Nicola Carroll

Year of Call: 2016



Staffordshire University - LLB (Hons)
Former Solicitor - Admitted 2004
Solicitor Advocate - 2009
Called to the Bar - 2016 (Inner Temple)

Professional Memberships

Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel (Level 3)
Crown Prosecution Service Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Panel Advocate

Prior to joining the Independent Bar Nicola spent 14 years as a Prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service in the North West.  She started her career as a Newly Qualified Solicitor in 2004 and quickly established herself as a robust and attentive Litigator.

She litigated the most serious and complex cases including Murder, Death by Dangerous Driving, Rape and Serious Sexual Offences, high value Frauds, and lengthy and voluminous Drug conspiracies and operations.

She became a RASSO specialist Prosecutor in 2006 and has helped to deliver training on a variety of topics to her former colleagues at the CPS, those at the external Bar, Greater Manchester Police, Lancashire Constabulary, and the General Medical Council.

Nicola joined the CPS Crown Advocacy Unit in 2009 and quickly marked herself out as a very competent trial advocate who has never shied away from a challenge.

She actively sought out work of a more challenging nature and was able, very quickly, to build a strong and consistent practice at the Crown Court.  She is now regularly instructed in cases of serious Assault, Robbery, Drug Supply, and other high volume crime.

Her experience as a RASSO Specialist meant that it was also a natural progression for Nicola to prosecute to trial, the types of cases she had litigated for many years, including Rape, Serious Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse.

Building upon the skills and knowledge gained at HMCPSi Nicola has felt more than confident in accepting instructions in cases involving youths.  She has attended Ground Rules Hearings in appropriate cases and is fully equipped to accept instructions in cases involving the most vulnerable of our society, including those cases which will fall within S28 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 when it is rolled out nationally in 2018.

In January 2018 Nicola assisted the Crown Prosecution Service during a period of Peer Review of all Rape cases charged in the North West region. This project was necessary and vital following the joint review of the disclosure process in the case of R v Allan and other collapsed rape cases nationally.  Nicola was able to review a vast number of cases and provide advice in respect of disclosure where it arose.

She is appointed as a Level 3 Prosecutor on the Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel and has been appointed to the Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel Rape and Serious Sexual Abuse List.

Nicola also has expertise in cases involving youths—prosecuting and defending, particularly those charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 where careful and appropriate approach to both the defendant and the complainant, and their families, is required.

View Notable Cases


Rape and Serious Sexual Assault

R v A. Rape. Trial

Nicola Carroll recently secured the acquittal of a 15 year old boy who had been charged with the rape of a 14 year old girl, arising out of what she argued was teenage sexual exploration. The Crown had put their case that the defendant was violent and forceful to the complainant during the intercourse.

The case involved sensitive and careful cross examination of a number of teenage witnesses and examination of phone evidence, some of which was not disclosed until day two of the trial.

Cases involving youths, particularly those charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 require a careful and appropriate approach to both the defendant and the complainant, and their families.

R v C.  Rape.   Trial (Youth Court)
Issue was consent.  The Defendant, a 15 year old virgin, claimed that he reasonably believed that the Complainant was consenting.  S41 application made and successfully opposed.  Convicted.  Youth sentencing provisions led to a community order being imposed.

R v W.  Rape.   Trial (Youth Court)
The Complainant was an adult relative of the youth Defendant.  She was asleep at the time the offence was committed.  The Defendant initially denied any sexual contact at all but in cross-examination he claimed that she had consented to mutual sexual touching, but that no penetration had taken place.  Evidential presumptions regarding consent relevant.  Convicted.  Youth sentencing provisions led to a community order being imposed.

R v Ireson.  Sexual Assault.  Trial
Sexual assault by penetration contrary to S2 of the SOA 2003.  Sleeping complainant.  The Defendant removed the complainant’s underwear before he digitally penetrated her vagina. Convicted after trial and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment with an indefinite restraining order and a sex offender’s notification requirement for life.

R v Doyle.  Attempted Rape.  Trial
Attempted rape of an adult female.  The issue was a factual denial to the act.  The trial lasted 8 days and included legal arguments on bad character, hearsay, S41 YJCEA 1999 and the admissibility of evidence served late.  The jury failed to reach a verdict. The Defendant was then subsequently prosecuted with further offences of witness intimidation and attempting to pervert the course of justice arising out of actions he took following the 1st trial.  At the re-trial, he was convicted of the new offences, but the jury were undecided again in relation to the attempted rape.

R v Hunt.  Sexual assault on child.  Trial.
Sexual assault on a 10 yr old girl.  The Defendant was her friend’s granddad.  There were numerous issues in relation to disclosure of third party material which ultimately meant that the trial could not take place on the first listing.  Prior to the 2nd trial date issues arose in respect of the disclosure of third party material which led to a PII hearing.  The trial was able to proceed.

R v Ahmed.  Sexual Assault.  Trial.
Sexual assault by penetration contrary to S2 SOA 2003.  The Defendant was a taxi driver and had taken the complainant, his fare paying passenger, to his home address whereby he sexually assaulted her.  Convicted after a 7 day trial.  Sentenced to 7 years.

R v Haque.  Sexual Assault.  Trial.
The Defendant, a taxi driver, was alleged to have touched a fare paying passenger on her breast and thigh over clothing.  Hung Jury.  At the re-trial, I made a successful application to adduce fresh evidence (extremely late service of CCTV) after summing up – R v Rice principles.   Jury hung again.  No further re-trial.

R v Thompson.  Sexual Assault.  Trial.
Prosecution Counsel in relation to a sexual assault by penetration contrary to S2 SOA 2003.  The Defendant failed to attend for his first trial following two failed suicide attempts.  Issues arose in respect of proceeding in Ds absence and the veracity of those suicide attempts.  Trial adjourned.  D was subsequently arrested on a warrant and remanded into custody.  On day 1 of the adjourned trial, the Defendant pleaded guilty following a R v Goodyear direction.

Serious Assault/Homicide.

R v Mann.  Wounding with intent.  Trial.
Alleged attack to the head with a machete.  Several issues arose including fresh statements being taken from the almost hostile complainant on the morning of the trial following STWAC.  Full disclosure made.  Complainant was very aggressive during examination-in-chief and so I was required to adopt a fresh approach.  Jury convicted of wounding without intent.

R v Senghore.  Wounding with intent.  Trial.
Issue was self-defence. Prosecution witnesses all required witness summonses and had to be carefully managed on the day as a result of their reluctance to be there.  Issues involving bad character and appropriate jury directions.  Summing up emailed to counsel in advance – Judge adopted my suggested amendments.  Acquitted.

R v Higham.  Wounding with intent.
Listed for trial for S18 Wounding.  Prosecution witnesses on summonses following retraction statements.  2 of the 3 witnesses refused to come into the court room and became absent from the building after STWAC consultation.  Defendant was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to S20.  Sentenced 20 months YOI.

R v Haseldine.  Murder.
Led junior.  The defendant had subjected the deceased to a brutal and sustained attack by kicking, punching and stamping on his head.  The deceased suffered numerous facial fractures and several kinds of brain injury, all typical of damage caused by repeated heavy blows.  Whilst the defendant pleaded guilty I was able to assist leading counsel with family liaison, and communications with the officer in the case.  The defendant was sentenced to 16 ½ years.
Press link:

R v Mutekedza.  Murder.  Trial.
Led Junior.  The Defendant was an ex-soldier who stabbed his girlfriend numerous times in a frenzied attack.  I assisted in the preparation of the Jury bundles and index, the Agreed Facts, general witness liaison, and in particular, liaising with the British Embassy in Harare in order to arrange a live link for one of the witnesses.  Convicted.  Leading Counsel was unavailable to take the verdict and so I was required to outlined the sentencing submissions for the Crown, including dealing with the issue as to whether the knife had been brought to the scene.  The defendant was sentenced to 25 years.
Press link:

Volume Crime/Drugs.

R v Richardson, Caffrey and Cannon.  Aggravated burglary.  Sentence.
Prosecution Counsel on a sentence for a multiple defendant aggravated burglary whereby a 12 year old girl was injured by a machete brought to the scene.  Dangerousness assessments considered.  Cumulatively the defendants received custodial sentences in excess of 28 years.
Press link:

R v Mohammed Dhiya Ali.  Supply of importation quality cocaine and firearms.  Trial of issue.
Prosecution counsel.  The Defendant pleaded guilty to possessing 3kilos of importation quality cocaine, with intent to supply it.  He also pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon, namely a stun gun.  He denied that he was significantly involved in the operation and claimed to be a warehouseman.  After an effective trial of issue, the Judge ruled against him and sentenced him as per my submissions.  I was required to analyse several thousand pages of phone data which revealed that in fact he was not working alone.  His co-conspirators were subsequently arrested and prosecuted for conspiracy to supply drugs, and for possessing firearms.  Cumulatively the gang were sentenced to more than 40 years in custody.
Press link:

R v Cowgill, Hinds and Mullany.  Robbery.  Trial.
Prosecution Counsel.  Ds 1 and 2 pleaded guilty. Trial for 3rd defendant.  She was the inside intelligence on a cash in transit robbery of a betting shop employee.  Evidence was technical and required me to cross reference phone data, cell siting, telemetry data, and timings on CCTV footage.  Guilty verdict after a 4 day trial.  Cumulatively they were sentenced to 10 ½ yrs.
Press link:

R v Michael Friel.  Drug Smuggling.  NCA case.  Trial.
Trial for Fraudulent evasion of cocaine.  Defendant attempted to smuggle over 120g of cocaine into Abu Dhabi where it would have held a street value of over £24,000.  Jury sworn and case opened. Overnight, I was required to assist the NCA officer in creating a sequence of events of the most incriminating phone messages.  Thousands of pages of data to consider.  Once served, the D was re-arraigned on day 2 of the trial and pleaded guilty.  Sentenced to 4 ½ years.

Complex Casework

R v C.  Biological weapons.
I was briefed by the Complex Caseworker Unit in relation to a case being prosecuted under the Biological Weapons Act 1974.  The defendant was a youth and had attempted to purchase abrin from the dark web.  This was the 2nd only prosecution of its type in the UK.  The case came down to legal arguments on the definition of the term “peaceful purpose”.  I successfully argued that the defendant did not have a defence of peaceful purpose pursuant to the Biological Weapons Act 1974.  Guilty plea following successful legal argument.
Press link:

View Publications


For a short time in 2014 Nicola worked for the Inspectorate of the CPS, HMCPSi, and was a contributor to the report “Achieving Best Evidence in Child Sexual Abuse Cases – a Joint Inspection.







Featured Article


Last week, Christopher McNall represented the tax judiciary of the United Kingdom at the first 'International Association of Tax Judges' online seminar. Below, he offers a few thoughts... Last Friday, I was very privileged to represent the tax…


Latest News