Ignatius Hughes KC


Ignatius Hughes KC is a specialist crime and regulatory practitioner.

Ignatius’s practice has covered a spectrum of the most serious and complex cases whilst in silk: multi-handed murders; rape; drugs and firearm conspiracies and fraud. He has longstanding experience of Courts Martial in the UK and abroad.

Ignatius’s down-to-earth attitude and fearless and purposeful advocacy, underpinned by his excellent judgement, precision of thought and tactical subtlety, win favour with clients and juries.

Background and expertise

Ignatius has particular expertise in the issues which arise in missing body murders, and cases of non-accidental head injury (the ‘baby shaking’ Triad). He is recognised for his mastery of the complex medical evidence involved in the latter, and a corresponding ability to cross examine experts to devastating effect. As a result, Ignatius has also been retained as a leading counsel in Family Division cases involving these issues.

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Notable cases

R v S, 2021

Led William Dudley in achieving sentence of 57 months for his defendant for manslaughter after trial arising out of eventual death of victim in vegetative state for 15 years after knife attack.

News report here.

R v B, 2021

Represented the defendant who was the younger of two brothers alleged to have mounted a planned attack on the ex-boyfriend of their mother, on the doorstep of a home he was about to enter, armed with a baseball bat and knife respectively. The deceased was allegedly struck with the bat and fatally stabbed four times.

The defendant was found not guilty of murder whilst his 17 year-old brother was convicted. St Albans Crown Court.

News report here.

R v P, 2021

Represented defendant, one of five, charged with murder. The victim was chased for over a mile by five men including the defendant. He was stabbed nine times, stripped of his clothes, robbed of his drugs and drug-dealer phone and left to die in a deserted enclosed industrial yard at Barry Docks. The defendant and four others were caught on film entering the locked yard and his discarded weapon was found nearby, stained with drips and smears of blood.  The issues included blood distribution analysis, presumptive KM test reliability, secondary party liability, bad character admissibility and IQ admissibility.

The defendant was acquitted of murder. All four others present were convicted. Newport Crown Court.

New report here.

R v C, 2019

Re-trial. Mother accused of repeatedly asphyxiating infant child and poisoning child in hospital due to fascination with medical matters and to gain attention.

Ignatius raised an issue of blood-gas readings with consultant respiratory specialist, not taken by original counsel at first trial. Acquitted of all counts. Plymouth Crown Court.

R v M, 2019

Manslaughter leading Simon Stirling. Fifteen year-old offender, with interpreter. Substantial issues of causation revolving around the medicine. Conviction currently subject to appeal. Birmingham Crown Court.

R v B, 2019

Householder stabbed guest 5 times after argument over drugs. Acquitted of murder. Bristol Crown Court.

R v R, 2018

Represented defendant charged with murder. Suicide pact defence. Manslaughter accepted by crown on day of trial. Truro Crown Court.

News report here.

R v H, 2018

Represented one of four defendants charged with murder. Cut-throat defences. County lines turf-war attack on a Bristol flat. All four convicted. Sentences totalling over 130 years. Bristol Crown Court.

News report here.

R v C, 2018

Represented serving police officer charged with ‘date-rapes’ of three separate women. Two counts abandoned by prosecution pre-trial following disclosure arguments. Third count acquitted by jury. Truro Crown Court.

News report here.

R v A, 2017

Drug related murder of co-dealer. Very complex direct and circumstantial evidence, including an admissible inconsistent statement to police as an erstwhile witness. Prosecution case was that A was the principal, the co-accused the secondary party.  Cut-throat defences.

Acquitted. Co-defendant convicted. Bristol Crown Court.

R v A, 2017

Represented husband with dementia charged with beating his wife to death. Unfit to plead. Trial of issue. Hospital order. Exeter Crown Court.

News report here.

R v B, 2017

Represented one of three defendants charged with murder by stabbing. Cut-throat defences. Sole defendant acquitted of murder. Truro Crown Court.

News report here.

R v S, 2017

Gross-negligence manslaughter arising out of a death in Camp Bastion, Helmand.

Ignatius raised a Combat Immunity argument. The resulting (classified MOD material) disclosure expedition eventually led to the charge being dropped at the door of the court in favour of a minor disciplinary charge. Catterick Court Martial Centre.

News report here.

R v J, 2017

Privately-funded death by dangerous driving. Pregnant mother killed oncoming driver and her own unborn child. Issues included skid co-efficient and other related expert evidence; psychiatric/psychological expert evidence bearing upon credibility of amnesia. Acquitted. Swansea Crown Court.

R v T, 2017

Represented boxer charged with killing his girlfriend after drugs-fuelled sex session. Issues included unauthorised intrusive surveillance. Plea to manslaughter accepted. Swansea Crown Court.

News report here.

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PROFILE: Ignatius Hughes KC

Legal 500, 2022

Year called





020 7489 2727


LLB (Hons)


Western Circuit,

South Eastern Circuit,


Recorder 2005 (Crown Court)


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