Crime Case Studies
Auditor prosecution defeated
We represented a school business manager facing a prosecution brought by local authority auditors. She was accused of multiple counts of fraud and made “no comment” in interview.
We carefully analysed the prosecution evidence and commissioned an expert forensic accountant who gave evidence that the documentation showed only genuine errors. The jury acquitted her after very short deliberations following a seven day Crown Court trial.
Perjury case dismissed at trial
We represented the Deputy Head of a Pupil Referral Unit who was accused of deliberately deleting CCTV footage of him restraining a pupil. Successful cross-examination of the prosecution’s witnesses led to the judge dismissing the case and commenting:
“I have been troubled by this case from the start …. Following disciplinary proceedings he has been dismissed from his employment after 22 years as a teacher. The evidence you heard today is that everybody knew what went on in the CCTV footage, there did not seem to be anyone who didn’t know and everyone said there was nothing untoward. Not only that, Mr H had recorded what happened on paper and that was consistent with the video. (This prosecution is) cloud cuckoo land, a different planet, mind-boggling, and the sooner I bring it to an end the sooner justice will be done.”
Aiding and abetting fraud – prison avoided
We represented a Deputy Head who had allegedly turned a blind eye to a large scale fraud. Our client faced multiple allegations of being party to the headteacher’s frauds, all of which were denied. On our advice he admitted a handful of his personal expenses were unjustified and through robust negotiation a much reduced basis of plea was agreed that avoided any custodial sentence.
Sexual relationship with a pupil – short sentence achieved
We represented a young teacher involved in a sexual relationship with a pupil. By directing her to undertake very difficult counselling with a psychologist to challenge her notion that she had “fallen in love” and was not at fault, we were able to persuade the sentencing judge that she was remorseful and had insight into her breach of trust and its impact on the pupil, her parents and the wider profession. As a result, the inevitable sentence of imprisonment was much shorter than that set out in the sentencing guidelines.