Jessica leads the Bristol arm of the Criminal Defence Team, which has been ranked in Chambers and Partners 2024 as Band 2 in South West Crime. Jessica has also been ranked as an Associate to Watch.
Jessica is regularly instructed by insurers, corporate bodies and private individuals to provide representation in the most serious criminal and regulatory cases, including representation at the police station, Magistrates' Court, Crown Court, and before the Court of Appeal.
She has acted in many high profile cases, including the Affray trial of England cricketer, Ben Stokes.
She is a successful trial advocate who clients praise for her good rapport and attention to detail, which ensures that she provides robust and effective legal advice.
Jessica's expertise covers:
Homicide offences such as Murder, Gross Negligence Manslaughter and Corporate Manslaughter
- Offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and relevant health and safety regulations
- Serious and fatal road traffic collisions resulting in a police investigation and prosecution for road traffic offences
- Care offences such as Wilful Neglect and Ill-Treatment
- Assault offences such as Assault by Beating, Assault occasioning Actual Bodily Harm, and Grievous Bodily Harm
Jessica frequently appears in the Coroner's Court, representing clients who are afforded 'Properly Interested Person' status by the Coroner. Jessica is often instructed to represent healthcare providers, drivers who are involved in a fatal road traffic collision, or companies who are involved in a matter whereby the Health and Safety Executive have been notified as a result of a death in the workplace.
- R v JE, CP – Defence of two healthcare assistants suspected of committing an offence of Ill-Treatment or Wilful Neglect following the death of a care home resident. After providing representation at the interview under caution, no further action was taken. Subsequently, Jessica represented the health care assistants and their employer at the inquest touching upon the death of the deceased.
- R v YD – Defence of a man with learning difficulties for Murder and s18 Grievous Bodily Harm. The case attracted national media attention.
- R v BS, RA and RH – Defence of two males charged alongside an England Cricketer for Affray. Both were acquitted in a case attracting international media attention.
Road Traffic Cases:
- R v CA – Defence of a female charged with Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, and Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving. Successful submission of no case to answer which was appealed by the prosecution, and heard at the Court of Appeal.
- R v SA – Defence of an elderly lady for Causing Death by Careless Driving, following a fatal collision on the M4 motorway in which her husband was killed.
- R v AM – Defence of a driver charged with perjury in relation to an allegation of failing to identify the driver accused of speeding. The case was discontinued by the CPS following successful written representations in relation to the strength of the evidence and public interest.
- R v JL – Acquittal after trial for speeding offences, in which the defendant suggested that the offences were committed by a vehicle with a cloned number plate.
- R v JT – Acquittal after trial of a business man for Careless Driving after an alleged 'road rage' incident, which was captured on body worn video.
- R v MC – Acquittal after trial of an LGV driver charged with Careless Driving, following a collision with a bicycle at a busy junction in London. Expert evidence was sought in relation to whether the cyclist would have been in the driver's blind spot. This was a complex, high value case, due to the serious injuries sustained by the cyclist.
- R v KF – Acquittal after trial of an LGV driver who was charged with Careless Driving, following a collision with two vehicles whilst reversing into a lay-by. Expert evidence sought in relation to whether the driver would have seen the approaching vehicles at the time of making the manoeuvre.
- R v KZ – Defence of a driver who was charged with Careless Driving, following a collision with a pedestrian as a result of being blinded by the sun. Expert evidence suggested that the driver was speeding at the time of the collision. A defence expert was sought, who suggested that the driver would not have been able to see the pedestrian, and the speed was not a contributing factor. No evidence was offered by the CPS after making successful submissions in relation to the strength of the evidence.
- R v SQ – Acquittal after trial of a driver who was charged with an offence of Failing to Give Information as to the Identity of a Driver, contrary to Section 172 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.
Health and Safety Cases:
- HSE v RB – Defence of a company accused of health and safety offences relating to the exposure of asbestos following a fire at their premises.
- HSE v JE – Defence of an individual who was suspected of committing an offence contrary to Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, after a tree felling incident in which a colleague sustained serious injuries. After drafting written submissions, a Caution was offered as an alternative to prosecution.
- R v TM – Defence of an individual suspected of committing Gross Negligence Manslaughter, after an incident involving a fragile roof. After providing representation at the interview under caution, no further action was taken.
- HSE v C – Defence of a company for health and safety offences, following an incident in which an employee was injured when unhitching a trailer from a tractor.
- HSE v PG – Defence of a company for health and safety offences, following an incident in which a driver was seriously injured when his vehicle collided with an overhead power line on their site.
- HSE v PC – Defence of a company for health and safety offences, following their employees suffering with Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome, which is alleged to have resulted from using machinery at work.
- HSE v JH – Defence of a farmer for health and safety offences, following an incident in which a pedestrian was attacked by a cow on a public footpath.
- Re GG – Instructed by a care home in the inquest arising from the death of one of their residents, who was found deceased in a field with a stab wound in a suspected suicide attempt.
- Re JL – Instructed by a company in the inquest arising from the death of a plasterer who fell and sustained fatal injuries whilst working in a residential house.
- Re SA – Instructed by a slimming clinic in the inquest arising from the death of a patient who had been prescribed medication to treat obesity.
- Re AT – Instructed by a Fire Risk Assessor in the inquest arising from the death of a resident following a fire at supported living accommodation.
- Re RB – Instructed by an independent hospital in the inquest arising from the death of a resident who was detained under the Mental Health Act.
- Re AS – Instructed by a driver in the inquest arising from a fatal collision with a pedestrian.
- Re NB – Instructed by a care home in the inquest arising from the death of one of their residents from inhalation of food.
- "Her calm manner is complemented by her total commitment to fight for the best interests of her clients and a phenomenal work ethic" Chambers and Partners 2024
- "May I use this great opportunity to thank you immensely for all your hard work in this case. I really appreciate it. I can now sleep peacefully and not have to think about the case anymore" (client who was investigated and no further action taken in relation to an allegation of Wilful Neglect / Ill-Treatment)
- " I want to thank you for all your effort for the last two years. Finally I managed to sleep better yesterday. Your dedication to this case is much appreciated and very thankful to you and your firm" (client who was sentenced for Causing Death by Careless Driving)
- "I cannot thank you enough for all your support and sound advice. It has also been a pleasure working with you, albeit in unpleasant circumstances" (client who was represented at an Inquest)
- "Just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help & support during my interview. You really prepared me and helped me through it all, which I will always be super grateful for!" (client who was investigated and no further action taken in relation to an offence of Causing Death by Careless Driving)
- "Jess, I really want to sage a huge thank you for everything you have done, it is greatly appreciated. You were a great calming influence" (client who was represented at an Inquest)
- "Thank you for being there today and for your words of wisdom, all of which were greatly appreciated. I feel more relaxed and confident about this sorry affair" (client who was investigated and no further action taken in relation to offences of Careless Driving and Failing to Stop / Report)