Sophie has a busy practice with a focus on criminal, inquest and regulatory proceedings.
Sophie enjoys a busy criminal practice and is regularly instructed to both prosecute and defend across the full spectrum of proceedings, including the most serious sexual and violent offences. She is building a solid reputation as an effective and assiduous junior and has been praised for her thorough preparation and ability to deal with sensitive issues with compassion and tact. Her pragmatic and perceptive approach enables her to build a rapport with clients quickly, even when delivering difficult advice.
Police and Local Authority Matters
Sophie has developed a wide and varied practice in actions on behalf of the police, local authorities and other organisations, including serious crime prevention orders, sexual risk orders, anti-social behaviour injunctions and criminal behaviour orders, amongst others. She is also regularly instructed in matters concerning dangerous dogs and associated applications. She is adept at dealing with litigants-in-person and her sensible and down-to-earth approach is particularly effective when dealing with sensitive matters.
Sophie is also developing her regulatory and inquest practice. Of note, she represented an Interested Person in a series of inquests invoking Article 2, heard concurrently over a 9-week period concerning the deaths of six elderly care home residents, with live issues including neglect, the Protection of Vulnerable Adults and inter-agency working. She was commended by the Coroner for her diligent preparation and effective advocacy, both oral and in writing. Her closing submissions were described as “integral” to the Coroner’s determination that findings of unlawful killing were not appropriate in the circumstances.
Sophie also accepts instructions in family matters concerning children. Her practice encompasses both public and private children law instructions at all stages of proceedings across the full range of matters. She is predominantly instructed in public children law matters involving issues such as chronic neglect, domestic violence or allegations of abuse. She has experience representing local authorities, parents/guardians and other interested parties.
Before the Bar, Sophie was a member of the British Armed Forces and read Economics with Human Geography at Loughborough University. She left the military and returned to Manchester to complete her legal studies. In the intervening period, she worked in the Catastrophic Personal Injury Department at DWF Manchester where she dealt with claims concerning life-changing injuries, from subtle brain injuries to paralysis and amputation, so she has a particular aptitude for cases with complex medical features.
Whilst undertaking the BPTC, Sophie volunteered with the Personal Support Unit (now Support Through Court) and the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service, during which she developed a keen interest in regulatory and disciplinary proceedings before the General Medical Council. In terms of current volunteering, Sophie is registered with the Bar’s national charity Advocate and undertakes work on a pro bono basis through their services.
Away from work, Sophie enjoys swimming, eating out and spending time with her family and friends.
R v PH (2022) – instructed to defend indictment including serious sexual offences against the Defendant’s granddaughter over a 4-year period. Issues involved the cross-examination of a vulnerable child witness, who was assisted by an intermediary, and ultimately the consideration of dangerousness and the extended licence provisions.
R v TR (youth) (2022) – instructed to defend youth charged with multiple counts of engaging in sexual activity with a child, under s.13 Sexual Offences Act 2003. Defendant was ultimately convicted though the case was dealt with by way of non-custodial disposal.
R v AA and FM (2022) – instructed to prosecute an affray and associated serious violent offences, after the Defendants had entered a property during a domestic dispute with a female present at the address (not the homeowner), and one of the Defendants armed himself with a garden shovel, causing serious injuries to the female involved in the dispute and a 4-year-old child present at the scene.
Lancashire Constabulary v KD (2022) – represented Lancashire Police in an appeal against the Magistrates Court decision to impose destruction orders in respect of two Pit-Bull Terriers, S and L, following an attack on another dog and his owner by L. Destruction Order upheld for L, the attacking dog and appeal allowed (unchallenged as initial application was out of time) in respect of S, the other dog. Following the appeal, a fresh application was issued in relation to S (a Contingent Destruction Order agreed as appropriate), but the Respondent then raised issues around jurisdiction and abuse of process. Those arguments were rejected by the Court and a Contingent Destruction Order was imposed in respect of S.
Lancashire Constabulary v LD and Others (youths) (2021) – represented Lancashire Police in an application for a Gang Injunction Order concerning four youths involved in the supply of controlled drugs and anti-social behaviour in Blackpool and the surrounding area.
R v BM (youth) (2021) – represented a youth Defendant facing multiple counts of possession with intent to supply controlled drugs of Class A and B. Following a successful application under s.78 PACE for the exclusion of the mobile phone evidence, the Defendant entered a plea on a limited basis to production of cannabis for personal use.
R v AS (2021) – represented Defendant charged with production of cannabis having been arrested following warrants executed at several properties across the Manchester area; value of cannabis seized was in excess of £1 million. Issues involved modern slavery and human trafficking.
R v AM and Others (2021) – represented Defendant in multi-handed ‘County Lines’ drug supply between Manchester and Swansea. Following careful cross-examination, the Crown’s forensic scientist agreed secondary transfer was more than a mere possibility and was in fact the most likely explanation for AM’s fingerprints on the drug exhibits seized from the subject address.
Operation J (2021) – instructed to represent an employee of the Health Board who was an IP in their own right, in a series of inquests concerning the deaths of elderly care home residents, which were the subject of a series of television documentaries. Live issues included neglect, the Protection of Vulnerable Adults and inter-agency working. Involved cross-examination of lay and professional witnesses, and written and oral submissions on the engagement of Article 2, Neglect riders, the concept of aggregation and ‘unlawful killing’.
R v LD (2021) – represented Defendant charged with robbery; included application for specific disclosure and sensitive Public Interest Immunity issues given the defence raised was effectively “drug deal gone sour”. Defendant acquitted.
R v AJ (2020) – prosecuted Defendant charged with ABH against his ex-partner. Defendant convicted. Case involved assertion of self-defence and medical evidence as to mechanism of perichondrial hematoma, or “cauliflower-ear” injury.
R v PP (2020) – represented Defendant charged with public order offences during Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Incident captured on body-worn footage but following detailed cross-examination of police officers conducting the arrest, established that relevant limbs of the offence were not made out. Defendant acquitted after successful submission of no case to answer.
Level 2 –Crown Prosecution Service Advocate Panel
‘Junior Junior’ Attorney General’s Civil Panel
Criminal Bar Association
INQUEST Lawyers Group
Women in Law UK
BPP Manchester, BPTC – Very Competent
University of Law Manchester, GDL – Commendation
Loughborough University, BSc – 2:1 (Hons)
Inner Temple, Major Scholarship
Inner Temple, Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Award
BPP Manchester, Regional Programme Leader’s Award
BPP Manchester, Advocacy Award
University of Law, Academic Scholarship
Loughborough University, Elite Sport Scholarship
British Army, Academic Scholarship