Christopher Hotten QC - Crime
Christopher Hotten QC joined No 5 Chambers from 7 Bedford Row in 2004. He is widely regarded as one of the leading Silks on the Midland Circuit. He is listed in Band 1 of Chambers UK 2011 for crime and Legal 500 for 2011 describes him as “very user-friendly.”
Mr Hotten QC is regularly instructed by both Prosecution and Defence Solicitors in serious and complex murder cases. He has been instructed in more than 100 cases of murder and manslaughter. He has a particular interest in and experience of Aspergers Syndrome in the context of serious crime. He has developed an expertise in cases of non- accidental head injury leading to the death of or very serious injury to infants and young children. He has been instructed in 15 such cases.
Prosecutes and defends across the circuit, undertaking a wide range of serious criminal cases. He is very well known for his expertise in homicide cases, and is also recognised for his expertise in criminal fraud cases.
Chambers UK 2015
Christopher Hotten QC undertakes the most high-profile and complex of serious crime cases, ranging from complex murder to fraud.
Chambers UK 2014
Christopher Hotten QC is described by one admiring peer as a "top man." He has particular expertise in so-called 'shaken baby' cases concerning violence towards infants and very young children, and has recently undertaken a high-profile prosecution in this evidentially complex and emotionally charged area. His long-standing reputation for handling high-cost and complex serious crime cases means that he is able to handle the highest-profile matters. He recently successfully acted for the prosecution in R v Sobczak, where it was alleged the defendant had dumped his victim's body in a suitcase.
Chambers UK 2013
''Christopher Hotten QC has experience in cases involving non-accidental injury to infants and young children''
“Christopher Hotten QC is one of the most sought-after silks on circuit. He has a particular interest in and experience of Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy abuse and Asperger’s syndrome in the context of serious crime, and was recently involved in the widely publicised case of Sabina Eriksson.”
"...is adept at handling the most high-profile and complex murders."
Legal 500 2011
“is an expert in defence where mental disability or incapacity is relevant…very user-friendly…”
Legal 500 2011
R v Remel Bennett (2016) – Represented defendant charged with murder and attempted murder by stabbing. Application to dismiss count of murder successful. On the day of trial prosecution amended count of attempted murder to wounding with intent. Following cross examination of victim prosecution offered no further evidence and defendant acquitted.
R v Smith and Rigby (2016) – Prosecution of mother and boyfriend charge in respect of death of mothers 3 year old daughter. After a 5 week trial, mother convicted of child cruelty and murder and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 24 years; boyfriend convicted of allowing the death of a child.
R v Altaf Hussain (2015) – Privately instructed to represent defendant charged with historic sexual offences against his two nieces. Acquitted after trial.
R v Holub and Lackova (2015) – Prosecution of boyfriend and girlfriend for murder of girlfriend’s 14 month old nephew of whom they had care. Child died of multiple injuries inflicted over a period of time. After a one week trial defendants changed their pleas to guilty of murder and allowing the death of a child respectively.
R v Rosinke (2015) – Represented defendant charged with murder. Defendant, co-defendant and deceased alcoholics living in bed sits in shared house. Allegation that defendant beat deceased to death over a period of several hours. After half day cross examination of prosecution pathologist prosecution accepted that the fatal injuries may have been caused by a fall down the stairs. No further evidence offered and defendant acquitted of murder.
R v John Skeen (2015) – Privately instructed to represent defendant who, with his girlfriend, was jointly charged with causing or allowing serious injury to her months old child. Child sustained serious head injury. Listed for trial. After discussions with prosecution counsel, no evidence offered and a verdict of not guilty entered.
R v Kelly Emery (2015) – Prosecution of mother charged with gross negligence manslaughter. Alleged to have given her two year old son methadone to make him sleep. Convicted after a trial.
R v Aaron Webb (2014) – Defended one of 8 defendants charged with three murders following the fire bombing of a house in Nottingham. Succeeded in persuading jury that the defendant had believed the house to be empty. Defendant acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter.
R v Richard Farrell (2014) – Prosecution of soldier charged with the murder of fellow soldier at barracks in Shropshire. Defendant convicted of murder.
R v Vallance and Wiggins (2014) – Prosecution of mother and boyfriend charged with allowing the death of a child and murder respectively. Boyfriend pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Mother convicted after a re-trial.
R v Shuttleworth and Southerton (2013) – Prosecution of mother and boyfriend for the murder of and cruelty towards mothers 2 year old son who was beaten to death having been abused over a period of months. After a four month trial, mother convicted of murder and boyfriend of child cruelty.
R v Rafiq (2011) – Prosecuted execution style murder in which the victim was shot repeatedly with a sub machine gun in a public street. The jury failed to agree on a verdict and the case is to be retried.
R v Sobczak (2011) – Prosecuted murder of migrant worker by her house mate. The body of the victim was bound and placed into her suitcase before being removed and dumped on waste ground. The prosecution case involved the interlinked presentation of mobile telephone, computer and CCTV evidence. The defendant was convicted after a four week trial.
R v Somal (2010-11) – Defended Gurdip Somal who was the principal defendant in a 12 week trial at Northampton Crown Court. He and others were charged with the exploitation of migrant labour. It was a multi-agency prosecution which allegedly cost the taxpayer in excess of £5M. The thrust of the defence case was that the allegations of exploitation were grossly exaggerated. All the defendants were acquitted.
R v Boyd (2010) – Defended Tom Boyd who with two others was alleged to have entered the home of the victim seeking drugs and stabbed him to death with his own knife. All were charged with murder. Boyd was convicted of manslaughter, the other defendants of murder.
R v Timmins (2010) – Defended Paul Timmins who was alleged to have kicked and beaten his house mate to death. The allegation was murder. At the heart of the defence case [an assault being admitted] was the degree of force used by the defendant. The deceased had alcoholic liver disease and brittle bones. After detailed scientific evidence the jury were not satisfied of an intent to kill or cause serious injury and the defendant was convicted of manslaughter.
R v Fort (2010) – Prosecuted defendant charged with the murder of his mother by repeated stabbing. After a short trial in which a number of psychiatrists gave evidence, the prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility.
Operation Uplink (2010) – Instructed by the West Midlands Complex Casework Unit to prosecute 6 defendants charged with murder by shooting outside a bar in the Black Country. Two defendants were convicted of murder and the remainder of violent disorder.
R v Taylor and Bolyen (2010) – Prosecuted the aunt of a 3 year old child and her boyfriend for the murder of the child who died from head injuries. Both were convicted after a trial.
R v Casey (2010) – Defended Linda Casey who stabbed her mother to death. The defendant had a long history of mental illness and after consideration of psychiatric reports the prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter on the ground of diminished responsibility.
R v Birks (2009) – Prosecuted defendant who strangled his wife to death and then sought to conceal the crime firstly by sending text messages to and from her mobile phone and then by burning down the family home destroying the body and seeking to make the fire appear an accident. The defendant admitted murder on the first day of his trial.
R v Alsop (2009) - Defended Stuart Alsop who was convicted of the murder of his friend whom he beat to death in a graveyard in Halesowen.
R v Marcus Walker (2009) – Defended Marcus Walker who was charged with others with the attempted murder by shooting of a man in a bar in Wolverhampton. Walker was acquitted and the two other defendants were convicted. Christopher Hotten also represented Walker in 2006 when he was charged with the murder of a man who was shot dead in his car in West Bromwich. Walker was acquitted after a six week trial.
Recorder of the Crown Court