In April 2010 section 71 of the Coroners and Justices Act created the new offences of ‘slavery’, ‘servitude’ and ‘forced or compulsory labour’. Having defended in the first major slavery/servitude trial ever in England and Wales, I have fought many of these cases. I’m now one of the most experienced barristers in this area of law. My cases have ranged from allegations involving serious and persistent violence inflicted on vulnerable workers taken off the streets, and who were made to work all hours with no pay or holiday, to domestic staff who are treated less than ideally.
I appeared in the Court of Appeal in the case which is now used as the leading authority on sentence for modern slavery offences.
R v D: I was instructed to defend in this case that attracted national press attention. See the BBC report.
R v TC: Luton Crown Court. I was leading counsel for one of the main defendants in a 3 month trial at Luton Crown Court. The case broke legal ground and attracted national and international press attention as one of the country’s first ever ‘slavery’ prosecutions. After two hard-fought trials, TC was acquitted of all charges though others were convicted. A Harvard academic is writing a book about the case. Read the article in the Daily Telegraph and at BBC News.
R v NK: this case involved a domestic ‘slave’ who, it was alleged, had been ‘trafficked from rural Pakistan to work as a maid’. Although the defendant was eventually convicted of keeping the lady in servitude, my cross-examination of the ‘maid’ cast great doubt on much of her account, and the judge subsequently accepted my arguments that NK need not be imprisoned.
R v WC: I represented the main defendant in a 3-month trial. This was another case that attracted national press attention. The Attorney-General then appeared personally before the Lord Chief Justice in the Court of Appeal to challenge the sentence as ‘unduly lenient’. The Attorney General was unsuccessful. The case is now used as one of the guideline cases on sentencing slavery, servitude, and forced and compulsory labour offences. See CCTV footage here and read The Daily Mail report.