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 ‘Venters’
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.
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.