Pina has been practising in criminal courts for 30 years. Her criminal defence work has covered murder, drug offences, serious sexual offences, terrorism, kidnapping, firearms, fraud and money laundering.
Higher rights: 2005
Pina qualified as a solicitor in 1990 and has significant experience of acting for clients from arrest through to their appearance in the Magistrates Courts. Since obtaining Higher Rights in 2005, she has worked solely in the Crown Court as a defence trial advocate.
Pina has experience of criminal defence work across a wide spectrum of criminal offences and has been instructed in cases involving murder, attempted murder (including gang related killings involving young defendants), large scale drug importations (including defending foreign clients), large scale conspiracies to supply drugs, serious sexual offences (including child witnesses and historical sexual abuse), terrorism, kidnap, firearm, fraud, money laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act.
Pina has also defended in Very High Cost Cases (VHCC), involving analysis of large volumes of evidence and unused material, and, successful Court of Appeal applications to reduce manifestly excessive sentences.
Pina is fluent in both Italian and Spanish.
A series of rapes and sexual assaults on a stepdaughter who made allegations whilst the defendant was serving a 15year sentence for identical offences carried out against her twin sister. This victim had given evidence at her sister’s trial but had made no allegations she had been a victim at the same time. She suffered from serious mental health issues and was cross examined at length and with great sensitivity about the delay in bringing the complaints.
18 year old girl charged with terrorist offences. First arrested aged 16 on suspicion of supporting ISIS via social media and possible encouragement of terrorism. A second arrest and interview resulted in being charged with preparation of terrorist act , encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publication. Contacts had been made with another ISIS convert abroad whom she was planning to marry and travel with him to Syria to join ISIS.
This was a highly sensitive case, attracted much publicity. It was alleged the defendant, a homeless young man, with no real motive, other than identity around the time of the allegation, had set fire to a home in which a mother and 4 children died.
Multi handed youths aged between 13 -16 charged with kidnap and robbery of a 12 year old boy over a significant period of time. Some youths involved were on bail for serious other matters including grievous bodily harm. The case clearly involved high risk peer pressure and required detailed and sensitive advice on strength of case based on identification. Case required careful consideration on the law in sentencing youths for serious offences, and custodial sentences.
Multi handed drugs case that involved money laundering over a number of years resulting in a further charge of fraud, namely tax evasion on property purchased to conceal funds throughout UK, several bank accounts were identified, voluminous case papers containing multiple company records and bank accounts. Defence tax experts instructed and called to give evidence