Collectively, our advocates have extensive experience in defending individuals, both adult and young persons, suspected of committing rape and serious sexual offences (RASSO offences). This is a complex and challenging area of law, which will often concern the most sensitive of cases, involving historic sexual allegations. Our advocates will be empathetic in defending individuals, who are often considered vulnerable.
Our advocates have experience in dealing with the following cases:
- Assault by penetration
- Sexual assault
- Sexual offences involving those with a mental disorder
- Sexual offences relating to children and youths
- Historic sexual abuse
- Sex trafficking cases
- Indecent images and extreme pornography
- Sexual harm prevention orders
A 41 year old defendant was charged and tried for a historic attempted rape and indecent assault when he was 15 years of age upon a 10 years old child. The case involved identification issues particularly a flawed identification parade. After a four day trial the Defendant was acquitted of both allegations.
The defendant was charged with 2 counts of anal rape of his wife. He maintained that telephone evidence would prove the sex was consensual and not rape. Following lengthy review of significant amount of unused material the prosecution concluded that prospects of conviction insufficient and offered no evidence.
The defendant was charged with sexual assault upon a female at a party. It was alleged that he had got into bed with her whilst the complainant was asleep and sexually assaulted her. After a four-day trial the defendant was acquitted on all charges.
The defendant was 72years old, married, retired and of previous good character. He had looked after his 92 year old widowed neighbour for many year; tending to her garden and helping her with ‘odd jobs’ around the house. The defendant’s neighbour had dementia and was supported by daily carers and family. The defendant began sexual relations with his 92 year old neighbour claiming that she still had capacity to give consent. The Crown relied on expert testimony at trial. Following a trial, the jury returned mixed verdicts, acquitting the defendant of the alleged more serious penetrative offences, but convicting on the non-penetrative offences, as per the video footage captured by the family who installed covert cameras.
Historic allegations of rape by stepfather dating back to the late 60s. The defendant was elderly and vulnerable, requiring an assessment of fitness to plead, an intermediary and trial modifications. There was a hung jury in the first trial; a further psychiatric assessment found D had deteriorated and was now unfit to plead. After a contested fitness to plead hearing hearing the judge found he was not fit. The Crown offered no evidence.
s38 appointment in a rape trial. The defendant had sacked 4 sets of legal representatives and was representing himself. PDS Counsel was instructed by the court to cross-examine the Complainant and 2 expert witnesses.
The defendant had sacked his two previous counsel. He had been investigated after a police appeal with some 30 plus women coming forward. Previously convicted for a similar offence, the defendant changed his name and advertised on Group On for ‘unique-method massages.’ The Crown alleged that he had sexually assaulted all of them, repeatedly, during the massage. He had wanted to represent himself save for 3 s.38 cross examinations disallowed. Following a conference, he asked that he was represented at trial throughout the proceedings by PDS counsel. All of the 3 complainants, including a Sky News reporter, gave similar evidence but following legal submissions, his bad character and other complainants were excluded. Unique to his defence, was the fact that he had hundreds of hours of oral recordings of most of his massages but he alleged that the police had destroyed 2 relevant ones which would have proved his innocence.
Although he was convicted of 2 of the 3 sets of allegations, the Judge noted that ‘the PDS had been instrumental in the administration of justice by representation of the highest level.’