Blackmail & Terrorism

Nigel Shepherd has conducted cases charged under most of the offences listed in Archbold, and appeared in 65 of the 76 Crown Courts in the United Kingdom (as far afield as Plymouth and Carlisle)

Nigel Shepherd will no longer personally conduct Legal Aid cases save those in Class A (homicide, causing explosions likely to endanger life).

He will supervise the conduct of legal aid cases in other Classes.  


Nigel Shepherd appeared in the leading authority R -v- Garwood (1987) 85 Cr App R.  85 ; Archbold 2011 21-263  – meaning of “menaces”

(See list of reported legal authorities.)


Nigel Shepherd supervised the conduct of the defence of one of the defendants charged in relation to the 21/7 terrorist attempt, and the successful appeal against sentence R v. Abdurahman [2008] EWCA Crim 2653. This terrorist case involved those who gave logistical support to the London Tube Train Bomber. This case raised the issue of significant breaches of P.A.C.E. in circumstances where the Police were faced with an ongoing serious threat to the community. Mr. Abdurahman had been interviewed as a witness by the Police in the full knowledge that he should have been a suspect. The statement, which was effectively a confession, was later admitted at trial. Following an Appeal their Lordships found the way the Police behaved to be “troubling”. The case is currently going to the ECHR.

 Nigel Shepherd has conducted cases involving the complex charge of “making a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism,”

Section 58 Terrorism Act 2000 provides:

Collection of information

(1)    A person commits an offence if –

(a)    he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b)    he possesses a document or record containing information of that kind.

 This sort of legislation may make ordinary people guilty of criminal offences – a bus timetable may well be “useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”, but it can be lawfully possessed, and we should not leave prosecuting decisions about things like this to the Counter Terrorist police, or even the Crown Prosecution Service.  Fortunately, the Court of Appeal have limited the potentially wide application of this,  but not on the ground that prosecution discretion was too wide:-

(Judgment $ 45  It may well be that Lord Rodger, in referring to the exercise by prosecutors of the discretion to prosecute in sexual cases, had in mind G [2008] UKHL 37; [2009] 1 AC 92; [2009] 1 Cr App R 8, in which Baroness Hale said:

48. … There was a great deal of anxiety in Parliament about criminalising precocious sexual activity between children. The offences covered by section 13 [of the Sexual Offences Act 2003] in combination with section 9 cover any sort of sexual touching however mild and however truly consensual. [E.g. a thirteen year old girl or boy sexually kissing a twelve year old]. As sexual touching is usually a mutual activity, both the children involved might in theory be prosecuted. Indeed, section 9 expressly contemplates that the person penetrated may be the offender. Obviously, therefore, there will be wide variations in the blameworthiness of the behaviour caught by sections 9 and 13. Both prosecutors and sentencers will have to make careful judgments about who should be prosecuted and what punishment, if any, is appropriate. In many cases, there will be no reason to take any official action at all. In others, protective action by the children’s services, whether in respect of the perpetrator or the victim or both, may be more