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Stephen Gelsthorpe


Criminal Defence, Motoring Offences, Appeals

Stephen Gelsthorpe founded Cartwright King in 2000 along with Michael Thurston. He has been central to the growth of Cartwright King, seeing it grow from a local firm with a national reputation onto a national firm with a national reputation.

More about Stephen

Following admission as a solicitor in 1983, Stephen began to specialise in criminal law. Quickly establishing himself as a prominent Nottingham advocate he soon gained the respect of clients, the police and the judiciary. On being made a partner at Freeth Cartwright (now Freeths) in 1987, he went on to head up the general crime department practising there until 2000, when along with Mike Thurston, he established a new boutique criminal law firm Cartwright King. Since then he has been central to the growth of Cartwright King, seeing it grow from a local firm with a national reputation onto a national firm with a national reputation.

Noted for his court room presence and winning ways, his success as a criminal advocate, mainly in the Magistrates Court in the East Midlands and his ambitions to improve the quality of advice and representation given to those charged and investigated by the state, led to him assuming a number of roles within the criminal law area. A founding member of the Nottingham Duty Solicitor Committee since the introduction of PACE in 1986, led to him co-chairing the duty solicitor scheme locally. His role as an active member of the Nottinghamshire Law Society Criminal Committee saw him asked to become the defence representative on the Nottingham and subsequently East Midlands Regional Criminal Justice Board.

Since 2015 he has moved away from coal-faced practice concentrating on special projects within Cartwright King and devoting what time he has left to the practice of law to driving a significant miscarriage of justice case.  In 2010 the firm received instructions to advise Peter Tredget aka Bruce Lee, a man convicted in 1981 of 26 cases of arson and unlawful killing. Once described by The Guinness Book of Records as the country’s most prolific serial killer, Lee/Tredget has since been trying to establish his innocence. After 8 years of representations to the Criminal Cases Review Commission and following one of the longest and most complex investigations by the CCRC in its history, Stephen and his team successfully persuaded the Commission to refer Tredget’s case back to the Court of Appeal where it is anticipated Tredget’s case will be reheard in 2021.

In his spare time Stephen enjoys playing the piano, singing with local choirs and supporting Nottingham Forest as a die hard season ticket holder! He has recently been re-elected for a third term of office as the Lay Chair of the East Bingham Deanery taking an active role in the business of the Southwell and Nottingham Diocese.

Notable Cases

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Stephen and all the team at Cartwright King are dedicated to helping you. If you need help, contact Stephen by email using this form or using the details below:



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Lock House, Wilford Street, Nottingham, NG2 1AG