Joanna Staples

Call: 2003

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Joanna is an experienced criminal practitioner specialising in serious crime. Her practice consists of a broad criminal law spectrum including historic sex offences, high value fraud and drug conspiracies and violent crime. She has extensive experience in defending cases concerning serious sexual offences having conducted many trials involving allegations of historic rape and sexual abuse, including familial rape and cases involving children.

Joanna is on the Grade 3 CPS advocates’ panel and has acted as Junior counsel for the Crown on multi-handed conspiracy cases. She is also regularly instructed by Local Authorities to prosecute offences under the Fraud, Town and Country Planning and Housing Acts.

Joanna has particular interest and experience in representing defendants with known or suspected mental health disorders.

Serious Violence and Drug related cases

R v M and others 2018 – Junior alone defending a youth defendant charged with a joint enterprise offences of violent disorder and s.18 OAPA.

R v M and others 2018 – Junior alone defending allegations of possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

R v J and others 2018 – Junior alone defending conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and money laundering via international bank transfers.

R v H and others 2017 – Junior alone defending allegation of fraud as part of a multi handed conspiracy to commit credit card fraud.

R v AT and others 2017 – Junior alone defending allegation of multi handed joint enterprise possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life.

R v G (and K) 2016 – Led junior in a two-handed murder trial. Case concerned defence expert evidence as to the effects of anterograde amnesia following heavy alcohol consumption.

R v PK and others 2016 – Junior alone in a large-scale conspiracy to commit Immigration offences – defended an individual alleged to have taken TOEIC language tests to facilitate non-EU nationals’ Home Office applications to remain in the UK.

R v O and others 2015 – Junior alone in 5 handed alleged conspiracy concerning human trafficking, false imprisonment and assault. Undermining the prosecution case involved an indepth analysis and understanding of a large amount of cell-site evidence and GPS mobile phone data.

Serious Sexual Offences

R v K 2018 Led Junior defending allegations of historic sexual abuse against children under the age of 13.

R v O 2017 Junior alone defending allegations of historic and recent sexual abuse involving complainants with various mental health disorders and child witnesses

R v T 2016 – Junior alone defending allegations of arranging to commit child sex offences. Trial halted at half time following a successful submission of no case to answer. Successfully argued that messages sent by the defendant could not prove the necessary intent to the criminal standard, being as consistent with fantasy as intent.

R v K 2016 – Junior alone defending recent allegations of sexually assault of a 7 year old child while in a position of trust over a period of 2 years. Case involved the use of pre-recorded cross examination of the child under s.28 YJCEA 1999 and an intermediary.

R v D 2016 – Junior alone defending historic allegations of rape of his sibling on multiple occasions when both the complainant and the defendant were children.

R v MA 2015 – Junior alone defending the first of three defendants charged with rape of the same complainant. Case involved analysis of expert prosecution toxicology evidence, cross examination on the BAC and presentation of a person experiencing anterograde amnesia following alcohol consumption and argument as to the sufficiency of evidence proving incapacity. Trial interrupted to allow the prosecution to appeal against a terminatory ruling following successful defence submissions of no case to answer.

Complex cases involving mentally disordered defendants

R v TM 2017 – Junior alone defending allegations of False Imprisonment and ABH. Defendant received a Supervision Order following the jury returning the special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

R v MP 2015 – Junior alone representing the defendant in his absence at a trial of the facts following a finding that the defendant was unfit to stand trial. Following cross examination of the witnesses on the credibility of their evidence the defendant was found not to have committed some of the acts with which he was charged.