A forceful and courageous advocateLegal 500, 2021 (Crime)

Overview

Rebecca is ranked in the 2021 edition of the Legal 500 as a leading junior in general crime and described as a superb oral advocate, always personable and persuasive in negotiation and in court. She is a forceful and courageous advocate who will not relinquish a good argument without a fight.’

Rebecca is a highly regarded and experienced criminal practitioner. She specialises in criminal defence and has acted as counsel to defendants accused of the most serious criminal offences including murder, manslaughter, rape, historic sexual allegations (including intra-familial and multi-complainant allegations), child cruelty, drug offences, fraud and offences relating to serious violence and firearms.

She is approachable and skilled in representing young and vulnerable defendants. She has extensive experience of representing defendants with complex mental health needs and defences involving insanity, loss of control and diminished responsibility. Rebecca regularly represents mentally vulnerable defendants in hearings to determine fitness to plead as well as subsequent trials of issue. She is experienced in advising on the instruction of relevant experts and in the use of intermediaries.

She has experience of representing military personnel in Court Martial proceedings.

Rebecca accepts instructions to review and advise on the safety of historic convictions.

Rebecca is a mentor with the Association of Women Barristers.

Criminal defence & appeals

Rebecca has a breadth of experience defending clients at all levels of the Criminal Justice System. She routinely defends clients at trial  accused of a broad spectrum of criminal offences, including rape, historic sexual allegations (including intra-familial and multi-complainant allegations), drug offences, fraud and offences relating to firearms and serious violence (including section 18, child abuse and manslaughter).

In addition to her work as sole counsel, Rebecca has acted as junior counsel in a number of high-profile murder trials for those accused of gang related activity, young defendants and defendants with mental vulnerabilities.

Rebecca is experienced in dealing with complex and voluminous evidence which often encompasses expert cell site evidence, telephone evidence (including encrypted telephone evidence), ANPR and substantial CCTV.

Rebecca does not shy away from pursuing a legal argument. She has recently had success for her lay clients as a result of applications to dismiss, applications to stay as an abuse of process and applications to exclude evidence (including hearsay and bad character).

Rebecca is regularly instructed to represent extremely young and / or mentally vulnerable defendants due to her personable and empathetic approach. She is experienced in advising on the instruction of relevant experts and in the use of intermediaries. She has particular expertise dealing with fitness to plead issues and disposals under the Mental Health Act 1983.

Prison law

Rebecca’s criminal practice is enhanced by her insight into the prison system, including her experience of conducting parole board hearings and challenging the same.

W v Parole Board (2019) (Wells v Parole Board [2019] EWHC 2710 (Admin) Successful application for judicial review of a decision of the parole board panel not to direct the release of the claimant

Inquests & public inquiries

Rebecca was instructed as review counsel on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and was allocated to the Rochdale part of the inquiry.

Notable cases

R v TT (2021) Young defendant accused of stabbing a 15 year old male facing count of section 18 wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm. Issue in the case identification. Application advanced to exclude cell site evidence. Crown ultimately offered no evidence and not guilty verdict returned.

R v CP (2021) Defendant unfit to plead. Trial of issue. Legal applications pursued regarding the interplay between mens rea and actus reus in cases of conspiracy and to sever the trial from other co-defendants.

R v RE (2021) Multiple allegations of rape and violence (domestic context). Successful applications to adduce complainant’s sexual history pursuant to section 41 YJCEA 1999 and bad character evidence (previous sexual complaints said to be false). Significant third party disclosure – social services and medical records.

R v EH (2021) Junior counsel led by Clare Ashcroft of Garden Court North in a case involving allegations of conspiracy to rob by multiple defendants. Significant disclosure and CCTV footage, raising issues to do with calibration.

R v PM (2021) Conspiracy to possess firearms and conspiracy to convert firearms. Cross examination of cell site and telephone (data sessions) experts, included cross examination in respect of ‘Encro phones’.

R v BG (2021) Multiple allegations including affray and threats to kill. Defence of insanity pursued. Multiple psychiatric experts instructed.

R v KG  (2020)   Junior counsel led by Nina Grahame QC of Garden Court North in a case involving the murder of young father with a knife. Guilty plea to manslaughter on basis of loss of control accepted. Involved an assessment of the defendant’s apprehension of violence in light of her psychological trauma and psychiatric problems. Complex expert evidence. Determinate sentence imposed. Intermediary granted for entire proceedings.

R v TF (2020)     Junior counsel in a case involving an allegation of murder in respect of a young male. Multi-handed County Lines case. Substantial amounts of CCTV evidence. Notice of application to dismiss resulted in matters being discontinued against the defendant.

R v PP (2020) Allegation of coercive and controlling behaviour. Successful application to dismiss on the basis that the mental element of the offence was not made out on the Crown’s case.

R v AH (2019)    The ‘Ross Geller’ from ‘Friends’ lookalike case that garnered international media attention. Police officer identification excluded following successful legal argument.

R v MA  (2019) Complicated Proceeds of Crime Act (‘POCA’) proceedings (that were extended to a period in excess of 3 years in total) following a conviction for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs for which the defendant was sentenced to a period of 9 years custody.

R v DB (2019)    Young defendant serving a custodial sentence in HMP Hull identified as violent prisoner as part of the government’s ‘10 Prisons Project’. Charged with threats to kill based on words said in mandatory therapy sessions. Applications advanced to stay proceedings as an abuse of process due to entrapment and to exclude the evidence on the basis of fairness.

DPP v Giles [2019] EWHC 2015 (Admin) Case stated from the Magistrates Court regarding the requirement for a Newton Hearing when a court is considering accepting a guilty plea in a matter that is being presented by the prosecution as being aggravated by sexual orientation discrimination under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

R v BS  (2019)    Multi-handed conspiracy to steal and export high end sports cars. Significant cell site evidence. Defendant initially standing trial on 12 count indictment alleging conspiracy. Defence cell site report led to a plea to 1 count of simple theft being accepted by the Crown. Defendant sentenced to suspended sentence order.

R v UFS (2019) Defendant accused of sexual offences determined unfit to plead due to early onset dementia. Counsel identified the mental health issue. Crown ultimately offered no evidence and not guilty verdicts returned.

R v MS  (2018) Represented high-profile individual who was facing allegations of conspiracy to defraud. Successful legal argument advanced objecting to the proposed live link venue in Russia, which led to a terminating ruling.

R v CA   Young defendant facing multiple allegations of rape and sexual assault against a younger child. Significant legal argument relating to previous complaint evidence.

R v HR Child cruelty allegations against mother relating to burns and the subsequent treatment thereof. Extensive cross examination of medical experts.

Privacy notice

Rebecca’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.

Memberships

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Bar Human Rights Committee
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers

Media

Rebecca is regularly invited to speak about legal ‘hot topics’ in the media. She has most recently spoken on LBC radio about the sentences handed down to Hashem Abedi, the brother of the Manchester Arena bomber, and Adam Russell, an individual who walked through Gatwick Airport brandishing knives. Listen here

 

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Past events

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