Sarah Read

Year of Call: 2006

Sarah is a criminal law specialist. She is known for her meticulous preparation, tenacious and persuasive advocacy and her sensitive and personable approach. Sarah has significant expertise in dealing with vulnerable witnesses and defendants.


Sarah has a particular expertise in representing defendants charged with serious sexual allegations, including rape and online child abuse offences.

Sarah is also regularly instructed in cases that involve the full range of criminal conduct including drugs offences, serious violent crime and public disorder, matters of dishonesty and fraud.

Sarah also represents prisoners in parole hearings and advises on issues that arise during prison life.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Sarah worked for a solicitors’ firm gaining experience in serious cases in the Crown Court. She was also a legal adviser to the magistrates’ court.

Notable Cases

Sexual offences

R v G (2016) – G was acquitted of assault by penetration and sexual assault allegations. G had a long-standing diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. Sarah’s excellent communication skills and client care ensured that G fully participated in the trial process. The case was particularly sensitive as the allegations were said to have occurred when both G and the complainant were under eighteen.

R v S (2016) – Led by Queen’s Counsel. S was acquitted of multiple counts of rape and sexual allegations. This case involved complex legal argument which Sarah drafted the skeleton arguments for. Sarah was publicly praised for the clarity of her written submissions by the trial judge.

R v B (2016) – Sarah was instructed to represent B who was charged with sexual assault of a young child and making indecent images of children. The case involved complex cross-examination of the Crown’s forensic computer expert which Sarah conducted with skill.

R v P (2016) – P was investigated by the National Crime Agency in relation to multiple sexual offences including downloading more than 300,000 indecent images of children, distribution of indecent images of children, voyeurism and indecent assault of a child.

R v W (2015) – W was acquitted after trial for historic indecent assault allegations.

R v M (2015) – Successful defence of M who was charged with rape. Sarah was able to prove that the complainant was lying about an important feature of the Crown’s evidence.

R v B (2015) – Instructed to represent B charged with indecent images allegations.

R v K (2015) – K was charged with multiple counts of historic rape allegations.

R v R (2015) – Instructed to represent a former masseur charged with assault by penetration and sexual assault in respect of three independent complainants.

R v H (2014) – Successful defence of a young man of good character charged with allegations of sexual assault.

R v H (2014) – Successfully defended a man of good character charged with historic allegations of indecent assault.

R v F (2014) – Successful defence of client charged with assault by penetration.

R v B (2014) – Instructed to represent a client charged with historic allegations of assault by penetration of a girl under 13.

R v G (2013) – G was acquitted of indecent images allegations. Case involved issues surrounding technical examination of computers.

R v P (2013) – P was acquitted of allegations of grooming and sexual abuse of a child.

R v J (2013) – Sarah was instructed to represent a client who accepted possession and making of indecent images. Sarah successfully persuaded the Judge to sentence this client to a non-custodial sentence.

R v S (2013) – Sarah was instructed to represent a client charged with allegations of sexual assault in respect of two women.

R v M (2012) – Client charged with offences relating to nearly 100,000 indecent images of children.

R v B (2012) – Sarah represented a former teacher who admitted historic allegations of sexual abuse of his pupils.



R v R (2016) – Sarah was instructed to represent R who was charged with conspiracy to commit a sophisticated fraud involving theft of identities and fraudulent use of bank details.

R v S (2016) – Sarah was instructed alone to represent KS who was charged in relation to a £2.3million conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

R v A (2015) – Led Junior in a trial which lasted six weeks. A was charged with multiple counts of fraud.

R v U (2011) – Led Junior representing a defendant in a multi-million pound conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.


Violent crime

R v F (2015) – Successful defence of a sixteen-year-old defendant charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

R v C (2014) – Sarah represented of one of eleven defendants charged with prison mutiny and criminal damage as Junior alone. C was acquitted after a six week trial.

R v G (2013) – Successful defence of client charged with GBH with intent.

R v A (2012) – Client charged with aggravated burglary. Sarah requested an application to dismiss and served the Crown with a skeleton argument in advance. The Crown then decided to offer no evidence.



R v K (2011) – Successful defence of K, after trial, who was charged with allegations of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply in prison. K’s defence was duress.


Court of Appeal

R v H (2015) – H pleaded guilty to inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, making and distribution of indecent images of children. H’s sentence was reduced by the Court of Appeal.

R v Spence (Rafael) [2012] EWCA Crim 3194. Successful appeal against sentence in Court of Appeal for RS who pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm with intent. S was originally charged with attempted murder.


Motoring law

As a result of her experience as a legal adviser in the traffic courts, Sarah also has particular expertise in matters involving road traffic law offences. She is regularly instructed privately to represent clients required to answer summonses at the magistrates’ court, particularly in relation to those at risk of disqualification.