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Matthew PurvesAssociate Solicitor

Matthew has specialised in criminal litigation and advocacy throughout his career. He has significant experience of advising and representing clients from a range of backgrounds including accountants, vets and company directors, to leaders of organised crime groups, vulnerable adults and youths.

He is a police station and court duty solicitor and also has Higher Right of Audience which allows him to appear as an advocate in the Crown Court and Court of Appeal. Matthew is one of a few local lawyers who has experience of Supreme Court (formerly House of Lords) proceedings.

Matthew has a keen interest in complex cases with medico-legal and psychiatric issues, he has worked with some of the country’s leading medical and forensic experts and has experience of cross jurisdiction applications.

Matthew is a robust and determined lawyer, fighting every step of the way for his clients. He has the experience and ability to take on the most challenging case leaving no stone unturned to ensure justice is preserved for his clients.

Notable cases Matthew has been involved in:

Homicide and Violence

R v S

In this case, Matthew represented a mother charged with the murder of her 18 month only baby. The client was a nurse in a care home who had access to medication which she administered to her child and herself in an effort to commit suicide. There were significant mental health issues and a psychiatric defence was successfully raised. The defendant pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to a hospital order at a secure unit.

R v B

The defendant was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent where she became involved in a knife fight. Sadly the defendant used a knife to protect herself, stabbing the complainant in the stomach which killed the complainant’s unborn child. Matthew achieved a successful half time submission of no case to answer.

Drugs and Attorney Generals Reference

R v G

Matthew represented 11 defendants in a large scale class A Drugs Conspiracy. The defendants were said to be operating a sophisticated drugs business with a chairman and board of directors and middle management employees downwards. The operation spread from Merseyside to Tyneside where couriers were employed to carry drugs and money from the west to east coast. There was a network of warehouses and a taxi service for the drugs to be couriered to the middle managers and spread downward to dealers on the street. There was over 30,000 pages of evidence, the majority technical telephone and cell site analysis. Telephone attribution was a significant issue.

R v Y

In this case, the defendant was charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine. Police traced a package from Africa through Germany and into the UK. The package was then delivered to the defendant where a wire was fitted to a delivery driver. Once police had conducted the raid on the house, a further delivery arrived which was a TV containing approximately £100,000 worth of cocaine. The defendant indicated she knew nothing of either package. Forensic issues and mobile telephone evidence was a critical feature.


R v J

Matthew represented a Company Director in regard to Fraud and Company Act offences. The matter was prosecuted by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). It was said that the defendant had deceived a business partner in an investment into a new venture in the leisure industry. There was concern also in regard to involvement in a company when being a disqualified director.

R v R

This was a fraud matter where the defendant had entered into a relationship with the complainant who shortly into the relationship was diagnosed with two forms of cancer. She was unable to work due to  her illness and made a claim on her critical illness insurance. The defendant knew of this and he began removing thousands of pounds from her account without her knowledge. The defence case was that he had been using the majority of the money to renovate the property that the complainant was living in, yet also using only some of the money for his personal benefit. This was a very sensitive case requiring skilled mitigation to avoid a custodial sentence.

Road Traffic

R v H

This was a death by careless driving case, where the defendant was dazzled by the sun and continued to drive. After a study of pathological evidence and CCTV footage, the defendant pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a community order. This was a very sensitive case which was reported heavily in the local news: – http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/local-news/driver-banned-after-death-north-1362336

R v W

In this case, the defendant charged with excess alcohol. Matthew argued special reasons with a hybrid argument of emergency and shortness of distance driven. The defendant had moved the car approximately 800 metres from a pub car park before being stopped by the police. His case was that he had received a threatening text message and he sought to hide the car near a railway line and get a taxi home.


R v S

This case involved an armed robbery of a petrol station / security van. The defendant was linked through DNA on a glove which was pulled off one of the perpetrators by a nearby resident. The defendant was seen hours later in a bookmakers exchanging notes for coins, which were linked to the robbery. Bad character evidence was an issue in the case. The defendant was found not guilty after trial.