64 High Street
East Sussex
DX: 50250 Lewes 4
Tel: 01273 480510
Fax: 01273 483179

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

Called 1994   |   Email: jedwards@westgate-chambers.co.uk

Legal 500 – ‘Is highly recommended’.

Area of Practice

Criminal law, animal cruelty, mental health. General Civil, with an emphasis on Personal Injury.

Jonathan Edwards has recently concluded a long running series of cases which involved over eighty seven defendants in follow-on trials lasting nearly a year. The allegations arose out of public protests against the building of a link road between Hastings and Bexhill in East Sussex, and thereafter similar protests involving some of the same defendants in relation to the proposed ‘fracking’ activity in Balcombe, West Sussex in two of the largest ever policing operations by Sussex Police. One trial single trial involved eleven defendants. Mr. Edwards was the lead advocate, specifically instructed in relation to all defendants. The cases all raised complicated issues which were argued in considerable detail. These issues included whether the actions of the police and Crown Prosecution Service were proportionate; whether the protests were justified under Article 10 and Article 11 or through necessity; whether High Court enforcement officers were acting lawfully; whether East Sussex Council had followed the correct procedure in issuing compulsory purchase orders; whether the Chief Constable had lawfully issued Notices under section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986. Amongst hundreds of police witnesses, two Chief Constables were called to give evidence.

Mr. Edwards is pleased to have had the opportunity to achieve so decisive an outcome as a result of working as part of such an effective team. These cases have been a proving ground for police practices and the application of European Court authorities in public protests.

Notable Cases

  • R-v-Almagboul – 21/7 London bombings terrorism trial at the Central Criminal Court. Successful defence of young man accused of assisting Hussain Osman in the aftermath of the London bombings. Lasting four months, the trial involved expert evidence in Islamic studies and alleged extremism. The case required detailed analysis of vast amounts of cell-site data and computer material.
  • R-v-Hamlet (& others) – Leading junior in murder trial at Hove Crown Court who acted for a defendant who was the only accused out of five to be acquitted by jury verdict. All other defendants represented by Queen’s Counsel.
  • R-v-Filarowicz (& others) – Four week trial at Hove Crown Court resulting in successful prosecution of four Polish nationals who imprisoned and tortured another Polish man over the course of many days. They used a variety of implements to cause injuries which the pathologist said “were as serious as they can be before a person dies”. The case was conducted through a live-link with multiple interpreters and involved issues of foreign jurisdiction and PII.
  • R-v-Guthrie – Eight week fraud trial at Wood Green Crown Court concerning an organised and sophisticated attack on the benefits system by a gang of at least seven people. The jury was discharged during their deliberations because of tampering. The trial judge then entered verdicts. Case leading authority on jury tampering.
  • R-v-Harris – Rape and Kidnap trial at Southwark Crown Court. A woman was held prisoner in her own for two days during which she was repeatedly raped and threatened with knives. Another victim was tied to a chair and beaten.
  • R-v-McDonagh (& others) – Three month trial at Winchester Crown Court involving ten members of an extended family accused of conspiracy to steal caravans and then laundering proceeds over the course of several years. Strenuous efforts had been made to disguise identities and relationships which made this an extremely challenging and complex case.

Jonathan has a strong record of successfully appealing cases in the Court of Appeal, in the High Court by case stated, and by referral from the Criminal Cases Review Commission.



LLB (Hons)

Professional Associations

South Eastern Circuit
Sussex Bar Mess

Additional Information

Jonathan has a well balanced practice, acting for both the prosecution and the defence. He has substantial experience in conducting serious and complex criminal cases which often involve difficult issues of Public Interest Immunity and expert evidence. His expertise lies mainly in the areas of serious and organised crime but recently he has been developing new areas of his practice which include mental health tribunals and animal cruelty.

Jonathan regularly deals with disadvantaged and vulnerable clients. He adopts a thorough and methodical approach in the preparation of all cases regardless of their complexity.

He is proficient in the use of computers both for analysis and presentation. This has been particularly useful in cases of fraud and in applications under the Proceeds of Crime Act. He has access to on-line legal resources both at home and in Chambers.

Jonathan has always made himself available to instructing solicitors to advise informally and at short notice. He is happy for the instructing to contact him by mobile phone at any time. He will always return a missed call without delay.

Attendance notes are sent by e-mail on the same day as the hearing. Jonathan is conscious of the need to provide necessary billing information for defence solicitors to process their files as quickly as possible.