Year of call 2008

Rebecca Barrowcliffe

Practice Areas


Rebecca joined Chambers in 2023 following a successful career as a defence Solicitor and Higher Court Advocate. In recognition of her achievements as a HCA, she was most listed in the Legal 500 2024 as a ‘Rising Star’.

Following her call to the Bar in 2008 Rebecca has accumulated over 15 years’ experience of the Criminal Justice System, first working for several years as a caseworker in criminal litigation and an accredited police station representative, before qualifying as a Solicitor and HCA in 2020, and a Duty Solicitor in 2021.

In the years since qualification Rebecca has gained vast experience of dealing with matters in the Youth, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts, covering the whole spectrum of criminal offences in Courts across the Midlands.

At the Crown Court Rebecca has had the benefit and experience of conducting a variety of serious and complex matters. This includes being a led junior in a 10-handed murder trial and dealing with the complexities of youth sentencing in the Crown Court including for s.18 GBH offences against prison officers. Rebecca has also defended in complex Trading Standards prosecutions and in a variety of drugs operations and their associated POCA proceedings. In 2021 Rebecca appeared before a High Court Judge at one of the prestigious Oakham Castle sittings where she was successful in opposing the application for a Sexual Harm Prevention Order. Rebecca has also been appointed by the Courts to cross-examine vulnerable witnesses in trials where defendants are not legally represented, including offences of s.18 GBH, false imprisonment, and blackmail. Throughout her practise she has also represented highly vulnerable defendants such as those with significant mental health conditions and learning difficulties, ensuring such individuals are suitably assessed and hitherto undiagnosed issues are brought to the Crown and Court’s attention. This has included her successfully raising the rare defence of non-insane automatism.

Rebecca is a member of the Leicestershire Police ‘Coercive Powers Scrutiny Group’ with The Race and Equality Centre (TREC) in Leicester.

Away from work Rebecca is an avid supporter and season ticket holder at the Nottingham Panthers Ice Hockey Club, and is a self-confessed AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego).


R v DP & Others (June – November 2022) Leicester Crown Court. Led junior in 10 handed murder trial. Defendant acquitted of murder & convicted of manslaughter. Conducted sentencing hearing, successfully securing defendant with highly relevant previous convictions a determinate sentence following submissions in relation to life sentences and dangerousness.
R v YA (January 2023) Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court. 18-year-old defendant’s second s.18 GBH offence committed in custodial environment. Prison officer stabbed in the neck with adapted weapon: a biro containing a filed down and sharpened screw, resulting in victim suffering permanent psychological condition and neurological disorder. Defendant noted to have traits of ADHD/ASD and also diagnosed with PTSD following incident in which he had been the victim of a stabbing. Defendant sentenced to extended sentence of 6 years imprisonment with further 3 years on licence.
R v SB (April 2022) Coventry Magistrates’ Court. Successful defence at trial of defendant nightclub security guard who was alleged to have assaulted 2 females attending the club. Incident captured on CCTV.


R v SP & Another (May 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Represented defendant with mental health and learning difficulties. Successful application made that this was one of the rare cases where defendant was to be assisted with intermediary throughout trial, not just when giving evidence. CPS offered no evidence week before trial.
R v YA & Others (October 2020) Leicester Youth Court. Represented one of four youth defendants facing allegations of robbery and attempted s.18 GBH. Vulnerable youth assessed & found to have significant cognitive functioning difficulties such that would have required an intermediary at trial. Successfully secured defendant bail on seven occasions over 2-month period following repeated breaches of bail. Guilty plea on day of trial to ABH and theft. Sentenced to 10 months DTO.

Drugs Offences

R v EK (July 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Represented 20-year-old illegal immigrant defendant trafficked into UK and exploited into gardening role producing significant quantities of cannabis for commercial use. Sentenced to 12 months.
R v BM & Others (June 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Operation Vitalise. Represented one of five defendants at sentencing for conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin, and possession of £8500 criminal property. Defendant sentenced to 28 months.
R v NS (May/September 2021) Leicester Crown Court. Represented defendant accused of running his own operation supplying class B drugs, and in subsequent POCA proceedings. On arrest defendant assaulted police officer and damaged BVW camera. Following guilty plea sentenced to 15 months suspended for 2 years. Negotiated and agreed POCA confiscation order.
R v AS (November 2020) Leicester Crown Court. Defendant indicted with PWITS class A, heroin and cocaine. Evidence of defendant being class A user but also running his own supply operation. Following successful submissions in mitigation, HHJ agreed that starting point should be lower than guidelines indicated. Sentenced to 3 years.

Sexual Offences

R v LB (April 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Represented defendant facing first breach of SHPO in deleting internet data. Offending put in breach of SSO imposed at same time as SHPO. Following mitigation defendant fined, SSO to continue.
R v CT (February 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Defendant facing 3 allegations of sexual assault against a fellow resident in his accommodation entered guilty plea on day 1 of trial to one offence. Defendant sentenced to absolute discharge as successfully argued it was disproportionate for the defendant to be subject to notification requirements of the SOR.
R v AB (July 2022) Leicester Crown Court. Paramedic defendant faced allegations of sexual assault and assault by beating. Negotiated plea to assault by beating on the basis of reckless touching to resolve. Defendant received 2-year conditional discharge.
R v DA (December 2021) Leicester Crown Court. Represented defendant in 3-day trial on indictment for voyeurism concerning his young stepdaughter. Defendant acquitted at trial.
R v BT (October 2021) Oakham Castle. Case listed before Mr Justice Baker. 25-year-old defendant sentenced for offences of IIOC Cat A and extreme pornography. Secured SSO & successfully opposed imposition of SHPO.

Trading Standards

Leicestershire County Council v LI (November 2020) Leicester Crown Court. Significant investigation by Trading Standards into sale of defective motor vehicles by the defendant. Defendant faced allegations under the Fraud Act 2006 & contravening the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Negotiated guilty pleas on a basis to 3 charges of contravening the regulations which covered the sale of 4 motor vehicles over a 6-month period & 1 further vehicle added on day of sentence to be TIC. Sentenced to 6 months suspended for 18 months.

Driving Offences

R v NB (July 2023) Birmingham Magistrates’ Court. Secured suspended sentence for driver of hit and run incident involving pedestrian fatality.
R v MPH Ltd. (July 2023) Loughborough Magistrates’ Court. Limited company failed to provide driver details following speeding offence. Guilty plea entered week before trial but still granted full credit for plea following representations made. Fined.
R v WA (January 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Defendant charged with dangerous driving having driven in excess of 70 miles with smashed windscreen after hitting suicidal pedestrian on motorway. Following mitigation a 12m conditional discharge was imposed.
R v RA (November 2022) Loughborough Magistrates’ Court. Successfully secured the acquittal of a defendant charged with s.172 offence of failing to provide driver details following a speeding offence. Successful defence at trial that NIPs not received. Notoriously difficult charge to secure an acquittal on due to the burden of proof being on the defence.
R v JA (July 2021) Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. Defendant admitted strict liability offence of driving without insurance. Special reasons argument successfully pursued resulting in defendant not having licence revoked.
High success rate at Exceptional Hardship applications, including where initial argument made to impose penalty points over period of disqualification.

Conveying items into prison/Possession of prohibited items in prison

R v LY & Another (February 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Represented 25-year-old defendant serving 18½ year sentence in proceedings for possession of an iPhone found concealed within a shared cell at HMP. Second offence, sentenced to 6m consecutive.
R v MB & Others (December 2020) Lincoln Crown Court. Defendant one of three indicted with conspiracy to convey prohibited items into HMP, namely a mobile phone and alcohol. Secured the only suspended sentence in this matter.


R v JT (February 2022) Leicester Crown Court. Represented defendant facing one allegation of dwelling burglary in which ransacked property and highly personal items taken including death certificate and funeral documentation. Guilty plea entered in advance of trial date. Defendant had significant previous convictions including 16 previous convictions for burglary of which 5 were relevant dwelling burglary offences which had previously triggered the 3rd strike rule. Sentenced to 4 years 6 months.
R v AB (January 2022) Leicester Magistrates’ Court. Defendant faced one allegation of burglary from a garden shed. Case set down for trial. Prosecution application to adduce defendant’s bad character successfully opposed and as a result CPS discontinued the case.

Public Order Offences

R v JMcC & Others (March 2023) Leicester Crown Court. All 3 defendants faced an allegation of affray in which the 2 co-defendants received significant stab wounds requiring medical attention. Guilty pleas entered on day of trial. Secured the lowest suspended sentence imposed in the matter.
R v CH & Others (October 2020) Loughborough Magistrates’ Court. Represented sole female out of 4 defendants charged with affray alleged to have occurred in public house and captured on CCTV. Defendant maintained actions were in self-defence and defence of co-accused partner. Defendant acquitted after 2-day trial.

Offensive weapons/Bladed articles

R v JD (July 2023) Caernarfon Crown Court. Defendant arrested a significant distance from home after failing to pay for a train ticket and appearing drunk and disorderly. Upon search Police recovered locking pocket-knife. Defendant discovered to be suffering from cognitive difficulties following a stroke. Crown offered no evidence ahead of PTPH after review of medical issues and representations made.
R v DE (May 2023) Leicester Crown Court. Defendant faced allegations of attempted dwelling burglary, dwelling burglary, affray, and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a pitchfork. Defendant living feral in local woods entered property with pitchfork making demands. Evident from circumstances of offending that defendant suffering from mental health breakdown and initially assessed as not fit to enter plea. Following treatment defendant declared fit to enter plea. Differing expert reports on disposal resulted in contested sentencing hearing. 38 MHA Hospital Order imposed.
R v GR (December 2022) Leicester Crown Court. Defendant indicted with affray and possession of an offensive weapon, namely a claw hammer, following incident of anti-social behaviour in the park outside her home address. Defendant was a war veteran having served as medic in the armed forces, including in Afghanistan, and was diagnosed with complex PTSD. Defence of non-insane automatism raised in that her actions were involuntary and whilst she was in a dissociative state. Following service of psychological report and representations made Crown offered no evidence.

LLB (Hons) 2:1, University of Hull (2007)

Bar Vocational Course, Very Competent, Nottingham Law School (2008)

Accredited Police Station Representative, University of Cardiff (2018)

Legal Practice Course, Distinction, Nottingham Law School (2019)

LLM, Distinction, Nottingham Law School (2021)

Accredited Duty Solicitor, University of Cardiff (2021)

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