Janet Ironfield

Year of Call: 1992, Gray's Inn

Janet ironfield
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Janet Ironfield specialises in criminal defence advocacy. 

Janet's principal areas of practice are: 

  • Offences of violence (including murder and manslaughter); 
  • Armed robbery and firearms offences; drug importation, production and supply (local or regional); 
  • Arson; 
  • Large-scale public disorder; 
  • Driving offences (particularly those resulting in death or serious injury).

Janet's practice also places an emphasis on serious sexual offences: historic and familial offences; offences against and committed by children or young persons; rape and gang rape; the making of indecent images. Her work also includes offences of people trafficking and sexual offending arising in the context of such conduct.

Janet also has an interest in the law of the British Overseas Territories. She has appeared in Court in the Falkland Islands, and has defended in the trial of a Chilean national charged with violent and sexual offences. The resulting acquittal withstood a subsequent appeal by the Crown.

In addition to general criminal practice, Janet also undertakes prison law and regulatory work. She appears at Court Martials and has represented many Service personnel in relation to Crown Court matters.


Notable Cases

  • R-v-Wilson


    42 stab wounds, successfully contested trial – Defendant admitting manslaughter (Defence junior).

  • R-v-Tait


    Murder charged, result –manslaughter (Defence Junior).

  • R-v-Cochraine


    Defended granddaughter/carer of dementia-suffering deceased whose true cause of death was covered up for 4 years - locally reported as ‘granny-killer walks free’.

  • R-v-Thomas

    Serious Violence

    Defendant acquitted of multiple counts of S.18 (GBH with Intent) in respect of allegations that he caused numerous fractures to the ribs and skull of his 4 month old daughter which experts confirmed were both non-accidental and inflicted on a number of separate occasions.



  • R-v-Holmes

    Sexual Offences

    Broad daylight kidnap of random 10 year old from public street – acquitted of rape, sexual assault admitted.




  • R-v-S

    Sexual Offences

    Teenager charged with series of rapes and sexual assaults of his sisters under 12 years old – rapes not proved.

  • R-v-Bates & another

    Sexual Offences

    Gang rape

  • R-v-Teale & another

    Sexual Offences

    Gang rape by 14 year old of 14 year old - rape not proved.

  • R-v-Crewdson & another

    Sexual Offences

    Gang rape of juvenile by juvenile and another, rape not proved at trial.

  • R-v-F

    Sexual Offences

    13 year old boy falsely accused of raping 9 year old boy.

  • R-v-McInnes & others

    Drugs Offences

    Regional conspiracy to supply Class A drugs from Liverpool to Lancashire towns.

  • R-v-Hales

    Drugs Offences

    Industrial production of cannabis.

  • R-v-Nguyen & others

    Drugs Offences

    Industrial production of cannabis.

  • R-v-J Cancino Contreras

    International Law

    Falkland Islands - Non-English speaking Chilean national acquitted of violent sexual offending against partner.

  • R-v-Dawkins

    Money Laundering & Fraud

    High value ‘Streamline’ machine fraud, proceeds laundered.

  • R-v-Onobrara

    Money Laundering & Fraud

    Internationally organised lottery fraud; confiscation of £860,000 successfully resisted.

  • R-v-Drage

    General Crime

    Defending teenager for failure to disclose key to computer encryption to police; thought to be first prosecution under S 53(1) RIPA 2000. Case result provoked extensive reporting and debate on Internet.

  • R-v-Glasscodine

    General Crime

    HGV overturned, crushing pedestrian, when driven (dangerously) under low bridge – undiagnosed eye condition - suspended sentence imposed.

  • R-v-Sweeney

    General Crime

    Excessively drunk and abusive airline passenger necessitated aborting of flight – suspended sentence imposed.

  • R-v-Daly

    General Crime

    Armed robbery of shop; firearm and knife used.

  • R-v-Carter & another

    General Crime

    Armed robbery of bookmakers – sentence successfully reduced in Court of Appeal.


  • Approved Falkland Islands Advocates Panel

Professional Associations

  • Member Northern Circuit
  • Member Criminal Bar Association


  • Bolton School
  • St Hilda’s College, Oxford
  • Inns of Court School of Law
  • BA (Oxon)