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Detailed cross examination secures not guilty verdicts at Nottingham Crown Court

Senior Crown Court Litigator Sarah Lees-Collier was recently instructed in the case of a 65 year old defendant charged with serious sexual offences involving his foster or adopted daughters.  The case involved careful and detailed cross examination.

The allegations were almost exclusively historic sexual offences, with the complainants giving very similar accounts of offending.  All of the offences were denied.

expert cross examination
Vanessa Marshall QC

Sarah had chosen to instruct experienced counsel Vanessa Marshall from 7 Bedford Row Chambers, known for her eye to detail and exhaustive analysis and preparation of such cases.  During the currency of this case Ms Marshall discovered that she had been successful in her application to be Queen’s Counsel.

Expert cross examination of four complainants

Here, all four complainants had the benefit of special measures permitting them to give evidence behind screens.  Cross examination was expertly conducted in relation to a great deal of material including social care records.  A substantial amount of material was not disclosed until the trial had started.

expert cross examination sexual abuse caseCounsel insisted on sufficient time to be able to consider this additional material and plan her expert cross examination accordingly.  One of the witnesses was extremely volatile under questioning.

The detailed preparation meant that we were able to show that the witnesses had told some lies that were relevant to the case.  For example, one of the complainants had no choice but to accept that she had previously made false allegations about another carer.  The defence identified, within the unused material, reasons why further false allegations might have been made.

Counsel had to treat the witnesses with care.  It was clear that whatever the reality of the allegations they were now making, they had had a difficult early life.

Our client was of good character.  As a result, character evidence was gathered.  A number of witnesses attended court to speak as to his character in the trial.

Although the the trial lasted for five weeks, the defence was compelling.  As a result, our client was found not guilty of all charges with the jury deliberating for just under three hours.

Our client was, of course, particularly pleased and relieved.

Contact a Crown Court litigation specialist

cross examination historic sexual abuse
Crown Court litigator Sarah Lees Collier

If you face proceedings before the Crown Court, whether you intend to plead guilty or fight your case at trial, you will want to instruct an expert Crown Court litigator.

You can contact your nearest office here.  To instruct Sarah Lees-Collier she can contacted on 0115 9599550 or using the contact form below.

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