Laura was called to the Bar in 2009 and completed pupillage under the supervision of Guy Mathieson. Prior to coming to the Bar, Laura worked as a legal advisor for Staffordshire Trading Standards following a successful internship at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg where she was involved in the review and enforcement of money laundering and financing of terrorism provisions.
Away from work Laura is a keen runner and trains with Salford Harriers AC.
- Assistant Coroner – Oldbury Coroners Court, Midlands
- Northern Circuit
Laura has extensive experience dealing with inquests, acting for both properly interested persons and for the family.
Laura specialises in deaths in custody and with a strong criminal and prison law practice is extremely well placed to deal with deaths in both prisons and secure hospitals, and is confident dealing with paper-heavy cases.
DEATHS IN CUSTODY – CASES
In the Matter of AM (Manchester Coroner’s Court)
Acted for Manchester Airport Group following the death of a passenger on an Emirates flight. MAG’s first responder firefighters’ response was described by the coroner as “textbook” and there was no criticism of the Airport. The case received coverage in the Manchester Evening News.
In the Matter of NP (Bolton Coroner’s Court, 2015)
Acted for the family of Neal Price, 26, from Oldham, who was found dead in his cell at HMP Forest Bank in Salford.
In the Matter of GD (Ruthin Coroner’s Court)
Acting on behalf of the family following the death of a man who stabbed himself in the stomach while in custody.
In the Matter of GS (Rhuthin Coroner’s Court)
Acting on behalf of the family following a death in custody of a charged with attempted murder and who caused several self-inflicted wounds using swords and knives. There was extensive evidence addressing whether BS had been sent too soon following surgery for his injuries. Read the coverage on the BBC News website here.
In the Matter of BS (Trafford Coroner’s Court)
Lengthy death in custody inquest concerning the death of an epileptic detainee in the cells of a local court centre. Acting on behalf of the family. A number of recommendations were made by the coroner following the conclusion of the inquest which received national press coverage.
In addition to deaths in custody, Laura has experience in dealing with deaths in state detention, deaths abroad and Health and Safety-related deaths. Laura was also invited to contribute to the INQUEST Handbook regarding Work-related Deaths.
In the Matter of AC (Heywood Coroner’s Court)
Acting on behalf of the family following a road traffic collision in Sierra Leone during the course of employment.
In the Matter of KB (Liverpool Coroner’s Court)
Acting on behalf of the family following the suicide of an out-patient of community mental health service.
In the Matter of TL (Blackburn Coroner’s Court)
Acting on behalf of the family in a self-inflicted death case where there were findings that the treating clinicians had failed to safeguard TL following several attempts to take her own life. Coroner was highly critical of treating staff and recommended a referral to the GMC regarding their conduct.
In the Matter of JF (Peterborough Coroner’s Court)
Acting for the family where JF had slipped on liquid in Asda on Black Friday.Book BarristerBack to top
Laura has experience in a wide variety of regulatory prosecution including those by the Health and Safety Executive, Environment Agency and Greater Manchester Fire Agency.
Prior to coming to the Bar Laura was employed by Staffordshire Trading Standards, advising members of the public as to their consumer rights.
Regulatory – Cases
TMBC v England (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull St)
Advised prospective appellant in respect of a conviction under section 444 of the Education Act 1996 in light of the Isle of Wight school absences case, IW v. Platt.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service v Mannan (Manchester Magistrates’ Court)
Defending the owner of a local fast food restaurant, prosecuted for breaching GMFRS guidelines.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service v Amilico (Stockport Magistrates’ Court)
Prosecuting breaches of fire safety legislation at a warehouse in Stockport.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service v B&M Quilting (Stockport Magistrates’ Court)
Prosecuting breaches of fire safety legislation at a business premises in Stockport.
Licensing – Cases
Centrol Recycling Group Limited v. Environment Agency
Acting for the applicant in an appeal against a revocation notice.
Shah v. SIA (Manchester Magistrates Court)
Acting for the Security Industry Agency in an appeal against the revocation of his license following the revocation of the appellant’s leave to remain in the UK. The appeal was dismissed and costs awarded against the appellant.
Robertson v. SIA (Crewe Magistrates Court)
Acting for the Security Industry Agency in an appeal against the revocation of his licence following conviction for assault. The appeal was dismissed and costs awarded against the appellant.
Health and Safety – Cases
In the Matter of JPB (Liverpool Coroner’s Court)
Representing the security and cleaning services at a shopping centre following the death of a homeless man who had fallen asleep in a skip used by the centre.
In the Matter of JL (Stafford Coroner’s Court)
HSE inquest acting on behalf of the family, following a cattle-related death of an employee on a dairy farm.
In the Matter of CCT (Preston Coroner’s Court)
Seven-day inquest into the death of a customer at liveried stables and riding school, which involved complex legal argument relating to privilege against self-incrimination. Instructed on behalf of the Local Authority.
HSE v Arrow Flexible Packaging (Trafford Magistrates’ Court)
Defending the owners of a factory where worker lost a finger whilst operating machinery.
Professional Representation -Cases
HCPC v Turner (HCPC Tribunal)
Representing a CAFCASS officer in respect of an allegation of submitting a misleading reference to an employment agency on behalf of her husband, also a qualified social worker.
R v JW (Runcorn Magistrates Court)
Three-day trial representing a serving police officer against stalking, harassment and malicious communications offences, as well as breach of RIPA. Despite several aggravating features an immediate custodial sentence was avoided.
R v HY (Crown Court at Preston)
Representing a serving police officer accused of dangerous driving following a collision that occurred during an emergency response. Acquitted following a three-day trial involving extensive expert evidence.
R v. SG & JG (Manchester Magistrates’ Court)
Representing a nurse and teacher couple who were accused of assaulting their adopted daughter. Both defendants were acquitted and defence costs recovered.Book BarristerBack to top
Laura has a busy Crown Court practice dealing with a variety of cases, with particular experience of cross-examination of very young children and other vulnerable witnesses, as well as dealing with defendants with learning difficulties or mental health issues.
Fraud and Financial Crime
R v. C G Engineering Ltd & Christopher Wright (Manchester City Magistrates Court)
Representing a director and his company in a prosecution under the Value Added Tax Act 1994. Following successful submissions that a prosecution must cease once a company had entered administration, the prosecution continued against the director. Despite the CPS initially contending for a fine per illegal transaction and a compensation order of c.£50,000, the sentence imposed was £500 and no order as to costs.
R v. Pearson (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull St)
Prosecuted a tax and NI fraud committed by non-payment of PAYE deducted from company employees of a ‘meet and greet’ parking service at Manchester Airport. The fraud totalled almost half a million pounds and was committed over a seven year period and resulting in the defendant receiving a sentence in excess of three years imprisonment. This case received coverage in the Manchester Evening News.
R v. Ainscough (Crown Court at Bolton)
Successfully prosecuted a self assessment tax fraud committed via tax return amendments, totalling almost £20,000 loss to HMRC.
R V Nasir Khalil (et al) (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull St)
Prosecuted in the case of four men who were found guilty of committing fraud by arranging sham marriages. The men, based in Rochdale, were sentenced to a total of six years and three months’ imprisonment.
R v. Swales and others (Crown Court at Carlisle)
Defending one of 37 defendants accused of a “Cash for Crash” fraud where defendant received a suspended sentence following conviction of conspiracy to defraud.
R v. A (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull St)
Successfully defended one of two defendants accused of raping a girl following a night out. The case was dismissed at half time following a successful joint defence application.
R v. H (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull St)
Successful defence against an accusation of anal rape and assault by penetration by a male on his partner. The defendant was acquitted in less than 30 minutes following a three day trial.
R v K (Crown Court at Derby)
Defending sexual assault involving neighbours.
R v T (Crown Court at Carlisle)
Historic familial sex offences dating back to 1999
R v R (Liverpool Youth Court)
Successfully defended 16-year-old boy requiring an intermediary for ADHD. Trial involved cross-examination of the defendant’s six-year-old niece.
R v Q (Blackpool Youth Court)
Defended 11-year-old boy charged with robbery and sexual assault on vulnerable females.
Assault and Public Order
R v. Lawton (Crown Court at Stafford)
Prosecuting a vulnerable defendant with mental health concerns accused of assaulting a resident in supported accommodation. Two prosecution witnesses required intermediaries and special measures.
R v. Redfern (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull St)
Successful prosecution of a male accused of blackmailing a complaining alleged to have owed a drugs debt.
R v. R v Brazier (Crown Court at Stoke-on-Trent)
Defending a 22-year-old male of good character concerning an allegation of section 20 grievous bodily harm. Defendant had a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome and utilised an intermediary.
R v Lynch (Crown Court at Manchester Minshull Street)
Defending a male of good character of an allegation of blackmail where charge was reduced to a public order offence.
R v A (Bury Youth Court)
Defended 16-year-old with four 11-year-old witnesses. Application to dismiss the case at the conclusion of the Crown’s case was successful, as well as obtaining a defence costs order and wasted costs order from the Crown in respect of trial delays.
R v. Smith (Crown Court at Shrewsbury)
Successful prosecution for burglary using DNA evidence following successful defence of a submission of no case to answer using recent case law on DNA analysis of partial positive matches.
R v. Haberlin (Crown Court at Preston)
Successful acquittal of a defendant accused of stealing c.£17,000 from his employer of a period of several months.
Royal Mail v. Duckett, Edwards and Edwards (Crown Court at Swansea)
Successful defence of a young petrol station employee implicated in a fuel card fraud, prosecution offered no evidence on the first day of the two-week listed trial.
Burnley MBC v Davis (Crown Court at Burnley)
Successful prosecution of a defendant who had failed to notify the council of a beneficial interest in the rented property for which he claimed benefit. The case involved a detailed analysis of the legislation and case law in relation to the definition of a beneficial interest for the purposes of the Social Security (Administration) Act 1992
R v Daniels (Crown Court at Liverpool)
Successful prosecution of a dog owner following a second attack on a pedestrian.
RSPCA v Spicer (Shrewsbury Magistrates’ Court)
Defending a retired vet charged with causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs resulting in them being put down. Trial involved extensive expert evidence relating to animal welfare.
R v Kelly (Burnley Magistrates’ Court)
Defending a male against a number of allegations including animal cruelty in respect of his dog. Acquitted of assault and two counts of witness intimidation.Book BarristerBack to top