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Karl Benson

Karl Benson

Solicitor

Karl is a qualified duty solicitor and higher rights advocate (in criminal proceedings).

He commenced working for Burton Copeland LLP as a solicitor since March 2018.  He quickly attained his duty solicitor status.  Karl qualified as a solicitor in 2015, but has worked in criminal defence since 2009 at another dedicated firm of criminal defence solicitors instructing counsel and experts in some of the most serious cases.

He has brought to Burton Copeland a wealth of experience in handling criminal and motoring cases in both trials and plea advocacy.

He has quickly built a reputation for dealing with rare and unusual cases and defences. He is extremely knowledgeable about computer related offences.  In particular crimes committed using/involving bitcoin, drugs & firearms supplied from the deep/dark web, hacking (Computer Misuse Act offences) encro phones and indecent images offences.

He finds its particularly rewarding representing people with undiagnosed mental health disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder & Aspergers. He represents a wide variety of individual clients from youths just over the age of criminal responsibility, to people lacking capacity through age and/or disability.  Often described as a very safe pair of hands, and very patient.

“I particularly find it rewarding assisting those whom have fallen through the cracks of the criminal justice and/or health system to get their first diagnosis in the midst of criminal investigations or proceedings.  It can be challenging, but extremely satisfying”

With more than ten years experience in criminal law, Karl has represented clients at the police station arrested and accused of some of the most serious offences including murder/manslaughter, serious sexual offences, conspiracies, robberies. He has also appeared for clients charged with these types of offences both at the Magistrates Court and has prepared cases through to Crown Court trial and is known by many of the leading barristers at in Manchester based Chambers.

In 2015 Karl attained his higher rights of audience and is able to appear as an advocate in the Crown Court. He is a member of the SAHCA – The Solicitors’ Association of Higher Courts Advocates.

Karl is a skilled problem solver who is able to break down complex legal issues into simple every day language.  He is an adaptable team player who can think outside the box and on his feet being proactive and reactive. Karl is a very experienced lawyer who is passionate about criminal justice and achieving fairness for the clients he represents.

When he joined Burton Copeland Karl said; “Representing some of the most vulnerable persons in society through publicly funded legal aid is challenging at times, but extremely rewarding work. I am delighted to have arrived at Burton Copeland LLP and being able to deal with the high profile and serious and private and legal aid cases at such a prestigious firm.”

Noteable Cases

2021

R v A – Drug Driving – Legal Argument – Succeeded in drug driving case where continuity/transportation of the samples was at issue. Even though defendant had made an admission of taking drugs and tested positive at the roadside.

R v B – Indecent Exposure – A Magistrates Court Trial – Acquitted. Another successful defence where the defendant was accused of a serious allegation that could have meant having sex offender notification requirements.

R v C – Indecent Images – Police Station – Successfully acted for defendant accused of possession of indecent images related to old or second hand hard drives. No Further Action was taken.

R v D – Disqualified Driving – Magistrates Court. Defendant charged with disqualified driving, but was unaware, successfully reopened the original proceedings under S142. The end result was disqualified driving was withdrawn in the “public interest”. Client not disqualified and application for defence costs order was granted.

R v E – Domestic abuse allegations, the Prosecution had failed to comply with the Criminal Procedure Rules. Prosecution applied to adjourn where they couldn’t sure they had correctly served witness summonses. Karl vigorously opposed the application to vacate in a passionate and compelling manner, citing the relevant caselaw. No Evidence Offered by Prosecution.

R v F – Sheep Worrying – Dog owner of previous good character, persuaded the prosecution to refer the matter back to police for diversion without of court disposal by way of a conditional police caution, to compensate the farmer.

Notable Cases

  • R v X – A youth charged with attempted section 18 grievous bodily harm with intent. Made a lengthy bail application, persuading the magistrates and securing bail against all odds. Then fought over the veracity of the charge, which for A was reduced to a common assault, avoiding the fate of going to the Crown Court.

  • R v B – Court appointed to Cross examine at summary trial to represent a very vulnerable defendant. Acquitted after a robust cross examination of the complainant evidenced the reasonable doubt.

  • R v D – Domestic abuse allegation, the Prosecution failed to comply with the Criminal Procedure Rules. Karl vigorously opposed the application to vacate in a passionate and compelling manner, citing the relevant caselaw. No Evidence Offered by Prosecution.

  • R v T – Client appeared in custody having been on warrant for over a year and being accused of fresh serious violent offences. Yet another successful bail application in front of a packed court room.

  • R v F – Client appearing from custody on suspended prison sentence for a begging offence. Successfully persuaded the District Judge not to activate the suspended sentence.

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