In my experience clients who are accused of sexual offences feel isolated and are more vulnerable than those accused of other criminal offences. It is difficult to discuss it with your family and friends. The connotations of being accused of a sexual offence means that you are labelled in society and all sorts of safe guarding issues within the community are raised. If it is within the family structure it involves social services and may also ultimately result in a breakdown in the relationship.
Being charged with Rape or Attempted rape is a serious offence. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment. This is saved for the most serious of all such offences. However, the starting point for the least serious category of rape is 5 years with the category range of 4 to 7 years.
This in itself is sufficient to be a life changing experience. Hence if you have been accused of such an offence you want a solicitor who is experienced in preparing such cases and carefully takes instructions and examines the evidence from the prosecution. You want to be able to talk to your solicitor freely and discuss your defence and know that you will get guidance every step of the way. What you say in your defence statement which is essentially a skeleton of your defence is of paramount importance. I have experience of having prepared and defended many rape allegations. I always discuss all the surroundings circumstance as well.
This might disclose witness details which may assist “your defence”. There might be other people who can comment on your relationship who have seen you together, or previous partners, who can say the behaviour alleged by the complainant is out of character. This is of particular significance in “relationship rape” or “acquaintance rape” allegations. If the prosecution are relying on forensic evidence it might be necessary to instruct a forensic expert to comment on DNA evidence. This is particularly relevant in “stranger rape” cases. I have experience of having instructed such experts. In many case it also assists to have a video prepared of the location where the offence is alleged to have taken place.This assists the jury in understanding the defence case.
Sexual assault cases are also very serious and generally these occur within a public setting. This could be a wine bar or even at work. This is defined as touching where the touching is “sexual” in character and it encompasses all non-consensual sexual touching. In such cases, it also assists to have a video prepared of the location where the offence is alleged to have taken place.
Being charged or being investigated for “Possession of Prohibited images of a children “is also an offence which carries lengthy custodial sentences. I have experience of having represented clients charged with these offences. I am able to advise them at an early stage of the investigation/proceedings what they must do to assist them with their case.
I am robust in my case preparation and devise a strategy of how to run the case with my clients. I am approachable and empathetic to my clients.