Jo has practised criminal law exclusively for the last 25 years in chambers on the North East Circuit and has built up a formidable reputation both prosecuting and defending across the entire range of criminal and regulatory offences.
She is a Grade 4 prosecutor and a member of the RASSO panel.
She relishes the challenges of pre-trial advisory work in complex, serious and organised crime and has worked very effectively with officers from the specialist fraud unit locally and the National Crime Agency, from pre-charge to conviction.
Most recently, she successfully prosecuted a five handed fraud involving a targeted vulnerable victim, where a criminal gang planned to steal her identity and access her lottery winnings.
She prosecuted a complex mortgage fraud arising out the purchase of a local stately home by an international fraudster who had evaded prosecution across the USA and UK for over a decade.
She advised from pre-charge to conviction on a National Crime Agency prosecution arising out of the importation of a container load of drugs for onward transmission across the North of England.
Jo has extensive experience dealing with vulnerable witnesses when prosecuting serious sexual offences and domestic violence. She regularly undertakes cases involving very young children, witnesses with learning difficulties and disabilities and the very elderly and infirm. She is committed to ensuring that if at all possible no-one should be denied the opportunity of testifying and has undertaken home visits in particularly sensitive cases and worked closely with agencies to ensure that special measures provide witnesses with their best opportunity to testify.
Jo has a thorough understanding of the challenges arising out of historic allegations and is presently prosecuting a trial arising out of allegations which go back to 1956. She is trusted to provide comprehensive and accurate advice on the many legal pitfalls which can arise in allegations which stretch back many decades, including fitness to plead.
She has undertaken a number of cases involving institutional sex abuse in both children’s homes and schools and is very familiar with disclosure issues arising from these very complex investigations.
Jo is widely acknowledged for her excellent client care. In the last year she defended an agrophobic 12 year old with learning difficulties who faced allegations of serious sexual offences. Her handling and pre-trial management of the case which included home visits led to a CPS review of the case and no evidence being offered against him.
She was also instructed to defend an 85 year old gentleman, charged with causing death by dangerous driving arising out of the tragic death of his wife. She attended for conference at his home address and provided sensitive advice which led to a guilty plea and the maximum credit available on sentence.
She deals admirably with all clients including those with mental health problems, learning difficulties and addictions and tailors her advice to aid communication to ensure that they understand the charges they face and receive realistic advice arising out of her thorough preparation and extensive experience.Jo receives regular instructions from Local Authorities for trading standards and regulatory work. She is happy to undertake pre-charge work to ensure that these often very complex cases are thoroughly prepared and trial ready. This has led to defendants pleading guilty on many occasions, reducing the legal costs to the local authorities and ensuring swifter justice for the victims. She is happy to receive instructions on all areas including health and safety law, trading standards and benefit fraud.
Jo sits as a Criminal Recorder and has authority to undertake Class 2 cases. She has benefited greatly from the insights she has gained watching the process from this different perspective and believes it has strengthened her academic learning and enhanced her realistic and practical approach to her criminal practice.
- Criminal Bar Association
- North East Circuit
Recorder 2016, Class 2 Authorised 2017
Clare College, University of Cambridge MA Hons Law