Sadaf Etemadi

Call: 2014

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Sadaf is a criminal defence barrister with a particular interest in youth justice and representing vulnerable defendants, including those with mental health issues, SEN and learning difficulties. She is dedicated to representing the most marginalised and vulnerable sectors of the community.

Sadaf regularly appears before the Youth, Magistrates and Crown Courts representing clients in relation to a wide range of offences.


Prior to joining the Bar, Sadaf worked at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, exploring the compatibility of UN and EU targeted sanctions with the Rule of Law. She was chosen for the project following her LLM thesis on compatibility of targeted sanctions with human rights. Sadaf also has experience providing human rights advice having worked at the British Institute of Human Rights and Liberty Law Clinic.

Alongside her criminal practice, Sadaf has volunteered for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) and the Bar Pro Bono Unit, representing clients who have been detained in immigration detention and advising on unlawful detention claims.


Significant Cases:


R v ST, Havering Youth Court (2017)

17-year-old Defendant charged with possession of an offensive weapon in the context of a purported acid attack arising out of a group fight. Defendant acquitted as the Crown were unable to prove that the bottle found on the Defendant was an offensive weapon or in fact the same bottle used during the course of the fight.

R v EK, Nottingham Youth Court (2017)

14-year-old Defendant convicted after trial of one count of rape. Persuaded the court to impose a 12-month community order in light of the Defendant’s prospects of rehabilitation.

R v JT, Highbury Corner Youth Court (2017)

17-year old Defendant was subject to a YRO with ISS and had breached the order numerous times. Represented the Defendant during 3 different sets of proceedings which involved further breaches of the order and the commission of new offences. On each occasion persuaded the court not to impose a detention and training order.


Mental Health:

R v PF, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court (2018)

Defendant faced trial for an offence of racially aggravated assault. The Defendant suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and became unfit to stand trial by the trial date. Despite resistance from the court, the trial was adjourned for representations to be made to the Crown. Following written submissions, the Crown reviewed the case and discontinued all matters preserving the Defendant’s good character.

R v MJ and Others, Ipswich Crown Court (2018)

Defendant pleaded guilty to supplying undercover police officers with Class A Drugs. The Crown were persuaded to agree the lowest sentencing category after representations were made regarding the Defendant’s mental health, immaturity and vulnerability to exploitation.

R v RD, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court (2017)

Defendant faced sentence for 4 offences of assault, 3 offences of racially aggravated s.4 public order and 2 bail act offences. The court took immediate custody as the starting point but were persuaded to impose a conditional discharge after submissions were made regarding the Defendant’s undiagnosed mental health issues as a result of being a victim of torture and complex immigration history.



Crown Court

R v FP, Harrow Crown Court (2018)

Defendant faced trial for coercive and controlling behaviour and two counts of criminal damage. Concerned allegations of blackmail, forced cash withdrawals and threats to kill. Acquitted following trial.

R v JP, Snaresbrook Crown Court (2018)

Concerned an allegation of making threats to commit criminal damage. Jury discharged after they were unable to reach a verdict.

 R v CJ, Chelmsford Crown Court (2018)

Involved two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, possession of criminal property and obstruct PC. Sentenced after trial and received a total sentence of 4 years, below the starting point.

R v RP, Blackfriars Crown Court (2018)

Defendant faced an allegation of threatening to take revenge, following events from a previous trial. Acquitted following trial.

 R v RW, Wood Green Crown Court (2017)

Defendant was sentenced to a community order, following conviction after trial in respect of 3 counts of category 1 ABH.

R v AC and Others, Southwark Crown Court (2017)

Represented the first Defendant on the indictment in relation to an allegation of knife point robbery. Persuaded the Crown to offer no evidence on the day of trial following representations in respect of the law on joint enterprise.


Magistrates Court:

R v DD, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court (2018)

Defendant accused of a s.4 public order offence and assault involving a knife. Challenge was made to the Crown’s inconsistent charging decision which undermined the credibility of the complainants. Acquitted after trial.

R v DH, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court (2018)

Defendant faced trial in respect of one charge of harassment relating to Facebook posts, videos and voice notes. After pursuing disclosure of the recordings which undermined the complainant’s account and legal submissions concerning the admissibility of the posts and videos, the Crown offered no evidence.

R v SK, Colchester Magistrates Court (2017)

Trial concerned a charge of burglary captured on CCTV. Case was dismissed following a submission of no case to answer based on the quality of the CCTV and joint enterprise.

R v AS, Highbury Corner Magistrates Court (2017)

Defendant was accused of assaulting his wife and breaching a non-molestation order. During cross examination of the Defendant’s 14-year-old daughter, it was elicited that her mother had coached her before she had given her ABE interview and had been promoted to embellish her account. Defendant was acquitted.

R v KE, Uxbridge Magistrates Court (2017)

Defendant faced trial in relation to harassment arising out of a neighbour dispute.

Case was dismissed following a submission of no case to answer. Defendant had previously pleaded guilty to a serious of public order offences and received a conditional discharge. The application for a Criminal Behaviour Order was successfully opposed.

R v DB, Croydon Magistrates Court (2017)

Defendant charged with assaulting 3 police officers. Acquitted as it was found the officers were not acting in the execution of their duty and had used a disproportionate amount of force.

R v CR, City of London Magistrates Court (2017)

An application to revoke an antisocial behaviour order that was expiring in order to impose a criminal behaviour order was successfully opposed on the grounds the Crown were acting ultra vires and misusing the statute for an improper purpose.

 R v DP, Ealing Magistrates Court, (2017)

Case involved a Newton hearing regarding the amount of money that had been stolen from an employer. The Newton hearing was resolved in the Defendant’s favour after a submission of no case to answer as the Crown could not prove the disputed amount was stolen by the Defendant.


Protest Cases:

 R v TB and Others, Redhill Magistrates Court (2016)

Defendant faced trial for obstructing the highway arising out of anti-fracking protests in the Horsham area. Defendant acquitted as the charge was a disproportionate interference with Article 10 and 11 rights.

R v HW and Others, Cardiff Magistrates Court (2016)

The trial concerned allegations of assault PC and obstruct PC arising out of anti-arms fair protests at the Motorpoint Centre.

 R v RB and Others, Cardiff Magistrates Court (2016)

The second set of proceedings arising out of the anti -arms fair at the Motorpoint Centre. Defendant was sentenced to a conditional discharge.



LLB, 2:1, Queen Mary University of London, 2012

LLM in Human Rights Law, Merit, Queen Mary University of London, 2013

BPTC, Very Competent, BPP, 2014