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MAR
27

Sentencing Council of England and Wales mooting competition 2013

Congratulations to Daniel Jones, the winner of the 2013 competition, who beat off 100 strong competitors to win .

Daniel has won a mini -pupillage at 2 Bedford Row (Chambers of William Clegg QC) and an internship with LNL. We are looking forward to meeting Daniel in the Summer.

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MAR
27

Two more major instructions for LNL crime and fraud departments this week.

Miles Herman has been instructed to advise and represent an individual in connection with Operation Weeting - A Met police investigation into alleged phone hacking.

Also, Jeffrey Lewis has been instructed in another large scale corporate vat fraud investigation.

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MAR
22

LNL welcome the brothers Reilly to the team.

LNL are delighted to announce that Sean and James Reilly have joined LNL as consultant solicitors to their City office serious crime and fraud team. Both are excellent, experienced specialists, each of whom has Higher Rights of audience and a thriving client following.

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MAR
22

Lewis Nedas instructed in Large scale pension equity release fraud case.

Lewis Nedas law  have been instructed in relation to a large scale pension equity release fraud. Keith Wood is advising the individual accused of the offence.

 

 

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MAR
20

Proposed Child Sex Abuse Measures

A package of measures to transform the way the criminal justice system tackles child sexual abuse was announced recently by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC.

We thought that we would take a closer look at the proposals, in the wake of a BBC report that more ‘significant’ arrests for sexual abuse are expected in the near future.

Child sexual abuse statistics

Child sexual abuse is, sadly, far from uncommon. According to the latest statistics (2011) from children’s charity the NSPCC, 24.1% of young adults have experienced sexual abuse of some sort during their childhood.

One in six children between the ages of 11 and 17 have experienced sexual abuse at some point, while 9.4% have experienced sexual abuse in the past year, with 15–17 year old girls having experienced the highest rates of abuse over the previous year.

Jimmy Savile scandal

The issue of child sexual abuse has been highlighted by the Jimmy Savile scandal, and the revelation that the late TV presenter may have committed over 200 sexual offences over a 54 year period.

Subsequent investigations have led to other arrests for historic sexual abuse, and these investigations are continuing.

But the Savile affair is not the only major case to have raised awareness about the sexual abuse of children. In May last year nine men were convicted of grooming and sexually exploiting a number of young girls in Rochdale, while only last week eight men were arrested at various addresses in London and Hertfordshire, suspected of sexually exploiting one young girl.

Issues of approach

According to Keir Starmer, while the recent successful prosecutions demonstrate the effort that has been put in to dealing with sexual abuse cases, the past twelve months “raise fundamental questions about the way in which we investigate and prosecute sexual offences, particularly those involving children”.

These include:

  • “the yardsticks traditionally used by prosecutors for evaluating the credibility and reliability of a victim”. Generally issues such as a delay in reporting abuse, returning to the perpetrators, telling untruths in the past and being affected by drink or drugs, count against the credibility of a witness. This may impact on the likelihood of prosecution in child sexual exploitation cases;
  • Not informing victims that other allegations have been made against the person they are accusing. In the Savile case, for example, this might have given some victims confidence to give evidence against him;
  • Unjustified caution by police and prosecutors in some cases; and
  • Victims being unwilling to come forward, perhaps because of a fear of not being believed or mistrust of the authorities.

Proposals

In response, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have agreed a package of measures, including:

  • A radical clearing of the decks in relation to policy and guidance. All existing policy will be decommissioned, with one overarching and agreed approach to investigation and prosecution of sexual offences to be applicable in all police forces and agreed by the CPS. The CPS will also draft new guidance to ensure consistent best practice, which will be open to public consultation.
  • Training to ensure that there is no gap between policy and practice. The training will be hands on and provide practical advice to police and prosecutors about when a complainant can and should be told about other complaints, among other things.
  • To propose the formation of a national scoping panel, which will review complaints made in the past which were not pursued by police and prosecutors, if requested.

“We cannot afford another Savile moment in five or ten years time,” said Mr Starmer. “Whatever approach is now agreed, it has to be fully informed, coherent, consistently applied across the country and able to withstand the test of time.”

Contact our sexual offence defence solicitors in London

For specialist criminal defence for sexual offences in London, please click here to read more or contact Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032.

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