Deans Court Chambers

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Virginia Hayton

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Virginia Hayton - Deans Court Chambers


  • St Aidan’s College, Durham University
  • College of Law Chester
  • BVC, Manchester Metropolitan University


  • CPS Advocates Panel - Cat 4 (R)
  • Approved Counsel for the Falkland Islands

Professional Associations

  • Northern Circuit
  • Criminal Bar Association


Virginia Hayton, following a general common law practice, has concentrated on Crime since 2001. She mainly appears on the Norther Circuit, however has appeared in Courts nationwide. She notably specialises in serious sexual offences, including familial historic rapes, gang rapes, grooming cases, and people trafficking.

She has significant and wide ranging experience in conducting inquests, representing insurers, doctors, families, NHS trusts, prison service, local authorities and private limited companies.

Her general criminal work includes fraud, drug conspiracies, firearms offences and offences of violences up to and including murder. She has defended in a number of fitness to plead hearings and, thereafter, finding of fact hearings involving rape and serious sex offences. She mainly defends, however, also has a significant prosecution practice as a Level 4 prosecutor

Her regulatory crime practice includes a broad range of disciplinary cases, Health and Safety Executive Prosecutions, and defending in the General Medical Council and Nursing and Midwifery Council. Cases ranging from those relating to the practitioner’s health (physical and mental), and cases involving concerns about alcohol and opiate misuse, including self- prescription, criminal offences including sexual offences, allegations of dishonesty and performance issues. She frequently delivers lectures in both Criminal and Regulatory Crime areas.

Notable Cases

  • Inquest

    Inquest into the death of Shahida Shahid. 

    Shahida ate a chicken burger marinated in buttermilk after telling the waiter that she had allergies to eggs, dairy fish and nuts. Represented the head chef. Narrative verdict and accidental death. 


  • Crime

    Case of John Beaumont and Susan Beaumont. 

    Defendant charged with sexually assaulting brother and two sister in laws. Historic abuse. Told them he was doing research to see whether they were infected by Chernobyl. Injected them in their groin, breasts, penis and vagina. Also inserted tubes into their anus. Crown alleged his wife, their sister assisted him in committing the offences. Defendant had a number of identical previous convictions. Defendant pleaded guilty to some offences, Crown did not proceed against the wife. 


  • Inquest

    Inquest into the death of BC

    Death of 6 year old boy killed in a road traffic incident. Represented the driver of the vehicle. that ran him over. Accidental death.

  • Inquest

    Marsden House Limited - Inquest into the death of CJ.

    5 day inquest. Young male returning harm and escaped from a broken lift but fell down the lift shaft and died later in hospital from his injuries. Narrative conclusion.

  • Inquest

    Friends of the Elderly. Inquest into the death of MM

    Elderly resident of secure care home escapes during a pre planned electrical shut down. She walked through an insecure door and fell down a flight of steps. Accidental death.

  • Inquest

    Inquest into the death of JS

    10 day inquest. Represented company who employed construction worker who died following the collapse of a trench. Main contractors subsequently fined £2,000,000 in health and safety prosecution. 

  • Inquest

    Hamilton Care Home - Inquest into the death of AG

    3 day inquest into death of elderly resident of care home who died following a fall from her bed onto hot water pipes. Died from the effects of the resultant burns. 

  • Inquest

    MCC - Inquest into the death of MB

    Represented local authority. Elderly lady suffering from schizophrenia who had been admitted to a local hospital. Self discharged and subsequently found drowned in the River Mersey.

  • Inquest

    Inquest into the death of JC

    6 day inquest. Acted on behalf of the local council. Young female suffering from Prada Willi syndrome under the care of local authority and living in supported accommodation. Deceased was killed after running into traffic on the A580. Narrative conclusion.

  • Inquest

    Inquest into the death of KL

    10 day inquest. Involved the death of a young woman recently released from custody found hanging from a tree in a local park. Represented GeoAmey. Suicide conclusion.

  • Inquest

    LCC - Inquest into the death of SM

    Represented local authority in inquest into the death of man in the care of the local authority who died following a house fire caused by smoking in bed. Accidental death conclusion.

  • Inquest

    LCC - Inquest into the death of AW

    Inquest into the death of a resident of a challenging behaviour unit, subject to DOLS, who died following an attack upon him by a fellow resident. Represented the local authority whose care the deceased was in. Narrative conclusion.

  • Inquest

    Friends of the Elderly - Inquest into the death of MP

    Represented a care home involving the death of an elderly resident who died following complications arising from bed sores. Written submissions accepted by the Coroner and no neglect conclusion followed.

  • Rape

    R. v B 

    Defendant was the youngest ever person to convicted of rape. He was 11 when he anally raped his 9 year old nephew on a number of occasions, he sexually assaulted his other 7 year old nephew and also an 11 year old friend. He had googled gay porn and gay rape websites from a young age. He had been abused himself at the age of 4. Sentence was 4 years detention. The matter was reported in the Times and also the Daily Mail. 

  • Crime

    Regina -v- Dardai and others

    Represented a defendant in a case where four defendants from the same family were prosecuted for people trafficking. The two victims, one of which was one of the defendant's girlfriend, were trafficked into the country where they were beaten, kept in poor conditions and forced into prostitution.

  • Crime

    Regina -v- McKenzie-Ayres

    Represented defendant charged with s.20 wounding.

    Received a suspended sentence due to mitigating circumstances of the incident.

  • Crime

    Regina -v- Alexne Breier

    This case involved the operation of a prostitution business in the UK from November 2012 to March 2014. This was a business, set up, controlled and operated by a large Hungarian family, for their benefit financially. To support the business the Defendant Brier brought young women from Hungary into the UK to work as prostitutes. He was responsible for moving them to several premises in Oldham, Manchester, Bolton and Blackburn and at / from these premises he controlled their prostitution. His family were involved in the running of the brothels where the girls worked.

  • Inquest

    Inquest touching upon the death of BC [2015]

    Represented the driver of the vehicle that hit the little boy. He was driving within the speed limit and it was recorded as an accident. There are no prosecutions to follow. It was accepted by all interested parties that the little boy died as a result of multiple injuries following a collision with a vehicle.

  • Crime

    R -v- Raymond Teret

    Historic sex case - dated back to 1961 and the last allegation is 1996, 17 complainants. There are counts on the Indictment where Mr Teret is said to have raped the Complainant with Jimmy Savile.

    The Defendant was a radio DJ on Radio Caroline and Piccadilly radio and was very well known in the 60’s and 70’s, he was convicted of offences against 11 of the 17 women, 7 of them rape the other 4 were indecent assault. He received a determinate sentence of 25 years.

  • Murder

    R -v- Minto

    Defence Counsel on Murder case where the victim was stabbed over 50 times and indecently assaulted whilst either dead or dying. Guilty verdict after a trial.

  • Indecent Assault

    R -v- Thomas

    Defence Counsel for Mr Thomas who was charged with indecently assaulting a woman, unaware that she was HIV positive.

  • Fraud

    R v Wiles

    Falsely claimed that her daughter had been abducted, leading to an investigation involving over 50 officers, a thirteen day man hunt and two innocent men being arrested.

  • Drug Importation

    R v Joseph

    Defending in a large scale drug importation from St. Lucia.

  • Inquest

    Re: R

    Represented the family informed of relative's death following routine operation. Deceased discovered still to be alive some hours later whilst in the mortuary. Victim lived for further 3 days before being pronounced dead.

  • Sexual Offences

    R v Lowe

    Defending in fitness to plead and thereafter, finding of fact in sexual assault.

  • Inquest

    Re: K

    Represented a nursing home. Patient rolled off the bed and was trapped by the cot sides and was found hanging with her head trapped between the bars of the cot side.

  • Rape

    R v Ngowi

    Defending a 15 year old charged with Rape of his 15 year old girlfriend. Defendant is HIV positive. Unfit to plead and thereafter found not to have committed the act following the finding of fact hearing.

  • Dept of Public Prosecutions

    Holloway v DPP, 169 J.P. 14 DC

    Divisional Court Case, successfully argues point of law on s. 5 Public Order Act, 1986, reported in Archbold.

  • Rape/Robbery

    R v Fishahaye

    Successful acquittal of multiple rape/robbery on prostitutes despite DNA evidence.

  • Inquest


    Represented the insurers, young male overtook on a blind bend whilst riding his motorbike, found to be under the influence drink and drugs.

  • Inquest

    Re: Kerr

    Representing gas fire fitter in the property where Mrs Kerr lived when she was exposed to Carbon Monoxide poisoning in her flat. The fire was not found to be the cause of the carbon monoxide, the flat was above the RBS building and the boiler in the basement of the bank was faulty. Son survived the exposure, however Mrs Kerr did not.

  • Firearms

    R v McKay

    Defending 15 year old girl charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition. Successfully argued exceptional circumstances and thereafter minimum sentence not imposed.

  • Rape

    R v Afridi and others

    Prosecuted gang rape on 14 year old girl, having been drugged was repeatedly raped and sexual assaulted by a group of males.

  • Crime

    R v Weaver

    Defended in 'baby shaking' where mother blinded her 12 month old baby twin.

  • Drug Conspiracy

    R v Lyons

    Defending in multi handed drugs conspiracy. Inquest reported in The Times as deceased came back to life, following pronouncement of death. Subsequently died 3 days later.

  • Fraud

    R v Edwards and others

    Defending in large scale diversion fraud in Kingston.

  • Court of Appeal

    R v Harrop (Wesley James) & Ors

    (2010)[2010] EWCA Crim 2915

  • Court of Appeal

    R v W

    (2011)[2011] EWCA Crim 340

  • Court of Appeal

    R v Ravenhill (Dale)

    (2008)[2008] EWCA Crim

  • Court of Appeal

    R v Pakes (David) & Pakes (Paul Michael)

    (2008)[2008] EWCA Crim 206

    Attorney General's Reference No 155 of 2004 sub nom R v Martin (Deborah Michelle)

    (2005)[2005] EWCA Crim 968

  • Dept of Public Prosecutions

    Holloway (Alan) v Director of Public Prosecutions

    (2004)[2004] EWHC 2621 (Admin)

  • Court of Appeal

    R v Patel (Asif Ibrahim) & ors

    (2010) EXCA Crim 1858

What the directories say

A respected advocate with an impressive serious crime practice. She is particularly well versed in defending those charged with murder and sexual offences, including rape, prostitution and child abuse. She also appears for the defence in cases concerning serious organised crime.

Chambers and Partners, 2018

‘An accomplished advocate.’

Legal 500, 2017

A respected advocate with an impressive serious crime practice. She is particularly well versed in defending those charged with serious historic and current sexual offences, including rape, prostitution and child abuse. "An excellent barrister who is bright, thoughtful and a safe pair of hands." "An effective advocate who has handled some really big cases."

Chambers UK, 2017

'Thorough in preparation, forthright in her advice and an excellent jury advocate'

Legal 500, 2016

'Thorough in her preparation, and robust with clients; a formidable advocate'

Legal 500, 2015

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