Don Ramble

Year of Call: 1998

Don is instructed in the most serious of criminal cases and has also established himself as an expert on disclosure issues. Don has acted as disclosure counsel in some of the most high profile criminal cases of recent years, including the prosecution of Andrew Coulson and others for “phone hacking”, and the prosecution of Levi Bellfield for the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler.

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Overview

The majority of Don’s practice has involved prosecuting serious and organised crime and substantial fraud. He regularly prosecutes lengthy, complex, multi-defendant cases for the South East Complex Casework Unit and has also established himself as an expert on disclosure issues.

Don was Disclosure Counsel in the prosecution of Andrew Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and others for illegal “phone hacking” at The News of the World in what the press (National and International) described as “The Trial of the Century”. Previously, he acted in a similar role in the prosecution of Levi Bellfield for the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler. This case stemmed from one of Britain’s largest ever murder enquiries and was the biggest operation of its kind in the history of Surrey Police.

Recently Don was instructed as Disclosure Counsel / Second Junior in the prosecution of Colin Ash-Smith for the murder of Claire Tiltman. See: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30434714

Additional Information

Don has lectured to solicitors and fellow members of the Bar on disclosure.

In 2012 Don was invited by Lord Justice Gross to take part in a discussion group as part of his review of sanctions for disclosure failures. This culminated in a report “Further Review of Disclosure in Criminal Proceedings: sanctions for disclosure failure” written by Lord Justice Gross & Lord Justice Treacy.

Professional panel appointments

  • Don is a Level 4 Advocate on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Panel of Approved Counsel.

  • Don is a Level 2 specialist fraud advocate on the CPS panel of approved counsel.

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association.
  • South Eastern Circuit.
  • Kent Bar Mess.
  • Cybercrime Practitioners Association.

Asset Recovery, Civil Fraud & Confiscation

Don has extensive experience of the areas of law that arise in confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Business Crime

Throughout his career Don has regularly been instructed to prosecute fraud cases, including serious prosecutions relating to money laundering and fraudulent trading.

Crime

Don is a Grade 4 CPS prosecutor and has extensive experience in the Crown Court in cases relating to murder, serious assaults, fraud, organised crime, drugs, public order offences and people trafficking.

Cases of Note

R v Colin Gale & Stewart Robertson (Crown Court)

Led Junior Counsel in the prosecution of Colin Gale for the killing of bomb disposal expert Mark Manning. Gale was also convicted, along with his co-defendant Stewart Robertson, of preventing the lawful burial of his victim’s body. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-39257448

R v Matthew Daley (Crown Court)

Led Junior Counsel in the prosecution of Matthew Daley for killing Donald Lock. See: http://www.sussex.police.uk/about-us/the-full-story/the-manslaughter-of-don-lock/

R v Jonathan Cudworth (Crown Court)

Led Junior Counsel in the prosecution of Jonathan Cudworth for killing Mariola Cudworth. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-35326149

R v Ash-Smith (Crown Court)

Disclosure Counsel in the prosecution of Colin Ash-Smith for the murder of Claire Tiltman. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30448136

R v Coulson and others (Crown Court)

Disclosure Counsel in the prosecution of Andrew Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and others for illegal ‘Phone Hacking’ at The News of the World.

R v Bellfield (Crown Court)

Disclosure Counsel in the prosecution of Levi Bellfield for the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler.

R v Obisesan (Crown Court)

A prosecution on behalf of the South East Complex Casework Unit. This fraud case involved false loan applications and the laundering of funds through some 22 financial accounts. Just short of £1 million, £918,256, passed through accounts controlled by Mr Obisesan during the period which was the subject of the indictment.

R v Blomfield (Crown Court)

Prosecution of a man charged under section 16A of the Firearms Act 1968. The defendant had forced his way into a millionaire’s residence and terrorised the cleaner and owner’s young son.

R v Anderson (Crown Court)

Trial at the Old Bailey of a man who repeatedly stabbed his victim.

R v Zekari (Crown Court)

Prosecution of a “trusted courier” charged under section 327(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 with concealing criminal property, namely £1,403,080 in cash.

R v Stephen Court, Nicola Puttick, Vincent Robinson, Martyn Dolphin, Kevin Court, Fatiha Court, David Kemp (Crown Court)

This £3.8 million VAT fraud was one of the largest fraud investigations ever carried out by the Kent Police. It involved multiple false identities and the use of numerous corporate and other trading entities. The defendants laundered the proceeds and transferred much of it out of the jurisdiction to France, Spain and Morocco. Following conviction, confiscation orders totalling in excess of £1.1 million were obtained.

R v Williams, Newman and Newman (Crown Court)

Led in a case involving three defendants charged with conspiracy to control the activities of prostitutes for gain.

R v Hunter (Crown Court)

Prosecution of a man who attacked his victim with a hammer causing a fractured skull.

R v Jarvis and Evans (Crown Court)

Led in a complex case relating to a conspiracy to defraud creditors in the car industry.

R v Shilling, Shilling, Langley, McClune, Shaw and Smith Crown Court)

Led in an organised crime case concerning a conspiracy to disguise criminal property, namely stolen machinery, plant and commercial vehicles.

R v Selling and Brockwell (Crown Court)

Prosecution of two men charged with possession with intent to supply the equivalent of 7 kilograms of cocaine at 100% purity, with an estimated value of between £1.5 and £2.5 million. A confiscation order was later made against the main defendant in the sum of £470,000.