John Ryan > Chambers of Christopher Rees > Cardiff, Wales > Lawyer Profile
Apex Chambers Offices
32 Park Place
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General crime (sexual offences, homicide, drugs, dishonesty and fraud including money laundering).
White-collar fraud, disciplinary tribunals, regulatory law (including trading standards, health and safety and planning law prosecutions).
Coroner's Court proceedings (Inquests and treasure trove).
Firearms and Shotgun Certificate appeals.
John is a specialist criminal barrister with over 20 years’ experience: he has repeatedly been highly ranked in the Legal 500 with quotes such as ‘his written advice is impeccable, and his proactive approach is invaluable’ and recommended for white-collar fraud, and sexual and violent offence cases.
John is an excellent tactician and a robust, charismatic, and persuasive jury advocate. His commitment to clients has consistently produced excellent results. He is respected for his thorough preparation and meticulous approach to cases. He has extensive experience of criminal cases ranging from homicide, rape (including significant experience of defending and prosecuting historic sex allegations), kidnapping, blackmail, drugs conspiracies, to fraud and money laundering offences. His practice is heavily defence based but John has been a Grade 4 prosecutor (highest grade) since 2008, and is a rape panel advocate on the Wales and Western Circuits.
John has been instructed in an extensive number of rape cases, many involving historic complaints and children. Other cases have included kidnapping and rape, gang rape, male rape, indecent assaults on adults and children, bestiality, and indecent images of children.
- v. H  prosecution of a man who raped and sexually assaulted an 8 year old child in a familial setting.
- v. K  prosecution of a man who brutally attempted to rape a lone woman walking her dog in a nature reserve resulting in a hospital order with a restriction.
- v DR  prosecution of a man charged with multiple historical indecent assaults and rapes of his nephews resulting in 20 years’ imprisonment.
- v. R  prosecution of a man charged with multiple historical indecent assaults and rapes of children.
- v. N  defence of a man charged with repeatedly raping his partner.
- v. A  defence of a man charged with violently raping a prostitute.
- v. G  defence of a man charged with multiple historical indecent assaults and rapes of a child.
- v. T  defence of a man charged with sexual assault of a custody officer’s wife.
- v. M  prosecution of a man charged with multiple historical indecent assaults and rapes of children.
- v. P  prosecution of a man charged with a campaign of sexual abuse and rape of children.
- v. G  prosecution of a man charged with a campaign of sexual abuse and rape of a child.
- v. D  defence of man charged with sexually abusing a child.
- v. F.S  defence of a man charged with a campaign of sexual abuse and rape of a child.
- v. S  prosecution of a man who raped a woman on a Viking roleplay weekend.
- v. R  defence of a 13 year old boy charged with raping a 15 year old girl after school.
- v. D  defence of a man charged with, inter alia, assault by penetration of a child under 13.
- v. S  defence of a postgraduate student charged with two counts of date rape of another student.
- v. E  prosecution of a man charged with historical indecent assaults and buggery of young boys.
- v. W  prosecution of trainee teacher charged with possessing indecent images of children.
- v. H  defence of a man charged with historical indecent assaults on a child.
- v. D  prosecution of a man charged with sexually assaulting a child.
- v. S  defence of a man charged with voyeurism and sexually assaulting his step-daughters.
- v. B  defence of a man charged with rapes of his ex-partner.
- v. R-S  defence of a man charged with rape and attempted rapes of his granddaughter.
- v. H  defence of an elderly man charged with causing a child to watch a sexual act.
- v. B  defence of a fireman charged with 17 rapes.
- v. G  defence of a man charged with historical sex abuse allegations including rape of a child.
- v. N  prosecution of a man charged with serious sexual abuse of children.
R. v. P (R)  EWCA Crim 2331: appeal against conviction regarding, inter alia, cross-examination on sexual behaviour pursuant to the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 s.41; namely whether questioning about the defendant having assisted a complainant to obtain a lawful abortion could be a question "about" sexual behaviour that was prohibited by section 41 – the CA agreed that it was not.
R. v. T  defence of a man charged with rape who maintained that he was sleepwalking at the time.
- v. Pressdee  1 Cr. App. R. (S.) 25: appeal against sentence - where an offender had committed various offences in a five-year campaign of sexual and domestic violence, he could not be sentenced to imprisonment for public protection if the only serious specified offence might have been committed before April 4, 2005, when the Criminal Justice Act 2003 s.225 came into effect.
Attorney General's Reference (No. 80 of 2006)  EWCA Crim 2305: a case concerning whether a rape victim’s physical and mental conditions meant that she was an especially vulnerable person and whether full credit for the guilty plea should have been given.
John has undertaken a vast number of cases involving serious violence, including: murder, attempted murder, serious GBH, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and large scale violent disorder. Cases include:
- v. AH  Court of Appeal quashed an extended sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping and replaced it with a determinate sentence of 5 years’ and 10 months’ imprisonment:  EWCA Crim 2306.
- v. T  defence of a man charged with causing GBH with intent to a baby.
R v. F  defence of a man charged with two robberies – one armed robbery.
- v. R  defence of a successful company director charged with aggravated burglary.
- v. H  defence of a man charged with kidnapping and related serious Class A drug offences.
- v. H  defence of a man charged with GBH with intent (blinding a man).
- v. W  defence of man charged with murdering his partner – led by Christopher Quinlan QC.
R. v. J  defence of woman charged with murdering her husband – negotiated manslaughter, and 8 years’ imprisonment – led by Christopher Quinlan QC.
- v. D  defence of a man charged with robbery and possessing a firearm in the course of the robbery.
- v. V  defence a man charged with murder with Peter Rouch QC.
- v. B  defence of a man charged with conspiracy to possess a prohibited firearm.
- v. H  defended as junior alone in a joint murder.
R. v. W  prosecution of a man charged with making bombs.
- v. M  defence of a man charged with murder.
R. v. C  (the Blackwood Bomber) prosecution as junior alone against QC and junior counsel.
R. v. E  defence as junior alone against QC and junior counsel in a case of a man charged with assisting an offender in a manslaughter
Cases involving drugs have included conspiracies to import and to supply Class A and B drugs involving undercover and anonymous witnesses, and cannabis factories. John has defended in numerous cases following police operations involving organised crime groups. John defended in a case involving the largest seizure of crack cocaine in South Wales (R. v. B. 2014), and recently (2018) defended a young woman charged jointly with others with importing cocaine from the Caribbean. Recent cases include:
- v. J  defence of a man charged in a large scale conspiracy to supply heroin and cocaine (Operation Regent).
- v. G  defence of a man charged in a large scale cannabis supply conspiracy (Operation Lilac Mars).
- v. L  defence of the leader of a large scale cannabis factory conspiracy (Operation Violet Panama).
- v. S  defence of a man in a large scale conspiracy to supply cocaine (Operation Avocet).
- v. K  defence of a man in multi-handed ‘county lines’ case of heroin and cocaine supply and associated violent offences.
Dishonesty cases include fraud, blackmail, high value thefts, trading standards, rogue traders, (including conspiracies) and related money laundering offences and confiscation hearings. John has undertaken complex confiscation hearings in excess of £1,000,000. John has been instructed in numerous complex cases including Operation Dino (“crash for cash”) 2014.
R. v. H  defence of a man charged with fraud and perverting the course of justice by manipulating metadata on a computer.
R.v. C  prosecution of a fine art dealer handling stolen antiques.
- v. W  prosecution of a man for fraud.
Notable appellate cases include R. v. Cornelius  EWCA Crim 500;  Lloyd's Rep. F.C. 435;  P.N.L.R. 23: appeal against conviction for a solicitor charged with fraud. The case concerned the Ghosh test, attempts; bridging loans; buy-to-let lending; certificates; conveyancing; declarations of trust; freedom from encumbrances; mortgages; mortgagors; title to land, dishonesty; and false representations.
Other notable cases include R. v. Waters and Young  EWCA Crim 2538: where the appropriate sentence was an immediate custodial sentence of such length that the offender would be entitled to immediate release by virtue of time in custody on remand, it was improper to impose a suspended sentence of equivalent length on the basis that the imposition of an immediate sentence would be meaningless in such circumstances.
John was an Assistant Coroner from 2008 to 2019. He has considerable experience of Inquests with juries, cases where deaths have occurred in hospitals whilst subject to Mental Health Act detention, deaths in custody, deaths in the work place, and Inquests where deaths followed police pursuits.
John has been instructed in numerous cases to defend police officers in disciplinary proceedings, and is recognised for his technical ability, expert knowledge of this area of law, and authoritative manner in proceedings.
John has specialist knowledge of firearms and firearms law and has represented many individuals when certificates have been refused or revoked, including where necessary applications to the Crown Court to remove prohibited status.
Called to the Bar 1997.
Member of Gray’s Inn.
Assistant Coroner for Coventry and Warwickshire from 2008 – 2019.
CPS Grade 4 Prosecutor since 2008, and appointed to the Rape Panels for the Wales and Western Circuits.
Criminal Bar Association.
Cardiff University (LLB).