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Patrick Harris

Patrick Harris

Consultant - Solicitor Advocate

Patrick is a Criminal and Mental Health solicitor. He has been a Higher Rights Court Advocate since 2003 and is a former partner at Clifford Johnston & Co. Patrick relinquished managing the criminal department to allow him to focus on defence advocacy, particularly in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

Patrick has defended a multitude of cases including serious and high profile prosecutions. He has over 25 years of experience as a defence lawyer in the Magistrates and Crown Court.  His thorough preparation is the key to his successful defence advocacy, reflected in his excellent acquittal rate.

Patrick’s experience of representing clients at each stage of the criminal process enables him to provide a bespoke, pro-active, criminal defence service.


  • Crime and Mental Health

    Patrick has developed a unique, niche practice specialising in crime and mental health.  He is a member of Mental Health Tribunal Panel and represents clients who are detained in psychiatric hospitals.  He represents clients at Mental Health Tribunals, including restricted hearings at medium and high secure hospitals.

    Patrick regularly represents mentally disordered defendants facing criminal charges in the Magistrates and Crown Court. He is familiar with complex mental disorders, including schizophrenia, personality disorder, autism and learning difficulties. He has successfully defended clients charged with serious offences, including offences of violence and sexual assault.

    Patrick has developed an expert knowledge of all aspects of mental health/criminal law and can provide expert advice on sentencing, hospital orders, diversion, fitness to plead, diminished responsibility, insanity, drug induced psychosis and automatism.  He has conducted special trials where his clients were deemed unfit to plead and trials where they have been acquitted by reason of insanity.

    If a case has a mental health dimension, Patrick is the lawyer that other lawyers and Judges consult.  He regularly provides advice in relation to this complex area of law to criminal lawyers, barristers and approved social workers.

  • Legal Aid and Private Costs

    Patrick is a member of the National Law Society Criminal Committee.  He has campaigned tirelessly in an attempt to preserve criminal legal aid and to ensure that every person accused of a crime receives expert legal advice.

    Unfortunately, legal aid is no longer available to all.  Legal aid is means testing and therefore many, including those on low income, do not qualify.

    Patrick will, for those ineligible for legal aid, charge a sensible and affordable fee to provide the same first rate defence irrespective of a client’s income.

  • Road Traffic Cases

    The loss of a driving licence or the imposition of significant penalty points can have a devastating effect on employment and family life. Road traffic law is complicated and a successful defence requires a good understanding of the particular legislation, the general rules of evidence and access to the best experts.

    Patrick is a highly skilled lawyer with decades of experience dealing with these types of case and has a good track record in these cases.  As a Crown Court advocate he brings to these cases all the skills of a barrister together with the detailed knowledge of Magistrates Court practice learnt from years of practice as a solicitor. By combining these skills, we are able to provide competitive rates for representation and are able to avoid charging the very significant sums sought by other firms.

    As we have a long history of dealing with these cases we have instructed some of the best experts in the country and have access to the same experts as used by some of the dedicated road traffic lawyers.

    When contacting Patrick, you will be given an immediate and honest appraisal of your case and prospective costs of an expert.

  • Sexual Offences and Notable Cases

    There has recently been an explosion of prosecutions of sexual offences

    Patrick has developed a successful practice defending clients accused of sexual offences in the Crown Court. Patrick has maintained a 100% acquittal rate in sexual offences as an advocate in the Crown Court.

    R v I – successfully defended a 77 year old accused of historic rape at Manchester Crown Court.

    R v B – successfully defended an 86 year old accused of historic rape at Manchester Crown Court.

    R V D – successfully defended a 57 year old accused of rape.

    R v J – successfully defended 18 year old defendant accused of ‘date rape’.

    R v B – Manchester Crown Court: Defendant accused of rape and sexual assault acquitted after complex legal arguments.

    R v S – Liverpool Crown Court; successful defence of defendant accused of sexual assault upon his daughter.

    R v N – Manchester Crown Court; Defendant charged with possession of Indecent ImagesSuccessful legal arguments on procedure led to an acquittal.

    R v W – Manchester Crown Court; Successful argument on contamination of DNA samples led to an acquittal.

  • Notable Grave & Serious Crimes

    R v Z & others – Defended a 17 year old in a ‘gangland execution’ and shooting in a public house. Queens Counsel in the case described the defence as “one of the best prepared cases he has seen in his professional career at the bar”

    R v R – Defended a16 year old charged with a ‘gangland shooting’.  Patrick’s client was acquitted after forensic evidence, described as “conclusive prosecution forensic evidence”, was successfully challenged by the defence.

    R v SE – successfully defended in a gangland Murder.

    R v H – successful defended a client charged with assisting other defendants charged with Murder. He was acquitted after a 9-week trial involving 8 defendants.

    R v K – successfully defended in the kidnap, torture and blackmail of a high-profile businessman in Preston. The case centred on complex telephone and cell site evidence which was described as ‘overwhelming’ by the prosecution.

    R v C – successfully defended as a Crown Court Advocate in an armed robbery.  Patrick instructed relevant experts and successfully challenged the Crown’s identification of his client from CCTV.

    R v K –  successfully defended in a South Manchester ‘gang land’ firearms case. A covert recording of the incident was obtained which conclusively contradicted and undermined the Crown’s case. Following an independent police inquiry, the police officer was dismissed from the police force and Patrick’s client was awarded damages for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

    R v F – successfully defended in a multimillion pound importation of prohibited drugs from Holland. In preparation Patrick travelled to Holland and France. A successful challenge to the admissibility of informant evidence led to acquittal.

  • Criminal Mental Health Cases

    R v G – Attempted Murder; The use of a toxicology expert led to a successful challenge on issue of intent.

    R v WB – Wounding;  The use of toxicology evidence resulted in the Crown accepting a plea to significantly reduced charges and assisted in the defendant’s discharge from hospital.

    R v H –  s.18 wounding; The defendant was not fit to plead. Patrick secured an acquittal nevertheless. Patrick subsequently represented H at a Mental Health Tribunal when he was discharged back into the community.

    R v W – Assault; The defendant was unfit to plead. Patrick secured an absolute discharge allowing the defendant to receive treatment of his choice.

    R v G – Assault; The defendant was unfit to plead.   Patrick secured an absolute discharge.

    R v HN – Manchester Crown Court; Successful defence of an application for a restricted hospital order. The defendant was subsequently released by a Mental Health Tribunal shortly after his hearing.

    R v B – Manchester Crown Court; Successful defence of an application for a restricted hospital order.

    R v M – Leeds Crown Court; Patrick represented a teacher charged with attempted murder of an Imam at his local mosque in West Yorkshire. He was acquitted on the grounds of insanity at Leeds Crown Court .He  made a full recovery and was discharged from hospital under the care of mental health services.

    R v Y – Tameside Magistrates & Manchester Crown Court; Defendant charged with numerous offences and detained in secure hospital. Ultimately all charges withdrawn and defendant released from hospital.

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Patrick Harris

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