Jonathan Sandiford QC

  • Year of QC 2020
  • Year of Call 1993

Instruct Jonathan



Jonathan is a CPS Grade 4 prosecutor and a member of List A of the former Attorney General’s Unified List of Counsel with over 12 years' experience of prosecuting complex and sensitive cases. He has a well earned reputation as a Leading Junior for the Crown, with many of his cases resulting in significant confiscation proceedings.

Jonathan is experienced in cases involving covert surveillance, intercepts, RIPA, PII and all attendant disclosure issues, including those that arise where material is held by government agencies and other third parties and foreign governments. In many cases Jonathan has fulfilled a strategic role advising from the pre-charge stage through to trial and beyond.

Jonathan has a good working knowledge of computers and issues arising from the use of the Internet to commit criminal offences having prosecuted the leading case of Sheppard and Whittle [2010] 1 Cr.App.R 26 in the Crown Court and before the Court of Appeal.

Jonathan’s other area of work is police discipline where he has 15 years’ experience in prosecuting and defending police officers in both internal disciplinary proceedings and criminal courts for offences ranging from minor driving offences through to dishonesty, violence, perverting the course of justice and death by dangerous driving.

Notable Cases

Notable Cases

R v Sheppard and Whittle [2010] 1 Cr.App.R 26
Instructed by the CPS Counter Terrorism Division as Leading Counsel in the first prosecution for publishing racially inflammatory material online. On appeal this became the leading case on the criminal jurisdiction of the English criminal courts over the internet.

Operation Pancrack 1999-2002
Led Junior in prosecution of multi-handed, nationwide conspiracy to supply controlled drugs allegedly run by a convicted heroin dealer from his prison cell and investigated by the National Crime Squad using covert methods. Took over the prosecution of the case in the Court of Appeal after Leading Counsel was appointed to the Circuit Bench.

Op Stirrup 2002-2008
Leading Junior for the Crown in the following five cases that were part of Operation Stirrup, a standing police investigation by West Yorkshire Police into drugs and firearms offences involving or with connections to Jamaican Yardie gangs:

  • R v Meghoo, Sim¬monds and others 2002–2003. Conspiracy to supply crack cocaine imported by mules from Jamaica.
  • R v Hebert and others 2003. Conspiracy to supply crack cocaine.
  • R v Williams and others 2004. Nationwide conspiracy to supply crack cocaine sourced from London and elsewhere.
  • R v Rease and Beckford 2004. Conspiracy to supply crack cocaine
  • R v Daley and others 2005–2008. Nationwide conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine imported from Jamaica via Heathrow and from Holland via Northern airports.

Op Alkerton 2003-2004
Leading Junior for the Crown in the prosecution of gangs of house burglars who targeted car keys and vehicles to pass onto organised criminals. Reported on the front page of the Daily Mail as: “The Scourge of Suburbia”. Advised on and implemented a strategy to ensure offenders were appropriately sentenced by the court.

Op Hanoi Cases 2003-2005
Leading Junior Counsel for the Crown in several multi-handed prosecutions of organised teams of burglars who targeted cars and other motor vehicle to be sold to organised criminals. The success of the techniques of investigation and prosecution developed led to an invitation to address an ACPO working group and to Jonathan winning the Barrister award at the Yorkshire Lawyer of the Year Awards in 2004.

R v Bham and others 2006–-007
Leading Counsel for the Crown where defendants were alleged to have been involved in organising staged accident insurance claims. The lead defendant advanced a complicated abuse of process application based on allegations that local officers and Metropolitan counter terrorism officers investigating the 7/7 bombings had colluded to conduct improper searches.

Op Teddington 2005–2012
Leading Counsel for the Crown in the largest case ever prosecuted by the Leeds Complex Casework Unit arising from a covert police investigation involving the use of under-cover police officers and technical surveillance. Multi-handed, multi-indictment and trial case including allegations of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and perverting the course of justice against the main defendant, his solicitor, accountant, bank manager, business partners and various others. Resulted in four successful trips to the Court of Appeal. In 2011 the main defendant was ordered to pay £2 million in confiscation proceedings.

R v Khan 2010
Instructed to prosecute the Chief Medical Officer of Doncaster prison for perverting the course of justice during an investigation into the suspected manslaughter of a prisoner in his care.

R v Hemingway 2009-2011
Instructed by the CPS Counter Terrorism Unit to prosecute a case of stirring up racial hatred by posting videos onto You Tube.

Re: W and K 2008–2011
Presenting Counsel in a complex police disciplinary matter where the two defendant officers were found to have been accessing police computer systems to pass information to organised criminals.



In 2009 Jonathan was appointed a Recorder to sit on the North Eastern Circuit.