On 4 April 2019, Alex Young represented the prosecution in the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in R v Rooney, one of the biggest modern slavery cases ever brought in this country. Five defendants appealed their convictions on multiple grounds, following a five month trial in 2017. The case raised difficult issues concerning jury irregularities and the correct legal definition of the offence of ‘forced or compulsory labour’.

Alex has been instructed on this case as first junior, along with Chris Canning as second junior, since the end of 2015 and both were led by Riel Karmy-Jones QC, of Red Lion Chambers, at trial and in the preparation of the appeal. Today’s dismissal of the appeals follows a hearing in March 2019 where confiscation orders exceeding £1 million were made against the defendants (for media coverage please click here). Having previously been led by Queen’s Counsel at trial and in the March 2019 confiscation proceedings, Alex alone represented the prosecution at April’s Court of Appeal hearing, facing two Queen’s Counsel and seven junior counsel for the appellants. All appeals against conviction were dismissed.

Click here to read the judgment in full.


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