Laura has been dealing with Care Quality Commission cases for several years and approaches cases tactically and practically. Laura regularly advises Providers and Registered Managers in civil enforcement action and has developed a particular interest in section 10 criminal offence allegations and whether registration is required. Laura also acts for care homes in criminal prosecutions, utilising her experience as a Deputy District Judge (Magistrates Court) in navigating the court process successfully.
In addition to her CQC practice, Laura frequently advises childminders who are subject to urgent enforcement action as well as nurseries subject to cancellation of their registration.
Prior to coming to the Bar, Laura worked for Staffordshire Trading Standards. Consequently, Laura is often instructed to act for individuals or businesses dealing with Local Authority enforcement and has experience of licencing, trading standards, food hygiene and abatement notice cases. Laura also has a background in fire safety cases.
As well as her judicial appointments, Laura was appointed a Specialist Regulatory Advocate for the Health and Safety and Environmental Law list, and has experience in both criminal and coroner’s courts of health and safety cases, often involving expert evidence.
Care Quality Commission
R v CT (Blackpool Magistrates Court)
Acted for the registered manager following two fatalities at the care home.
CQC v B2B
Advising an ultrasound company as to whether an offence contrary to section 10 had been committed.
SMT Ltd v CQC
Advising a direct to consumer aligner service as to whether registration was required.
CQC v Dr HW
Advising a GP whether registration was required to performing ear syringing services.
Local Authority Enforcement
London Borough of Waltham Forest v OTSH Ltd
Representing a school accused of contravening food hygiene standards resulting in a rat infestation.
Barnsley MBC v Timeless Inns Ltd
Advising in respect of breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 and whether unsafe food had been introduced into the market by the pub chain.
Trading Standards v S
Advising a national ticketing retailer in respect of possible infractions of online retail and unfair pricing practices.
LBTH v Lemongrass Foods Limited
Advising a food production company on a criminal prosecution under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 following investigators discovering mice at the premises on three separate occasions.
In the matter of RA (Sheffield Coroners Court)
Acting for a housing charity following the death of a resident in a fire who had recently been released from prison. Case involved possible causes of the fire as well as the charity’s obligations in respect of fire safety.
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service v Farrington Care Homes Ltd (Cardiff Magistrates Court)
Defending a care home against ten charges of fire safety breaches, including risks of death and serious injury.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service v Lumley (Crown Court at York)
Defending a retired builder in a case following a fatality of an employee living in a “granny annex”.
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.
Laura represents a wide range of professionals in a number of different tribunals. She has extensive experience of police gross misconduct proceedings across a number of difference police services, and acting in a range of cases from sexual offences to fatalities. Laura’s experience in both the criminal and coronial courts means she is well placed to advise on the wider implications of an officer’s evidence, and approaches cases tactically.
Laura has also built upon her coronial practice and represents medical professionals at tribunal hearings. She is confident when dealing with expert medical evidence and paper-heavy cases. Laura also has experience advising medical professionals in appeals involving the NHS Performers Lists as well as potential CQC enforcement action.
WYP v PC JB
Acted for an officer who had been charged with excess alcohol, following an overdose when she had left her house and driven to avoid her sons finding her body. Having successfully argued in the magistrates court against a change of charge which led to a dismissal of the case, Laura argued before the the Panel that the officer’s actions did not amount to gross misconduct as defined within the 2020 Regulations due to the state of her mental health. Despite the Appropriate Authority submitting the officer’s conduct amounted to gross misconduct and therefore dismissal was appropriate, the Panel accepted Laura’s submissions, finding the officer’s actions amounted to misconduct only, and imposed a written warning.
R v Hardy
Laura, led by Julia Smart KC, defended DC Stephen Hardy of Greater Manchester Police who was charged with raping and sexually assaulting a child. He was sentenced to 26 years in prison. This case was covered by Sky News, The Daily Mail and Manchester Evening News.
R v Fraser
Defended Justin Fraser, a married police officer, who used work computers 178 times to stalk and harass a junior colleague after she called off their affair. He used confidential police systems to check on the woman’s whereabouts and gather ‘evidence’ she was having an affair with another colleague. He was sentenced to 21 months for stalking, with a month to run concurrently for misuse of the police computer systems. This case received coverage in The Daily Mail and The Liverpool Echo.
Merseyside Police v PC Chloe Fitton
Defended a Merseyside police officer who turned a ‘blind eye’ towards partner, PC Brown’s, cocaine use. She was found guilty of gross misconduct for breaching standards around challenging and reporting improper conduct, honesty and integrity and discreditable conduct, and dismissed without notice. This case was covered by The Daily Mail, Manchester Evening News and The Liverpool Echo.
PC v Calum Power
Defended a former police officer who pawned his police issue phone and tablet. He was sentenced to 34 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. The case was covered on ITV News and Manchester Evening News.
Merseyside Police v PC DM
Acted for an officer accused of fabricating evidence for the purposes of a criminal prosecution. Despite an admission the officer avoided dismissal and receiving a final written warning.
Metropolitan Police Service v PC IG
Acted for an officer accused of failing to report her partner who had committed offences linked to an OCG.
Greater Manchester Police v PC TAW
Successfully represented one of seven officers accused of causing the death of a detainee from positional asphyxiation.
Metropolitan Police Service v PH
Representing a serving Police Sergeant convicted of assaulting an on-duty police officer. Despite having a conviction for violence on another officer submissions against dismissal without notice were successful and the officer received a Final Written Warning.
R v SL (Crown Court at Liverpool)
Defending a serving detective against one count of misconduct in public office where the officer had groomed four vulnerable women who were complainants or witnesses in cases, with the officer engaging in consensual sexual activity with one complainant. Following a guilty plea, the judge was convinced to take the unusual step of suspending the sentence. The case had extensive coverage in the media, including BBC News, ITV News, and The Guardian.
R v AS (Crown Court at Liverpool)
Representing a police officer accused of dangerous driving. Prosecution accepted a plea to the lesser count following submissions to the Circuit Judge regarding deficiencies in the investigation.
R v L (Crown Court at Bradford)
Represented a serving police officer accused of raping a friend while off duty.
In the matter of EG (Sheffield Coroners Court)
Acting for a detective who was the officer in the case for an allegation of sexual assault and anal rape on a schoolgirl which was discontinued due to inconsistencies in her account. In the months after the decision the girl took her own life and cited the attitude of the police as one of the reasons.
NMC v RC & RT
Representing one of two midwives who were accused of failing to identify a serious deterioration in a new mother’s health following a home birth, delaying her transfer to hospital and resulting in her admission to the ITU. The registrant had admitted one minor charge of 12 alleged. Laura successfully applied to have two charges dismissed at half time, with only two of the remaining nine charges being proved. Following further submissions there was no impairment found.
GMC v Dr AK
Representing a general practitioner accused of dishonesty when completing paperwork to be sent to NHS England.
In the matter of JW (Chesterfield Coroners Court)
Acting for a GP who advised care home staff to contact paramedics rather than attending at the home to conduct her own assessment.
In the matter of SC (Stockport Coroners Court)
Acting for a GP who conducted a review of the deceased in the days before he died. Issue at the inquest was whether the GP should have arranged for the deceased’s admission to hospital following a deterioration in his health. The coroner found that the assessment was appropriate and no admission was necessary.
TEC v NHS England
Advising an optician on reinstatement to the NHS England’s Performers List and repercussions of practising whilst removed from the list from a contractual perspective.
Dr B v NHS England
Advising a practising dentist as to an appeal against the imposition of conditions on his continued inclusion on the Performers List for Dentists with NHS England.