Profile submitted by Sally O'Neill QC
Specialises in very serious violent and sexual crime and murder including baby shaking murder allegations involving complex medical evidence. Has a particular interest in young and vulnerable defendants and witnesses and in psychiatric defences.
Past cases include the prosecution of the ‘Baby “P” case' (in 2008), defending in R v. Whiting (the murder and abduction of Sarah Payne), defending in R v Farhi, (the Jimmy Mizzen case), prosecuting in R v B, the rape of a very young child. Defending in the murder of the defendant's female partner by stabbing her over 60 times ( R v Dowds). This was the first prosecution under the amended partial defences of loss of control and diminished responsibility. Defending in a double jeopardy prosecution for the murder 15 years earlier of a woman walking her dog, defendant then aged 20. . Defending in a multi-handed murder and attempted murder of two members of the defendants' family by shooting and running over with a Range Rover. Defending in the murder of a woman in her own home by attacking her with a golf club and a video recorder.Defending in the murder of a female jogger on Mitcham Common and burying the body. Defending in R v Wray, a high profile allegation of murder of a 4 month old baby who was found to be suffering from congenital rickets. Acquitted.Defending in a multi-handed allegation of fraud ("sham marriages"). Acquitted.
Recent cases include S.18 on a baby who survived and Child cruelty and attempting to pervert the course of justice involving a 12 week old baby who died. Defended 1st defendant in Oxford grooming case. Defended Ian Watkins (Lostprophets) on very serious sexual abuse of extremely young children. Defended a mother of five children who stabbed to death an elderly man accused of sexual abuse. Convicted of manslaughter. Prosecuted a multi-defendant case involving the murder and dismemberment of the body. Defended a woman charged with the apparently random murder of another woman after she had phoned the police to say she thought she had done it. Acquitted. Defended an 18 year old charged with murder after stabbing the victim of a knife point robbery committed 20 minutes earlier. Convicted of manslaughter. Prosecuted a 15 year old defendant for the murder of a fifteen year old school boy.
Criminal Bar Association. Chairman of the CBA 2007-8. South-Eastern Circuit.
Called 1976. Queen's Counsel 1997. Recorder 1997.Bencher of Grays Inn 2003. Member of CBA/NSPCC working group which produced "A Case For Special Measures" DVD as a training material. Member of ATC working group which recently published a report "Raising the Bar : Improving the handling of vulnerable witnesses and defendants in court."