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Established to meet the need for high quality legal advice and advocacy in Somerset and the West Country, Octagon Chambers has increased in size and legal practice to match the demand.

Harry Ahuja


Year of Call & Inn: 2001, Inner Temple

Qualifications:  LLB (Hons) Kings College London, LLM at The University of Manchester

Professional Membership:  Western Circuit, Criminal Bar Association


Harry Ahuja is an accomplished practitioner having worked in the criminal justice system for over 15 years. He was a legal adviser to the justices for 4 years before joining Octagon Chambers in 2006 when he successfully completed pupillage under Alan Large. Harry has a detailed and extensive knowledge of law and procedure in both the Magistrates' and Youth Court as well as the Crown Court. He has developed a busy practise both prosecuting and defending criminal cases in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal.


Harry is regularly instructed to advise upon and conduct cases concerning a wide range of matters including serious assaults, attempted murder, armed robberies, firearms offences, large scale public order and drugs offences involving ‘county lines'.

Harry has developed a first-rate reputation in defending the full range of sexual offences which include historic allegations. He has successfully defended in multi-handed trials and is often selected to deal with cases of a sensitive nature such as child cruelty and death by dangerous driving.

Harry specialises in cases of fraud ranging from theft from employer, benefit fraud, money laundering to large-scale conspiracies to defraud. He has defended in cases of tax evasion involving up to half a million pounds and has conducted cases involving the dishonest use of powers of attorney.

He also has a wide ranging experience of ancillary matters. He has dealt with cases involving ASBOs, Closure Orders, firearm appeals and has also prosecuted and defended applications for Sexual Harm Prevention Orders.

Harry Ahuja is a CPS grade two prosecutor and is authorised to prosecute on behalf of various agencies including the Department of Work and Pensions, Local Authorities and the National Probation Service. Harry also has a keen interest in regulatory work.

Cases of Interest:
AG Reference (French) (2017) EWCA Crim 1207 - Acting for the Respondent
Successfully ensured that an immediate custodial sentence was not passed for a serious sexual offence which the prosecution submitted should merit such a sentence.

R v Broadway and others (2016) Bristol Crown Court - Multiple murder trial lasting 7 weeks
Represented one of the six defendants in this very high profile Somerset case involving the use of shotguns and resulting in a fatal dispute between rival traveller families.

R v VG (2012) EWCA Crim 73 - Successful appeal against the imposition of a life sentence

R v Ryan Shaun Andrew (2010) EWCA Crim 798 - Appeal against conviction

Possession Class A drugs with intent to supply. The focus of this unsafe conviction related to the conduct of the judge at trial. The court considered the nature of the Recorder's questioning of the appellant when giving evidence before the jury and improper comments made by him during the summing up. The appeal against conviction was allowed and accordingly the sentence imposed of 3 years was overturned.

R v Popescu and others [2010] EWCA Crim 2466 - Appeal against sentence
Multiple frauds. Sentence successfully appealed in respect of fraudulent use of cloned credit cards of Japanese bank customers by a group of Romanian nationals in the UK. The court accepted that where criminal activity was within the scope of the ‘banking and insurance fraud' sentencing guideline it is incorrect to sentence outside the prescribed range on the basis of the impact of the offending on the commercial system since such an impact is an inherent part of any activity to which the guideline applies.

R v Chalupa [2009] EWHC 3082 (Admin) - Case stated

Failing to provide a specimen of breath under section 7(6) RTA 1988. Appeal by way of case stated in relation to the magistrates' decision not to exclude evidence of breath test procedure under section 78 of PACE 1984.

R v Jason Higgins (2009) EWCA Crim 708) - Appeal against sentence

Racially aggravated common assault. Sentence appealed on the basis that the court should have adopted a two-stage approach in considering the appropriate term for the basic offence of assault and then imposing an uplift to reflect the racial aggravation. The court agreed with this principle and confirmed that the judge had erred in imposing 12 months for the common assault with 6 months uplift, however the overall term of 18 months imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.

R v Coates (2007) HMNB Portsmouth

Instructed as junior defence Counsel in the first court martial of an alleged rape at sea.

Hobbies & Interests:
Away from the law, Harry enjoys all outdoor activities particularly walking and racket sports. He enjoys travelling and exploring different cultures and has a keen interest in technology.


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