Cathy McCulloch

Called 2002

About Cathy McCulloch

Called in 2002, Cathy is a dynamic, driven and experienced advocate whose overriding commitment is to achieve Justice. Her application of the law “with a clarity and passion which is both forceful and highly effective” is backed up by a perfectionist’s approach to research and preparation.

With previous experience as a Civil Solicitor, HCA (All Proceedings), and three years’ service as a WPC, Cathy is not only an expert member of Counsel, but is able to see the legal process from a wider point of view. “When Cathy looks at a case she sees things that others have missed.” Her talent and professional skills as an advocate have been recognised by her inclusion on the List of Defence Counsel of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon as Lead Counsel. She is one of only 166 advocates worldwide whose names appear on this list.

She works in close partnership with both professional and lay clients, tempering her professionalism, imagination and flair in applying the law with the style and understanding needed to bring a human touch in a difficult situation.

Cathy is accredited by the Bar Council to accept Direct Public Access Instruction, and to conduct both Civil and Criminal Litigation. For further details, please contact the Clerks Room.

Cathy accepts pro-bono instruction through the Suffolk Law Centre.


2013 – South East Circuit Advanced International Advocacy Course, Keble College, Oxford. Awarded full scholarship by Middle Temple.


Areas of Expertise include

Sexual Offences (including sexual assault and statutory rape).

Homicide and attempted murder

Fraud and Financial cases (including DWP, Criminal Insolvency, PoCA)

Robbery, Burglary, Blackmail, Theft (including theft from employer/breach of trust)

Any matter involving vulnerable parties including Youths, clients with mental health issues, clients requiring intermediaries, and clients on the autism spectrum

Police Law (both civil and criminal)

Firearms and Weapons

Military Law and Courts Martial

Drugs Offences (including high value importation)

Traffic Law

Appeals against Conviction and/or Sentencing


  • The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple
  • The South Eastern Circuit
  • The War Crimes Committee of the International Bar Association
  • The Criminal Bar Association


International Criminal Court – Admitted to the List of Counsel before the ICC

UN Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals – Admitted to Rule 43 List

UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon – Lead Counsel on List of Defence Counsel

RASSO accredited

CPS Prosecutor (Grade 3)

Accredited by the Bar Council to accept Direct Public Access Instruction, and to conduct both civil and criminal litigation.

Sex-related cases

R v BK St Albans Crown Court 2015 Sexual Assault
Not Guilty after seven day trial. Despite a misjudgement by the client which could have led to another (non-sexual) criminal charge, skilful cross-examination demonstrated that the sexual act had been consensual, and that the complaint had been driven by malice.

R v XY at A Crown Court 2015 Incestuous Rape
Guilty plea. Thorough research found little-known case – ZBT (Rape of a sibling is not a breach of trust). HHJ commended ’rounded’ mitigation, and handed down sentence of 6 years (half would normally have been expected). Successfully argued defendant should not be permanently removed from family contact by the Sexual Risk and Restraining Orders.

R v FI Ipswich Crown Court 2014 Historic Rape
Case hinged around consent when intoxicated.

R v RS Basildon Crown Court 2014 Sexual Assault
Not Guilty after five day trial. Skilful use of evidence in cross-examination of complainant. Judge remarked on “powerful and persuasive nature” of S41 submission.

R v SW Isleworth Crown Court 2010/11 Indecent Assault on a child under 7 years old and Wounding x 2
Two trials for the indecent assault – hung jury first time. Put very young complainant at ease. Established during XX that the child had been fed answers by her mother. Jury were out for 9 mins before acquitting. Wounding: pleaded guilty. Had used excessive force when attacked as an alleged Paedophile, taking a knife to an unarmed man. Mitigation called “Powerful” by HHJ who was extremely lenient, sentencing defendant to 9 months for both wounding matters.

R v RF Norwich Crown Court 2009 Indecent Assault on a child under 13 years
Five trials. Client found Not Guilty after use of “Lethal” XX techniques. Successful handling of numerous disclosure matters.

Fraud and dishonesty

Suffolk Trading Standards v CG & 5 Ors Ipswich Crown Court 2014 Fraud
One of six defendants facing a total of 42 counts. Client was only one found Not Guilty over all charges. 7.5 week trial prosecuted by leading junior and junior. Complex Points of Law: Disclosure, Hearsay, S78 PACE, Company Law (Co Act 2006 – Directors Duties), Contract Law.

R v EM Central London Criminal Court 2011 Theft from Employer
After a full plea in mitigation, The Common Sergeant said he was “persuaded” to allow defendant to remain in the community. Suspended sentence awarded despite the sum stolen – aggravated by the defendant spending the £10k on a boob job, holiday and mortgage. Much publicity concerning the “boob job”.

R v KB Blackfriars Crown Court 2010 Fraud (10 Counts)
2 week trial in complex Betting Shop Fraud. Legal argument concerning disclosure and hearsay in addition to mastering the issues surrounding betting shop operations.

Violent crime

R v JP and ano Ipswich Crown Court 2015 GBH
Both Not Guilty after full trial. Originally instructed for both defendants; severed on own application so Bad character could be used against the complainant without harming the Co-Defendant’s case.

R v ED Reading Crown Court 2015 GBH
Not Guilty after full trial. CCTV appeared at first sight to prove guilt. Detailed analysis by Counsel showed otherwise; video enhanced and used to conclusive effect in court during XX of complainant..

R v RI Norwich Crown Court 2014 Attempted Murder
After full trial vulnerable client found Not Guilty of attempted murder. Complex legal argument including arguing in of Expert Evidence, and exclusion of Police Interview due to breach of PACE Code C. Also Bad Character, Admissions, Duplicity.

R v RI Ipswich Crown Court 2014 ABH; Burglary; Threatening a person with a bladed article; False Imprisonment (x3); Threats to Kill and Assault by Beating
Successful mitigation: defendant had severe Mental Health issues, but attempt to get a Hospital Order was thwarted by expert report which held otherwise despite medical records. For all counts he received a total of 7 years immediate custody.

R v LL Central London Criminal Court (Old Bailey) 2011 Burglary
Acting for prosecution. Persuaded that defendant was being set up by complainants, so sought third party disclosure. Spent 5 days going through resultant material with Defence and OiC. Found proof of defence assertion; Police investigation confirmed complainants had “groomed” her and she was the victim. Sought to have defendants prosecuted for attempting to pervert the course of justice. Diligence commended by the Court, Police and CPS.

R v AB Central London Criminal Court 2008 Attempted Murder (later dropped via Robbery to an ABH and carrying a weapon in a public place)
Won trust of devout Muslim defendant. Attempted Murder matter stayed on first day of trial following “on the hoof” Abuse Argument before HHJ Peter Fingret. During preliminary hearings argued successfully for a Non-Defendant’s bad character to be admitted, s78 PACE evidence to be excluded. Advised client to claim compensation. Significant sum awarded as he had been in custody since July 2007.

Reported cases

Marsh v DPP [2015] EWHC 1022 (Admin)
Clarity on the defence of self-defence. It is now no longer necessary for a court to identify whether the defendant in a physical altercation is being attacked.

Peter Craig HITCHEN [2011] EWCA Crim 1626 Court of Appeal 2011 ABH (Domestic)
Acted in original trial. S3 Criminal Law Act clarified following recommendation to appeal and submission of skeleton argument (withdrawn from the Court prior to hearing with permission of LJ Gross). Further details available on request.

Between 1998 and 2000 commended by the Court of Appeal on three occasions for research:

Brady v Morgan (2000) 25th July CA
Commended by Sedley and Hale LJJ for research on the Contra Proferentem Rule, having contributed to research and attended Court, assisting Counsel for the Appellant.

R v Nabina (1999) 5th July CA (Transcript)
Contributed to skeleton argument on voidable title in use of credit card obtained by fraud, which the Court (Ld Bingham CJ and Heather Steele and Alliott JJ) said had “…far reaching effect…”.

R v Tameside ex. parte Coleman: R v Tameside Justices ex parte Davenport (1998) LG.R CA.
Contributed to research, and attended Court, assisting Counsel for the Appellants.

R v Coles and Ors (1998) BCCR
Assisted in research.


R v TT Ipswich Crown Court 2015 Taking drugs into a prison
Guilty after trial. Unprecedented suspended sentence order following thorough research and effective mitigation both written and oral.

R v AP Ipswich Crown Court 2011 NAKED BICYCLIST (Appeal vs Conviction)
Negotiation with Crown led to CPS offering no evidence. Argued that prosecution evidence very weak, especially as to charge of causing distress to those who witnessed the naked cyclist on the public highway. Much local media interest.

R v KG Colchester Court Martial Centre 2013 GBH
Successful half-time submission, having discredited seven prosecution witnesses of varying ranks by applying understanding of military life.