Viewing: Crime for Harpreet Singh Sandhu

Harpreet’s busy practice covers the full range of criminal offences. He has won particular praise for his handling of serious sexual offences, offences of grave violence, serious road traffic matters, allegations of fraud and alleged drugs offences (including importation and wide-scale supply).
Harpreet combines his natural and highly-effective advocacy skills with real industry. He receives praise regularly from those who appear with and against him and from the judiciary (including a former Lord Chief Justice).
Harpreet was appointed a Treasury Counsel monitoree in December 2017. He is a CPS level 4 prosecutor who is authorised to prosecute rape cases. In addition, Harpreet is appointed (at level 4) to three of the CPS’ Specialist Advocate Panels: the Counter Terrorism Panel, the Fraud Panel and the Serious Crime Group Panel.
He was for several years, until it was disbanded, a member of the Attorney General’s Unified List of Prosecuting Advocates. He is now appointed to the “A” list of the List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law and he accepts instructions to prosecute on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Office of Rail Regulation.
Harpreet’s innate ability to secure the confidence of those he represents results in instructions to act for professionals, including police officers, teachers and members of the medical and legal professions, who find themselves before the criminal courts.
In addition, Harpreet’s receives instructions regularly to represent those who are particularly vulnerable and those with mental health difficulties.
Harpreet represents interested parties at inquests and he has experience of courts-martial work.
Languages
Punjabi (fluent).
Recommendations
“He is very knowledgeable and is able to accurately foresee the prosecution’s likely approach when defending.” “He is constantly in demand.”
Chambers UK 2019
“Recent work includes serious sexual offences, murder and drugs conspiracies cases.”
Legal 500 2019
“He’s a shrewd operator.”
Chambers UK 2018
“Able to get to the heart of complex cases quickly.”
Legal 500 2017
“He’s extremely polished and well prepared.” “He knows how to deal with clients at all levels, his drafting is second to none, and he has judges eating out of the palm of his hand.”
Chambers UK 2017
“He is extremely eloquent in court and has a strong technical ability.”
Legal 500 2016
Notable Cases
R v C (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a serving police officer who was tried and re-tried upon allegations of historical sexual abuse (which were said to have occurred in the early 1980s) against several complainants. The defendant was acquitted of all counts.
R v AA (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a man who was alleged to have sexually assaulted and repeatedly raped a female member of his family over a seven-year period when she was a child. The defendant was acquitted on all thirteen counts after a nine-day trial.
R v Rowton (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet represented a man who was indicted with causing grievous bodily harm with intent. The injured party died three years after the injuries sustained at the defendant’s hands. The defendant was then charged with murder and was represented by Harpreet who appeared as junior to Michael Burrows QC.
R v G (Wolverhampton Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a man in his early twenties who was tried on an allegation of rape. The prosecution offered no evidence after Harpreet cross-examined the complainant.
R v Norman (Cardiff Crown Court)
Harpreet represented a professional driver who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. Following a plea in mitigation which was described as “exemplary”, Harpreet’s client received a 16-month custodial sentence.
R v NC (Worcester Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a man who was alleged to have sexually abused two children in the 1970s. The alleged offences were said to have occurred over forty years before the defendant was tried. The defendant was acquitted.
R v Hunt (Birmingham Crown Court/Court of Appeal)
Harpreet represented a man who was tried over the course of five weeks. It was alleged the he had conspired with others to kidnap a member of another family in retaliation for an arson attack at the defendant’s home. In addition, he was alleged to committed two aggravated burglaries at homes associated with that other family. The defendant was acquitted of one of those aggravated burglaries but convicted of the other. The defendant was also convicted of conspiracy to kidnap. Harpreet acted for him in the Court of Appeal when both of the appellant’s convictions were quashed.
R v Lightwood (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet acted for a lady who was accused of false accounting and of stealing over 170,000 from her employers. The indictment was stayed after Harpreet argued, successfully, that the proceedings amounted to an abuse of the court’s process in light of the poor way in which the case had been investigated and the prosecution’s failure to comply with its disclosure obligations.
R v Rajan (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet appeared as junior counsel (led by John Butterfield QC) for a nurse charged with the gross negligence manslaughter of an elderly patient in his care. This factually and medically-complex case received national media attention. The defendant was acquitted following a successful submission of no case to answer.
R v M (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet represented a man who faced a 17-count indictment alleging historic sexual abuse of two generations of relatives. He was acquitted following a six-day trial.
R v D (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet represented a serving police officer who faced two allegations of rape and one of assault. He was acquitted after trial.
R v Chase (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet defended in the eighth of a series of financial crime cases investigated and prosecuted as Operation Raiment. Harpreet’s client was alleged to have cheated the public revenue by failing to declare tax on thirteen years’ worth of income and she was alleged to have committed a series of mortgage frauds. The mortgage fraud counts were abandoned by the prosecution during the course of their case after several witnesses (including accountants) and been called and cross-examined.
R v RY (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet represented a serving police officer charged with perverting the course of public justice. A successful application to dismiss resulted in an end to the proceedings.
R v Martin (Birmingham Crown Court)
In this case, which attracted extensive media attention, Harpreet appeared as junior counsel (led by Richard Carey-Hughes QC) for a young man charged with murdering a convicted child sex offender whose home had been set on fire through the defendant’s actions. The prosecution accepted a plea to manslaughter and the defendant received a determinate sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.
R v Pollock (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet appeared as junior counsel (led by Michael Duck QC) for a man who had admitted stabbing and, therefore, killing his friend with a knife he, the defendant, had taken to the scene of the crime. The prosecution alleged that the defendant had murdered the deceased. The defendant was tried, acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter in the alternative.
R v D (Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a 36-year old man accused of raping his ex-partner’s daughter (aged 13 at the time of trial) when she was aged between 8 and 10 years. Four experts were called to deal with issues of paediatric and genito-urinary medicine during the trial (which lasted seven days). The defendant was acquitted.
R v Trail (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet appeared as led junior for the second of three defendants charged with conspiracy to defraud the NHS of GBP 1.4 million. The first defendant (Harpreet’s client’s sister) was a dentist whose practice had submitted over 7,000 false claims for work which had not been completed. Harpreet’s client was also charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. This was a complex case in which the served evidence amounted to 85,000 pages. Harpreet’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted after a six-week trial.
R v Chapman (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a man charged with conspiring to import cocaine from South America to the UK. Harpreet’s client was acquitted after a six-week trial.
R v JB (Birmingham Crown Court)
Defence counsel for a serving police officer who was charged with and acquitted after trial of doing a series of acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice.
R v RS (Worcester Crown Court)
Harpreet was instructed (as junior alone) to represent a young defendant charged with manslaughter. The deceased had been a friend of the defendant’s. Representations were made and the prosecution offered no evidence.
R v MB (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet defended a man who, when tried, was in his sixties. He faced a multi-count indictment which alleged the rape and indecent assault of a member of the defendant’s family. The alleged offences were said to have taken place almost forty years before the trial commenced. The defendant was acquitted on all counts.
R v Marijeni and others [Operation Henna] (Wolverhampton Crown Court)
Harpreet was instructed as leading junior by the Serious Fraud Division to prosecute 14 defendants indicted with conspiracy to defraud by making false applications for maternity allowance. 12 defendants were convicted following a three-month trial. A thirteenth defendant was convicted following a five-week re-trial.
R v Robertson and others [Operations Jerboa 1, Treacle and Jerboa 2] (Stafford Crown Court)
Harpreet was instructed by the Complex Casework Unit as leading junior to advise pre-charge and prosecute fourteen men in a series of conjoined conspiracies to commit violent armed robberies (at supermarkets, public houses and banks), burgle (with a view to targeting high-value motor vehicles and firearms) and steal. The conspirators stole cash and items valued at around GBP 1m. All defendants were convicted. Two defendants appealed their convictions but the appeals were resisted successfully by Harpreet who continued to represent the Crown before the Court of Appeal. The sentences of almost all defendants were referred to the Court of Appeal by the Attorney General and found to be unduly lenient. Ultimately, the conspirators were sentenced to 133 years’ imprisonment.
R v Osbourne and others [Operations Cogg 1 and Cogg 2] (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet was instructed by the Complex Casework Unit to prosecute five men indicted with conspiracy to supply cocaine and conspiracy to transfer ammunition.
R v Kahrod and Kahrod [Operation Cater] (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet was instructed to prosecute (as junior to Jonas Hankin QC) two brothers accused of murdering the aspiring model, James Brindley. The case followed “...one of the largest CCTV tracking exercises ever undertaken in a West Midlands Police murder investigation.” The proceedings attracted significant publicity. Ammar Kahrod was convicted of James Brindley’s murder.
Operation Palladian
Harpreet was instructed by the Complex Casework Unit as junior to Karim Khalil QC to advise in a ’cold case’ murder review.
R v Iqbal and others [Operation Woburn] (Birmingham Crown Court)
Harpreet was instructed by the Complex Casework Unit to prosecute (as junior alone) nine defendants who were charged with conspiracies to supply cocaine, MDMA and cannabis and whose criminality was unveiled by an undercover operation.
Operation Prime
Harpreet was instructed by the Complex Casework Unit as junior to Christopher Hotten QC to advise in a “cold” murder review.
R v Ayre and others [Operation Dweomer] (Birmingham Crown Court)
Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit as led junior to prosecute a multi-handed case in which convictions for conspiracy to import heroin valued at 1.25 million, conspiracy to supply heroin and conspiracy to produce crystal meth with a potential street value of 2 billion (and which was said to be “on a scale not previously seen before in the UK”) resulted following a seven-week trial. The trial followed a lengthy and complex investigation by a number of law enforcement agencies.
R v H and others [Operation Pragmatic] (Birmingham Crown Court)
Instructed by the Complex Casework Unit as junior (led by Timothy Spencer QC) to prosecute 6 defendants charged with conspiring to import and supply Class A and B drugs and cultivate and supply Class C drugs. The trial, which lasted 3 months, followed a detailed undercover operation. The case called for an extensive knowledge of RIPA and covert policing techniques and resolution of substantial issues relating to disclosure.
Appointments
Treasury Counsel Monitoree;
CPS Level 4 Prosecutor (Rape Panel);
CPS Specialist Advocate Panels (at level 4): the Counter Terrorism Panel, the Fraud Panel and the Serious Crime Group Panel;
List of Specialist Regulatory Advocates in Health and Safety and Environmental Law (List A);
Circuit Junior (Midland Circuit) (2015 - 2016);
Gray’s Inn Barristers’ Committee;
Sometime Visiting Lecturer, Birmingham University.
Memberships
Gray’s Inn;
Midland Circuit;
Criminal Bar Association.
Qualifications
BA (Hons) (Dunelm) [English Literature];
Dip Law (City);
BVC (Inns of Court School of Law) [Recipient of the British Academy of Forensic Sciences Prize];
Prince of Wales Scholar (Gray’s Inn).

Latest News & Publications

Counsel at No5 Barristers’ Chambers was part of the prosecution team which secured a murder conviction following a fatal stabbing in Brixton....

Date: Thu, 05 Sep 2019
Harpreet Sandhu prosecuted a dangerous driver jailed for killing a student by hitting her in his car while travelling at twice the speed limit....

Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2018
Harpreet Sandhu, of No5 Barrister’s Chambers, prosecuted Barry Northcott, 40, from Southover, Bromley, who denied but was convicted of causing death by careless driving last month....

Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2018