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 ‘Judge’
Tell us about yourself
As at 1st November this year I have been a solicitor for twenty years. I qualified later than most having done a variety of things after my Law Degree at Southampton (1980 – 1983) including advertising copywriter, worked in the City for a year or so in the heady mid 80’s, graphic design, petrol pump monkey, painter and decorator on building sites, gardener and a host of other long-forgotten best forgotten fill-in jobs. Accidentally started doing family law and felt at home in the hurly burly world of the family courts. I quickly learnt to pick up a case and run with it and ended up doing Care work which strikes me as one of the most worthwhile ways of earning a living I can think of. I love the people involved – the great and the good as well as the mad and bad! I like the fact that the other lawyers in Care – even we disagree completely with each other – are usually able to work together for the good of the children involved. There is a good deal of respect for the other lawyers because they are doing a hard job in difficult circumstances but we do try and do our best. Sometimes we even succeed.
What drew you to the law?
I loved history and the people I respected at the time, Thomas Moore, Erasmus (that lot) were often lawyers (as were the artists Cezanne and Sisley). On the very first day at University, my tutor said to me: “I know why you’re doing law. For the money!” I didn’t realise that. Not sure how true that is even now!
What do you offer clients?
Straight talking and absolute commitment to do my best for my client.
What do you do when you are not working?
I have three great children so that takes up most of the time. Otherwise I read if I can and paint portraits. I have painted all my life.
Can you sum yourself up in 5 words?
No. I’m far too vain.
This is the approved Judgement of Mrs Justice Pauffley in the case of Ricky Dearman
This is a summary of Mrs Justice Pauffley’s findings –
Neither child has been sexually abused by any of the following – Ricky Dearman, teachers at Christchurch Primary School Hampstead, the parents of students at that school, the priest at the adjacent church, teachers at any of the Hampstead or Highgate schools, members of the Metropolitan Police, social workers employed by the London Borough of Camden, officers of Cafcass or anyone else mentioned by Ms Draper or Mr Christie.
The children’s half brother, his father and stepmother – Will and Sarah Draper – are likewise exonerated of any illicit or abusive acts involving the children.
There was no satanic or other cult at which babies were murdered and children were sexually abused.
All of the material promulgated by Ms Draper now published on the internet is nothing other than utter nonsense.
The children’s false stories came about as the result of relentless emotional and psychological pressure as well as significant physical abuse. Torture is the most accurate way to describe what was done by Mr Christie in collaboration with Ms
Both children were assaulted by Mr Christie by being hit with a metal spoon on multiple occasions over their head and legs, by being pushed into walls, punched, pinched and kicked. Water was poured over them as they knelt semi-clothed.
The long term emotional and psychological harm of what was done to the children is incalculable. The impact of the internet campaign is likely to have the most devastating consequences for P and Q.
After Winning her award in 2009 for Legal Business Woman of the Year, June Venters QC now has the pleasure of being part of the Judging panel this year.
Venters wish all who are nominated the best of luck and look forward to seeing you at the awards on 9th October
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