Paul Rooney


Paul began his career at the bar as a pupil and tenant at the national and internationally renowned criminal and regulatory set, QEB Hollis Whiteman Chambers in London, before moving back to his native North East.

Whilst at QEBHW, Paul was involved in a number high profile and complex cases e.g. Levi Bellfield, Mark Dixie, Raoul Moat, Rebecca Leighton

Since returning to the North-East Paul has acted for, or is currently instructed by both the prosecution and defence in relation to some of the most serious and high-profile criminal cases in the North East of England.

Paul accepts privately funded work both through an instructing solicitor as well as via direct access. Such instructions are across a gambit of disciplines including crime, trading standards, health and safety, regulatory, inquests, road traffic, and public law.

Regulatory Law & Professional Disciplinary Proceedings

Paul has amassed extensive experience appearing regularly before a number of Regulatory bodies including;

The General Medical Council (GMC), The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), The General Dental Council (GDC), The Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC), The General Teaching Counsel (GTC), The General Social Care Council (GSCC) [as was, now part of the HCPC] and The Security Industry Authority (SIA)

The Police Federation both through Solicitors and via the Licensed Access route regularly instruct Paul to represent officers at Gross Misconduct Hearings as well as seeking his advice on esoteric issues concerning the federated ranks.

Paul has been instructed in relation to six separate IPCC enquiries. None of the officers represented by Paul faced any criticism in the final IPCC report.


Paul is regularly instructed to defend in serious cases including but not limited to, those involving homicide, grievous bodily harm, kidnap, robbery and large-scale conspiracies. Paul also defended in the first ever case in this jurisdiction of bribery involving corrupt payments to a foreign government official.

Road Traffic Law

Paul receives instructions direct from the public as well as from solicitors to defend in Road Traffic matters.

Paul is regularly privately instructed in relation to drink driving allegations e.g. failure to give breath and or blood samples as well as post incident consumption cases.

Cases involving death are of particular interest to Paul who demonstrates a depth of technical knowledge that allows him to deal with experts in front of a jury with confidence, ensuring that juries gain the level of understanding needed to decide these tragic cases.

Paul welcomes instructions in relation to the more esoteric offence including temporary speed restrictions imposed by local authorities, construction and use offences as well as offences pertaining to learner drivers including those under instruction by a qualified instructor.


Due to Paul’s extensive experience in appearing before several medical tribunals including the GMC, NMC, GDC he can be instructed to represent both NHS trusts as well as medical staff or patients at inquests.

Paul has a specific interest in representing members of the emergency services and has represented a number of police officers as well as nurses and care homes. Paul is able to receive instructions from the families of the armed services personnel.

Health and Safety Law

Paul is keen to expand his practice in this field and is particularly interested in cases involving construction or shipping as well as local authorities.

Public Law

Paul receives instructions to represent families involved in school placement appeals before Governing Bodies.

Paul receives instructions in relations to license applications and appeals for license premises, fast food outlets as well as taxis.

Paul receives instructions in relation to Firearm applications and appeals.

Direct access

Paul is approved by the Bar Standards Board to accept instruction direct from the public as well as from organisations that have a license to instruct members of the Bar direct.


Paul has provided advocacy training to Police Federation Officers from North, South & West Yorkshire, Humberside, Cleveland, Durham, Northumbria, Cumbria, Manchester, Liverpool, Surrey, and Devon & Cornwall.

Paul delivers training on a regular basis to Police in relation to new recruits, CID courses, civilian investigators courses, Sergeant courses and is available to deliver specific training to other organisations upon request.

Paul has recently been involved in training newly qualified Home Office Pathologists.


Notable Cases

Regulatory Law

NMC v Leighton – Nurse accused of killing six patients at Stepping Hill Hospital

NMC v ‘R’ – Paul had the assistance of a specialist neo natal nurse prescriber throughout the hearing, as the issues are so varied and complex.

NMC v ‘M’ – Allegations wrongly giving medication to vulnerable patients and forging patient notes to cover up the failures. Following extensive cross examination Paul was able to demonstrate that the records were in fact inaccurate and the NMC’s witnesses calculations had been based on a false premise. The panel agreed and all allegations were deemed to be unfounded.

NMC v ‘C’ – Paul presented legal arguments lasting 3 days, concerning the legitimacy of the undercover a police operation and the lack of disclosure from the NMC, resulted in the NMC offering no evidence.

HCPC v D (2013) – Instructed via the direct access scheme to defend ‘D’ who is alleged to have deliberately assaulted a work colleague. The matter was considered by the Crown Court where the CPS offered no evidence following the disclosure of the complainant’s medical records, however the HCPC are continuing to proceed and seek to rely upon the same witness. Case on-going

Professional Disciplinary Proceedings

Raoul MOAT – Enquiry

Paul was instructed by the Police Federation to manage a team of barristers to represent 38 officers from Northumbria and Cleveland Police. The officers were involved in the manhunt and capture of Raoul Moat, who was wanted for murder and two attempted murders including the attempted murder of Pc Rathband.

Following an extensive IPCC enquiry none of the 38 officers were disciplined.


Lancashire Police v Sgt ‘B’ –


Sgt ‘B’ who had been accused of corruption following the collapse of a Murder case involving a 13- year-old victim. This was a complex case involving the examination of 17 ’probe’ tapes each lasting 1-3 hours in length, together with over 5000 pages of evidence and a total of 2000 pages of unused material. The case lasted for 14 days and the officer was required to resign. However the Police Appeals Tribunal upheld an appeal and found none of the allegations proven. The officer was reinstated and Lancashire Police were directed to reimburse the officer the wages she would have received had she not been required to resign together with all her annual leave owed during that period.


Thames Valley Police -v- Sgt X


Paul was instructed via direct access to defend the officer who had been accused of thefts from a supermarket and theft of police property. The Police Federation refused to represent the officer as the supermarket incidents were off duty and despite the allegation pertaining to police property having been committed during working hours the federation also refused to fund this. The allegations of theft from the supermarket were found not proven and the taking of police property was found not to be dishonest.


G’ -Teesside coroners court – Death of a patient in a care home who choked to death whilst left unattended eating his breakfast. ‘G’ a nurse, who wrote the care plan was exonerated of any blame.


‘H’ – Gosforth coroners court – Paul represented a care home where a patient had fallen from a wheel chair and had choked to death on the seat belt. Following Paul’s cross examination of the nurse on duty, it was established that the care home’s policy, in place at the time of the death had not been followed. The care home was exonerated of blame.


‘P’ – Teesside coroners court – Paul represented a Police officer who was ostracized by his colleagues when he tried to take a detained person to hospital as he was suffering from a condition known as excited delirium. The other officers refused to take him to hospital and the man died in Police Custody. This officer received no criticism from the coroner.

Road Traffic Law

R v E

‘E” was charged with drink driving at a music festival. Paul successfully argued that the location of the incident was not a public road as defined under the RTA. Case dismissed.


R -v- ‘S’ –

‘S’ was accused of drink driving (3 times over) when he crashed into road side furniture. Paul successfully argued that the level of alcohol was due to ‘post consumption’. The case involved expert evidence following which the CPS offered no evidence in relation to the drink drive allegation.


R -v- ‘B’ –

‘B’ a solicitor was accused of Careless Driving following a collision with a Police vehicle. The case was dismissed following a successful application of ‘no case to answer’ that was presented following the cross examination of the police officers in the case. Full defence costs order made.


R -v- ‘M’ –

Paul successfully defended a motorist accused of drink driving who registered a reading of 45 on the lion intoximeter. Paul was able to demonstrate that the Police should have allowed ‘M’ to provide a blood/urine sample for further analysis and had failed to do so. The case was dismissed following a successful half time submission of no case to answer.


R –v- A Licensing offence –

Mr ‘A’ a shop owner was accused of selling alcohol to underage children during an undercover operation jointly run by the Police and Trading Standards. Paul made a successful half time submission of no case to answer where following his cross-examination it was conceded that the prosecution had failed to establish the date of birth of the person used to buy the alcohol.

Prosecution Cases

R v Broderick- S18

Paul prosecuted Broderick who had attacked his victim with a piece of wood striking him to the head. The victim was in a coma for 21 days and had to have half of his skull removed. Broderick was sentenced to 11 years with an extended licence period of four years.


R v Bogan – S18

Paul prosecuted Bogan who had carried out a campaign of violence against his long term partner. He was sentenced to 11 years 4 months imprisonment.


R v Garland – Blackmail

Paul prosecuted Garland who demanded £1 million pounds from his employer, G4S. He was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment.


R v Holly & Grady

Paul advised the CPS pre-charge on a very complex case involving abuse of residents at a care home in Gateshead. On receiving Paul’s written opening both defendants changed their plea to guilty.


Operation Nacho- Cash for Crash Fraud –


Robin Patton recently led Paul in the largest prosecution in the country involving 96 defendants in a ‘Crash for Cash’ fraud. The case was split into several trials, some of which Paul prosecuted on his own.

Defence Cases

R v Levi Bellfield

Paul was part of the defence team of this notorious serial killer.

R v Mark Dixie

Paul was part of the defence team of this defendant who killed Sally Anne Boweman on her door step and then had sexual intercourse with her.

R v MS & PM – Murder –

Paul was led in this murder where the two defendants were accused of stabbing the victim to death with a single stab wound. Following the two-week trial the co-accused was found guilty of murder and the defendant represented by Paul – who was originally treated as a prosecution witness – was found not guilty of murder and not guilty of manslaughter.

R v M – Rape

Paul defended ‘M’ in allegations of historical rape against his wife. Following a day of legal argument during which Paul highlighted a number of deficiencies in the Crown’s case with regard to the investigation of the alleged offences, the Crown reviewed their case overnight and offered no evidence in relation to all counts on the indictment. Not guilty verdicts were recorded.

R v Carroll –

Paul defended Alan Carroll at Newcastle Crown Court, who was accused of causing Death by Careless Driving.Following Paul’s cross examination of the police accident reconstruction expert, the Judge stopped the case stating that the Crown’s case was no longer sustainable and the jury were directed to return a verdict of Not Guilty.


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R –v- X Section 18 GBH –

Paul acted for the defendant who was accused of attacking the victim with a saw resulting in the victim’s nose being sliced off as well as severe injuries to his forehead. Paul made a successful half time submission of no case to answer following his cross-examination of the officer in the case who accepted that he had not conducted the investigation fairly or in accordance with the CPIA






Criminal Bar Association

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