Since taking Silk in 2017 Caroline has established herself as a leading practitioner in the defence and prosecution of complex and serious cases with an emphasis on homicide, serious sexual offences and organised crime. She has expertise in the highly specialised area of infant murder and manslaughter, both prosecuting and defending. She is particularly trusted in emotive and high profile cases.
In 2019 Caroline, leading Joel Smith, achieved the first ever conviction for Female Genital Mutilation in the United Kingdom. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-47502089
In 2017 she made legal history by successfully prosecuting the country’s first ever case of GBH with intent through the transmission of the HIV virus. This ground-breaking trial involved evidence of the utmost sensitivity and complexity.
Her impressive success record is a result of rigorous strategic planning, indepth legal knowledge, skilled advocacy and hard work. Her balanced portfolio of serious defence and prosecution work gives her a 360-degree perspective and ensures her advice is always current, nuanced and insightful.
Caroline is exceptionally good with clients, can build an empathetic relationship with juries and achieves results in the most difficult of cases. She is a sought-after counsel by firms with private clients who wish to retain experienced counsel for advice in the early stages of an investigation through to trial.
She has a deserved reputation for her particular skill in dealing with both defendants and witnesses of the utmost vulnerability. In 2017 she was appointed a Lead Facilitator for the Advocacy and the Vulnerable National Training Programme.
Caroline has considerable experience of slavery and human trafficking cases and is considered a leader in this developing area of law. She has been instructed in serious child cruelty and “baby-shaking” cases which have involved complex medical and forensic evidence and extensive cross-examination of expert witnesses. Her busy practice is wide ranging and she repeatedly delivers excellent results.
‘A very strong and measured advocate who commands attention in court.’Legal 500 2018
‘Calm, well prepared and an effective cross examiner’. Legal 500, 2017
‘Efficient, effective and a likeable advocate.’ Legal 500, 2016
The Times Lawyer of the Week
R v AA & BB 2019
Successful prosecution of the father and mother of a 3 year-old girl for inflicting female genital mutilation on their child. Although FGM has been unlawful in various guises since 1985, there has never previously been a successful prosecution in the UK. The mother was convicted of female genital mutilation on her daughter and was due to be sentenced in March 2019 to 11 years’ imprisonment (the maximum sentence is 14 years). The trial also involved allegations of the use of witchcraft in an attempt to impede the investigation.
R v IFE 2019
Caroline successfully defended the mother of a Nigerian family, seven of whom were charged with manslaughter, false imprisonment and causing the death of a vulnerable adult. The deceased is the defendant’s 26 year-old son. The Prosecution case was that the family are ‘charismatic christians’ who, when the deceased displayed sign of mental illness, rather than seek medical attention, they sought to cure him through restraint and prayer. Whilst being restrained his struggles are said the have led to cardiorespiratory arrest and ultimately death. This case raises novel and complex issues issues of law and fact.
R v CHILDS 2019
Caroline, leading Tim Forster, successfully prosecuted the defendant for offences of murder of his mother in law and attempted murder of his daughter when he set fire to the family home. The Defendants was entenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 32 years.
R v SKP 2019
Caroline represented a mother charged with the murder of her 7 month month old baby. The infant – a twin who, conceived via IVF – had numerous health problems and had been in intensive care for the first 4 months of life. Post mortem revealed she suffered a fractured skull, deep brain injuries and had sustained numerous fractures to her ribs and leg. The case was complicated by the baby’s very complex medical history. The defence instructed a leading Clinical Geneticist to consider a possible genetic cause of the constellation of injuries. The requires the most sensitive handling and opinions from more than ten leading experts were obtained.
R v CHALLEN 2019
Having successfully prosecuted the original murder trial in 2011 Caroline was instructed for the respondent in the Appeal. Following receipt of medical evidence which was not provided during the original trial the Crown accepted a plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility
R v ROWE 2018
Groundbreaking case, first ever prosecution in the UK arising out of the intentional transmission of the HIV virus. Rowe embarked on a deliberate and cynical campaign to infect multiple men with the HIV virus. Caroline successfully prosecuted this pioneering legally and factually complex case. Rowe was convicted after a 7-week trial on all 10 counts of GBH with intent and attempted GBH with intent. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2018 and his conviction and sentence were upheld by the Court of Appeal in November 2018.
R v MOORE and ZOBERI 2018
Caroline successfully prosecuted Moore, a professional football midfielder, and Zoberi of the rape and serious sexual assault of a young woman Moore met on Tinder. She had arranged meet Moore only but she was raped by both at Zoberi’s home. The men filmed and distributed footage of the sexual acts to their male friends. Lengthy sentences of 11.5 years and 8 years respectively were imposed.
OTHER CASES OF NOTE
- Sexual offences: A notorious grooming ring trial; a serial rapist of vulnerable women; rape alleged to have been committed by a young child on another young child.
- Organised crime: Human trafficking of a child into the UK by a professional family who then held him in servitude for 24 years; a criminal gang involved in trafficking scores of people into the UK for work exploitation; the trafficking of young women to be domestic slaves; the trafficking of multiple vulnerable men from Eastern Europe into the UK for the purpose of work exploitation; the trafficking of young women into the UK from Nigeria by a UK doctor and her husband to be held in domestic servitude.
- Homicide: The brutal “Grindr” murder of a high ranking civil servant; the murder of a husband by his wife; fatal incidents involving young people and knife crime.
- A mother with fabricated-illness syndrome charged with neglect through starvation and drugging of her young child;
- An ‘honour crime’ in which a father was alleged to have solicited his son to murder his mother.
Appointed Recorder 2018
Caroline also sits as a Tribunal Judge, is Legal Chair of the Police Disciplinary Panel and is
Governor of a London Primary School.
Caroline is authorised to accept instructions from members of the public in certain circumstances.
- Sexual offences
Caroline has a well deserved, long-standing reputation for excellence gained from dealing with difficult, often high profile and sensitive cases.
Operation Leaside – R v Singh and 11 others 2015
The high profile eleven defendant, 10 week ‘Aylesbury Sex Ring’ trial which was held at the Old Bailey. The case involved the grooming, sexual exploitation and rapes of young girls by a group of Asian men in the Buckinghamshire market town over a number of years. Caroline secured acquittals on the most serious offences of rape and administering a noxious substance with intent to commit a sexual offence following legal argument at the close of the prosecution case. The defendant she represented was later acquitted of all remaining counts by the jury. The trial involved the use of intermediaries to cross examine the girls who were extremely vulnerable.
Operation Kinney – R v Ashley Mitton 2015
Caroline was leading counsel in the successful prosecution of the serial prostitute rapist Ashley Mitton. Mitton, over a period of two years, attacked and raped a number of prostitutes in the East London area. Mitton was a privately educated university student. He stalked areas where prostitutes work late at night, he lured them into his car and he raped them using a screwdriver to threaten them. The rapes became increasingly violent. Caroline called evidence from multiple complainants and expert witnesses in cell site, fingerprint analysis, fibre analysis and DNA.
R v Mohammed Mechtak 2015
Prosecution counsel in the successful trial of this defendant who faced allegations of two stranger attacks on young women involving counts of sexual offences, attempted strangulation and false imprisonment.
R v Christopher Bridger 2014
Prosecution Counsel in the trial of the ‘predatory paramedic’ who was convicted of raping and seriously sexually assaulting a number of female colleagues.
R v Peter Magloire and 4 others
Leading defence counsel in the trial of the first defendant on charges of multiple rapes on multiple complainants. The defendants were all brothers who committed sexual offences against their young sisters when they were in their teens and then their own daughters and nieces. In addition the defendant I represented was charged with prostituting his daughters. Regarded by all concerned as one of the worst cases of its kind.
R v Sahodree
Successful prosecution of a qualified nurse for raping and sexually assaulting extremely vulnerable patients at the National Hospital for Neurology. The complainants were wheelchair bound and had brain injuries and ranged from a woman in her 50s to a young woman in her late teens.
R v Ryan and others
Successful prosecution of nine defendants aged between 10-14 years for multiple rapes on a 14 year old girl.
- Homicide & serious violence
Recent cases have underlined Caroline’s reputation in this field. She has defended and prosecuted in cases involving a wide range of forensic expert evidence of complexity.
R v Apat and Apat 2016
Allegation of Soliciting Murder in an alleged honour crime. Caroline successfully defended a husband who was accused of soliciting his 16 year old son to murder his wife.
R v Ajayi and others, 2016
Caroline, led by Lisa Wilding QC, defended one of three teenagers in this high profile murder case. The case attracted significant media attention and was billed as ‘the Gumtree murder trial,’ a reference to the plan to rob the victim of a Macbook he had advertised for sale on the website. The fatal incident took place shortly after the robbery had failed when the three defendants were pursued by the deceased and his friends who had armed themselves with weapons. The defendants were all acquitted of murder.
R v M, 2016
Caroline successfully defended in this complex prosecution of a vulnerable woman accused of Child Cruelty by alleged poisoning and starvation. Following an abuse of process application the indictment was stayed.
R v Sharma 2015
Defence counsel in this fatal stabbing which took place in broad daylight on a street in Southall.
R v Georgina Challen
Prosecuting counsel alone in this murder trial. The case is a domestic murder by multiple hammer blows. There was a factually complicated background to the case. The female defendant was employed by the Police Federation. The issues in the case were the partial defences of diminished responsibility and loss of control.
R v Hodgkin & Wade
Prosecuting counsel in the trial of a mother and father charged with GBH with intent and child neglect after their 5 week old baby was admitted to hospital with fractures to her skull, brain damage, 13 fractured ribs, a fractured tibia, fibula and femur and burn marks. Case involved the presentation of complicated medical evidence from a consultant paediatrician and consultant neurologist to deal with causation of injuries.
- Organised crime
Caroline’s breadth of experience and ability in conducting multi-handed/multi-complainant work in the most serious of cases gives her the experience to carry out the careful preparation these cases require and to deal with the many issues that they involve including anonymity, PII and RIPA, anonymity.
Operation Falorni – R v Edet and Edet 2015
Caroline appeared for the Crown in this high profile successful prosecution of a gynaecologist and his wife, a senior NHS nurse, for trafficking a child in to the United Kingdom and holding him in servitude for 24 years. He worked seven days a week, receiving only small amounts of pocket money now and again, he slept on a mattress in the hallway and his passport was kept from him. The case was evidentially complex and required particularly careful handling of an extremely vulnerable witness. The case was the first to be prosecuted after the appointment of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner and was being closely watched by his office. The case was widely followed in the national press and TV news.
R v DZUGA and DZUGA 2016
Caroline was leading counsel for the Crown in the successful prosecution of the Dzuga brothers for Human Trafficking Offences.
R v Fray, Lawrence, Dhillon and Nash 2014
Defence counsel in a conspiracy to smuggle mobile telephones and cannabis into HMP Isis, involving inmates, a prison chef, and individuals outside the prison. The case relied on recordings of PIN telephone calls made from within the prison, together with telephone evidence from seized mobile telephones, and was complicated by the fact that those involved used a dialect of “Shelta”, a cryptolect known to be used by some of the Irish Traveller community, but for which there are no Interpreters within the UK.
Caroline also appears in the Coroner’s Court and has a particular expertise in cases where a jury is empanelled. Recent instructions include representing a paramedic who had administered an incorrect dose of medicine and representing the owner/director of a care home where a man died in suspicious circumstances. The case was initially investigated as a corporate manslaughter.