Oliver Jarvis

Call 1992


“A master of the theatre of court and is most impressive in closing speeches.”

The Legal 500 2021
Photo of Oliver Jarvis

Motoring and Vehicle Crime

Oliver has a particular specialism in defending fatal road traffic offences and has become a leader in this field. He has defended numerous high profile death by dangerous cases throughout the country, which has given him a particular understanding of the pressures defendants face and how press interest can be managed. He has an instinctive understanding of the core issues that matter to juries in deciding these highly emotive cases.

Oliver has developed an in depth understanding of all forms of expert evidence in this area including collision investigation, medical defences and tachograph analysis. He has also defended in many vehicle related frauds.

Also a published author, drawing on his experiences in the courtroom, Oliver wrote the best-selling thriller, Death by Dangerous which was long-listed for the prestigious, Crime writers’ Association, Debut Dagger.

Motoring & Vehicle Crime Cases

R V KM – Acting as lead counsel, Oliver secured the only outright acquittal in the trial surrounding the events that led to the killing of Thomas Campbell.

It was alleged that KM had participated in the activities of an organised crime group by driving the killers to Mossley, lending his van and disposing of items linked the clean-up, following the murder.

The defendant had always denied knowing of the true purpose of the drive and maintained that the items he was seen to dispose of had been from a clear-out of his house and garden.

The trial, lasting six weeks, was heard at Bolton Crown Court before Mr Justice Goose.

See press report here.

R v BThe defendant was reversing a double-decker out of the workshop, guided by his banksman and colleague. Distracted by a car sounding its horn, he reversed into and over his colleague. Using a forklift, the defendant and others managed to lift the bus off the banksman but tragically, he died at the scene.

The defendant received a suspended sentence, having pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

See press report here.

R v D – Following a four-day trial at Wolverhampton Court, the defendant, an armed response,  police officer, was acquitted of Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving. He was convicted of Careless Driving which he had admitted previously and in his evidence before the jury.

During a challenging 45-mile drive to the scene, at night, the officer had used his driving exemptions to reach speeds of 80 mph in a 30mph zone. Having driven onto a red traffic light controlled junction at 55 mph, the officer collided with another vehicle which had right of way. The defendant’s case was that he did not intend to contravene the lights, which would have been contrary to driver response training, but rather, that he had made a ‘huge mistake’ in failing to see the lights and junction. The successful defence was that his driving error amounted to careless driving which fell below the standard of a competent and careful driver, as opposed to far below (the test for dangerous driving).

See a press report here.

R v CB – Defendant receives suspended sentence for death by careless after killing one person whilst speeding around a bend and seriously injuring another. [see press report]

R v AH – A taxi driver was found not guilty of causing the death by careless driving of a pedestrian whom his vehicle collided with four years earlier. The defendant had always denied the charge, protesting that there was nothing he could have done to avoid the tragic collision. A central issue in the case was whether a driver’s reasonable reaction time to perceive a hazard before braking was either one or two seconds.

R v Rosney – The defendant was initially charged with Perverting the Course of Justice and Causing the Death by Dangerous Driving of Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman’s mother, who was knocked off her bicycle. The case received a great deal of press coverage following the defendant’s acquittal on the main charges and subsequent sentence of seven months imprisonment for Causing Death by Careless Driving.

R v Lockwood – defendant acquitted of death by careless driving after driving over a body in the road, believing the deceased was a bag of rubbish.

R v Peter Scott – acquitted of causing the death of a 12 year old girl on a zebra crossing in Oldham  [see press report].

R v Gibson – premier league footballer escapes jail following a car crash in which cyclists in Manchester were injured.

R V Scott Sellars  – Former premier league footballer and current coach of Manchester City Youth Academy faced a trial for causing death by dangerous driving. He fell asleep at the wheel, killing a motorcyclist, having got in his car, following a flight back from Dubai with the youth team.  As a result of defence expert evidence, the prosecution accepted a plea to the lesser offence of causing death by careless driving. He received a non-custodial sentence.

R V Patricia Brooks  – Miss Brooks was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, having driven her car along a road in Liverpool when she veered off the road and in to a bus stop, injuring several pedestrians and severing off the leg of one woman. The prosecution dropped the case on the morning of trial following an agreement between experts that the defendant may have suffered a seizure.

R v Dyer – The defendant was cleared by a jury of causing the deaths of two people by his careless driving, following a crash on the M6. [See press report]

R v Helliwell – The defendant walked free from Court after pleading guilty to an offence of causing death by dangerous driving. [See press report]

R v Barr – A Pub landlord who drove over a suspected burglar, originally charged with attempted murder, walked free from court after being sentenced for the lesser offence of dangerous driving.  [See press report]

R v Paulo da Silva – Portuguese lorry driver, tried at Chester Crown Court, who was acquitted of causing the deaths of a family of six by dangerous driving, but convicted of the lesser offence of causing death by careless driving.  [See press report]

R v Wrighton – A lorry driver was exonerated at Liverpool Crown Court after a diagnosis of “sleep apnoea” was accepted as a lawful excuse for the accident that resulted in a fatality.  [See press report]

R v Mucha – A Polish national who controversially, walked free from Lincoln Crown Court after being acquitted of causing the deaths of three people.  [See press report]

R v McDonald – The 79 year of disabled driver who killed a pedestrian during a driving lesson avoided jail.  [See press report]

R v Meadows – The bus driver that crashed into a tree on Tower Bridge, London, resulting in one fatality and seventeen injured passengers.  Sky News originally reported the impact as suspected terrorist attack.  [See press report]

R v Farooq – He received a community order following his guilty plea to driving a quad bike dangerously through Halifax town centre.  The prosecution offered no evidence on a more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.  [See press report]

R v Tomlinson – A company director acquitted after being prosecuted for aiding and abetting the dangerous driving of one of his employees.

R v Gray [2008] 2 Cr App R (s) 72 – Oliver represented the appellant in the Court of Appeal, which has become one of the leading sentencing authorities on dangerous driving.