Biography

Sarah joined our Crown Court Advocacy team in July 2019 following successful completion of pupillage with us, under the supervision of Ronnie Manek.

During her pupillage, Sarah started building a busy and varied practice in crime in the Crown Court, the Magistrates Court and the Youth Court. She has gained and continues to gain experience in all areas of crime, including offences against the person in both domestic and non-domestic contexts, drugs, possession of offensive weapons, dangerous driving, offences of dishonesty including burglary, theft and fraud, as well as breach and behaviour orders proceedings.

Sarah is able to grasp complex legal issues quickly and possesses mature strategy skills for her level of seniority. Her practice is increasingly Crown Court focused as a result. She is also very approachable, and always ensures that her clients fully understand court proceedings and the strengths and weaknesses of their cases to allow them to make fully informed decisions. She is a confident advocate who is committed to representing her clients’ interests actively and fearlessly.

In the Magistrates Court, she has represented clients in numerous first appearances, sentencing hearings and bail applications. She has successfully opposed applications for special measures and made successful submissions on venue for trial. She has also represented clients in summary trials and contested Criminal Behaviour Order applications. She made successful submissions on issues of service and notice in an application to discharge a Restraining Order 16 years after the order was made, where the police and CPS had difficulties notifying the victim of the application; the application was granted and the Restraining Order discharged.

In the Crown Court, Sarah has appeared in numerous PTPHs and will be conducting the relevant trials over the next few months. She also appeared in a number of Committals for Sentence. She made a short appearance stepping in as junior counsel in a murder trial at the Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court).

During the non-practising period of her pupillage, Sarah shadowed and assisted John-Paul MacNamara in R v JM (Croydon Crown Court), a multi-handed trial for conspiracy to sell firearms and ammunitions, in which our client was the only Defendant to be acquitted. She also assisted John-Paul in R v AS in Southwark CC where she drafted a skeleton argument to quash counts on the indictment arguing that the indictment was overloaded; following minor amendments from John-Paul, the application was made and succeeded. From a 9-count indictment, two counts were left to lie on the file as a result, two were deleted following the complainant’s admission to having lied, an alternative count was further deleted and the jury returned a not guilty verdict and three guilty verdicts on the remaining counts. She has generally gained extensive experience in drafting legal arguments, sentencing and legal research.

Cases of interest

R v PB (2019) Woolwich CC – appeal from the Youth Court against conviction for possession of an offensive weapon in a public place.

R v NL (2019) Croydon MC – acquittal on four charges: assault by beating and criminal damage (prosecution offered no evidence following submissions), obstructing / resisting a constable in the execution of their duty, and assault by beating of an emergency worker (officers found to have acted unlawfully).

R v TL (2019) Bexley MC – acquittal following trial for using threatening and abusive behaviour causing harassment, alarm or distress with the intent to do so. The allegation arose in a domestic context.

R v EO (2019) Camberwell Green MC – trial for offering to supply cannabis and PWITS. Following conviction, the District Judge gave a strong indication that he would pass a custodial sentence and the only issue was whether or not to suspend it. Sarah successfully persuaded the District Judge that, upon the Court’s own findings, the offence fell within the lower category in the sentencing guidelines and therefore a Community Order was appropriate. The District Judge departed from his original indication and imposed a 12 months Community Order with two requirements:100 hours unpaid work and up to 20 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

Background

Prior to joining GT Stewart Solicitors & Advocates, Sarah was in court daily acting as a Family Court advocate where she represented legally aided clients in domestic violence and children proceedings involving domestic violence, both at trial and in interim hearings.

Sarah was also a personal assistant to a leading silk whose practice focused on Crime, Actions Against the Police, Immigration and Inquests. Sarah gained extensive experience drafting applications and opening notes, and assisting with case preparation and trial strategy in criminal proceedings, including sexual offences and murder trials. She also carried out work on appeals to the Court of Appeal against conviction and sentence.

She had previously volunteered with the Prisoners’ Advice Service for two years and advised prisoners on all matters relating to their detention and their rights as prisoners.

Memberships

The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn
Criminal Bar Association
Women in Criminal Law

Education and qualifications

BA (Hons) Criminology and Law
Graduate Diploma in Law
Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent)

Other interests

Rock climbing, football, basketball, inline skating, snowsports, music, travel

Criminal Defence

Meet the team
top-ranked-uk-chambers-2019-leading-firm
legal-500-2019