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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

Matthew Donkin 2004

Called – 2004 – Inner Temple

LLB (Hons), University of Leicester, 2002.

BVC, University of Northumbria, 2004.

Direct Access qualified.

Level 4 Prosecutor.

Practice:

Matthew Donkin has a strong practice built upon his qualities of hard work, the ability to swiftly digest legal and evidential material, and robust and clear advocacy.

Matthew’s work is mainly in the Crown Court, and he also has experience of appearing before the Court of Appeal.  Matthew specialises in cases of serious crime, and particularly offences of violence including murder and manslaughter, sexual offences, fraud offences, offences contrary to the Misuse of Drugs Act and firearms offences.  Matthew frequently conducts Proceeds of Crime Act cases.

Matthew has been instructed to act in the most serious of cases, as led-junior and junior alone.  Over his career he has demonstrated a comfort in the presentation of cell-site telephone analysis, blood and bodily fluid analysis, the pathology of serious injury, the forensic interpretation of financial accounts, voice recognition and audio analysis, handwriting comparison evidence and DNA evidence.

Matthew is also very experienced in the handling of vulnerable witnesses, and has a particular interest in cases involving children and other vulnerable individuals.

In every case, Matthew looks to make the litigation process as simple as possible for lay and professional clients by prompt written advice and being available for conferences at an early stage.

Recent cases:

R v Parkin.

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

Sheffield Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Successful prosecution of a defendant who, when heavily in drink and following a number of threats, poured petrol over the complainant, his then 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.  Sentenced to an Extended Sentence of 25 years.

R v Hassan, Foster and Ismail

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

Sheffield Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Successful 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

Murder.  Perverting the Course of Justice.

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

Successful prosecution of the 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.

Nottingham Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Represented the 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 Brooker.

Indecency with a Child.

Teesside Crown Court.  2015.  Junior alone.

Matthew represented the defendant who admitted certain sexual offences and denied others.  He was ultimately convicted only of those offences that he admitted.  All offences stemmed from an incestuous relationship the defendant’s then wife was having with her young son, in which the defendant also participated.

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 SB.

Assault by penetration.

Teesside Crown Court.  2014.  Junior alone.

Successful defence of a man accused of assault by penetration of a female known to him after a night out.  Issues of considerable analysis of the causation of an injury to the complainant.  The defendant was acquitted.

R v PA.

Assisting an Offender.

Leicester Crown Court.  2014.  Junior alone.

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.

Section 18 causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent.

York Crown Court.  2013.  Junior alone.

Successful 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

Section 18 causing Grievous Bodily Harm with Intent.

Sheffield Crown Court.  2013.  Junior alone.

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.

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

Successful 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.

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

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.

Woolwich Crown Court.  2012.  Junior alone.

Successful 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.

Derby Crown Court.  2012.  Junior alone.

Successful 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.

Background:

Matthew was born and raised on Tyneside.  He read law at the University of Leicester and completed the Bar Vocational Course at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle.  In between those two courses he worked at a firm of solicitors in Sunderland.  He was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple in 2004.  That was immediately followed by pupillage and tenancy at Chambers in Leeds.  In 2005 Matthew won the inter-Circuit advocacy competition for all pupils, the Louise Godfrey QC Moot.

Having a typical common-law practice during the first few years of his career, including coronial, regulatory, Court Martial and general civil work, Matthew then began to specialise as a criminal advocate.

Matthew joined New Park Court Chambers in 2013 and has seen his already strong practice improve and broaden.  Matthew now maintains his busy practice in Yorkshire and on the Midlands Circuit, but also frequently accepts instructions to appear in the North East.  Having already been a member of the panel of approved specialist rape prosecutors with the Crown Prosecution Service, at only ten years call Matthew was appointed as a level 4 prosecutor, the highest possible for a member of the junior bar.

Alongside his professional commitments to clients, Matthew is also happy to provide time to support colleagues, professional clients and the practitioners of the future.  Matthew acts as Secretary to Chambers’ Management Committee, he is an approved Advocacy Trainer with the North Eastern Circuit and volunteers with the Inner Temple.  For four years Matthew was a contributing author of Jordans’ Magistrates’ Court practitioner text and has delivered a number of lectures on criminal evidence and procedure.

Matthew is now well established as a respected advocate comfortable conducting criminal work at all levels.  In addition to that, and following his experiences of regulatory and quasi-criminal work in the past, he is interested in developing his practice further, including into the areas of Sports Law, Coronial Law, Environmental Law and Regulatory practice.

Matthew has strong links with the solicitors’ profession and is very much aware of the demands of modern practice.  He always endeavours to make his professional clients’ task as straightforward as he can and makes himself readily available for conferences, discussions or email exchange in order to assist as much as he is able.

Matthew is a member of the Inner Temple, the North Eastern Circuit and the Criminal Bar Association.

Interests:

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.