This has been a very traumatic time for Ms Westlake and her family both the events leading up to and following her wrongful conviction for assault by beating Ms Kate Sanders
Following trial the bench found as a fact that there was no deliberate assault upon Ms Sanders and Ms Westlake was convicted on the basis of recklessness in that she failed to foresee a risk of harm to Ms Sanders by virtue of holding a glass in her hand in close proximity to Ms Sanders during the course of a verbal altercation
Ms Westlake legal team considered that the justices were wrong in their application of the legal test of recklessness and the appeal was brought on that basis
The court today have confirmed the error in the lower court and accordingly have quashed ms west lakes conviction
Ms Westlake life has been destroyed by something that was no more than unfortunate accident in particular Ms Westlake was unfairly dismissed from her position as zoo keeper at ZSL London zoo and has suffered significant ps biological harm arising from Ms Sanders attack upon her which has been exacerbated by these proceedings
Ms Westlake would like thank those that sent messages of support to her which have been a source of strength and encouragement for her and also expresses her thanks to her excellent legal team for their diligence and perseverance in obtaining justice for her
Justice has now been served and Ms Westlake would now appreciate the opportunity to put this matter behind her and rebuild her life
Posts tagged ‘crime’
I want to thank the Honourable Judge Arran and the members of the Jury.
I especially want to thank my legal team.
My Barrister Martyn Bowyer, from 6KBW, who strongly defended my innocence and who clearly and precisely laid out my defence.
In particular I want to give special thanks to Alexandra Forbes, of Venters Solicitors, who has guided me over the past three years and whose guidance built my defence.
I thank the press for respecting the integrity of my family during this trial.
The initial reporting that led to this trial was during my sisters Presidential campaign of 2011 and the comments of certain journalists and newspapers in particular have put us here today.
The Jury have delivered their verdict of no cover up and allegations of abuse and cover up are unfounded.
The prosecution have put both my sister and I on trial not only her and I but our beliefs, integrity and our faith. There was no cover up – there is nothing to cover up.
I came here an innocent man and today I am leaving an innocent man.
I want to thank my many friends and family whose prayers and support have carried us through.
In particular I also want to thank my sister Rosemary, my brother Gerald, brother in law Damien Scallon and brother in law Tom O Reilly, all their families, the Sheerin family and my cousins, nieces And nephews.
I especially want to thank my wife Patricia and my children for their unwavering support and who carried me through the horror of the past 3 years and the challenges.
Finally what sustained me was my faith in God, that in the darkness there was a beam of light.
Judge Arran has said I am a man of Good Character.
Thank you ….And now we can get on with our lives .. At last
In today’s times of austerity where we all have to watch what we spend, legal costs can be a worrying addition to anyone’s budget.
Many people believe the solution is to represent themselves but at what cost?
Remember even if a person is unrepresented a Judge still has the power to order costs against them if their case is unsuccessful. Advice from a Solicitor can save you money in the long run.
Venters Solicitors provide Venters Self Help Solutions in order to combat the general anxiety held by many that costs can run away with the case and secondly to meet the needs of many people who since 1st April 2013 are no longer eligible for legal aid in cases involving divorce and children issues such as contact and residence.
It means that clients can arrange an appointment to meet with a qualified experienced Solicitor in order to receive advice on family law matters as and when needed. However, the difference between the conventional instruction of a Solicitor is that the client will be “acting in person.” The Solicitor will provide them with a written note of the advice before they leave the appointment and the client will pay for the appointment on a “pay as you go” basis. There will be no further costs incurred unless and until a further appointment is arranged because no further work will be undertaken by the Solicitor.
Appointments can be used to seek advice on any family law matter, prepare statements, court documents, letters etc. A solicitor can also be appointed to represent you at court.
As well as Venters Self Help Solutions we continue to offer a conventional service where we are instructed on behalf of our clients and represent them throughout.
Venters Solicitors, Champions for Justice, are a niche firm of dedicated family law specialists, who uniquely are led by the first and only woman Solicitor Advocate Queen’s Counsel.
It is a matter for you whether ex-Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne evokes your sympathy for getting his now ex-wife to claim his speeding points or not.
The majority of people would admit to speeding, and most motorists in the UK will receive a speeding ticket (Notice of Intended Prosecution) at some point in their lives.
The sentences for speeding offences range from attending a speed awareness course, to an endorsement on your licence with a fine, to a disqualification from driving. Any disqualification can have a profound impact on you, your family and your employment so it is important to get specialist advice, such as Venters can offer. If a driver accumulates 12 points or more within a 3 year period, s/he is likely to be disqualified.
Chris Huhne may well have lost his licence in any event, and this may have affected his chances of election in Eastleigh as has been suggested. It would not have resulted in a custodial sentence. Now a custodial sentence becomes a likely outcome for him, as he has pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice.
As with other motoring offences, it may be better to own up and provide information as soon as possible. For something that affects every aspect of your life it is important to gain professional advice at an early stage, and avoid making a bad situation worse.
Speeding is just one of the offences that fall under the motoring label and Venters Solicitors has a dedicated team of motoring experts. We can advise you on the best way to deal with a NIP and the impact of accumulating licence endorsements.
Venters Solicitors rates are very competitive. We will agree our charges with you and keep you informed about costs.
Venters Solicitors is led by June Venters QC and the private criminal defence team also specialises in all aspects of general criminal matters, specialist regulatory work and serious fraud. www.venters.co.uk
Tell us about yourself
I specialise in all aspects of criminal and family law. In 2006 I became the first woman solicitor ever to be appointed Queen’s Counsel.
I am totally committed to my clients and their cases and at the same time have compassion and sensitivity. I will leave no stone unturned.
As a family specialist I undertake all aspects of Family Law both within England and Wales. I also specialise in International Child Abduction dealing with both Hague and non Hague convention cases and Domestic Abuse [Domestic Violence] and Education Law.
In addition to being a Practising Lawyer I am an active Family Mediator undertaking both children and finance cases.
I sit as a Recorder [part time Judge] in the Crown Court and County Court and hear criminal cases, private family and public family cases and civil cases.
In 1996 BBC1 produced a documentary about my working life entitled “Law Women” and a follow up documentary was produced by BBC4 in 2009.
I have been the Senior Partner of Venters which I commenced in 1991. I am proud to say that I lead a team of equally committed colleagues all of whom have qualities of their own.
What drew you to law?
From a child I always had a strong sense of Justice and often found myself at the forefront of school activities. My family background was such that I had been exposed to the Justice System from an early age as my Mother worked for London Solicitors and although she specialised in Family Law the Practice for whom she worked represented the most serious of criminal cases in their day. Therefore, working with my Mother most holidays and which I elected to do meant that I absorbed a sense of Justice from an early age and recognised the importance of the Rule of Law and the rights of the individual, something that has stayed with me throughout my life.
What do you offer clients?
Measured and skilled advice and representation. Ensuring client is fully informed as to the strengths and weaknesses of their case so that costs incurred are proportionate to their objective.
As a Solicitor, Queen’s Counsel I am in a unique position to provide a combined service which neither a solicitor nor counsel alone can do. My experience and reputation means that I undertake the most serious of cases but I am always willing to represent less serious cases recognising that clients have the right to have a freedom of choice with regard to representation. I am always willing to discuss the needs of a client and to taylor the services I provide to meet those needs.
What do you do when you are not lawyering?
I suppose my motto should be “I work to live” – what this means is that my work is a very large part of my life. I consider myself privileged to represent clients in the way that I do and for that reason I dedicate much of my life to it. That said, I do have other interests, the most important and significant of which is being a Wife and Mother. Without the support of my family I couldn’t do what I do and that support began with my parents.
I particularly enjoy the time I spend with my husband and daughter who, without a doubt, keep my feet on the ground and never let me forget that “home is where the heart is.”
Can you sum yourself up in 5 words?
Dedicated; hardworking; conscientious; sensitive and approachable