Charley joined the crime team as a tenant in October 2014, following successful completion of her pupilage under the supervision of Robin Shellard. Charley is a Grade 2 panel advocate and has a busy defence and prosecution practice in the Crown, Youth and Magistrates’ Court.
Charley is instructed as trial counsel in matters relating to drugs supply, sexual offences, violence (predominantly GBH, ABH, affray), fraud and burglary. She also has experience of confiscation proceedings for both prosecution and defence and at all stages, including enforcement.
‘Charley is very client-friendly, and quickly builds good rapport with clients. In my view, Charley is particularly impressive on her feet, a supremely effective cross-examiner, and a calm persuasive voice that gets the point across to the court. All told, she exudes maturity and a skill-set far beyond her year of call.’
R v Kane Jones Court Of Appeal, Criminal Division  EWCA Crim 1317
Defending KJ at trial on allegations of domestic violence where hearsay evidence of the complainant who had not attended was admitted. The Court admitted the evidence under s.114(1)(d). On reading my advice the single judge was persuaded to grant leave to appeal and I later argued the case before the full court. The conviction was quashed, the Court finding Article 6 ECHR was engaged.
R v MA & Others Swansea Crown Court
Represented MA, facing one count of s.18 Grievous Bodily Harm. Convicted of s.20. MA had significant bad character and had stamped repeatedly on an unconscious complainant’s head whilst he was lying over a kerb.
R v NW Bristol Crown Court
Instructed to represent a 19 year old defendant accused of committing grievous bodily harm. NW had inflicted a sustained attack on a vulnerable victim and argued he had acted in self defence.
R v DH Swindon Crown Court
Successfully argued there was no case to answer to both counts on the indictment. The defendant, who was accused of affray and common assault for threatening to fire a bow and arrow at a police officer holding a taser, suffered from significant mental health problems and the trial proceeded in his absence. Submissions that affray was not made out (supported by R v Plavecz and R v Sanchez) were accepted, and through cross-examination of the police witnesses, self defence was not disproved on the prosecution case.
R v JS Bristol Crown Court
Representing JS, securing acquittal on two counts on a four-count indictment. Counts included common assault, ABH and making threats to kill. JS was convicted of common assault and threats to kill but in representing him at sentencing, was able to persuade the court to make a suspended sentence order.
R v MO Taunton Crown Court
Prosecution of a street preacher accused of common assault for words and behaviour he used relating to homosexuality and Islam. Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights were engaged and questions as to the issue of ‘bearing witness’, public reactions to speech, the absence of a right not to be offended and the need for protection of controversial speech were argued. There were also arguments as to the admissibility of Prosecution evidence and the defendant’s Article 6 rights to a fair trial.
Fraud and Dishonesty Offences
R v BB Bristol Crown Court
Represented BB from preliminary hearing through to trial. BB was accused of a fraud against his company of £15,000. He was acquitted on all counts following a three day trial.
R v JH & JS Gloucester Crown Court
Successfully prosecuted JH and JS, accused of dwelling burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.
R v X Chippenham Magistrates’ Court
Prosecuting a benefit fraud where the defendant had mental health problems and was representing himself.
R v CD Bristol Crown Court
Instructed as trial Counsel to represent CD, accused of supply of Class A and Class B drugs (MDMA and cannabis) in a nightclub. The evidence was overwhelming and admissions had been made in interview that she was acting as a custodian for a friend. CD was of good character and a single parent who had escaped her violent ex partner. I advised her that on her own case she was conceding supply, unless she had intended to destroy the drugs. A Goodyear indication was sought and CD pleaded guilty. Mitigation was advanced and CD was given a two year suspended sentence.
R v SS & Others Bristol Crown Court
Representing SS in a multi handed drugs conspiracy. Following successful legal argument relating to public interest immunity issues, the case against all three defendants was not proceeded with.
R v PM Gloucester Crown Court
Defending at trial someone alleged to have supplied Class B drugs at Glastonbury festival. Successfully argued expert evidence was not admissible.
R v M Bristol Crown Court
Successfully defended M, accused of possession of Class A drugs and common assault.
R v IS
Instructed to represent IS where allegations of indecent (sexual) assault, false imprisonment and threats to kill had been made in the late 1990’s. The complainant was a very vulnerable witness and other witnesses had language and memory problems. The jury returned not guilty verdicts in relation to sexual assault and threats to kill and a sentence of 12 months was passed for false imprisonment, and 6 months for contempt of court/bail act offence of absconding for 18 years.
R v SB Swindon Crown Court
Representing a young muslim male accused of violent and sustained sexual assault. The trial was religiously and culturally complex and requiring a sensitive and measured approach to cross-examination of the complainant who had been disowned by her family for being alone in her home with a male friend. Despite strong forensic and telephone evidence, and a witness who heard the attack over the telephone; SB was acquitted on one of the three counts on the indictment.
R v RC Salisbury Youth Court
Representing a 17 year old defendant accused of sexual touching of a 14 year old. Many young witnesses, including one who had made a previous complaint. Issues of bad character and vulnerable witnesses.
R v H Bristol Crown Court
Prosecution of stranger approaching and sexually assaulting a young Muslim woman. Issues of race and culture were central in the case.
R v LB Swindon Magistrates’ Court
Instructed to represent LB, charged with careless driving when his van collided at high speed with the rear of two cyclists. Successfully made a s.8 application for disclosure of documents that ultimately assisted in securing an acquittal.
R v DL Bristol Crown Court
Dangerous driving sentencing hearing for a 19 year old with many previous driving convictions and many other aggravating features such as injuries to the public and injuries to passenger. Advanced mitigation and DL received a suspended sentence order.
R v CW Swindon Magistrates’ Court
Successfully kept a case of drink driving in the Magstrates’ Court where there were significant injuries to a number of child pedestrians and CW had only recently completed a period of disqualification for drink driving. Suspended sentence order.
Representing the claimant, a woman who had significant mental health issues and a know history of self-harm but who was placed in a custody cell without proper assessment of regular checks. X tried to take her own life.
Representing the claimant, a police informant, who has had threats to his life due to a letter uploaded to Facebook. The letter had only been provided to two police officers and contained extremely sensitive information.
Representing the claimant bringing the claim as the administrator of the deceased’s estate. The deceased was known to police and was taken whilst intoxicated to a highly unsuitable location (not custody) where she later died.
Charley has experience of prosecuting and defending speeding, exceptional hardship arguments, s.142 offences, drink driving, fail to stop and other similar road traffic offences.
2004 – 2008 Business Administration and European Studies BSc : First Class Hons
2009 – 2011 CPE (part time) Pass
2011 – 2013 BPTC (part time): Very Competent
Lincoln’s Inn Denning Major BPTC Scholarship
University Prize for Outstanding Final Year Results
Charley is the Justice spokesperson for The Green Party, a trustee of the Avon and Bristol Law Centre and on the steering group for the Bristol Immigration Detention Campaign.
In her spare time Charley can be found wheezing her way up and down various hills and mountains on her bike, or braving the Atlantic on her surfboard.Contact Us