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Erimus Chambers - Damian Warburton

Damian Warburton LLB (Hons) LLM MSc
Call to the Bar 2010
Crime, Road Traffic, Civil

Damian came to the Bar having previously been a Senior Lecturer, teaching criminal and civil law in universities, and, before that, a Constable.

Criminal Law - Damian accepts instructions for representation in both the Crown, and Magistrates’ Courts. His experience in the Crown Courts include cases of serious violence, drug cultivation and supply both on an individual level and in organised crime; robbery, theft, fraud, and burglary; weapons offences; public order and harassment offences; indecent images, and sexual offences. As an academic, Damian published extensively on the criminal law in peer-reviewed journals.

Recent cases include:

Central Criminal Court: following a five-day trial on an indictment alleging 2 x sexual assault in which Damian had successfully applied to admit bad character evidence against the complainant (previous false allegation), Damian secured a unanimous acquittal on both counts.

Luton Crown Court: to an indictment that put one count each of kidnap, robbery, and s18 GBH, succeeded in having this reduced to a guilty plea for single count of s47 ABH, and achieved a suspended sentence order for that offence.

Luton Crown Court: following the rejection by the prosecution of a basis of plea to an indictment specifying public order and bladed article offences, won a Newton hearing that included cross examination of three prosecution witnesses.

Luton Crown Court, achieved suspended sentence order following a G plea to an indictment alleging hundreds of Cat A-C moving and still indecent images.

Aylesbury Crown Court: street robbery x 2; successfully argued for an 18-year-old defendant to be sentenced according to the provisions that apply to child offenders. The client had been 16 at the date of the offence and at interview, but was not charged until 26 months later, by which point he was an adult. Persuaded the judge that because of the delay it would be an abuse of process to sentence him according to the adult sentencing provisions, and achieved a final sentence of 50 days-served on a qualifying curfew plus 25 RAR days.

Luton Crown Court: successfully repelled a prosecution attempt to disqualify the defendant’s entitlement to time-served on a qualifying curfew where he had been in breach of his licence for a previous offence, and, having been recalled to custody, was unlawfully at large. Nothing to effect that recall had been done, and Damian’s submissions on the law about that were accepted resulting in the prosecution’s application being dismissed, preserving the defendant’s entitlement to have his time-served count.

Winchester Crown Court: on a re-sentencing following an early breach of a suspended sentence order, persuaded the court not to order activation of that suspended sentence.

Road Traffic As a former Constable, Damian has first-hand experience of the policing of motoring offences, and he has a thorough, up to date knowledge of road traffic law. He accepts instructions across the full range of motoring matters, including construction and use; offences such as speeding, excess alcohol/drug; and regulatory offences including insurance and licensing matters.

Recent cases include:

Staines Magistrates’ Court: Representing a young driver convicted of driving without insurance, Damian made a Special Reasons application. Although opposed by the prosecution, after live evidence, Damian secured an absolute discharge for the client.

Oxford Magistrates’ Court: for an HGV driver facing a s.35 RTOA 1988 totting-up disqualification, but who did not have evidence of exceptional hardship to rely upon, Damian successfully persuaded the court to reduce the totting disqualification to 3 months for public interest reasons.

Aylesbury Crown Court: Appealing a 6-month totting up disqualification following a second offence of driving without insurance, Damian successfully argued exceptional hardship would result unless that disqualification was lifted. This was opposed by the prosecution. Nevertheless, the court preferred the defence submissions, and the client was permitted to keep his driving licence, notwithstanding that he did so with 14 active penalty points.

Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court: Following its failure to make required disclosure of essential prosecution evidence, the CPS applied for an adjournment of the trial date. Damian successfully opposed this, securing the dismissal of the charge, and the award of defence costs for the client.

Luton Magistrates’ Court: For a client who was two years into a 40-month disqualification for a second drink-drive offence, Damian succeeded in persuading the court to lift the disqualification early, allowing the client to lawfully drive again.

Stratford Magistrates’ Court: On the day of trial for a client facing a charge of driving without valid insurance cover, with the required prosecution witness present at court, Damian persuaded the prosecutor to offer no evidence, resulting in the dismissal of the charge, and the award of defence costs for the client.

To a charge of an offence contrary to s.172 Road Traffic Act 1988, following submission of the Defence Case Statement that Damian drafted, the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued the prosecution.

Civil Law

Instructions are welcome on contentious issues in the law of contract (including disputes over goods or services) or the law of tort (including negligence, trespass, nuisance, occupiers’ liability). Damian has successfully represented both claimants and defendants in cases of breach of contract on Consumer Rights Act 2015 cases concerning goods and services; including on applications to strike out claims or defences, and to enter summary judgment. In tort, a recent example includes success after trial in a neighbour noise-dispute brought in the tort of nuisance.


Damian welcomes instructions either at first instance, or on appeal in any level of court. He is direct access qualified, and can be instructed by members of the public without the need for a solicitor also to be engaged, although he does not accept instructions to conduct litigation.

All enquiries must first be addressed to the clerks.

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