R v J. Child Cruelty/Indecent Assault. Defending. Listed for 5 weeks, Jan 2021.
Trial. Multiple count indictment. 11 complainants. Historic offences of child cruelty and indecent assaults spanning a 30 year period. Oldest allegation over 50 years ago. Issues include legal arguments on admissibility of some of the evidence, and vast disclosure review. 22 prosecution witnesses to give live evidence.
R v M. Rape. Prosecuting. December 2020
Trial. Prosecution of historic sexual offence in a care home.
R v B. Rape. Defending. November 2020
Trial. Single count of rape on former partner. S41 argument.
R v B. Serious Assault (S20). Prosecuting. November 2020.
Trial. Single count “one-punch” GBH resulting in a broken jaw with life-changing injuries. Legal argument on the admissibility of some of the evidence.
R v J. Serious Assault (S18). Prosecuting. October 2020.
Listed for voire dire and trial. Prolonged and extremely dangerous machete attack resulting in over 50 wounds. Victim died within 4 weeks of the attack. Issues included consideration of murder charge, admissibility of deceased’s account. 2 day successful voire dire resulting in a guilty plea to the indictment.
Operation Horizon. County-lines drug trafficking. Defending. Jan – Feb 2020.
Trial. Drug-trafficking trial involving 33 defendants. “Operation Horizon” was prompted as a result of a nationwide county-lines drug dealing organising which had led to the deaths of 14 people in the Barrow area. Represented a “third -strike” drug trafficker, who, after trial received the mandatory minimum tariff of 7 years.
R v G. Defending. Dec 2020
Instructed to represent a 50 year old woman with no previous convictions and with a lengthy history of psychotic illness. Charged with multiple offences arising out of a psychotic episode. Experts were instructed to assess her. Although fit to plead, she was said to be experiencing a psychotic episode at the time of offences. Ultimately the Crown offered no evidence against her.
Operation Stark. Prosecution. July 2020
Listed for trial twice due to covid-19 pandemic. In between those dates further offences came to light which prompted a guilty plea. Digital evidence was voluminous and required several days to review.
R v H. Rape. Prosecuting. Rape. 2019.
Trial. Multi-count indictment involving historic offences of rape and serious sexual assault during a marriage. Issues included S41 argument.
R v B. Fraud. Prosecuting. 2018
Trial. 10,000 page VAT fraud involving a female defendant who had a history of being a vexatious litigant. Nicola was instructed the day before trial and was able very quickly to get the case ready for a jury. The Defendant pleaded guilty on day of the trial after evidence was called. She later applied to vacate that plea and a voire dire was held which concluded in the Crown’s favour.
Notable youth cases
R v A. Rape. Defending. Crown Court.
Trial. Nicola represented a 16 year old boy with both language and communication issues. He was assisted by an intermediary for the trial. Very sensitive stranger rape case involving frame by frame CCTV analysis from a number of city centre venues.
R v A. Rape. Defending. Youth Court
Trial. Nicola represented a 15 year old boy for trial who had been charged with the rape of a 14 year old girl, arising out of what he argued was teenage sexual exploration. Issue was consent. 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.
R v C. Prosecuting. Rape. Youth Court
Trial. 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.
R v W Prosecuting. Rape. Youth Court
Trial. 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.
R v C Prosecuting. Biological weapons. Youth Court
Nicola was instructed by the CPS Complex Casework 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”. Nicola 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.
Other notable cases
R v C, H and M. Prosecuting. Robbery.
Trial. 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 voluminous. Nicola skilfully cross-referenced phone data, cell siting, telemetry data, and timings on CCTV footage.
R v Mann. Prosecuting. Wounding with intent.
Trial. Several issues arose including fresh statements being taken from the almost hostile complainant on the morning of the trial following STWAC. Full disclosure made.
R v Michael Friel. Prosecuting. Drug Smuggling. NCA case.
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, Nicola assisted the NCA 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.
R v Senghore. Prosecuting. Wounding with intent.
Trial for S18 wounding. 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.