Barrister

Michele Stuart-Lofthouse

Year of call 2001

Crime

Practice Summary

Michele has experience at all levels including the Court of Appeal. Her experience includes both defence and prosecution work which she strives to maintain a balance between. Michele accepts instructions in Court Martial work and has undertaken private prosecution work on behalf of Local Authorities. She is known for her hardworking and professional approach.

Areas of Particular Experience

·         Serious sexual offences and violence 

·         Multi handed conspiracies involving large scale drug operations, violence and firearms 

·         Complex confiscation proceedings 

·         Court Martial matters

Michele has been involved in numerous cases involving vulnerable child witnesses and complainants and defendants with capacity issues. She also has experience in dealing with third party disclosure, public interest immunity and expert evidence involving many areas of forensic analysis.

She has been a led junior in a murder (defending), a conspiracy to steal trial (prosecuting), and is currently being led in the prosecution of eight defendants charged with conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Notable Cases

Prosecution

Conspiracy Offences

R-v- IB & others unknown (Hull Crown Court) – Successful prosecution of a defendant charged with conspiracy to rob and having a firearm with intent involving numerous complainants.

R -v- TI and others (Sheffield Crown Court) - Prosecution of multi handed confiscation proceedings following a conviction for involvement in a large scale importation of Class A drugs. The case involved a substantial paper trail, cross examination of a forensic accountant and legal argument as to an implied trust in the ownership of property assets.

R -v- JH & others (Grimsby Crown Court) - The defendants were charged with possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply; forming part of a larger scale operation complicated by involvement of a rival drug gang and a further potential defendant (later found and charged), complaining of being the subject of a serious allegation of assault at the hands of the rival group; his statement providing relevant information for the Crown and requiring a careful assessment of the hearsay provisions. Together with fingerprint analysis, the forensic mobile phone analysis and attribution were extensive and required detailed assessment in linking the defendants together.

Serious Sexual Offences

R-v- JC (Hull Crown Court) - Defendant charged with grooming, sexual activity and abduction of a young male child, the case involving substantial Facebook and mobile phone attribution and analysis as the defendant had used false accounts to pursue the child. Defendant convicted of the grooming and two counts of abducting the child.

R v AM (Grimsby Crown Court) – Successful prosecution of a defendant charged with various historical sexual offences including rape and anal penetration upon two young males, having used online chat rooms to initially engage with them. The case involved various legal arguments including exclusion of mobile telephone evidence and a breach of ACPO guidelines in the handling of computer evidence.

R-v- FM & others (Hull Crown Court) - Successful legal argument achieving severance of defendant from an indictment alleging various sexual offences and arranging child prostitution.

Other Offences

R v HU (Grimsby Crown Court) - Prosecution of defendant charged with perjury. The defendant gave sworn evidence in family court proceedings after providing a statement to the police during an earlier investigation into the death of his previous partner’s young son. The defendant claimed memory loss at the time he gave evidence in the family proceedings and sought to rely upon expert medical report in support. Defendant convicted after successfully opposing the admissibility of the expert report.

Defence

Serious Sexual Offences

R-v- SHR  (Grimsby Crown Court) – Defending a retrial involving various offences of rape, sexual assault, violence and intimidation of a partner. Extensive forensic telephone analysis; text messages and Facebook and detailed cross examination of the complainant on evidence given in the original trial. Defendant acquitted.

R –v- FH & Others (Hull Crown Court) – Successful legal argument achieving severance of defendant from an indictment alleging various sexual offences and arranging child prostitution.

Serious Violence Offences

R-v- LS (Hull Crown Court) – The defendant was charged with causing grievous bodily harm with intent involving a previous partner. Allegation involved strangulation and the use of boiling hot water being thrown over the complainant's leg; photographs of injury to the leg and initial 999 call to the police forming part of the evidence. Defendant had previous convictions for domestic violence and violence which were put before the jury. Defendant acquitted.

Court Martial Offences

(2017) Germany Military Court Centre, Sennelager. Accused charged with offences of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent. Acquitted following a successful submission of no case to answer.

(2013) British Forces Germany Military Court Centre, Sennelager - Multi-handed case. Soldier accused of  affray.

(2012) Catterick Court Martial Centre - Soldier charged with offences of being absent without leave.

(2010) Catterick Court Martial Centre - Soldier charged with numerous offences of making indecent photographs of a child.

Seminars

Michele has given talks to local Solicitors on various areas of criminal law, judged in local mooting competitions and is part of the Mentor programme for the University of Law in Leeds.

Michele Stuart-Lofthouse

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