Rape and Serious Sexual Assault
R v A. Rape. Trial
Nicola Carroll recently secured the acquittal of a 15 year old boy who had been charged with the rape of a 14 year old girl, arising out of what she argued was teenage sexual exploration. The Crown had put their case that the defendant was violent and forceful to the complainant during the intercourse.
The case involved sensitive and careful cross examination of a number of teenage witnesses and examination of phone evidence, some of which was not disclosed until day two of the trial.
Cases involving youths, particularly those charged under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 require a careful and appropriate approach to both the defendant and the complainant, and their families.
R v C. Rape. Trial (Youth Court)
Issue was consent. The Defendant, a 15 year old virgin, claimed that he reasonably believed that the Complainant was consenting. S41 application made and successfully opposed. Convicted. Youth sentencing provisions led to a community order being imposed.
R v W. Rape. Trial (Youth Court)
The Complainant was an adult relative of the youth Defendant. She was asleep at the time the offence was committed. The Defendant initially denied any sexual contact at all but in cross-examination he claimed that she had consented to mutual sexual touching, but that no penetration had taken place. Evidential presumptions regarding consent relevant. Convicted. Youth sentencing provisions led to a community order being imposed.
R v Ireson. Sexual Assault. Trial
Sexual assault by penetration contrary to S2 of the SOA 2003. Sleeping complainant. The Defendant removed the complainant’s underwear before he digitally penetrated her vagina. Convicted after trial and sentenced to 4 years imprisonment with an indefinite restraining order and a sex offender’s notification requirement for life.
R v Doyle. Attempted Rape. Trial
Attempted rape of an adult female. The issue was a factual denial to the act. The trial lasted 8 days and included legal arguments on bad character, hearsay, S41 YJCEA 1999 and the admissibility of evidence served late. The jury failed to reach a verdict. The Defendant was then subsequently prosecuted with further offences of witness intimidation and attempting to pervert the course of justice arising out of actions he took following the 1st trial. At the re-trial, he was convicted of the new offences, but the jury were undecided again in relation to the attempted rape.
R v Hunt. Sexual assault on child. Trial.
Sexual assault on a 10 yr old girl. The Defendant was her friend’s granddad. There were numerous issues in relation to disclosure of third party material which ultimately meant that the trial could not take place on the first listing. Prior to the 2nd trial date issues arose in respect of the disclosure of third party material which led to a PII hearing. The trial was able to proceed.
R v Ahmed. Sexual Assault. Trial.
Sexual assault by penetration contrary to S2 SOA 2003. The Defendant was a taxi driver and had taken the complainant, his fare paying passenger, to his home address whereby he sexually assaulted her. Convicted after a 7 day trial. Sentenced to 7 years.
R v Haque. Sexual Assault. Trial.
The Defendant, a taxi driver, was alleged to have touched a fare paying passenger on her breast and thigh over clothing. Hung Jury. At the re-trial, I made a successful application to adduce fresh evidence (extremely late service of CCTV) after summing up – R v Rice principles. Jury hung again. No further re-trial.
R v Thompson. Sexual Assault. Trial.
Prosecution Counsel in relation to a sexual assault by penetration contrary to S2 SOA 2003. The Defendant failed to attend for his first trial following two failed suicide attempts. Issues arose in respect of proceeding in Ds absence and the veracity of those suicide attempts. Trial adjourned. D was subsequently arrested on a warrant and remanded into custody. On day 1 of the adjourned trial, the Defendant pleaded guilty following a R v Goodyear direction.
R v Mann. Wounding with intent. Trial.
Alleged attack to the head with a machete. Several issues arose including fresh statements being taken from the almost hostile complainant on the morning of the trial following STWAC. Full disclosure made. Complainant was very aggressive during examination-in-chief and so I was required to adopt a fresh approach. Jury convicted of wounding without intent.
R v Senghore. Wounding with intent. Trial.
Issue was self-defence. Prosecution witnesses all required witness summonses and had to be carefully managed on the day as a result of their reluctance to be there. Issues involving bad character and appropriate jury directions. Summing up emailed to counsel in advance – Judge adopted my suggested amendments. Acquitted.
R v Higham. Wounding with intent.
Listed for trial for S18 Wounding. Prosecution witnesses on summonses following retraction statements. 2 of the 3 witnesses refused to come into the court room and became absent from the building after STWAC consultation. Defendant was re-arraigned and pleaded guilty to S20. Sentenced 20 months YOI.
R v Haseldine. Murder.
Led junior. The defendant had subjected the deceased to a brutal and sustained attack by kicking, punching and stamping on his head. The deceased suffered numerous facial fractures and several kinds of brain injury, all typical of damage caused by repeated heavy blows. Whilst the defendant pleaded guilty I was able to assist leading counsel with family liaison, and communications with the officer in the case. The defendant was sentenced to 16 ½ years.
R v Mutekedza. Murder. Trial.
Led Junior. The Defendant was an ex-soldier who stabbed his girlfriend numerous times in a frenzied attack. I assisted in the preparation of the Jury bundles and index, the Agreed Facts, general witness liaison, and in particular, liaising with the British Embassy in Harare in order to arrange a live link for one of the witnesses. Convicted. Leading Counsel was unavailable to take the verdict and so I was required to outlined the sentencing submissions for the Crown, including dealing with the issue as to whether the knife had been brought to the scene. The defendant was sentenced to 25 years.
R v Richardson, Caffrey and Cannon. Aggravated burglary. Sentence.
Prosecution Counsel on a sentence for a multiple defendant aggravated burglary whereby a 12 year old girl was injured by a machete brought to the scene. Dangerousness assessments considered. Cumulatively the defendants received custodial sentences in excess of 28 years.
R v Mohammed Dhiya Ali. Supply of importation quality cocaine and firearms. Trial of issue.
Prosecution counsel. The Defendant pleaded guilty to possessing 3kilos of importation quality cocaine, with intent to supply it. He also pleaded guilty to possession of a prohibited weapon, namely a stun gun. He denied that he was significantly involved in the operation and claimed to be a warehouseman. After an effective trial of issue, the Judge ruled against him and sentenced him as per my submissions. I was required to analyse several thousand pages of phone data which revealed that in fact he was not working alone. His co-conspirators were subsequently arrested and prosecuted for conspiracy to supply drugs, and for possessing firearms. Cumulatively the gang were sentenced to more than 40 years in custody.
R v Cowgill, Hinds and Mullany. Robbery. Trial.
Prosecution Counsel. Ds 1 and 2 pleaded guilty. Trial for 3rd defendant. She was the inside intelligence on a cash in transit robbery of a betting shop employee. Evidence was technical and required me to cross reference phone data, cell siting, telemetry data, and timings on CCTV footage. Guilty verdict after a 4 day trial. Cumulatively they were sentenced to 10 ½ yrs.
R v Michael Friel. Drug Smuggling. NCA case. Trial.
Trial for Fraudulent evasion of cocaine. Defendant attempted to smuggle over 120g of cocaine into Abu Dhabi where it would have held a street value of over £24,000. Jury sworn and case opened. Overnight, I was required to assist the NCA officer in creating a sequence of events of the most incriminating phone messages. Thousands of pages of data to consider. Once served, the D was re-arraigned on day 2 of the trial and pleaded guilty. Sentenced to 4 ½ years.
R v C. Biological weapons.
I was briefed by the Complex Caseworker Unit in relation to a case being prosecuted under the Biological Weapons Act 1974. The defendant was a youth and had attempted to purchase abrin from the dark web. This was the 2nd only prosecution of its type in the UK. The case came down to legal arguments on the definition of the term “peaceful purpose”. I successfully argued that the defendant did not have a defence of peaceful purpose pursuant to the Biological Weapons Act 1974. Guilty plea following successful legal argument.