The Director of ESL, Rodney W Wilson has been in the legal profession for more than 30 years and was the first local black man to be admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court and a High Court Advocate. A Highly experienced and able Higher Court Advocate and Duty Solicitor specialising in Criminal defence and Immigration law.
His experience in the field of Criminal law has been recognised by the Law Society who: granted dispensation from the requisite 2 year training contract; dispensation from the requirement to have been qualified 3 years before being permitted to open a practice, and granted the status of Higher Court Advocate by exemption.
He was Senior Lecturer in the Laws of Evidence and in Criminal Practice and Procedures at the UWE Bristol. He is also registered as a Mentor at the City of Bristol College. Over the years he has acted as legal advisor to the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia Centre.
His community work extends to playing for, managing and chairing local teams including St Phillips AFC, Lebeqs Tavern AFC and Lockleaze Basketball Clubs. He has given many inspirational talks to local schools, colleges, universities and other influential organisations and has supervised the qualification of a number of solicitors. He remains a positive role model for members of the community in which he was raised and continues to practice.
R v B 1993 – Murder reduced to Manslaughter. Setting the sentence tariff for Motor Manslaughter cases.
R v C 1997 – Murder reduced to Manslaughter at the Old Bailey.
R v G 2005 – Murder, acquitted at the Old Bailey.
R v L 2005 – Murder reduced to Manslaughter, 12 months’ Imprisonment.
R v E 2007 – Death by Dangerous Driving, reduced to Careless Driving.
R v M 2009 – Arson, group of youths burning down part of a school. Reduced to criminal damage.
R v W 2010 – £40 million drugs Conspiracy, Kingston Crown Court, acquitted.
R v A 2012 – Drugs supply in prison, Isle of White.
R v M 2014 – £600,000 Fraud case at the Old Bailey. Conditional Discharge after trial.
R v S 2015 – £1 million Drugs Conspiracy, acquitted after trial..
R v W 2016 – Murder. Issue of joint enterprise. Acquitted after trial.
R v L 2016 – Possession of a loaded firearm with intent to endanger life, possession of ammunition, possession of class A drugs with intent to supply and possession of class B drugs. Instructed to prepare and conduct former professional footballer’s trial in London following a recommendation. All items found in Defendant’s bedroom. Acquitted after trial.
R v G 2017 – Rape. Instructed, following a recommendation to represent a former professional footballer charged with raping a teenager. Acquitted after trial.
R v W 2018 – Murder. Defendant acquitted of murder after throwing acid on victim who subsequently died following an assisted suicide.
R v A 2018 – Racially Aggravated threatening behaviour. An equal rights pioneer and activist acquitted after trial following an allegation of racially aggravated threats to shoot someone.
R v D (2018) – The Defendant was acquitted following the Judge’s directions in what was the second FGM prosecution in the UK leading to the establishment of the ‘Bristol Model’, setting the precedent for the way in which all FGM cases in the UK are to be dealt with.
Ranjit is a specialist in criminal law having worked in this field for 19 years. He has expertise in a wide and varied range of cases and has gained experience in all areas of criminal litigation. Ranjit is duty qualified and advises in both the police station and Magistrates court.
Ranjit is a competent trial advocate within his field and has successfully defended a number of cases. He enjoys detailed case preparation and is an effective advocate.
Cases dealt with include murder, and those of other serious violence. Serious sexual offences including those of historic rape. Fraud and theft matters. Drug offences and money laundering, through to motoring matters and driving with excess alcohol.
Joanna started her career in Civil Litigation, specialising in Complaints Against the Police and Public Authorities. Joanna went on to qualify as an accredited police station representative in 2011 and subsequently moved in to Criminal Defence full time, as a duty qualified solicitor.
Since qualifying Joanna has rapidly established herself as a hardworking and robust defence practitioner. Joanna has experience representing both legal aid and private clients, and can tailor straightforward, honest advice to ensure her clients understand and are able to make their own informed decisions. Joanna is passionate about the protection of vulnerable individuals at all stages within the Criminal Justice System; she will go the extra mile to ensure her clients feel secure and protected, in what is inevitably an overwhelming and intimidating environment.
Joanna has wide ranging experience at all levels of Magistrates Court proceedings including trials in both the adult and youth Courts. In addition, She has gained significant experience defending some of the most serious matters within Crime. In this capacity, she has acted as the lead solicitor in matters of murder, serious assaults, drug conspiracies, complex fraud and serious sexual offences.
Joanna has also dedicated time to work within the community, in particular running classes and presentations in schools on subjects such as knife crime, police powers and the role of the criminal justice system. In addition Joanna carries out presentations at Universities promoting the profession and encouraging potential young advocates into criminal defence.
R v I : Successfully defended a vulnerable individual accused of assisting an offender in a high-profile murder.
R v B : Following a 6-day, multi-handed trial in the Bristol Youth Court involving the offences of Affray and Assault PC, persuaded the District Judge to avoid an immediate custodial sentence on conviction.
R v S & Others : Represented all three defendants in an allegation of assault in the context of a group attack. Following arguments around non-defendant bad-character, and hearsay evidence secured three not guilty verdicts, and the complainant was subsequently investigated for harassment.
R v S : Following guilty pleas for possession with intent to supply cannabis, persuaded the judge not to impose immediate custody, in light of the defendants age and vulnerabilities.
R v F : Successfully avoided custody for a young female charged with her second offence of possession of a blade in a public place.
An experienced Paralegal, Elmira graduated from the University of Hertfordshire with a degree in Law. She is soon to complete her Legal Practice Course with University of the West of England. Recently, she has successfully completed her police station accreditation with Cardiff University and is now a fully accredited police station representative. She is working toward becoming a qualified solicitor specialising in criminal defence.
Elmira currently handles and prepares cases for court hearings, taking instructions from clients, instructing experts, and liaising with the Crown Prosecution Service and courts. She also represents clients at the police station. Elmira deals with a wide range of offences including sexual assault, drug offences, criminal damage, offences against the person, fraud, theft, and motoring offences.