Liar, ITV’s new 6-part drama, is gripping the nation, with people already reaching conclusions as to whether Laura, played by Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt, is telling the truth when she accuses surgeon Andrew of raping her.
For most of us, this is highly watchable drama as we change our view on whom we believe; our perceptions changed over time by the sophisticated script and device plots.
It is no surprise that some people have formed an opinion already, and recent research demonstrated that some jurors might reach a guilty verdict before even deliberating with other jurors.
However, we know that people are capable of changing their minds, just as you might when the plot of Liar unfolds.
It is vital therefore that a strong case is advanced from the start, laying a solid foundation for a successful defence.
For our clients and their families, facing an accusation of rape or other sexual crime is a frightening and bewildering experience. So, what is our role and how do we defend such cases?
Reactive and Proactive
For cases of this type, our barristers will almost always work with a solicitor, advising at all stages what work needs to be done, and are always on hand to offer advice.
We start with a reactive approach. The complainant states they were drunk, our client states they were sober. They entered the bedroom uninvited says the complainant, I was invited in says our client, and so on.
We gather a sound knowledge of the facts of the case with this important work, but we do not have the benefit of the incident in question playing before us on a TV screen, with the truth revealed at the end.
We have only the competing versions, and it might feel as if it is simply one word against another, and often it is unless you seek further evidence.
It is a proactive approach to case preparation which makes a difference. We always ensure that:
- All relevant witnesses traced
- Any CTTV evidence secured.
- Forensic evidence analysed.
- Background checks completed.
- Details of false allegations pursued.
and even, as alluded to already in Liar, any psychiatric issues are explored.
With the groundwork laid, our barristers can then meticulously plan the advocacy strategy and guide you through what can be a long and arduous experience at court.
We fully understand the personal toll legal proceedings will take on you and your family, and offer a compassionate and reassuring voice at a time when the future may at times appear very dark.
The members of Lincoln House Chambers have many decades of experience in defending cases of this type. We have been involved in some of the most high profile sexual offence cases over recent years and have barristers who are nationally recognised for their expertise in this area.
Many of our barristers also prosecute cases, or have a history of prosecution work, which gives them a unique insight as they know the case from both sides, allowing them to anticipate and plan for all eventualities.
It is your right to choose a barrister. If you don’t currently have a solicitor, then get in touch so that we can recommend people who regularly instruct us, people who we trust to prepare your case properly and work with us to achieve the best possible outcome. If you already have a solicitor, then do make sure you are happy with the barrister instructed. If not, then discuss this further with them – without delay.
We do not offer a ‘Direct Public Access’ service for such cases. We find that the extensive preparation required can only be fulfilled when an experienced solicitor is instructed. If you are ineligible for legal aid, or you want a higher level of representation than that offered on legal aid, for example a barrister who is Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) or a senior junior barrister who specialises in this area, then this is also something that we can arrange.
Many of our specialist barristers are instructed at the very earliest stage. Quite often before charges are brought or before the prosecution have made decisions as to how to progress the case. We have found this service to be of significant value, both in avoiding prosecution altogether and also in preparing the case and deciding on tactics to be employed from the very earliest opportunity.
Contact David Wright on 0161 832 5701 to discuss the services that we can offer, or firstname.lastname@example.org