Ranked as a leading junior in Crime by the Legal 500 Fiona has extensive trial experience and regularly defends cases across the spectrum of serious criminal offences. Her practise is focused on defending those accused of serious and organised crime including rape, murder and financial crime.
Fiona has particular experience conducting matters involving young defendants or those with mental health issues. She regularly conducts matters involving different aspects of expert evidence including cell site, DNA and medical evidence and is able to master these complex areas with ease. She is a contributing author to the DNA chapter in Rook and Ward on Sexual Offences: Law and Practice.
R v S (2021)
Fiona represented an individual charged with the murder of 3 men and attempted of 3 others in a terrorist motivated attack in a park in Reading. A Newton Hearing was conducted before Mr Justice Sweeney to determine whether the defendant’s actions were terrorist motivated, involved extensive planning and whether the defendant’s mental health issues were a contributory factor.
R v M (2021)
Fiona’s client was acquitted after a 5 day trial in respect of allegations that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted the daughter of a close family friend. The case involved the first s.28 cross examination of the young complainant at Cambridge Crown Court.
R v L (2020)
Fiona’s client was accused of murdering a colleague who had expressed a sexual interest in the defendant’s wife. The defendant was captured on CCTV wheeling the badly beaten body of the deceased through the streets before setting fire to it on an industrial estate. Fiona’s client had admitted manslaughter and was acquitted of murder by the jury.
R v L (2020)
Fiona represented an individual charged with murder and violent disorder in relation to a spate of five violent incidents carried out by a group across North London resulting in two people being killed and two more seriously injured. The defendant had fled the country following the murders before being arrested and extradited back to the UK. In addition to extensive CCTV, cell site and mobile phone evidence the prosecution sought to adduce evidence of conversations covertly recorded in prison between the defendant, his alibi witness and his former co-defendant.
R v M (2020)
Fiona secured the acquittal of her client accused of repeatedly raping his foster daughter. The case involved the marshalling of extensive records relating to the Complainant’s health for use in a skilled, sensitive cross examination of the mentally vulnerable Complainant.
R v G (2019)
After a 3 week trial Fiona secured the acquittal of her client accused of the joint enterprise rape of a mentally vulnerable complainant. The defendant and another were accused of taking the complainant to a secluded balcony after a night of heavy drinking when they allegedly pinned her down and raped her. Part of the incident was observed by an independent witness who filmed the events, including the complainant shouting “You’re raping me”, as he called the police. On arrival the police discovered the complainant naked save for a zip up top, highly intoxicated and very distressed. In addition to the vulnerable mental state of the complainant Fiona’s client had an IQ of just 55 – the trial was conducted without intermediaries and instead relied on the expertise of counsel to adopt a careful, sensitive approach to questioning while being alive to signed of stress or misunderstanding.
NCA v S (2019)
Fiona, led by Leon Kazakos Q.C., represented the lead defendant in the largest prosecution brought for the importation and production of anabolic steroids in the UK. In addition to being involved in the production of anabolic steroids in a special fitted laboratory found on his business premises the defendant was accused of being involved in the importation of anabolic steroids from India using complex shipping routes via Singapore, Europe and Ireland to mailboxes in the the UK.
R v L (2019)
Fiona represented an individual charged with murder in relation to a group attack on a gang rival. Following simmering tensions between rival gangs the victim’s group attacked the defendant’s group into a park. The group were quickly outnumbered whereupon the victim was chased down an alleyway and attacked by the defendant’s group armed with golf clubs, bats and machetes.
Fiona was also instructed on behalf of 4 of the defendants for proceedings in the Court of Appeal in which the defendants sought to overturn their convictions on the basis of unfairness in the trial process due to lengthy periods of separation during the jury’s deliberations. This case is now a leading authority on case management and acceptable breaks during the trial process (R v Woodward and others  EWCA Crim 1002)
R v B (2018)
B was accused of trafficking her best friend from Cyprus to the UK, via Romania, and forcing her to work as a prostitute. The CPS failed to disclose vital evidence until 17 days into the trial, leading HHJ Perrins to order an inquiry. Following extensive cross examination of B in light of the new material the CPS offered no evidence on all counts.