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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.

Nikki Coombe


Year of Call & Inn: 1994, Gray's Inn

Qualifications: LLB (Hons) Exeter University
Professional Membership: Western Circuit, Criminal Bar Association

Practice: Nikki Coombe has substantial experience, both prosecuting and defending, in the full range of criminal offences including rape and other serious sexual offences, offences of violence including attempted murder and manslaughter, the importation and supply of drugs, firearms offences and matters of dishonesty.

She is a CPS Grade 3 prosecutor and on the specialist Rape Panel. She has particular expertise dealing with vulnerable adult and child witnesses. She has also been instructed by the CPS Complex Crime Unit to prosecute complicated and multi-handed cases.

Nikki studied law at Exeter University, was called in to the Bar in 1994 and completed her pupillage at Pump Court Chambers in Winchester. She has since practiced criminal law in London and Oxford, before joining Octagon Chambers in 2015.

References from Defence instructing solicitors:

"Nikki was one of the most diligent barristers I had the opportunity of working with...I received a great deal of positive feedback from clients....She was well suited to represent all clients, regardless of their age or sex or the nature of the offence because she recognised and addressed the individual needs of each client at a very early stage. I would not hesitate to instruct her on future cases and would highly recommend her to other instructing solicitors."

"I have instructed Nikki as Defence Counsel for around 15 years. Nikki is known very much to fight for her client and has been well liked by all she has acted for. I have never received any criticism of her work. I would have no hesitation in instructing her in the future...She comes highly recommended."

Crown Prosecution Service Reference: "Mrs. Coombe is a highly efficient and effective advocate who produces work of an excellent standard. She has been regularly instructed in cases of increasing complexity over a number of years. Recent cases include a multi-handed fraud, a s.18 stabbing, a brothel keeping case, armed robberies of small shops and associated firearms offences. Mrs. Coombe has dealt with all of these cases competently and to the full satisfaction of those instructing her."

Cases of note:

Sexual offences:

R. v. G: Successfully defended a young man accused of multiple rapes and serious sexual assaults against three recent girlfriends. One complainant's case was dismissed following legal argument, D was then acquitted on all other counts following a 7 day trial.

R. v. P: Prosecuted at trial and upheld on appeal against convictions (on the grounds of fresh evidence and flawed legal rulings), a man who had committed numerous historic sexual offences against his younger sister in the 1970's.

R. v. S: Instructed as a late return (on the day of trial) to defend a man accused of a recent rape. He was acquitted following a 5 day trial.

R. v. J: Successfully prosecuted a 6 day rape trial involving very vulnerable witnesses, who were physically and sexually abused by their father in the 1970's.

Drugs cases:

R. v. A & Others: Successfully defended in a long multi-handed trial, a man accused of conspiracy with 10 others to import and supply £7 million of heroin. One of only two defendants acquitted. Others received sentences exceeding 20 years imprisonment.

Regularly instructed to prosecute and defend in multi-handed County Lines dealing trials, often involving vulnerable witnesses and sometimes with associated offences of violence. 

Cases involving serious violence or death:

R. v. C: Prosecuted at trial a man accused of attempted murder, using a car as a weapon. Defendant sentenced to 9 years imprisonment.

R. v. O: successfully prosecuted a man who had committed very serious offences against his partner, including threats to kill, false imprisonment, attempted GBH and penetrative sexual assaults.

Regularly instructed to both prosecute and defend in cases of causing death by dangerous or careless driving, often requiring sensitive dealings with the family of the deceased.

Frauds and kindred offences:

R. v D & Others: Successfully prosecuted a multi-handed Complex Crime Unit case involving a conspiracy to rob around 20 elderly victims in their homes. One of the complainants died as a result of her injuries.

R. v. L: defended a woman accused of defrauding over 30 victims by selling them non-existent holidays. Complicated POCA proceedings following a guilty plea on a basis which reduced the overall figure to £130,000.

R. v. L & L: Prosecution counsel in a Complex Crime Unit case of a husband and wife running brothels in 6 towns, with complex POCA proceedings following convictions as the scheme had generated over £6 million profit over several years.

R. v. K: Prosecuted at trial a woman convicted of stealing over £50,000 from a wealthy lady with dementia. Circumstantial evidence as the victim was incompetent to give evidence.

Hobbies and Interests:
Running, tennis, reading and house renovation.

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