David Swinnerton

Deputy Head of Chambers

Called 1995

Inn of Court: Lincoln’s Inn

Recorder 2016

Memberships: Criminal Bar Association

CPS Panels/ Grade: Rape and Child Sexual Abuse List, Grade 4

Public Access Accredited


David grew up in the West Midlands, completed his pupillage with Chambers in 1996 and has practised on the Midland circuit ever since. He is Deputy Head of Chambers and a member of the Chambers Management Committee. He sits as a Recorder in crime on the Northern Circuit. He is the proud father of two teenagers. He enjoys good food and live music in the company of friends.


  • General Crime

David has substantial experience in the criminal courts. He defends and prosecutes, regarding the mix as advantageous to whoever is instructing. His practice incorporates the broad range of crime, including serious sexual offences, serious offences of violence, group and football violence, drug related offences and fraud. David is also experienced in ancillary matters, such as Proceeds of Crime Act or Sexual Harm Prevention Order applications.

David prides himself on thorough preparation, the sensitive handling of clients and expert cross-examination of witnesses. David is highly experienced in cases involving vulnerable witnesses and the use of intermediaries.

David has regularly represented teachers in the criminal courts as well as in their professional disciplinary tribunal.

Notable Cases:

Rape and Serious Sexual Offences

  • R v BS: Successful defence of man charged with rape within a relationship and attempting to pervert the course of justice when the relationship continued after charge. Case involved careful examination of large quantity of material from mobile phones of defendant and complainant.
  • R v BA and R v DH: Successful defences where defendants were accused of sexual offences against relatives over 30 years earlier.
  • R v CH: Successful prosecution for historic sexual offences against male relatives.
  • R v RD: Serious sexual offences against students in their own rooms.
  • R v AC: Successful defence for rape following severance argument so that indecent images and incitement matters were tried separately.
  • R v W: Successful defence of man charged with 2 separate rapes, both allegedly committed with the same friend. Case involved applications to cross-examine on past sexual history.
  • R v D: Successful defence of man charged with rape. Had had previous sexual relationship with complainant. Prosecution offered no further evidence following cross-examination of complainant.
  • R v H: Successful defence of defendant with learning difficulties charged with rape.


  • R v N: Defence junior. Victim died as complication of epilepsy caused by head injury sustained over a year earlier. Defendant acquitted of murder, convicted of manslaughter.
  • R v P: Defence junior. Terminally ill man ran over and killed wife’s lover. Prosecution ultimately accepted plea to manslaughter on basis of diminished responsibility.

Other Serious Offences of Violence

  • R v KO: Successful prosecution in case involving machete attack on a relative.
  • R v AM: Serious violence and firearms offences.
  • R v JI: Child cruelty over a prolonged period against 2 children.
  • R v A, S and A: Successful prosecution of defendants tying up, torturing and robbing man in his own flat.


  • R v MH: Successful defence for attempt to pervert the course of justice following alleged assault on a pupil.
  • R v AS: Fraud by deputy headmaster.
  • PE: Professional disciplinary hearing regarding SATS cheating.
  • R v KM: Defending teacher following sexual relationship with 15 year old pupil.
  • R v AS: Prosecuting teacher following sexual relationship with pupil.


Numerous cases, defending and prosecuting including conspiracies and test purchase operations.