Benjamin Aina KC

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Year of Call: 1987
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Year of Silk: 2009
His services are money very well spent. He has kept the entire case suspect focused and insisted to the jury that they must remain focused on the defendant's lies and dishonesty.

His closing speech was so impressive – it was thorough and even addressed what the defence barrister was going to say and basically said it's rubbish because the defendant is just trying to deflect his criminality.

I confidently know that whatever the outcome of this trial, Mr Aina has fought as hard as he could for our victim and in my opinion, out of all of the trials I have been in, he is one of the very few that has given the victim the voice they deserve and the fight they deserve.

– 2024, Detective Constable Toyene M Lait, Metropolitan Police

Ben is a highly experienced and skilled advocate. He is a persuasive and charming advocate with an affable, down-to-earth style which engages juries.’

– Legal 500 2023, Leading KC

Benjamin Aina KC is a first-class Silk with a wealth of experience in criminal law. He specialises in matters involving murder, serious violence and sexual offences, private client criminal defence, fraud white collar and business crime. He has undertaken in excess of 70 Homicide cases, and has a particular speciality in defending juveniles accused of Homicide. He is predominantly a criminal practitioner but also practices in public law.

Benjamin is often asked to advise in cases where something has gone fundamentally wrong with the criminal Justice system; or where an esoteric point of law has arisen. In 2008, he considered 20 criminal and civil cases in advising the Governor and Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands on the removal of a Grand Court Judge for misbehaviour: Privy Council: Re: Madam Justice Levers [2010] UKPC 24, paragraphs 14-20, 32. Between August 2010 and March 2011, Benjamin was instructed to advise on a series of complaints brought by a barrister and senior police officer, against three Grand Court Judges (including the Chief Justice), the Attorney General, Solicitor General and a senior civil servant. This led to a 185 page report adopted by the Governor.

In Operation Pointer [2015], a serious public disorder took place in Birmingham during the August 2011 riots, where, during the disturbance, cars drove into a crowd killing three Asian men. The case received national television and press coverage, and eight men were charged with murder and were acquitted by the jury. The CPS received a formal complaint about the handling of this murder case, and Benjamin was instructed to advise on this formal complaint. In Jack Mount (2016) a 96 year old former headmaster was accused of historic rape of his daughters and 60 children. He advised the Chief Crown Prosecutor and the DPP on the correct process of dealing with this complex and sensitive case.

Benjamin was instructed in 2023 by the CPS to take over the re-trial of the Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy after difficulties emerged in the first trial leading to acquittals.

In Lucima v CCC; DPP v Woolwich: [2020] EWHC 3243 (Admin) the custody time limits had been extended to a period approaching one year during the pandemic period. A circuit Judge had ruled that the Government had not provided sufficient resources. Benjamin invited the LCJ to put a cap of 8 months custody time limits for Juveniles – he disagreed but Parliament subsequently introduced legislation adopting his argument!

R v. Lanning & Camille [2021] EWCA Crim 450: Benjamin invited the Court of Appeal to revisit the law, and widen the scope of overwhelming super intervening act in homicide cases. The revisit is due to existing professional unease about the liability in homicide cases for secondary parties where the secondary party has no knowledge of the principal’s possession and use of a knife.

Anderson v AG Isle of Man [2021] UKPC 20 PC: Prosecuting on behalf of the AG of Isle of Man, he responded to an appeal involving the scope of expert psychiatric evidence in diminished responsibility cases.

Benjamin is an advocacy trainer at Lincolns Inn holding the highest grade of “Tutor Trainer”. He teaches bar students, pupil barristers and new practitioners as part of the mandatory teaching programmes. He has taught at the International Advocacy Course, Keeble, Oxford; and has also taught practitioners and judges in Malaysia, Antigua, Monserat. Florida, Jersey, and Poland.

Notable Cases

  • R v. C Prosecuting Queens Counsel

    Man kills wife due to lesbian affair. Loss of control defence. Defendant convicted.

  • R v. PC Prosecuting Queens Counsel

    Man pushes former Eurotunnel boss onto train tracks. Attempted murder. Defendant convicted.

  • R v. L & M: Prosecuting Queens Counsel

    Gangs steal free evening standard newspapers for profit. Instructed to give detailed advice on the law of theft. Both defendants convicted following trial.

  • R v AJ Defence Queen’s Counsel

    Seven-handed murder. Obtaining successful acquittal on charge of murder. Manslaughter alternative verdict.

  • R v. HA Defence Queens Counsel

    Four handed gang related murder at the Old Bailey. Successful acquittal.

  • R v BP Defence Queen’s Counsel

    Two-handed murder. Obtaining successful acquittal on charge of murder of a 15-year-old. Manslaughter alternative verdict.

  • R v Cr Defence Queen’ Counsel

    Acquittal of husband and wife (separately represented) on allegation of shooting and using a knife against family members inside and outside their home on Easter Sunday. Both accused successfully raising pleas of self defence.

  • R v Cu Defence Queen’s Counsel

    Defending in four-handed murder. Victim attacked with various weapons and having been killed attempts had been made to dismember his body with an angle grinder. Accused acquitted of murder convicted of manslaughter but all other defendants convicted of murder.

  • R v A Defence Queen’s Counsel

    Four-handed murder charge in context of drug-related offences. Allegations of torture. 16-year-old vulnerable defendant.

  • R v N Defence Queen’s Counsel

    27 day three-handed murder and attempted murder, defending vulnerable 16-year-old defendant; victims also 16. Case involved the aftermath of an acid attack. Defences considered were diminished responsibility, legal loss of control, lack of intent and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alternatively an adjustment disorder. D acquitted of murder but manslaughter by diminished responsibility.

  • R v D Prosecuting Queen’s Counsel

    Death caused by driving when under influence of alcohol/drugs. Obtained successful conviction following 7-day trial for manslaughter.

  • R v B Prosecution Queen’s Counsel with junior and disclosure counsel

    Five-handed murder, attempted murder possession of firearms and section 18 assaults. All parties both accused and victims were members of gangs in the Birmingham area.

  • R v F K Prosecution Queen’s Counsel

    Five-handed attempted murder/conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm involving serious allegations that police evidence had been planted and raising issues of when a judge should recuse himself in an ongoing case.

  • R v. AJ [2018]: Defence Queen’s Counsel

    AG Ref. on sentence in Murder/manslaughter case. Sentence was not increased.

  • R v PW [2016] 2 Cr.App R 27, Prosecuting Queen’s Counsel

    The applicable mens rea in indecent images, abuse of process principles; the Tryell principle, preferring indictments on electronic system; jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal in Terminating appeals.

  • R v JM [2015] EWCA Crim 1928 Prosecuting Queen’s Counsel

    Issues arising relating to abuse of process; missing documents; terminating rules in the context of historic allegations of sexual abuse.

  • R v Sliogeris [2015] EWCA Crim 22 Prosecuting Queen’s Counsel

    The correct approach to circumstantial evidence in murder cases.

  • R v. Stanton [2014] EWCA Crim 1695 Prosecuting Queen’s Counsel

    The correct approach to bad character hearsay evidence where cut-throat defences are being run in murder cases.

  • Ulcay [2008] 1CR.App.R.27

    Ambit and scope of cab rank principle in complex fraud cases.

  • Wallace [2007] 2 Cr App R 30 a

    Application of bad character provisions in circumstantial evidence cases.

  • Malcolm v DPP [2007] 2 Cr App R Prosecuting Counsel

    Admissibility of new evidence after justices have retired.

  • Abiodum [2005] EWCA Crim 09

    Criteria to be applied before lawful intercepts can take place in prison.

  • De Silva (2003) 2 Cr..App.R. 40

    Ambit of customs co-operation interviews.

  • Ex parte Salubi (2002) 2 Cr.App.R.40

    Abuse of process in section 51 transfer cases.

  • Ofori & Tackie (No 2) (1994) 99 Cr.App.R. 223

    Admissibility of foreign evidence in English Courts.

  • Okafor (1994) 99 Cr.App.R.97

    Applicability of code C.10-12 in customs cases.