Notable cases

R v Ahmed, Hove Crown Court, January 2018: Michael secured a manslaughter plea for Mohammed Ahmed at Hove Crown Court. In this case the defendant was a heroin dealer who killed one of his clients by stabbing him twice in the upper chest. By skilful negotiations Michael and his junior Piers Marquis persuaded the Crown to abandon the murder charge and the defendant received 12 years’ imprisonment.

R v Lawless, Hove Crown Court , October 2017: Michael Magarian and SVS solicitors secure murder acquittal.

During 2017 Michael has been engaged in 5 murder trials. In August 2017 he secured an acquittal in an alleged honey trap murder in R v McClymont before the Recorder of Croydon . This was a ‘cut throat’ defence in which the co-accused was convicted.

Michael appeared in the guideline case on IPP’s and the new life sentences Edwards ([2013] EWCA Crim 1027 ) in front of the Lord Chief Justice. In the last few months Michael led the successful defence of David Kent who was accused of being the ringleader of a massive cocaine and cannabis importation enterprise. He was indicted on 4 separate conspiracies and faced a separate laundering indictment arising from the drugs case. At a first trial the jury was hung. At the retrial he was acquitted and, as a corollary, the laundering case also collapsed.

Michael also defended in Hummerstone, an especially brutal murder of one drug dealer by another heard at Chelmsford Crown Court Sinclair Lewis (2012) Michael Magarian QC and Jonathan Black of BSB secured the acquittal of Sinclair Lewis. This was a cold case investigation. The top half of Julie Dorsett’s skeleton was found on an allotment plot belonging to the defendant’s father 5 years after she went missing. In addition, there was evidence of domestic violence by the defendant against her. At the initial trial HHJ Rook QC was persuaded to discharge the murder count. The case proceeded as manslaughter and preventing a lawful burial. The jury was undecided. At the retrial he was acquitted on those remaining charges. The case involved an isotope expert who purported to give the date of death.

Nathan Mann (& anor) 2012 Two prisoners at HMP Frankland disembowelled and killed a sex offender. Mann was already a life prisoner, having killed 2 old ladies in a nursing home in an earlier case. The new case had cannibalistic aspects. There was a complicated psychiatric defence which resulted in a successful plea of diminished responsibility.

Sacha Williamson (& others) 2011 Successful defence in the Camberwell arson in which a baby was killed. Michael is due to act for another woman accused of killing her baby after a suggestion that it had been taken over by an evil spirit.

Spartley (2008) The biggest importation of ecstasy pills at that time (weight of pills 0.5 tonnes).

The Damilola Taylor murder (2003) The original trial which collapsed after the discrediting of the key witness. John Palmer and others (2002) This concerned organised crime on Tenerife through timeshare fraud. The loss was said to be £33m. John Drewe (1999) Modern art forgeries of Giacomettis, Nicholsons and Sutherlands Cowan 1996 1 CAR 1 Led by Michael Mansfield QC in the first guideline case on s.35 inferences from silence in court. The Guinness appeal (1993) R v Ernest Saunders and others. Represented Anthony Parnes. Led by Clare Montgomery QC.

He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge where he was a Scholar and took a Double First in History/Law. He was also a Karmel Scholar at Gray’s Inn.