Liar, an important ITV drama from 2017, gripped the nation. Early in the series people were reaching conclusions as to whether Laura, played by the actress Joanne Froggatt (better known for her role as Anna Bates in Downton Abbey), was telling the truth when she accused surgeon Andrew of raping her.
For most of us, this was a highly watchable drama. We flip flopped between whom to believe. Our perceptions changed over time by the sophisticated script and plot devices.
It is no surprise that some people formed an opinion after only one or two episodes because recent research demonstrated that half of the jurors might reach a guilty verdict before even going to deliberate with other jurors.
We know that people are on occasion willing to change their minds, just as you might when the plot unfolds.
It is vital therefore in cases alleging a sexual offence that a strong case is advanced from the start, laying a solid foundation for a successful defence.
For our clients and their families, facing an accusation of rape or other sexual crime can be a horrendous experience. So, what is our role and how do we defend such cases?
Reactive and Proactive defence for a sexual offence
We always start with a reactive approach. The complainant states they were drunk, our client states they were in fact sober. We entered the bedroom uninvited says one person, we were invited in, says our client, and so on.
Viewers can build the start of a defence with this important work, but we do not have the benefit of the incident in question playing before us on a TV screen, with the truth revealed at the end.
Instead we have only the competing versions, and it might feel as if it is simply one word against another, and often it is unless you seek further evidence.
It is a proactive approach to case preparation which makes a difference. We always ensure that:
- All relevant witnesses are traced.
- Any CTTV evidence secured.
- Forensic evidence analysed.
- Background checks completed.
- Details of false allegations pursued.
and even, as alluded to already in Liar, any psychiatric issues are explored.
Some examples of recent cases that we have successfully concluded by Crown Court litigator Lisa Sawyer can be found here:
We instruct a combination of in-house advocates and independent barristers to ensure you receive the best representation.
We also understand the personal toll legal proceedings will take on you and your family, and our caseworkers such as Lisa offer a compassionate and reassuring voice at a time when the future may at times appear very dark.
The solicitors, Crown Court litigators and advocates VHS Fletchers Solicitors have decades of experience in defending cases of this type involving a sexual offence.
Before entrusting your case to anyone else come and meet us, get a feel for our work ethic, and ensure you are confident that you are receiving the best defence possible.
You only get one chance to get this right, so the alternative is unthinkable.
We offer private client services at affordable rates, and legal aid may well be available.
So, if you are arrested for, or charged with any offence, call your nearest office to arrange an appointment, or use the enquiry form below.