Crime Team blog: this week in Chambers

Author: Jamie Smurthwaite
In: Article Published: Friday 23 October 2020


This week, Nigel Edwards QC provided a podcast for Get Legally Speaking on health and safety for businesses during the crisis. Please see the link below to access the podcast.

Emma Scott secured a suspended sentence of 21 months’ imprisonment suspended for 2 years (with requirements) for her client who was convicted of s.20 Grievous Bodily Harm after a trial in March 2020.  Emma’s client had accepted a single punch (which floored the Complainant and caused injuries including a metal plate being required in the Complainant’s jaw) but had raised self-defence at trial.  Emma’s client had a number of previous convictions, but this offence was three years old and Emma’s client had been subject to a curfew for much of the last year.  The Judge accepted the opportunity for the root cause of offending to be addressed and imposed an alcohol treatment requirement and other community orders with the suspended sentence, which was combined with the punitive effect of a curfew for a further 3 months.

Ayesha Smart secured a community order for her client who attempted to cause or incite a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity and attempted to engage in sexual communication with a child. The Defendant had utilised chatrooms and snapchat in order to request explicit pictures from, and engage in sexually driven conversations with, an undercover agent posing as a 12 year old girl.

Ylenia Rosso secured acquittals for her client faced with dangerous driving (causing severe and extensive damage to property) and driving whilst disqualified charged at Harrow Crown Court. The Crown relied on "overwhelming circumstantial evidence" including that the defendant was the registered keeper of the car, the accident happened 3 minutes from his home, DNA evidence on the airbag, location of glass in client’s shoe (purportedly from the relevant car) and bad character. Despite this, Ylenia successfully argued mistaken identity, that the car had been stolen and given that the forensic evidence was not properly tested, the jury could not be sure of her client's guilt. The jury's verdict was unanimous.​

Ylenia Rosso successfully defends client against charges of assault by beating and criminal damage at Croydon Magistrates' Court ​on the basis of previous inconsistent statements put forward by the complainant. 

Annahita Moradi delivered a workshop for three law centres on support services available to victims of crime; including those exploited for criminal, labour or sexual purposes. The session covered making police complaints where police have failed to comply with international and domestic duties towards victims; with a focus on cases involving issues of modern slavery and human trafficking. 

I am delighted to welcome Wafa Shah to the team. Wafa is a specialist in professional discipline, inquests and criminal defence.  She appears regularly before the major healthcare regulators defending in serious and high profile regulatory prosecutions.  Her Crown Court Criminal defence practice includes a whole spectrum of serious and sensitive criminal cases. She has appeared as leading counsel in a multi-handed conspiracy and is particular adept at defending in criminal cases involving expert witnesses.

I would like to give a special shout out to Ylenia Rosso for securing her first acquittal in the Crown Court! Congratulations Ylenia.

Have a great weekend all.