Joanne Eley


Joanne Eley was called to the Bar in 1997 and joined One Paper Buildings in 2007, having previously practiced at a Chambers in Chelmsford. She practices on the South Eastern Circuit, predominantly in East Anglia. She is an experienced practitioner, specialising in serious sexual offences offences and in particular child abuse. She is regularly instructed in cases involving young and vulnerable witnesses and defendants, prosecuting and defending in equal measure.

Joanne Eley has extensive experience of drugs conspiracies, attempted murder, violence and dishonesty. She also has experience of dealing with offences involving child cruelty, in particular cases of serious injury and neglect. Her practice focuses heavily on serious sexual offences, including rape and sexual offences involving children. This year she has been involved in a number of cases involving very young children, the youngest being 4 years of age, requiring a departure from traditional cross examination and a clear under standing of the Advocates Gateway. She is frequently instructed in both contemporary and historic sexual allegations. Last year she defended in 2 particularly serious cases; the first involved a young man charged with a serious sexual assault on a 16 month old baby, causing what were described as horrific injuries, of a sexual nature. This involved detailed cross examination of a number of expert paediatricians, who specialised in child sex abuse. She was also instructed to represent a man charged with historic sexual abuse over a period of 30 years, the complainants include a number of family members. Joanne Eley led Junior Counsel in this case, which resulted in an acquittal by the Jury on all counts. She has particular expertise in cases involving mentally disordered defendants and children. These cases requiring a particularly sensitive approach. Joanne Eley has led Junior Counsel in a drugs conspiracy. Miss Eley has recently been instructed as Junior Counsel to prosecute a multi handed brothel conspiracy (she is being led by Charles Myatt). The investigation and allegations cover a number of counties in the U.K. She is currently prosecuting a particular serious allegation contrary to sections 18 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, it is alleged the defendant set fire to another individual causing serious injury. Last year she gained experience prosecuting an individual for animal cruelty (R. v. Trevor Lay). The prosecution arose out of a contravention of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species, which therefore involved a breach of EU Regulations under the Control of Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations of 1997. In the past she has been instructed as Junior Counsel in serious cases of fraud.

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Areas of practice


• Called to the Bar in 1997

• BA Hons Law, Sociology and Psychology

• Dip in Law

Associations and memberships

  • Member of Middle Temple
  • Member of Criminal Bar Association
  • Member of the South Eastern Circuit
  • Member of East Anglian Bar Mess
  • Grade 3 prosecutor and CPS Rape panel advocate

Notable cases

R v Artez [2018] Chelmsford Crown Court. Prosecution – secured conviction in attempted rape matter.

Essex Police report
Essex Live

R v Moxon [2019] Ipswich Crown Court. Successful defence of man accused of sexually assaulting a school boy over a decade ago.

Ipswich Star

R v Grant [2018] Ipswich Crown Court. Secured acquittal for man indicted with historic sexual assaults of school girls.

Ely Standard

R v Gilroy [2018] Ipswich Crown Court. Successfully represented a man charged with GBH.

Lowestoft Journal

R v Dowson [2018] Basildon Crown Court. Successful prosecution of man charged with rape following a 2 week trial.

Southend Echo

R v Barnes [2018] Ipswich Crown Court. Secured conviction of know sex offender charged with rape and assault.


R v Hackman [2017] Ipswich Crown Court. Successful defence of man charged with rape.


R v Sparrow [2016] Ipswich Crown Court. Successful defence of man accused of sexual assault.

Ipswich Star

R v WHITTLE (Operation Gryphite). Wayne Cleaver, leading Joanne Eley, successfully presented the prosecution case during a Murder trial. See BBC report here.

R v. Samuel Marsh [2016] Norwich CC, successfully defended Mr. Marsh who was indicted with non recent sexual offences concerning a child family member.

R v Deferia, Baker, Seaton, Webber and Warren. Joanne, led by Senior Prosecuting Counsel, successfully prosecuted 5 defendants charged with Conspiracy to murder a man in Bury St Edmunds.

1. Daily Mail


3. Daily Mirror

R v Harwood. Defendant acquitted in less than 2 hours of serious sexual offences.

1. East Anglian Daily Times

2. Newmarket Journal

R v Phillips. Successfully defended a man charged with historic sexual offences in respect of a family member.

1. Cambridge News

R v Taylor, defendant acquitted of various allegations of sexual assault. 

1. Suffolk freepress

R v E. Successfully defended a woman charged with offences alleging excessive chastisement of her children. She was alleged to have beaten them with iron bars and kitchen implements. This involved very sensitive cross examination. Reporting restrictions apply.

R v L Man charged with child cruelty, allegations that he had shaken a young baby. Not guilty verdict by direction. Reporting restrictions apply.

R v Shaboot. Successfully prosecuted a stranger rape, which took place in Ipswich town centre during the early hours of the morning.

1. Ipswich Star

2. BBC

R v Gahwar Muhammed, defendant convicted following successful prosecution by Miss Eley. Picked up unknown female in his car and sexually assaulted her on in a lay-by on the A14.

R v Woolnough, successfully prosecuted a young woman for a night time robbery.

R v. Sochacki and others (Operation Oakland)

Prosecution for conspiracy to manage a brothel, after a nationwide investigation. In this case Joanne was led for the prosecution by Charles Myatt. This was the second prosecution she has conducted of some of the defendants, who were previously prosecuted and convicted of managing a brothel.

1. BBC


3. Evening news24

R v Hillhouse. Prosecuted the defendant for repeated daily abuse and anal rape of a young boy.

R.v Francis & Lee. Successfully prosecuted a case in which the defendant’s had forced entry into a flat with knives and a cricket bat, causing injury to occupants. Convicted of aggravated burglary.

R v Stringer.The defendant began a relationship with the Complainants mother, the Complainant was a school girl and alleged the defendant raped her repeatedly and sexually assaulted her. The jury could not reach and verdict on the rape and the case was not re tried.

1. Cambridge Evening News

R v Clubb. Abuse of a neighbours son.

R. v Sadler. Defendant arranged with a child’s mother to carry out sexual abuse. Evidence all collated from electronic devices.

R v Wilson. Represented the defendant, who was charged with stranger rape. The Defendant was not convicted.

R v Trowern.Prosecution of sexual activity with a child, defendant was convicted.

R v Chechannavicius. Represented the defendant in a multi handed affray, defendant acquitted.

R v. Reece Davies Represented a young man charged with stranger rape. This case attracted a lot of media attention.

R v. Butler Led Junior Counsel defendant acquitted of historic sexual abuse. This case also involved issues surrounding extradition.

R v. Daniel Coe Successfully argued for a determinate sentence, where defendant originally charged with Arson with intent to endanger life. The defendant set alight to his family home whilst his wife and children were sleeping.

R v. Mutton and Hilling Prosecuted 2 men charged with G.B.H with intent, they broke into a mans home and carrying out a homophobic attack on him, during which he was stabbed, tortured and subjected to degrading treatment. This case received a large amount of media attention.

R v. Byron Braybrook Defended a man charged with sexual assault by penetration. The victim in the case was 16 months old

R v. Kelman Represented a care worker charged with sexual assault of a patient.

R v. Karen Johnson Prosecuted the defendant for serious neglect and violence toward her children.

R. v. Sochacki & Bryll Prosecuted the defendant’s for being involved in the management of a brothel. Leave granted to Sochacki to appeal, conviction upheld by the Court of Appeal.

R. v. Garlam Sakhi Successfully prosecuted a taxi driver for sexually assaulting young female customer.

R. v. Kyle Irvine Defence counsel, defendant acquitted of rape of a child.

R.v Ling and Clark Successfully prosecuted trial alleging high value burglaries of antiques from rural homes over a 2 year period.

R. v. P Defence counsel in case alleging serious child cruelty involving bilateral fractures to the skull following shaking a baby. Avoided immediate term of imprisonment, due to circumstances of the case.

R. v. Daniel Fiddes Defence Counsel, the defendant prosecuted for his involvement in 3 interlinked conspiracies to steal goods, worth in excess of £400,000. (prosecuted by Greg Perrins).

R.v. Gary Mills Successfully prosecuted defendant charged with numerous offences concerning the supply of Class A Drugs.

R.v Payne Defence Counsel in high profile case involving prison Officer sexually abusing Young Offender under his care at Warren Hill in Suffolk (prosecuted by John Farmer).

R.v Christopher Murray Successfully defended allegation of G.B.H on the grounds of self defence.

R v. S Successfully defended allegation that the defendant sexually assaulted a young child.

R. v. Keegan McCarville Defence Counsel in case involving allegations of child cruelty, significant injuries to baby.

R. v Joshua Ashton Defence Counsel, defendant acquitted of robbery.

Court of Appeal, Criminal Division Michael Dare – Successfully argued a reduction in the minimum term for knife point robbery following the imposition of a sentence for Public Protection.

R v. Mills Successfully prosecuted a taxi driver for sexually assaulting a customer in her own home.

R v. B – Ipswich Crown Court Defendant acquitted of child cruelty.

R v. Rouse Successfully defended allegations of sexual abuse and rape of a child. R.v. Leon Defended young man with serious mental health issues who had sexually abused young female.