Mark Ruffell - Criminal

Mark Ruffell - Criminal profile

Serious fraud: Mark has been instructed in many cases of fraud that have included boiler room fraud, carousel fraud, courier fraud, betting fraud; international advanced fee fraud; a nationwide home-working fraud; an insolvent tour operator fraud; an international plant machinery fraud; a nationwide credit card (identity theft) fraud, a fraud by claiming to be the beneficiary of a deceased’s estate, postal and charity frauds; and numerous frauds by company (including bank) employees. Mark has been instructed as Independent Counsel by the Serious Fraud Office.

Examples of previous fraud cases include:

  • R. v. M. (Defence): Represented M, a successful businessman accused of defrauding his employees by non-payment of tax, N.I. and pension contributions to the value of £138,000. Norwich Crown Court.

  • R. v. Amani, Hajji & Worthington: (Prosecution): London based organised crime group targetting elderly and vulnerable in a courier fraud. Winchester Crown Court.

  • R. v. L.: (Defence): L worked for a company for 3 years and was accused of stealing £70,000 through manipulating the pay system. Reading Crown Court

  • R. v. W.: (Prosecution): Prosecuted W who was part of a boiler room fraud that targetted potential wealthy investors with false financial investment products. Harrow Crown Court.

  • R. v. SF & Another: (Defence): 2 businessmen prosecuted by HMRC for a fraud claiming false CIS rebates for non-existent companies. Guildford Crown Court

  • R. v. P. & Another: (Defence) P. charged with setting up a rival company whilst still working for another company. P attracted new clients to his rival company and then sold stock supplied by the original company to them. P. was accused of acting to the detriment of the original company against company policy. P. successfully claimed that all that he did was authorised by a director of the original company - Portsmouth Crown Court.

  • R v A & Others: (Defence) A charged with conspiracy to defraud. A was part of a gang posing as police officers and bank officials who claimed that credit cards had been compromised and offered to protect money in victims' accounts - Blackfriars Crown Court.
  • R. v. R.: (Defence) R. worked as a civil servant attached to the MOD. He was accused of fiddling his expenses over many years and falsely claiming in excess of £40,000. Following analysis of receipts and written submissions to the effect that there was no loss, the Crown offered no evidence on the day of trial - Bristol Crown Court
  • R. v. H.: (Prosecution) H. obtained a declaration that her brother was intestate (when there was a valid will that named his partner) and she went about securing all of his assets. She was caught when the Police were alerted to a valuable stamp collection being auctioned off.
  • R. v. G.: (Defence): G. worked as a gardener in his 60's. One of his clients was an elderly lady who he helped with the shopping. He pursuaded her that he was carrying out work for her and succeeded in obtaining over £16,000 from her for work that he had not done. Swindon Crown Court.
  • R. v. S.: (Prosecution): S. worked in a bank and stole £18,000 over a year but covered up the thefts by making false entries and cross-firing deposits in the accounts. She denied the allegation and the case went to trial pleading guilty after the case was opened.
  • R. v. PC: (Defence): A complicated betting syndicate fraud. Canterbury Crown Court.

Cybercrime: Mark was instructed (defence) in one of the rare prosecutions of a member of the illusive group named Anonymouse who were responsible for attacking websites around the world. He gained immeasurable experience in understanding how computer crime is committed, how it is detected and in how to present a defence using such highly technical evidence to a jury.

General Criminal work: Mark is regularly instructed to defend and prosecute complex and serious cases often involving organised crime groups. Mark has been instructed in cases of murder, serious assaults, rape and sexual offences, armed robbery, aggravated burglary, arson with intent, public disorder and death by dangerous driving.

He is also an expert in cases involving the importation and supply of controlled drugs [SEE] .

He is in an expert in proceeds of crime cases. He is regularly instructed  the CPS and is a grade 4 panel advocate. 

Examples of typical cases:

  • R. v. M. (Defence): Defended M who was charged with causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drugs. Bournemouth Crown Court.
  • R. v. M. & Another (Defence): Defended M accused with his brother of an acid attack in Southampton. Southampton Crown Court The case went to appeal [2017] EWCA Crim 533 due to a ruling on admitting a text message sent by the co-defendant. This was reported in the Criminal Law Review [2017] 793, where the argument made on appeal was supported by the commentator.
  • R. v. L. & T.: (Prosecution): Prosecuted L and T for supplying class A drugs to Hampshire and Surrey towns for over a year. Winchester Crown Court
  • R. v. G-A & Others: (Prosecution): Prosecuted a lengthy trial involving 8 defendants, some from two rival London based drugs networks who supplied class A drugs to Hampshire towns over 2 years. Winchester Crown Court.
  • R. v. S. & Others: (Prosecution): Leading junior prosecuting a lengthy trial involving 6 Defendants, some from several London based drugs networks who supplied class A drugs to Hampshire towns over a year. Winchester Crown Court.
  • R. v. Martin and Brimecome: (Prosecution): Court of Appeal upheld convictions following a decision by MR to indict with 'being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug.' The judgement was given by The Lord Chief Justice, The Right Honourable The Lord Thomas of Cymgiedd on the meaning of the word supply. See R. v. Martin and Brimecome [2014] EWCA Crim 1940; [2015] 1 WLR 588; [2015] 1 Cr.App.R. 11; [2015] Crim. L.R. 83  Regina v Martin (Dwain) and Another [2014] WLR (D) 341.
  • R. v. C. (Defence): Defended a man who posed as a private hire driver who was accused of raping a passenger. Central Criminal Court
  • R. v. C. & Others (Prosecution): Leading junior prosecuting 8 Defendants in a 6 week trial charged with conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to burgle. Harrow Crown Court.




Year of call: 1992
  • Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Winchester
  • Legal Adviser to the GPhC, ACCA, NMC, GCC and CiLEX
  • Disciplinary Panel member of the Taxation Disciplinary Board (TDB)
Areas of specialism:
  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Business and Commercial
  • Courts Martial
  • Criminal
  • Ecclesiastical / Religion
  • Inquests and Inquiries
  • Public Access and Direct Access
  • Regulatory and Disciplinary
  • Transport Law
Additional languages:
  • French
  • Bachelor of Divinity (B.D. Hons. Lond., A.K.C.)
  • Diploma in Law (University of Westminster) 1991
  • Called to the Bar 1992 (Middle Temple)
Professional associations:
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Ecclesiastical Law Society
  • Ecclesiastical Judges’ Association
  • Western Circuit
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Association of Road Transport Lawyers
Outside Interests:
  • Mark is a former FA level 1 football coach and team manager, as well as being a Churchwarden and Borough Councillor.
  • Former member of a Licensing Authority’s Licensing Committee.
  • Member of Local authority crime and disorder panel from 2002-5.
  • Advisor to the Shadow Parliamentary Front Bench on Home Affairs from 1999-2001 (Mode of Trial Bill and Private Security Industry Bill).
  • Member of Local authority internal employment tribunal chairman from 1993-4.
Notable Cases:
  • R. v. Midmore [2017] EWCA Crim 533; Criminal Law Week 2017; 2017 CLR 793 lengthy commentary on hearsay in text messages
  • R. v. Martin [2014] EWCA Crim 1940; [2015] 1WLR 588; [2015] 1CrAppR 11; [2015] Crim LR 83 - meaning of supply
  • S, Burt & Others [2005] EWCA Crim 3616; Archbold 2018 5-507- extended sentences