criminal barrister Kitty Colley

Year of Call 1992

Kitty Colley


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Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defence | Serious Sexual Offences
  • Public Prosecution | Grade 4, RASSO Accredited
  • Private Prosecution
  • Business & Financial Crime


  • Grade 4 Prosecutor
  • Rape & Serious Sexual Offence Panel
  • Approved advocacy trainer/AITC -trained and approved
  • Approved pupil supervisor
  • Circuit advocacy trainer
  • External Advocacy Assessor CPS – grade 4 and above

Professional Memberships

  • Criminal Bar Association
  • North Eastern Circuit
  • Middle Temple


Kitty Colley is a criminal barrister specialising in cases that require expert advocacy skills. She has experience in serious sexual offences, drug trafficking, violent crime, and fraud; successfully defending a range of clients.

Kitty has a varied practice and represents both individual and corporate clients respectively. Kitty is called upon to advise professional clients at an early stage of proceedings in respect of strategy and achieving the best outcome for lay clients.

Kitty has a reputation for being a highly-skilled, measured, forceful and persuasive advocate. She has a thorough, analytical and adaptable approach, and is particularly skilled in the handling of young and vulnerable witnesses and defendants. She is highly personable, putting clients from all backgrounds at ease and has a high reputation as a tenacious advocate. Kitty represents both private and publicly funded clients. She is instructed in “cold case” review cases for both defence and prosecution.

Kitty also accepts instructions in all other areas of crime, including offences of violence (murder/section 18, domestic violence); robbery (knife-point and armed); drugs; burglary and conspiracy to burgle; firearms; controlling prostitution; money-laundering; and drugs conspiracies. She handles cases requiring cultural sensitivity.

Kitty has successfully represented clients appearing before major hearings at the Court of Criminal Appeal and is often consulted to advise on the merits of an appeal.

Notable Cases

Kitty secured the acquittal of a professional footballer and a former teammate, who was charged with rape. (R v T-V 2015). The case attracted high media attention.

Kitty has developed a private client practice in cases of rape, historic sexual offences and cases requiring an expert and sensitive handling of client and witnesses. She recently secured the acquittal of a professional man charged with rape and of his step-daughter.

Kitty has spoken on BBC Radio 5 Live as a specialist barrister on the subject of the false rape allegation.

Private Client

Kitty regularly receives instructions from private clients accused of serious or historic sexual offences.  She regularly succeeds in securing ‘not guilty’ verdicts for clients facing allegations of rape and sexual abuse.

  • Defence of a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome charged with penetrative assault of a 3-year-old. Through legal application and argument, the prosecution dropped the charges before trial.
  • Defence of retired police officer charged with historic rape of a civilian whilst on duty
  • Defence of director of insurance company charged with drunken sexual assault of a work colleague. Kitty secured a conditional discharge.
  • Defence of 16-year-old son of a police officer charged with rape. The case was dropped following submissions.

Serious Sexual Offences

Over the past 15 years, Kitty has become one of the most highly rated specialists in cases involving rape and other serious sexual offences. She has both prosecuted and defended serious non-recent cases. Instructions include cases of a stranger and familial rape (including at gunpoint or involving extreme violence), as well as recent and non-recent complaints and those of the utmost complexity, sensitivity or public profile. She is very experienced with multi-count indictments, multiple complainants and multiple defendant cases.

Kitty has extensive expertise in questioning and dealing with the most vulnerable witnesses and defendants, including those with severe communication difficulties and mental health issues. In one case, she dealt with an autistic complainant who could only communicate through drawing. She has extensive experience of pre-recorded cross-examination of a vulnerable witness under the section 28 pilot scheme.

Kitty was selected as one of 12 trainers on the programme of Vulnerable Witness Training of all barristers on the North-Eastern circuit in the questioning and handling of vulnerable witnesses.

R v JOC – Non-recent complaint. Rape. Appeal point on a presumption of incapacity; whether can be guilty of attempted rape;

R v P – Status of victim personal statements;

R v W – Successful prosecution of foster carers for sexual abuse of  3 vulnerable children in their care;

R v W – Rape of a female police officer;

R v RD, SD and PD – Familial historic sexual abuse over 4 decades involving 3 generations, including foster children. Guilty verdicts on all 67 charges. Sentences of over 54 years in total;

R v JB – Rape of an elderly lady in her home: Guilty. Life sentence;

R v M and D – Paedophile ring with 10 victims involving internet grooming and pornography; convicted with life sentences upheld on appeal;

R v D – Rape by a police officer of a vulnerable woman whilst on duty; convicted and imprisoned;

R v J – Gun-point kidnap and rape of a schoolgirl; convicted with a life sentence;

R v C – Rape and burglary of an elderly lady, involving substantial previous convictions. Convicted with a life sentence;

R v N A – Secured conditional discharge for Leeds businessman charged with sexual assault of a work colleague. No notification requirements;

R v JS – Defence of student charged with penetrative sexual assault of a 3-year-old boy. Secured not guilty verdicts with a legal challenge to competence of victim;

R v JH – 16 yr old boy accused of multiple rapes on girlfriend- acquitted;

R v C – Multiple violent and sexual offences upon a 3-year-old boy, involving complex medical evidence;

R v SL – Ex-husband of serving specialist police officer accused of rape of friend – acquitted;

R v C – Not Guilty: Successful defence of former premiership footballer, charged with rape. The Former Player was acquitted by unanimous verdicts after a 9-day trial. The jury deliberated for 45 minutes;

R v BZ –  Keighley grooming case. 14 defendants;

R v B – Non-recent rape of step-daughter; not guilty;

R v D – Non-recent sexual assault of a child by a businessman of good character; not guilty;

R v L – Mortgage fraud of £1m, with others; plea and community sentence;

R v P – Stranger rape of 15-year-old; not guilty;

R v M – Rape and violence of ex-partner; not guilty.

Serious Crime

R v W, B, F – Drugs conspiracy to supply heroin and production of cannabis.

Fraud and Financial Crime

R v TJ and Others – Controlling prostitution for gain and money laundering; guilty; life sentence;

R v L – Mortgage fraud of £1m, with others; plea and community sentence.


Kitty has attracted wide judicial endorsement and has been described as:

“An advocate of great skill and substantial experience with highly developed interpersonal skills and deep and detailed knowledge of applicable law.” – Retired circuit judge

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