Rhianydd Clement

Call 2019


Photo of Rhianydd Clement


Rhianydd exclusively practices in criminal law, prosecuting and defending across a range of criminal cases. She has experience dealing with a variety of offences including serious violence, drugs conspiracies, sexual offences, firearms offences, robbery, fraud and driving offences.

She was junior counsel for the lead Defendant in a trial concerning the largest class A drug conspiracy prosecuted in the UK to date. As part of the case, Rhianydd dealt with cell site evidence, analysed banking records and assisted in disclosure applications that concerned covert surveillance evidence and public interest immunity.

Rhianydd also has extensive knowledge of the complexities involved in dealing with terrorism cases, through from the first appearance to trial and sentencing including Serious Crime Prevention Order applications. In particular, she has knowledge of proceedings involving far-right ideology, as well as the use of Telegram and White Alexandria’s Library. As part of this work, she has demonstrated excellent attention to detail in analysing raw phone data to provide context to sequence of events created by the Crown.

A large number of the Defendants she represents have complex mental health difficulties. She adopts a compassionate approach in these cases and has extensive experience defending in Trials of the Act where a Defendant has been found to be unfit to plead. She also has experience assisting the Court with considering Hospital Orders with Restrictions under s.41 Mental Health Act 1983.

As part of her criminal practice, Rhianydd has dealt with several Defendants that have previously been made subject to a sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP). She understands the additional considerations that arise for these Defendants when accused or convicted of further offences. She has represented these Defendants where they have been charged with new offences and at Parole Board Hearings, and so she is able to provide Defendants with continuity of representation.

In addition to tradition criminal cases, she also has a growing practise in extradition proceedings representing the requested person.

She has developed a reputation as a thorough, confident and approachable advocate. Her legal research skills have been commended and she does not shy away from a complex legal argument. She is often approached for her knowledge of the Dangerousness and automatic release provisions.

Her written advocacy is often complimented by both the Bar and the Judiciary.


Operation Ringtail – Junior counsel for the first Defendant on the indictment in the largest class A drug seizure ever prosecuted in the UK. The case involved a £1.59 billion conspiracy to supply cocaine and crystal methamphetamine. 141kg of cocaine and 33kg of crystal methamphetamine were seized from this Defendant’s address which had links to a prolific Mexican drug cartel. As junior counsel, Rhianydd assisted with the drafting of section 8 disclosure applications that included PII considerations; applications to exclude evidence under s.78 PACE 1984, and non-Defendant bad character applications. She cross-examined several witnesses, including the Drug Expert in the case. She considered cell-site evidence and how this interlinked between multiple Defendants. She analysed the Defendant’s banking records and phone downloads in significant detail, which assisted in ascertaining the credibility of the Crown’s case and the Defendant’s explanation. At sentencing, she assisted in drafting an extensive mitigation note and delivered the mitigation alongside leading counsel.


R v XC – Prosecuted a sentencing involving Possession of a Prohibited Firearm which was subject to the statutory minimum sentence, as well as possession of ammunition and Possession with intent to supply class A drugs. A basis of plea was advanced which involved consideration of the evidence supporting and undermining the basis, as well as preparation for a Newton hearing. The case required detailed submissions for sentencing.


R v JM – Represented a Defendant charged with sexual assault of a 15 year old girl. The trial involved cross-examination of the complainant, who was now only 16 years old. The defence advanced was that the behaviour was not sexual in nature.


R v MS – Represented a former police officer accused of assaulting a member of the public. There were two independent witnesses to the assault. Despite this, the Defendant was found not guilty.


R v PG – Represented a Defendant in a trial concerning serious allegations of Controlling & Coercive Behaviour over a prolonged period, Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm and Strangulation, all committed in a domestic context. The Defendant had previous convictions in relation to the same complainant which were before the jury. Rhianydd obtained the Defendant’s raw phone download and create a defence bundle which contained messages undermining the allegations of controlling behaviour. The Defendant was found not guilty of the majority of the charges.


R v MM – Represented a Defendant charged with numerous indecent image offences, including Production of Category A images, alongside possession and distribution of other images. Following an extensive mitigation note supplemented by oral submissions, the judge was persuaded to come outside of the sentencing guidelines which had a starting point of 6 years’ custody and imposed a sentence of 2 years’ custody suspended.


R v JK – Represented a Defendant in an RSPCA prosecution that fell to be sentenced for Animal Cruelty following the death of his cat and injury to a second cat. Successfully mitigated to avoid an immediate custodial sentence and a sentence of 18 weeks’ suspended for 18 months was imposed. Also successfully argued against the indefinite imposition of a disqualification under s.34 Animal Welfare Act 2006 and instead an order for 10 years was imposed.

R v VJ – Represented a Lithuanian national in a trial for Production of Cannabis after he was found in a property with cannabis grows across two rooms. The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict in less than 2 hours.

R v JW – Successfully opposed the imposition of a Football Banning Order for a Defendant that fell to be sentenced for possession of cocaine at a football stadium.

R v MH – Represented a Defendant that fell to be sentenced for Arson Reckless Endangerment of Life, having started a fire outside his ex-partners home whilst she was inside. The Court had been considering a starting point for sentence of 4 years’ custody, but remarked that due to a “helpful mitigation note provided by defence counsel” they could step back from this and the sentence imposed was 28 months’ custody.

R v RG – Represented the Appellant in an appeal against conviction from the Magistrates’ Court to the Crown Court. A defence statement was served in order to seek disclosure from the Crown, following which a section 8 application was made. The enquiries as a result of the s.8 application led to the Crown offering no evidence.

R v MM – Prosecuted an appeal against conviction from the Magistrates’ Court to the Crown Court. The case concerned allegations of domestic violence, namely Assault by Beating, Criminal Damage and Threats to Kill perpetrated by a husband against his wife. The complainant was a hostile witness, refusing to answer questions. Despite this, the appeal was unsuccessful and the Court found all allegations proved.

R v GB – Represented the Defendant that fell to be sentenced for three counts of Possession with Intent to Supply Class A and Class B drugs. A sentence of 16 months’ custody suspended for 18 months was imposed following “extensive and detailed mitigation” on the Sentencing Guidelines on the Imposition of Community and Custodial Sentences.