Sean Brunton QC

Sean Brunton
Called: 1990; Silk 2018
Qualifications: Law MA (Cantab)

Contact and Clerk


Clerk: Nikkie Browning


Sean is Head of Crime at Colleton Chambers.

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 and the HSE. He is a Category A Prosecutor (the highest grade) for the HSE and the EA.  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 is on the Rape and Serious Organised Crime panels. 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 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.

Notable Cases

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.

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.

HSE v Interfish Limited

Fatal accident at work

HSE v South West Water

Fatal accident at work

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.


HSE & EA Lists – Category A

CPS List – Category 4

Serious Organised Crime and Rape Panels


1990 Middle Temple

2018 Silk


Harmsworth Scholar
Pegasus Scholar

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