Michael Hodson was called to the Bar in 1977, and soon demonstrated that he’s a formidable criminal advocate for both sides with a great facility with persuasive, but down-to-earth language. He quickly established a lasting reputation for building rapport and trust with troubled and vulnerable defendants and (when prosecuting) victims and their families. Michael Hodson specialises in serious sexual offences, serious violent offences and minor offences where his skills with the perplexed and anxious are best deployed. He also has specialist knowledge of stress related conditions.
Michael Hodson has dealt with cases covering the whole range of sexual offences from historical abuse to serious offences against young children.
Michael led a team of five defence counsel in a series of historical violent and sexual abuse cases, alleged against teachers and care workers. The task included regular meetings with Senior Union Officials as well as solicitors and lay clients.
He defended a high profile City Councillor charged with grave sexual offences requiring sensitive but effective handling of vulnerable and highly emotional complainants in order to keep the jury onside.
He defended a senior care worker in respect of a series of rapes and sexual assaults where there were 16 complainants who had been resident in a care home. The case required assimilating a considerable quantity of highly sensitive material.
He was asked to represent the chairman of a Health Care Trust who wished to plead guilty to offences of making indecent photographs of children where there was significant personal, professional and psychiatric mitigation.
He has also prosecuted many similar offences notably, recently, a Police Station Custody Suite Officer for inciting children to engage in sexual activity. “Prosecuting”, he says, “makes you a better defender”.
Michael Hodson has defended the range of cases, including professional robberies, serious violence, kidnap, false imprisonment and murder.
Recently, leading a solicitor advocate in a trial of a series of offences of professional robberies, the solicitor expressed his appreciation for the time and trouble taken not only with a difficult lay client, but for discussing with him and the solicitor in detail every aspect of the case, legal, factual, emotional and strategic which, the solicitor said, helped contribute to his own advocacy skills.
In another case, defending another professional robber, he discerned, from hardly any evidence, a serious piece of misconduct in the prosecution of the offence. This led to the exclusion of a significant piece of evidence.
Michael Hodson successfully defended the Chief Clerk of a very busy Magistrates Court for Misconduct in Public Office for allegedly creating and using dishonest accounts. The prosecution had not fully applied their mind to how the detail of the case impinged upon the elements of the offence.
He also successfully prosecuted a long-standing detective officer for Misconduct in Public Office for using the police intelligence data-base to contact vulnerable women for the purpose of having sexual intercourse with them.
He defended one of the leading figures in a 31 handed drugs case.
Michael Hodson successfully cross-examined Astrid Heger, reputedly one of the world’s leading experts on hymenal damage via TV link to America. This required in-depth knowledge of the latest research.
He led for Crown in a 6 week high profile drug manufacturing trial against six silks.
After arguing the case in the Magistrates Courts (remitted there by the Crown Court) and the Divisional court, he took the case, with a leader, to the House of Lords. When the House ruled that there was no statutory power to order defendants to attend a day centre as part of a probation order, he drafted clauses for inclusion in the 1982 Criminal Justice Bill then going through parliament which subsequently became law.
Consolidated Applications for Judicial review concerning the validity of Informations and Summonses. Woolf J, as he was then, remarked on the provision of the legal historical context of Magistrates Court procedure which informed the proceedings. (Not in the perfected Judgment).