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.

Expertise

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

As a result of her experience as a legal adviser in the magistrates’ court, Sarah also has particular expertise in matters involving road traffic law offences. She is regularly instructed privately to represent clients (including high-profile individuals) at risk of disqualification.

Sarah is a fully qualified pupil-supervisor.

 

Notable Cases

Sexual offences

R v R (2018) – Successful defence of R who was charged with historic sexual abuse offences.

R v H (2018) – Instructed to represent H who was charged with historic sexual abuse offences against his daughter, her friend and his niece. The Judge said that Sarah had conducted the case with ‘impeccable professionalism’.

R v M (2017) – Led by Queen’s Counsel – successful defence of what was believed to be one of the oldest prosecutions of a historic sex case. The defendant was 88-years-old and the earliest allegation dated back to 1947.

R v M (2017) – M was of good character and charged with sexual assault of a work colleague at a party. M was acquitted after trial in the Crown Court. M commented regularly that he was reassured by Sarah’s approach to the case.

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 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 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 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.

 

Violent crime

R v S (2019) – Successful defence of S, a young man of good character, who was charged with stalking an ex-girlfriend

R v S (2018) – Instructed to represent S who was charged with murder. Led by Martin Rutherford QC

R v L (2017) – Represented L who was charged with firearms offences. The evidence was strong against L and the case resulted in a hung jury.

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) – A was 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.

 

Fraud and money laundering

R v W (2019) – Operation Major. Sarah was instructed to represent W, one of seven defendants, charged with conspiracy to launder the proceeds of a two-million pound fraud.

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 to represent S who was charged in relation to a £2.3million conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

R v A (2015) – Led Junior. 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.

 

Drugs

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.

 

 

“An excellent advocate, good at detail and tactics.” (Legal 500, 2020)

 

 

Qualifications

University College London – LLB (Hons)

University College London – LLM (Merit)

BPP Law School – Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent)

 

Professional Associations

Criminal Bar Association

Women in Criminal Law

South Eastern Circuit

Lincoln’s Inn

 

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