Member of Chambers Profile

Benedict Kelleher

Year of Call: 1994



Benedict Kelleher is a well-established leading junior with a wealth of experience as an advocate in serious criminal cases. His practice has a particular emphasis on offences of homicide, serious violence, rape and serious sexual assault. He is also frequently instructed as leading counsel in proactive police operations investigating organised crime such as the trafficking of drugs and guns. 

He is adept at the reduction of complex facts and legal principles into manageable issues for a jury to consider and has examined and cross-examined many hundreds of lay and professional witnesses in a huge range of trials over the last 22 years. He firmly believes that counsel can influence the outcome of a case with the combination of meticulous preparation and persuasive courtroom advocacy.



Recorder of the Crown Court (2012)

CPS Advocacy panels:

- Serious Crime Group panel at level 4

- Fraud panel at level 4

- General panel at level 4

- Rape and Child Sexual Abuse specialist panel


Past experience

Homicide and serious violence

R v Y&Y: Murder. Stabbing during very large scale public disorder

R v K: Murder. Cold case investigation. Buried body.

R v A&K: Murder. “Honour” killing.

R v P: Murder. Stabbing in a public house.

R v G &ors: Murder. 6 defendants. Gang-related stabbing of youth.

R v M: Murder. Stabbing of teenage girl by teenage female defendant..

R v G: Murder. Attack in a mechanic’s garage. Gang-related.

R v C&C: Murder. Gang-related fatal attack with a vehicle.

R v Ma: Manslaughter. Punching and kicking victim in public.

R v Kh: Manslaughter. Single punch.

R v H: Attempted murder. Stabbing. Anonymous witness application made.

R v D: Attempted murder. Shooting in public. Anonymous witness application made.

R v G: Attempted murder. Shooting at a party.

R v C&O: Attempted murder. Shooting. Background of organised crime.

R v T: Attempted murder. Stabbing of 14yr old by 13 yr old.

R v M: Attempted murder. Stabbing. Defendant suffering from schizophrenia. Detailed psychiatric expert evidence.

R v J: Attempted murder. Stabbing . Teenage defendant suffering from schizophrenia. Expert evidence on link between cannabis and schizophrenia.

R v A & ors: 3 defendants. Attempted murder. Attack upon a shopkeeper with a machete.

R v L&K: 2 defendants. Attempted murder. Knife attack in public.

R v M & ors: 6 defendants, Attempted murder. Knife attack at football club.

Op Jeffco: Conspiracy to prevent a lawful burial and conspiracy to commit GBH. Shallow grave dug in garden following death of housemate after assault. Neuropathological evidence proved GBH was not the cause of death.


Recent driving-related homicide cases

R  v B: Lorry driver accused of causing death of cyclist by careless driving.

R v H: Builder accused of causing death of child by careless driving.

R v  L: Taxi-driver accused of causing death of his elderly passenger by careless driving.

R v O: Motorcyclist accused of causing death of elderly man by dangerous driving.


Infant homicide and serious violence involving complex expert evidence

R v R: Murder/Manslaughter of toddler by teenager. Experts in neuropathology, ophthalmic pathology, histopathology and radiology.

R  v K&S: Murder/Manslaughter of baby by shaking/other assault. Experts in neuropathology, ophthalmic pathology and histopathology.

R v O&R: Murder of baby by shaking / other assault. Experts in neuropathology, ophthalmic pathology, histopathology and radiology. This case formed part of a leading reported Court of Appeal authority in this area: R v Henderson, Butler and Oyediran [2010] 2 Cr.App.R.

R v K&K: Manslaughter of infant by failure to nourish causing rickets, due to religious beliefs. Expert evidence in fields of endocrinology and radiology.

R v L&C: Manslaughter of child by failing to seek medical help following severe scalding. Experts in pathology, burns, radiology and paediatrics.

R v  S: Serious assaults on three separate babies in the care of a nanny. Expert evidence in fields of neuroradiology, paediatric radiology and paediatrics.  


Rape and Serious Sexual Offences

Benedict has been instructed in numerous cases in this field over many years. He has recent experience of dealing with all of the frequently occurring issues in this area, such as the limitations of cross-examination on sexual history (section 41), the use of intermediaries and other special measures and disclosure of material held by third parties such as local authorities and schools.  The following is a list of recent examples:

R v B&B: Historic familial rape allegations. Legal argument as to admissibility of expert evidence of “false memory syndrome.”

R v O: Historic familial sexual assault allegations relating to events in foreign countries. Abuse of process argument relating to failure of CPS satisfactorily to complete enquiries pursuant to International Letters of Request.

R v C: Historic and recent familial rape and child abuse allegations from three complainants. Legal argument as to joinder and severance.

R v J: Historic familial sexual abuse. Aged defendant requiring intermediary.

R v P: Stranger rape of woman with learning difficulties. Intermediary used.

R v A: School teacher accused of grooming female pupils for sexual abuse.

R v D: Alleged rape of former partner. Contested fitness to plead hearing with three psychiatrists giving evidence.

R v N: Alleged rape of friend. Extensive mobile phone material (chatlogs and photographs) deployed in cross-examination.

R v J: Incitement of child to engage in sexual activity via online chatroom and arranging to meet with intent to commit a sexual offence.

R v N: Violent stranger rape of a man.

R v T & ors: Teenage gang rape. 5 defendants.

R v A & ors: Teenage gang rape. 6 defendants.

R v OA: Alleged serial rapist of prostitutes.

R v Q; B. Instructed to respond in the Court of Appeal in two cases relating to the validity of Sexual Harm Prevention Orders.


Recent pro-active police operations

(Most as leading counsel, otherwise alone)

Op Namix: 5 defendants. Importation and distribution of machine pistols and ammunition.

Op Palika: 2 defendants. Importation and distribution of  machine pistols and ammunition.

R v M&D: 2 defendants. Conspiracy to possess firearms for sale or transfer.

Op Khaolak: 9 defendants. Importation and distribution of 200kg of cocaine via Tilbury port.

Op Tiffin: 9 defendants. Wholesale distribution of cocaine across East London.

Op Varangi: 6 defendants NCA investigation into cocaine importation and distribution. 

Op Wakonda: 5 defendants NCA investigation into importation of cannabis.

Op Sabra: 2 defendants NCA investigation into importation of liquid cocaine.

Op Praken: 8 defendants. Distribution of heroin across North London.

Op Listado: Importation in modified lorries and wholesale distribution of cocaine.

Op Sewell: 7 defendants. Kidnap and false imprisonment of two men. Case based entirely on highly complex telephone cell-site evidence.

Op Hibou: 7 defendants. Conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Professional team of armed robbers targeting shops.

Op Ronay: 5 defendants. Conspiracy to rob. Professional team targeting wealthy lone females wearing valuable jewellery.

Op Oaktree: 5 defendants. Conspiracy to rob. Team of moped robbers targeting high value phones.

Op Tampico: 3 defendants. Conspiracy to convert and transfer criminal property. Proceeds of gold jewellery thefts being converted to bullion, sold for cash and the proceeds transferred to Columbia via money service bureaux.


Other gang-related cases as leading counsel

Op Raboro: 9 defendants. Conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life.

Op Piper: 36 defendants. Conspiracies to rob and commit violent disorder, arising out of the 2011 London riots.

R v W & ors: 9 defendants. Conspiracy to inflict  GBH and commit violent disorder. 2 anonymous witness applications made.