Ranked in The Legal 500 (2021) for Crime
Kama Melly QC is widely recognised as one of the foremost advocates in the North East, known for her technical ability and as a powerful advocate. She is in constant demand from both the defence and the prosecution, receiving an increasing number of private instructions. She has a reputation for achieving positive results in cases which others have assessed as hopeless.
For the past 10 of her 18 years as a barrister, Kama has specialised in criminal law. She is known for dealing with serious heavyweight crime including drug conspiracy, murder and fraud, and has considerable experience of cell-site evidence, forensic evidence and abuse-of-process applications. She specialises in sexual offences including historical cases, challenging DNA evidence, child cases, marital rape, and stranger attacks. Her practice includes quasi-crimes such as issues of judicial review, habeas corpus and extradition.
As part of her ‘no stone unturned’ approach Kama has succeeded in preventing prosecutions on several occasions through mounting applications of abuse of process, including in cases of drugs conspiracies and historical sexual offences.
Kama is one of a few barristers recommended by both The Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, particularly by the Legal 500 in the field of youth justice.
“She will fight her client’s corner and does not back down at all.” – Chambers and Partners (2021)
“Clients warm to her immediately and her no-nonsense style in court is essential.” – The Legal 500 (2021)
“A very solid performer….She is very sound and good with clients.” – Chambers and Partners (2020)
“She is particularly prominent in sexual offences cases.” – The Legal 500 (2020)
“Noted for her expertise in serious sexual offences cases.” – The Legal 500 (2019)
“An expert in sexual offences cases.” – The Legal 500 (2017)
“She’s very experienced in sex case work and highly approachable.” – Chambers and Partners (2017)
“An experienced heavyweight silk with specific expertise in sexual offences cases.” – The Legal 500 (2016)
“She is outstanding as a senior junior. A pleasant advocate, hard-working and committed to the client.” – Chambers and Partners (2016)
“Recommended for cases involving vulnerable defendants and witnesses.” – The Legal 500 (2015)
Kama specialises in cases involving child defendants as young as 10, including 11-year-olds charged with rape and a 12-year-old charged with double stabbings. Her voluntary work with young defendants provides unrivalled knowledge of youth crime, and this was recognised when the Court of Appeal described her practice with young defendants as ‘a model’.
“Kama has a ‘no stone unturned’ approach, achieving positive results in cases which others have assessed as hopeless.”
- R v LF, AA (2018) – successfully prosecuted a man charge with the murder of a 73 year old woman in her home, and his co-defendant of handling stolen property.
- R v AR (2018) – successfully prosecuted builder who strangled ex-wife to death. Media coverage of the case can be found at ITV, BBC
- R v WT (2017) – successfully prosecuted a man accused of murdering his stepfather after he changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial. The defendant was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 22 years.
- R V B (2015) – Successful defence of a teacher accused of sexual abuse by multiple primary-school-aged complainants.
- R v R – Defending in a multiple-defendant paedophile ring.
- R v W (2014) – Successfully led the representation of a young female who had given false information about her partner’s movements in relation to 2 incidents involving firearms and the use of acid as a murder weapon. After several weeks’ trial, the Crown accepted a plea of ‘Obstruct PC’.
- R v P (2014) – Successfully defended of a male accused of rape at Huddersfield Carnival (genital & physical injuries involved).
- R v J (2014) – Successfully defended of a man accused of sexual activity with his niece. Use of s28 Pilot Scheme for pre-recorded evidence.
- R V L & C (2013) (led) – Successful prosecution for manslaughter and perversion of the course of justice in a complex baby-shaking murder case involving multiple expert witnesses.
- R V R (2013) (led) – Successful defence of a female charged with the murder of a threatening male, against the background of domestic violence. Involved complex forensic evidence and reliance on evidence of previous domestic violence.
- R v D (2013) – Successfully defended a middle-aged taxi driver in relation to the rape of a student. The case turned on the careful trawl of unused CCTV footage to show that the police compilation of evidence was misleading.
- R V TB (2013) – Successfully defended a male accused of the false imprisonment, tying-up and rape of his ex-wife and then allegedly taking an unsuccessful overdose. The defendant was found unconscious with the complainant only partially unrestrained.
- R v M (2013) – Successful lone defence of a young male accused of the attempted murder of his father with a crossbow whilst his father was asleep in bed. The Crown ultimately accepted a plea to s20 GBH and the defendant received a community order.
- R V U (2010) – Guidance from the Court of Appeal in respect of dangerous young offenders; Kama’s approach to youth sentencing was described as ‘a model’.
Kama receives regular media requests for expert commentary on criminal news stories. In 2013 and 2014, she appeared on ITV’s This Morning (as an expert commentator and as a regular ‘legal eagle’); Sky News on a frequent basis; BBC Breakfast; BBC News Channel; BBC local news in the North West and North East; Radio 5; LBC; the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail and more.