On leaving school in Winchester Garth joined the Royal Navy and in addition to completing Officer training at BRNC Dartmouth, he studied law at Warwick University. After leaving the Navy he went to Bar School and was called to the Bar by the Middle Temple.
He completed pupillage with John Leslie at 1, GardenCourt, Middle Temple and afterwards practised at 3, Dr. Johnson`s Buildings. Subsequently he accepted an invitation to join the Chambers of the late David Owen-Thomas, QC at 2, King`s Bench Walk and since then has practised exclusively on the Western Circuit.
In 1995, in order to promote his expanding regulatory work, he moved to 3, Paper Buildings operating from the Winchester annexe. However, as his home was in Devon since the early 90`s he eventually moved to Chambers in Devon.
Garth is a specialist criminal and regulatory practitioner who has acted on either side of murder cases and other serious cases of violence, rape and serious sexual offences, and serious frauds. He has represented clients in regulatory matters, in particular concerning Health and Safety, Local Authorities and Police Authorities.
He accepts instructions in family law cases, mainly representing parents of children in care cases, and involving drug addiction, domestic abuse and non-accidental injury.
He was the first barrister on the Western Circuit to be assigned by the Crown Court to act as cross-examiner for a defendant acting in person in a sexual offences case. He was the Hampshire constituency member fo rthe Western Circuit for over 15 years and it was due to his lobbying that a disabled chair lift was installed for access to Court1, and that there was a complete refurbishment of the Barristers` dining room
Garth is a grade 3 prosecutor and has been on the CPS RASSO list since its inception.
Cases of note:
• Defending the skipper of a Yacht bringing into the UK one of the largest ever hauls of cocaine.
• Defence Junior representing a man charged with murder who suffered from severe schizophrenia at the time of trial, and whose defence was that he was suffering such an illness at the time of the killing.
• Prosecuting leader in a large-scale conspiracy to steal horses in the Home Counties. His leadership of the prosecution team was marked by being invited to the OIC`s commendation ceremony.
• Defence leader representing a lorry driver bringing in a large quantity of cannabis from Spain.
• Operation Trojan…Standing Counsel for almost 2 years in the prosecution of several cocaine and heroin supply cases in Southampton Crown Court, in which major decisions had to be made about disclosure of surveillance, the anonymity of test purchase police officers and RIPA considerations.
• Prosecution Junior in a conspiracy to burgle large Country Houses, which resulted in the death of a house-keeper who surprised the defendants when they were searching one of the houses.
• Appearing in the Court of Appeal many times over the years, the most recent being Responding Counsel upholding a conviction for rape of a step-daughter who had admitted lying to a previous jury, thereby creating complex and difficult arguments of law.
With his naval background Garth has a wealth of experience in dealing with naval and military matters and has been instructed many times in Courts Martial in the UK and in Germany.
The most recent being the defence of a Naval Rating from Plymouth who was charged with GBH on his then girlfriend, also a Naval Rating.
He accepts instructions in regulatory crime and has acted for the MOD in HSE prosecutions, Police Authorities in unlawful arrest cases, and for private clients in prosecutions by Local Authorities.
He represents mainly the parents of children who have been involved in violent and sexual abuse situations, and where there has been non-accidental injuries to children.