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.
I joined Venters in July 2012 having trained and worked at two leading criminal firms in London.
I also spent some time working as a consultant for an international city firm prior to joining the firm.
I head up the criminal department at Venters and I specialise in business crime, regulatory enforcement & compliance and serious & general crime. I defend prosecutions brought by the Serious Fraud Office, Crown Prosecution Service and HM Revenue & Customs.
I advise post conviction/sentence on potential grounds and merits of appeal. I also provide advice and assistance to witnesses who have been asked to provide a statement or have received a request to attend court to give evidence.
I provide specialist police station advice as well as advice to clients in relation to interviews conducted by other prosecution agencies. I have a wealth of experience and success in making representations to the CPS, or relevant prosecuting agency, that charges should not be brought.
I run a pro bono free criminal advice clinic at Venters for individuals to “pop in” with any criminal law issue.
What drew you to law?
I think I can say with certainty that I lead with my heart rather than my head. To me, law has always been about criminal defence, evidence, court & police station procedures and helping those facing the worse types of allegations. I have had experience of both criminal legal aid and privately funded criminal cases and have realized that criminal law should only be undertaken by those with a passion for it.
This is one of the reasons we started the free advice clinic – to enable individuals to still get excellent criminal legal advice and access to justice on the high street.
What do you offer clients?
I can offer clients over 10 years experience in the criminal law field. I have dealt with most criminal offences from murder, manslaughter, sexual offences, drug trafficking, harassment, firearms, various degrees of assault to motoring offences.
I respect the definition of “client care” and I leave no stone unturned for my clients. I consider individual strategies for each case I deal with and I don’t simply follow a set path. Rather, I take every client’s personal circumstances into account and I am always looking two steps ahead.
What do you do when you are not lawyering?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and try to take every opportunity to celebrate special occasions.
I am also an avid cyclist and have completed the London to Brighton bike ride on a number of occasions. I also cycled Edinburgh to London as a slightly more ambitious week’s cycling holiday.
I also enjoy writing and plan to be an author of both adult fiction and children’s books in the future.
Can you sum yourself up in 5 words?
Brave, Loyal, Kind, Determined, Fun.
Venters Solicitors in association with 6 King’s Bench Walk Chambers
FREE ADVICE CRIMINAL LAW CLINIC
Every Thursday 12pm-2pm
Venters Solicitors, 7a West Street, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 9BL
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY
Criminal legal aid is in crisis. Ever the staunch believers in access to justice and crusaders for the vulnerable, Venters Solicitors realised the magnitude of the criminal legal aid problems and chose to relinquish its criminal legal aid contract last year.
Now, under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 it seems that client choice is at risk of being killed off along with a huge chunk of the budget for legal aid.
Under the plans defendants who cannot afford to pay for legal representation will no longer be able to choose a provider but will be assigned one.
This is not what you want if you have been accused of something you haven’t done. You want an experienced local lawyer to fight your corner, not one assigned to you who is 100 miles away, who is inexperienced and who gets paid more if you plead guilty because, under the proposed one-fee arrangement, there is no incentive to advise you.
To enable access to excellent legal representation to continue on the Reigate high street, Venters Solicitors is launching a free advice criminal law clinic run from its offices every Thursday 12pm-2pm.
The clinic is run in association with 6 Kings Bench Walk Chambers, a set of criminal barristers in the InnerTemple, London.
We will be providing access to London qualified solicitors and barristers who will advise on any aspect of criminal law.
There are no obligations on you to retain our services but it may be that you decide to instruct us to progress matters for you.
We hope that you will take advantage of this service. We want people to retain confidence in the justice system and we will continue our fight against the ever changing backdrop of legislation in the capital.