Crime Team blog: this week in Chambers

In: Article Published: Friday 16 October 2020

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Nigel Edwards QC has been appointed Head of the  International Law, Human Rights and Civil Liberties group at the Invitation of chambers. He is also standing in the Election for Lincoln’s Inn Bar Representation Committee, voting for which commences today. We wish Nigel luck, his career long commitment to diversity and social advancement underpins his desire to affect further positive change that Lincoln’s Inn has always been at the forefront of. 

Nominations open on Friday 18th September and close on 4pm on Friday 2nd October

Confirmation of Nominees on Wednesday 7th October

Ballot opens on Friday 16th October closes 4pm on Friday 30th October

Results announced to Members at the Bar Rep AGM on Wednesday 11th November

Paul Williams appeared at Isleworth Crown Court to act on behalf of a client on charges of s.18 Wounding, False Imprisonment and Threats to Kill. It was alleged he’d kept his ex-girlfriend hostage and effectively tortured her over a period of 3 days by, amongst other things, pouring a kettle of boiling water over her head, stabbing her with scissors in the leg, cutting her hair off and then making her eat it and beating her all over her body with a metal bar. This week at Trial he pleaded Guilty to s.20 Unlawful Wounding and was found Not Guilty of s.18. The False Imprisonment and Threats to Kill charges were left to lie on the file on usual terms. He was Sentenced to 3 yrs and 10 months imprisonment: This Sentence reflected the fact that in 2016 he received a prison sentence for doing much the same type of assault to a different previous girlfriend. Importantly, however, after Legal Argument, the Judge agreed with PW NOT to impose an Extended Sentence Def under the “Dangerous” statutory provisions”.

This week, Ravinder Saimbhi took part in a meeting with the DPP, Max Hill QC and Rebecca Lawrence, CEO of the Crown Prosecution Service as a member of the policy team of Women In Criminal Law. The meeting was set up to explore working together to support and promote the progress of women and diversity at the Bar working with the CPS and a number of areas were discussed. A really interesting and positive discussion with a progressive and modern organisation.

Andrew Kerr successfully defended one of the two men featured heavily in the national media who had attacked in prison Roy Whiting. See: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12922550/sarah-payne-killer-stabbed-in-prison/

Mr. Kerr’s was able to persuade the Judge that his client, who was already himself serving a life sentence for murder, should receive an additional sentence of 7 years 6 months.

Ravinder is the lead on EOH/Covid Operating Hours for WICL and would appreciate any and all feedback - whether positive or negative - from any counsel or solicitor (not just women!) who have experienced working on any of the pilots. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, from anyone who has had to return work or been unable to brief their preferred counsel because they were unable to work within the pilot hours. Please do get in touch. 

Emma Scott secured a 21 months’ suspended sentence for her client who pleaded Guilty on the first day of re-trial to a ‘county lines’ conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.  Emma’s client was 17 at the time of the offending.  This case involved consideration of the issues of modern slavery, particularly child exploitation and trafficking.

Daniel Walker represented LM at Sentence. LM had pleaded Guilty to Sexual Assault, Failing to Comply with three Notification Requirements under the Sex Offenders Register and a Breach of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO). LM had previous convictions for Sexual Assault, Attempted Sexual Assault and Breach of SHPO. The previous convictions reflected the same modus operandi. Following detailed mitigation which drew upon psychiatric and medical evidence, the impact the current prison regime was having on him and his personal circumstances, LM was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment. ​​

Annahita Moradi delivered a workshop on police  duties towards crime suspects who may be victims of human trafficking and/or modern slavery. The workshop focused on identifying signs of exploitation, the principle of non-punishment, charging decisions, the National Referral Mechanism process and the Section 45 defence under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.