars and rapidly stripping them down before dispersal to other parts of the country.  The value was over £300,000 over three months.  Over thirty telephones were used by the conspirators.  Issues of cell-site evidence, attribution of telephones using SIM and IMEI numbers and identification evidence.

R v CU.

Sexual Assault, Witness intimidation and perverting the course of justice.

Derby Crown Court.  2014.  Junior alone.

Successful representation of the defendant, who was known to the complainant, and accused of entering her home and sexually assaulting whilst she was asleep.  The Crown then alleged that he conducted a campaign of intimidation against anyone who became involved in the case.  The defendant required an intermediary at trial as he suffered from a number of physical and mental health disabilities having been injured in an accident as a child.  Issues were the vulnerability and difficulties for the defendant and identification.  This case had one further unique feature, being that it was a re-trial and one of the jurors from the original trial was called to give evidence concerning a matter that she had witnessed.

R v PA.

Assisting an Offender.  Junior alone.  Leicester Crown Court.  2014.

Successful defence of a lady charged after her husband, step-daughter and another were accused of the murder of a man outside the defendant’s home.  The Crown’s case was that the defendant provided the motive for the killing, and in the immediate aftermath drove two of the killers and a bag of blood-stained clothing from the scene.  Issues at trial were pathology, blood analysis, audio and visual enhancement of recordings.  All other parties were represented by Queen’s Counsel.  The defendant was acquitted.  All those accused of the murder were convicted.

R v Ross.

Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent.  Junior alone.  York Crown Court.  2013.

Prosecution of a defendant who savagely beat the defenceless complainant including kicks to the head and driving the back of his head against a kerb.  The complainant was unable to give an account as he had suffered permanent and disabling brain damage.  Issues were of causation of injury and complex and detailed consideration of x-rays and the pattern of damage to the skull, along with assessment of MRI scans to confirm injury.

R v Brevitt

Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent.  Junior alone.  Sheffield Crown Court.  2013.

Representing a defendant of good character accused of an unprovoked attack on the complainant by stabbing a glass into his eye and leaving him with permanent impairment of vision.  Issues of identification and causation.  The defendant was convicted of an offence contrary to section 20 and sentenced to a Suspended Sentence Order.

R v Naeem.

Murder.  Junior to Julian Goose Q.C.  Bradford Crown Court.  2012.

Prosecution of a defendant who had near beheaded the deceased with blows to the neck from a meat cleaver in his own home, before setting fire to the premises to destroy evidence of his guilt.  Issues in the case were cell-site and RF survey evidence, covert call recordings, the admissibility of evidence from proceedings in Pakistan and immunity from prosecution for witnesses.

R v Knapper.

Murder.  Junior to Shaun Smith Q.C.  Nottingham Crown Court.  2012.

Representing the defendant who, on learning of his wife’s exta-marital affair with a close friend, went to the matrimonial home and repeatedly stabbed her to death in the presence of their young sons.  Issues in the case concerned the defendant’s state of mind and “loss of control”.  On advice the defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 15 years.

R v Ngyuen.

Kidnap, False Imprisonment and Causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent.  Junior alone.  Woolwich Crown Court.  2012.

Defence of a Vietnamese illegal immigrant accused of offences when said to be acting under the orders of a cannabis supplier taking out revenge on another man.  The complainant was forced into a car before being driven to a flat where he was detained for some 36 hours.  During that time he was tortured by hammer-blows to his legs.  He was bundled into a laundry bag and left for dead in a car park.  Issues of identification and DNA evidence.  The complainant gave evidence by live-link from Hanoi, Vietnam.

R v DM.

Rape.  Junior alone.  Derby Crown Court.  2012.

Defence of a young man accused of rape and sexual assault of the complainant who was asleep at his flat following a get-together.  The following morning the defendant sent a text message apology to her.  Issues at trial included interrogation of mobile telephones and Facebook accounts.

R v Ali and others.  Case known as ‘Operation Washday’.

Rape.  Junior to Jonathan Carroll.  Bradford Crown Court.  2010.

In one of the first cases of this type to be brought and reported, prosecution of seven men who were members of the Asian community for the grooming and sexual abuse of a vulnerable young girl who was in the care system and ‘running wild’.  The defendants were all associated with local takeaway food shops and taxi firms and proceeded to provide food and to top up mobile telephones, and also to take her to parties in Keighley where she would be drugged and raped.

Notable recent cases involving grave sexual offending

R v NS.  2017.  Newcastle Crown Court.  Assault by penetration committed by father on his three year-old daughter.  Sole evidence to the events was the child, aged four at trial.

R v GH-W.  2017.  Newcastle Crown Court.  Alleged drugging and assault by penetration with a fist.

R v MG.  2017.  Leeds Crown Court.  Marital rape.

R v Welsh.  2017.  Newcastle Crown Court.  Rape by defendant of his young daughter.

R v Gibbons.  2016.  York Crown Court.  Digital penetration of his younger half-sister by adult defendant with significant disabilities.

R v Barrass.  2016.  Newcastle Crown Court.  Marital rape.

R v Brooker.  2015.  Teesside Crown Court.  Indecency with a child.  Medical practitioner who was jointly charged with his wife who was having sexual intercourse with her own young son, in which the defendant participated.


Matthew is a follower of all sport, and particularly enjoys playing cricket and golf when time allows.  Matthew also enjoys reading, travel, cooking, history and walking his dog.