Frank Dillon is a former solicitor and Higher Courts Advocate whose professional life has been spent exclusively in the practice of Criminal Law.
He has also lectured extensively to the profession at in-house seminars and on behalf of CPD providers such as Liverpool Law Society, Byrom Training and Crimeline Training.
As a solicitor he regularly advised suspects at police stations, in respect of allegations ranging from relatively minor offences of theft and assualt to extremely grave and complex allegations such as rape, robbery, conspiracy to supply drugs and murder.
In addition to preparing thousands of cases in the Magistrates’ Court, Mr Dillon prepared many Crown Court cases of considerable gravity and complexity in which Counsel (and often Leading Counsel) were involved.
Those serious cases in which he was involved as a litigator include the following:
- R -v – H & H: Aggravated Burglary and Indecent Assault. Issues of identification and forensic evidence. Acquitted.
- R -v- M: Murder, in a special hospital, of one patient by another. Issues of Diminished Responsibility. Reduced to Manslaughter.
- R -v- McH: Murder, of a customer, by a prostitute in the course of a robbery. Issues of forensic evidence, identification and intent. Reduced to Manslaughter.
- R -v – D: Conspiracy to Murder. Murder by shooting of a “Hell’s Angel” in a drug – related feud. Case went to two re-trials.
- R -v- McC: Murder in the course of a street fight. Issues of self-defence and of lack of intent. Reduced to Manslaughter.
- R-v- C: Murder of female partner by male who found her in compromising situation with another man. Successful application for bail by Frank before Magistrates. Issues of provocation at trial.
- R-v- S: Murder of a 9-year-old child by a 13-year-old defendant. A case which attracted national, and indeed international, media attention. An extremely delicate and sensitive approach to the case was required over a period of many weeks until eventually sufficent trust was built up with the defendant to enable necessary instuctions to be obtained.
- R-v- A: Murder, in the course of a robbery in his own home, of a gay male who had been befriended by the two defendants with a view to robbing him. In the course of the robbery they placed him in a trunk and closed the lid, before leaving the premises. The victim was unable to extricate himself from the trunk and suffocated to death. Issues of lack of intent.
- R-v- G: The brutal murder of a widow in her eighties, in her own home, in the course of a burglary. Complicated issues relating to forensic evidence.
- R-v – W: Large scale conspiracy to import Class A drugs, Issues relating to disclosure and directed surveillance.
- R-v- A: Murder by stabbing in the course of a “drug-deal gone wrong”. Issues of joint enterprise and lack of intent. Acquitted of Murder, convicted of manslaughter.
- Govt. of Australia -v – K: Extradition case involving the largest-ever importation of ecstasy into Australia. Complex issues involving jurisdiction, RIPA, duress and exclusion of evidence.
- R-v- R: Murder by stabbing of a lodger. Issues of provocation. Reduced to Manslaughter.
- R-v-H: Murder by stabbing in the course of apparent horseplay. Issues of lack of intent. Reduced to Manslaughter.
- R-v-N: Murder by a diagnosed schizophrenic. Issues of diminished responsbility.
- R-v-A: Murder, with a blunt instrument, by a 19-year-old, of his abusive father. Issues of diminished responsibility and attachment disorder. Reduced to manslaughter.
- R-v-M: Murder, with a hammer, by a 15-year-old, of his father. Issues of diminished responsbility and attachment disorder. Reduced to manslaughter. Exceptionally, the defendant was sentenced to a Supervision Order.
- R-v-O: Large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering. Successful application for severance to leading to acquittal.
Magistrates’ Court Advocacy
For many years Mr Dillon defended individuals, from all walks of life, charged with a wide variety of offences, and conducted many, many trials, bail applications, sentencing hearings, committal proceedings and interim hearings.
The experience of having to deal with a long list of cases on a daily basis, often with little time to prepare, has equipped him with the ability to think on his feet and to make quick decisions.
Crown Court Advocacy
Since aquiring the Higher Rights (Criminal) qualification in 2002 Mr Dillon has appeared for the Defence before the Crown Court on many occasions and has conducted numerous trials, plea hearings, sentences, bail applications and interim hearings. He has also appeared before the Court Of Appeal on occasions.
Amongst the more notable cases in which he has appeared as advocate are the following:
- R-v-G: Murder. Led Junior. Stabbing in the course of a street robbery. Issues of identification and forensic evidence
- R-v-B: Indecent assault and theft. Acquitted
- R-v-D: Historic penetrative sexual abuse upon a 4-year-old victim. Successful pre-trial application to adduce evidence from a memory expert.
- R-v-J: Historic sexual abuse of relatives involving two complainants, male and female, making complaints independently of one another. Acquitted.
- R-v-W: Rape and S.47 assualt by male defendant upon long-term female partner. Issues of self-defence, bad character, corroboration, consent. Acquitted.
- R-v-O: Defendant charged with assualt in context of an incident giving rise to charges of murder against co-defendants. Prosecuted by Queens Counsel. Acquitted.
- R-v-D: Lead defendant in large-scale drugs conspiracy involving an organised team of street dealers. Complex issues of hearsay evidence and telephone attribution.
- R-v-C: Operation Halstead. Large-scale drugs conspiracy. Acquitted.
- R-v-O: Lead Defendant in 12 – defendant trial involving bank fraud.
- R-v-W: Operation Sabine. Led Junior in large-scale drugs conspiracy- described as “biblical”by the sentencing judge- complex issues relating to disclosure and interpretation of evidence generally. Prosecution relented in face of disclosure application and withdrew most serious charge.
- R-v J: Operation Redstart: Led Junior. Conspiracy to supply drugs on a huge scale, also involving a large cache of firearms and large-scale money-laundering. Prosecution withdrew most serious charge in course of negotiation.
- R-v-F: Murder x 2 of elderly victims, in their own homes, by a taxi-driver in the course of robberies. Led Junior. Issues of diminished responsibility and whole life/30-year tariff.
- R-v-B: Schizophrenic patient at special hospital accused of assualt upon staff. Acquitted.
- R-v-E: Lead defendant in serious firearms conspiracy involving the supply of sub-machine guns, silencers and ammunition.