Sean Brunton KC

Door Tenant
01752 221551

Sean Brunton is a door tenant at KBG Chambers and a member at Colleton Chambers, Exeter.

Sean Brunton is a recognised expert on animal welfare, trading standards, environmental and other regulatory crime. He has prosecuted and defended in numerous cases for and against Local Authorities, the RSPCA, DEFRA, DWP, EA and the HSE.  He is a member of the UK Centre for Animal Law. He has appeared in cases involving huntsmen, fisheries, waste companies, farmers, stock-keepers, sportsmen, traders and hauliers in the Magistrates’, Crown and Divisional Courts.  He has successfully prosecuted and defended in multi-handed and lengthy trials before High Court Judges and against leading counsel.  Notably he defended a company in the largest ever prosecution brought by the Environment Agency.

He is also a regional expert in serious sexual offences.  He has prosecuted and defended in many cases involving very young, very damaged or very vulnerable victims and defendants. He has lectured on the use of intermediaries and the representation of people with serious learning difficulties.

In addition to these niche areas, Sean has prosecuted and defended in cases of murder, conspiracy to supply drugs, armed robbery, fraud and every other type of offence appearing before the criminal courts.

He makes amongst the best closing speeches you are likely to hear.

He is a published journalist on the subjects of animal welfare, hunting and rural issues.  He is a member and contributor to “A-Law”, the Animal Law Forum.

He also has over 20 years’ experience of advising, drafting pleadings and appearing on behalf of private and corporate clients involved in professional negligence, livestock, boundary and planning disputes.

  • He successfully represented local businesses and CPRE in defeating the developer at the Yelland Wind Farm Public Inquiry.
  • He has represented a landowner for repeated and large-scale breaches of the Cattle Movement Regulations; avoiding custody and securing a modest fine for a third offence.

Case of Note

Regulatory Crime

Environment Agency –v- Aardvark and others
Sean was a Leading Junior in successful defence of private and corporate client in largest- ever EA prosecution.

HSE -v- Viridor (2018)
Fatal Accident. Widely publicised case. Experienced lorry-driver caught beneath the laden trailer of his skip-lorry when parked on steep hill at Derriford Hospital. Lorry rolled down hill and across two zebra crossings at busy Hospital site, before crashing into hospital building. Contested 2 week trial. Defendant convicted of failing to provide a safe system of work. Large fine and costs imposed on Defendant.

HSE -v- South West Water (2017)
Fatal accident at work.  Employee at a water treatment facility fell into a storage tank and drowned. There was no means of escape. The safety features of the site and the system of work were inadequate. Very large fine imposed.

HSE -v- Interfish Limited (2016)
Fatal accident at work. Warehouseman killed when tall stack of frozen fish fell on top of him. Another employee seriously injured. Lengthy Newton Hearing to resolve culpability, harm and size of business for Sentencing purposes. Large fine imposed.

EA –v Wherry and others.
Leading Junior in three week prosecution defining meaning of ‘waste’.

RSPCA –v- Burrington
Successful prosecution of farmer in animal welfare trial at Magistrates’, Crown Court and Divisional Court.

IPCC –v- Donald
Successful judicial review of disciplinary proceedings against a serving police officer.

DCC –v- various
Sean has prosecuted many cases for Devon and other local authorities at Magistrates’ and Crown Court level, including animal cruelty, trading standards, food hygiene, animal transportation and rogue traders.

CCC –v- Van Dommelen Transport
Successful defence of international cattle haulier.

EA -v- Dunchaul and others
Multi-handed Prosecution and POCA proceedings against tip operators and hauliers.  All convicted and large confiscations orders made.

RSPCA v Sparks Clarke
Lengthy defence of ‘horse whisperer’.

DCC -v- Maughn, Mahon and others
Multi-handed trial of 4 travellers for conspiracy to defraud in trading standards prosecution. Prison sentences passed.

DCC -v- Johnson and Johnson
Prosecution of rogue trader fraud in trading standards prosecution and POCA proceedings.

Serious Sexual Crime

R –v- Norrish
Successful prosecution of huntsman for rape.

R-v- Sheppard
Successful prosecution of multiple rapes against three victims over 20 year period.

R-v- Harrison
Successful prosecution of rapist caught solely by DNA records.

R-v- Stewart
Successful prosecution of multiple child rapist successfully convicted. Conviction upheld in Court of Appeal.

R-v- Dabbs
Prosecution of defendant with learning difficulties. Use of intermediaries.

R –v Lock
Successful prosecution of serial paedophile, historic, familial and recent. Witnesses with serious mental health issues, special needs and intermediaries.

R-v- Petrauske
Defence of white witch in Cornish paedophile ring.

R-v- Peploe
Defence of father charged with multiple sex offences against five of his own children.

R-v- Pascoe
Defence of man charged with rape of his own nephew.

Other serious cases

R-v- Cannings
Junior in multiple child murder at Crown Court and in Court of Appeal.

R-v- Patel
Junior in multiple child murder.

R-v- 10 Defendants
Leading junior in DWP conspiracy prosecution.