Michael Haynes

Year of Call: 1979  


Michael has specialised in defending those accused of the most serious crimes since the early 1990’s and is regularly instructed in cases involving a wide range of offences, including murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, serious assaults, robbery, aggravated burglary, customs offences, drugs, money-laundering and fraud. He has considerable experience in representing defendants accused of the most serious sexual crimes. He is IT savvy which has proved particularly useful in defending offences relating to indecent images. He has acquired a considerable expertise in DNA and medical evidence which regularly features in sexual cases.

Serious sexual offences

For the last 25 years Michael has specialised in defending those accused of serious sexual crimes. He is often privately instructed to defend such cases all over the country. This area of law has become vastly complex with numerous complainants coming forward with allegations of sexual assaults dating from many years ago. The dramatic change in attitude, from both complainants and juries, seems to have followed the Savile case.

Michael has vast experience in defending historical sexual offences and has a reputation for succinctly and effectively cross-examining both children and adults in sexual cases.

He has acquired a deep knowledge of all related areas enabling him to deal with medical and DNA experts.

He has dealt with numerous cases where ‘abuse of process’ has been argued, particularly relevant where potential defence evidence is no longer available due to the passage of time and is very experienced in section 41 applications, namely applying to introduce a complainant’s relevant sexual history.

He has dealt with many cases where complainants claim to have the ability to recall events from when they are as young as 3 years of age.

In addition, his extensive knowledge of IT matters and the dark web enables him to expose any weaknesses in computer experts’ evidence covering indecent images.

Recent cases:

Cases from 2015 to date:

R v McG
Privately instructed to defend McG accused of rape/buggery of a stranger after meeting in a night club when both V and McG had been drinking. Issues included rebutting a suggestion that the V had been drugged by McG. McG was acquitted.

R v S
High profile former government advisor for terrorism / race relations was accused of multiple allegations of rape and assault. Intensive defence preparation and research resulted in successfully persuading the P to offer no evidence and S was therefore acquitted of all charges.

R v H
80 year old charged with historical rapes/buggeries and other sexual acts on 3 related victims over a 30 year period dating from the 1960’s to 1990’s when the victims were young children; one of the allegations was said to have occurred when the V was 3 years of age. Complex issues of law had to be considered as to how a court should approach old allegations where the offences were no longer on the statute book and sentencing guidelines had dramatically increased.

R v W
Privately instructed to represent a professional rugby player accused of raping the complainant (C) at his own address in the company of a male friend. C had been drinking to excess and denied she would have ever consented to a 3-some. Acquitted within 1 hour.

R v D
Historical attempted rape and various sexual assaults on a related child who had stayed overnight at D’s home address on several occasions 20 years earlier. Allegations included possession of indecent images. The matters were originally tried together but after the Crown accepted the defence expert’s evidence, D was acquitted of all image charges and a re-trial was ordered in relation to the sexual allegations.

R v W
Historical allegations of rape and other sexual acts upon his sister and later of a child of his partner dating back to the 1970’s.

R v A
Privately instructed to defend a teacher accused of historical allegations of sexually assaulting two former pupils a number of years apart. One of the complainant’s had suffered from mental health issues making cross-examination difficult.

R v B
Retired teacher accused of numerous historical allegations of sexually abusing (buggery, indecent assaults, cruelty) 19 former pupils at his school in the 1970’s – 1980’s.

R v B
Charges of kidnapping with intent to commit a sexual offence. The Crown were persuaded to offer no evidence and B acquitted.

R v J
Historical allegations of numerous rapes against his nephew when a young child. The jury in the first trial were unable to reach verdicts and the Crown then agreed not to proceed to a re-trial and offered no evidence.

R v K
63 year old accused of a section 18 wounding with intent by entering the V’s house and using a knife to wound him. Negotiated lesser charges with the prosecution and K received a non-custodial sentence.

R v M
M was accused by 2 former partners and one of their friends of numerous historical rapes over a number of years. The allegations included accusations that he had encouraged a friend to join him in committing a joint rape on 2 occasions. He was also accused of sexually abusing 3 of his partners’ children to which M suggested there had been a conspiracy by his ex-partners to encourage the children to make false allegations. The defence included successfully arguing that the trial should be severed into separate trials for the allegations in relation to the children and then the adults. M was acquitted of all of the allegations in relation to the children.

R v DM
Difficult case where DM was accused of historical offences of rape and other sexual offences against 2 children when they were aged between 7 and 10 years. At the time the offences commenced M was only 10 years of age or possibly younger. There were therefore issues as to whether he was old enough to be criminally responsible for his acts.

R v T
Historical allegations, charged with a co-defendant, of raping/buggering a child when between the ages of 4 and 13 years.

R v H
Historical allegation of rape whilst H and the complainant (C) were at university together. C had consumed a great deal of alcohol and denied that she had consented to the sexual activity that night. Acquitted within 1 hour.

R v G
G was charged with carrying out sexual assaults / robberies on 98 women who were unknown to him whilst they were alone in public over a period of about one year. The case involved expert analysis of CCTV, DNA evidence, cell site evidence, identification evidence and fingerprint evidence.

R v C
Charged with possession of indecent images of his daughter and other females. Successfully argued that the Crown could not prove they were indecent and/or could not prove that the other females were underage. Acquitted of all charges.

R v FK
Privately instructed to represent FK, who was a doctor accused of sexually touching a neighbour’s child. Whilst the assault was of a relatively minor character, a conviction would have had serious consequences in relation to his career. Acquitted of all charges.

 R v L
Privately instructed for a case of historical allegations of digital and oral penetration of a partner’s child. He was also accused of having possession and distributing thousands of indecent images. Successful argument resulted in the indecent images being severed from the trial alleging the sexual assaults. After DL was acquitted of the sexual assault allegations, the Crown agreed to offer no evidence in relation to the image counts and so he was acquitted of all charges.

R v R
Father accused of historical rape and sexual assaults of his 2 daughters, in collaboration with his own father (children’s’ grandfather). Included allegations of inciting his daughter to watch pornography.

R v JP [Youth court]
Juvenile accused of sexually touching a 16 year old girl who was unable to consent due to her mental incapacity. Very difficult cross-examination of the complainant who had mental health issues, the case being more difficult to conduct as there was no jury. Acquitted.

R v OR
Charged with rape of complainant (C) after they had met for the first time one evening when both were drunk. After being invited back to her flat, with other friends of C also being in the flat, OR had sex with C but after OR left, she complained to her friends it had been rape. Acquitted.

R v SE
D charged with historical sexual assaults on his niece and her half-sister 20 years ago. SE had mental health problems in that he had an exceptionally low IQ. He denied ever touching the children. Acquitted of all charges against both complainants.

R v P
Privately represented a retired teacher, now in his 70’s, accused of sexually assaulting a male pupil 40 years ago. Many witnesses were unavailable to the defence but there were insufficient grounds to mount a successful abuse of process challenge to the case. With the assistance of numerous character witnesses called on behalf of P, the jury acquitted within an hour.

R v M
Young man accused of rape of an acquaintance (C) in his car with his friend participating as well. C had been drinking to excess and the prosecution case was that she did not have the capacity to consent. Acquitted within 1 hour.



Michael has extensive experience in defending allegations of violence (murder, manslaughter, robbery and serious assaults) as well as offences relating to drugs and fraud.

Serious Sexual Offences

For the last 15 years he has become known as a specialist in cases involving allegations of serious sexual offences ranging from ‘historical’ allegations of offences against children to current allegations of rape and possession / supply of indecent material.

For recent cases see Overview section.


Criminal Bar Association