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Paul J Watson Solicitor - 116 Borough Road - Middlesbrough - TS1 2ES - T: 01642 293427


Criminal Law

Our team of specialist criminal solicitors are focused on getting you the best possible result.

Criminal defence services

At Paul J Watson Solicitor our Crime department can defend most criminal matters and specialise in the following.


Criminal Defence Solicitors in Middlesbrough

At Paul J Watson Solicitor, your local Middlesbrough Criminal Solicitors, we understand that to be interviewed by the Police can be a distressing and intimidating experience.

The right advice in criminal defence when you need it most, from police stations and benefits office interviews, through to magistrates, court martial and crown court, we are with you every step of the way.  Our Criminal Solicitors provide sympathetic, knowledgeable advice and have a strong will to achieve the best results for our clients.

 Our Criminal Defence Specialist team provides: 

We have an established reputation in criminal defence work, with consistently positive client reviews, from minor offences to the most serious criminal charges. We also undertake RSPCA defence and court martial cases.

If you are arrested, you should ask for a legal representative to be contacted on your behalf. This service is free to everyone and is not means tested.

Our Defence Team is made up by; Paul Watson (Principal Solicitor), Damian Alexander Sabino (Higher Court Advocate Solicitor) and Emma Richardson (Trainee Solicitor/Police Station Representative). 

We are members of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme, and contracted by the Legal Aid Agency. This means that we can offer free legal advice and representation under the “Legal Aid” scheme, from the Police Station, through to the Court of Appeal, to all that are eligible.




We also offer competitive rates for private fee-paying clients, particularly for road traffic offences, such as speeding and other minor motoring offences.

Our highly experienced Criminal Defence Solicitors will ensure that you receive the proper legal advice and will explain matters in a down to earth manner. We operate a 24 hour emergency service and are members of the Duty Solicitor Scheme, so if you are arrested, just ask for Paul Watson.

If you are charged with an criminal offence, then our Criminal Solicitors will continue to offer advice and support in defending you in the Magistrates Court, Crown Court or Court of Appeal.

Our Criminal Defence Solicitors will endeavour to assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome, vigorously defending your rights at every stage.

Our Solicitors are assisted by professional and committed staff, trained to deal with clients in a sympathetic and confidential manner. 

Contact our Crime Team to arrange a free no-obligation consultation on 01642 293427,

or fill in our Contact Form and we will call you.


We have over 150 positive reviews on, our website, Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other websites who rate legal firms. Read our reviews and see why we are the highest rated solicitors in Middlesbrough.

Facebook Reviews
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Kate Rollinson
Excellent service from start to finish. Highly recommend.
Andy Barrett
recently used these guys for a very complex case, initially met paul in the police station and was then handed over to the very helpful Damian Sabino, these guys are a really good firm of solicitors and I can't praise them highly enough! ! Hopefully won't be needing a solicitor again for a long long time, however, if ever I do then it will be these guys that I shall be using!! Thanks again guys you've kept my family together and for that I shall be forever in your debt! ! Andy Barrettread more
Edna Rankin
Brilliant Solicitors I would recommend them to anyone . The support and up dates you get from this firm are the best .They have helped me and my daughter in two separate situations I would not use any other Solicitorsread more
Tom Cunningham
Very good solicitors, would recommend themEvery day of the week..
Rosena Logan Ayala
Very good people helped me with my case good work Can’t recommend this company enough always go above no matter what time of day or night they wil help you with your case always happy to help you with anything crime or family well done can’t thank Daniel Burke and Paul Watson enoughread more
Lyanne Cooper
Can't thank damian and paul enough for there amazing support help and understanding from the minute we contacted use. Always happy to help. Always go above and beyond no matter what time of the day it is.Can't recommend the company enough. Thank you from me and my familyread more
Shelly Govan
Paul watson and pam are amazing. glad to say have not needed them in 10 years but when I did they helped behond words great family business �read more
David McCarthy
Dealt with Pam Kandola regarding a family court & social services matter and she helped me get my girls back home, couldn't recommend Pam & PJ Watson highly enough �read more
Laura Fielden
were do i start i was haveing problems and from me 1st phone up when inwas so nevers explain what was going on i was spoke to nicely and arrange a meeting and then on pam took my case on and i cant thank u all enough for what urs have done for me and my family if it wasnt for how hard pam and louise worked and fought with us i dont know what would of happend so wanna thank pam and lousie so much xxread more
Ishtiaq Din
Jessica Rose Lewis
I worked with Damion when visiting here - I couldn't of asked for a better Solitior ! He went above and beyond to make sure I was ok and everything was organised! He even checked in with me after it was all over to make sure I was ok! I would highly recommend Paul J Watson - especially Damion to anyone who needs representing! Thanks again �read more
Michael Duggan
Lorraine Thorpe
I used this firm of solicitors when goin thru a special guardian-ship battle and they were fantastic!!!!
Mab Sadiq
Fantastic guy and firm Will always go out of his way tiger the result
Faye Bowman
5*solicitor excellent service, thankyou , Mr Watson
Ashleigh Harrigan
Fantastic solicitors id highly recommend them very friendly and supportive always there when you need them even at short noticeread more
Biancaa Jadee Woodingg
Excellent people and helped me so much thankyou dearly highly recommend to anyone x
Robeena Sadiq
Danial Col
Diane Mylett
Mari Dilworth
Sam Hughes
Leanne Train
David Rodwell
Excellent service Mr watson and all his staff care about there clients and go above and beyond so glad I contacted them for help. Would recommend to everyoneread more
Chelsea Abbott
Wajid Chaudhry
Angela Mcivor
Ellen Holmes
Genda Armes
Steph Maude
Jo Blair
I used this firm for conveyancing when I was in the process of buying my house. As I was a first time buyer I was made to feel very comfortable and at ease with the process and was kept informed throughout. I would certainly use the firm again for other legal mattersread more
Heather Watson
Have dealt with my case against a local authority absolutely brilliantly!!
Ross Linton
Tracy Melbourne
Next Reviews
Google Reviews
John Mehes
18:16 07 Sep 17
Excellent service very professional,best in middlesbrough, once again thank you Paul. John m
Joe Roberts
10:17 21 Dec 17
Rebecca dealt with a child arrangements order, In a very delicate situation. She was very approachable and understanding to the situation and dealt with it with the up most integrity and care. We managed to secure more than we where aiming for and in such a way that it could be sensibly supported for both more
11:09 19 Jan 18
i was in need of some advice and help with an interview under caution i had to attend. Paul attended with me and helped me get through the process very easily , and provided excellent advice.thank you again for your more
Yvonne Pallister
14:43 21 Feb 18
Gemma Gouder
10:02 25 Dec 17
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Contact us

 Sample cases;-

Mr Watson has extensive experience in dealing with criminal defence cases, including representation of clients (both youth and adult) with mental health difficulties, such as Asperger’s Syndrome, Attention  Deficit Hyperactivity Order, Schizophrenia, Personality Disorders and others.

In particular, Mr Watson has dealt with a large number of successful criminal defence cases for those accused of sexual offences and indecent images, and also for those subject to Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) applications.

We cover all aspects of criminal defence, from motoring (driving) offences to assaults, drug offences, benefit fraud, court martials, sex offences, indecent images, fraud and murder.

We have a proven track record of strong defence.  In December 2016 alone, three out of three clients accused of rape were acquitted at trial.

As you may appreciate, after over 30 years in practice, we cannot name every high profile criminal defence case, but listed below are samples of some of our most recent (names omitted);-

 Violent Offences 

  • Defending a client accused of murdering his girlfriend in their flat in the Middlesbrough area, involving issues of automatism and other related Mental Health issues.
  • Defending a client accused of the murder of a woman by her partner in the Marske area in the presence of her three small children, involving issues of alleged memory loss.
  • Defending a client accused of the murder of a school teacher by her partner in the Loftus area of East Cleveland, involving issues of alleged memory loss.
  • Defending a client accused of attempted murder of a man, involving the severance of a limb.
  • Defending a 15 year old boy accused of pouring petrol over the complainant, aged 14 years and then setting him alight.
  • Defending a 17 year old youth accused of biting off another youth’s lip.

 Sexual Offences 

  • Defending a client accused of historic child sexual abuse, including rape of step daughters over an 8 year period.
  • Defending a client accused of sexual assault on his 14 year old niece.
  • Defending a client accused of attempted rape of one teenage boy and sexual assault of several others, together with deception and resulting Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) application.
  • Defending a client who was charged as a result of “Operation Landslide”, with downloading indecent images of children over the Internet.
  • Defending a client accused of kidnap and causing sexual activity from a teenage boy.
  • Defending a client accused of incest with his now adult daughter.
  • Defending a 12 year old boy accused of indecent assault by digital penetration on girl under 13 years, child abduction, sexual touching and S47 Assault, in addition to seven offences of non-penetrative sexual activity with a girl under 13 years.
  • Defending a client accused of paying a 12 year old boy for sexual services.
  • Defending a client accused of taking indecent photographs of children and sexual touching of children.
  • Defending a client accused of anal rape of his wife.
  • Drugs/Controlled Substance offences
  • Defending a client accused of growing cannabis on a commercial basis and representing him in the resulting Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) application.
  • Defending a client accused of permitting his home to be used in the supply of Liquid Ecstasy (GHB) which resulted in the death of his partner.
  • Defending a client accused of Benefit Fraud, which he obtained to pay for his son’s drug habit.
  • Defending a client accused of supplying Ecstasy tablets to a man who subsequently died.

 Abuse cases 

  • Defending a family accused of Modern Day Slavery.
  • Defending a client accused of child abuse and neglect of her son.
  • Defending a client accused of S47 Assault upon his adopted son.
  • Defending numerous non-accidental injury cases.
  • Acting for parents in a Forced Marriage Protection Order application.

 RSPCA Defence cases 

  • Won leading case of RSPCA v Nadian, which became a landmark case in RSPCA Defence.
  • Defending a client who ran an animal shelter and who was accused by the RSPCA of animal neglect and cruelty.
  • Defending a client accused of failing to obtain medical treatment for a dog which had been involved in dog fighting.
  • Defending a client accused of failing to obtain medical treatment and to supply food and shelter, for three horses.
  • Defending a client accused of failing to obtain medical treatment for a dog with an infected tail.
  • Defending a client accused of violence/cruelty towards a dog.
  • Defending three clients accused of neglect/cruelty towards a dog.
  • Defending a client accused of neglect/causing unnecessary suffering to German Shepherd dogs.

Defending clients accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a Doberman dog.