Ever met a John, James, Michael, David or Anthony and thought there was something a bit dodgy about them? You might just be right.

It turns out they are the most common names of defendants in crown courts across England and Wales.

Exclusive research by The Wharf’s data unit found the name “John” cropped up 750 times on court listings over a three-week period.

James (707) was second, Michael (550) third, David (543) fourth and Anthony (515) fifth.

Paul (373), Andrew (366), Christopher (333), Mark (326) and Thomas (324) completed the top 10.

The most common women’s name - Louise - was all the way down in 40th place, appearing 103 times.

There were 55 Maries and 50 Anns.

We looked at the names of every person appearing in 78 crown courts across the country over a three-week period in April and May.

Crown courts hear the most serious cases, including those involving crimes like murder or armed robbery.

In total, just over 20,000 defendants’ names were analysed by the team.

The most common defendants’ names

  1. John – 750
  2. James – 707
  3. Michael – 550
  4. David – 543
  5. Anthony – 515
  6. Paul – 500
  7. Lee – 373
  8. Andrew – 366
  9. Christopher – 333
  10. Mark – 326
  11. Thomas – 324
  12. Daniel – 319
  13. Robert – 307
  14. William – 287
  15. Stephen – 249
  16. Peter – 247
  17. Joseph – 237
  18. Mohammed – 223
  19. Richard – 210
  20. Martin– 201