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Shanthiny Selvarajah, Duncan Lewis

Shanthiny Selvarajah

Solicitor

Profile / Experience

I am a Trainee Solicitor in the Crime Department. I have extensive experience in cases which have been decided both in the Magistrates Court and the Crown Court. I have had conduct of cases involving individuals charged with serious offences such as ABH and GBH as well as other aspects of crime including extradition cases, historical sexual offences, possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply, and firearm cases, which require analysing complex evidence. Serious cases involve thorough preparation, client care and sound judgement which I always deliver to all my clients. I am experienced in acting for clients from all walks of life including the most demanding and challenging clients. I have been instructed by clients who had previously been let down by their previous legal team and I have made sure they get the best representation as per their instructions. Although I do not have my higher rights yet, I have gone to the extra mile to make an application to adjourn my client’s trial at the Crown Court as his defence counsel had withdrawn from acting which left him with no counsel during Trial.

I have a successful record of challenging the crown’s prosecution case which have been discontinued on the basis of having insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. I have instructed and worked with a number of experts such as facial mapping experts /voice recognition/ fingerprint experts to assist the defence case. I undertake both private and legal aid cases.

Probationary police station representative – I represent clients at any police station in the UK for advice (i.e. interview under caution) regarding summary and either way offences. I am in the process of becoming a fully accredited police station representative.

Education

  • Law LLB (Hons)

Notable Cases

High Court
  • R V W M July 2018 – Harrow Crown Court – This client was facing allegation of having attended a gym with a group of other males and thrown dumbbell onto the complainant. He was charged with serious offences of assault occasioning bodily harm (ABH), attempted grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, common assault and possession of firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. These offences are very serious offences and no doubt carries a very long custodial sentence. The defence was alibi in this matter. This client has had difficulties with a number of previous solicitors and counsels and had completely lost confidence in the justice system.

    The crown produced CCTV evidence including still images and footage in the gym, recognition evidence from an officer at Wembley police station and facial mapping evidence. There were a number of breaches from the police officers’ including failure to comply with PACE code in particular Code D. Furthermore, within the unused material, an officer disclosed that a black hand gun was found and seized at the co-defendant’s property. We argued that the crown failed to show any forensic evidence that linked the gun to our client let alone no evidence to show any links/ connection between our client and co – defendant and police also failed to question him regarding a charge of possession of firearms but proceeded to charge him. Having served submissions to dismiss this entire case on the basis that there is not sufficient evidence upon which a reasonable jury properly directed could convict; the judge dismissed the possession of firearm charge and ABH only. The matter proceeded to Trial on the attempted GBH and common assault and the crown served facial mapping evidence. We successfully argued that the facial mapping only showed moderate support (inconclusive). The officers gave evidence despite their failure to offer our client an identification procedure and had no forensic evidence linking this crime to our client. Having gone through a long 8-day trial with four different defence counsel, our client was acquitted of all charges with a unanimous verdict.

  • R v DC 2018 Snaresbrook Crown Court - Defendant was charged with Possession of firearm of length less than 30cm / 60cm (prohibited weapon) and possession of ammunition without a certificate. The Defendant was remanded in custody. Nature of defence – preparation to show defendant had no knowledge of possession of the above in his property. The Crown discontinued the above matter on the basis of insufficient evidence and defendant was released.

  • R V TG – 2018 Swindon Crown Court - The Crown alleged that our client inflicted GBH causing serious injury to the complainant (section 20). GBH assaults are serious cases which carry a custodial sentence. This case concerned extensive cross examination of a number of witnesses regarding the injuries sustained. The judge made it clear that in this case the custody threshold had passed, however, we successfully mitigated the matter and the client was ordered a suspended sentence.

  • R v UA 2018 – Harrow Crown Court – Historical Sexual offence –Defendant charged with 4 counts of indecent sexual activity on female cousin under the age of 11 (multiple occasions). – Found not guilty on counts 1 & 2 – sentenced on count 3 & 4.

  • AG Reference - Court of Appeal – this matter was referred for Attorney General (AG) referencing – AG found the sentence passed unduly lenient and applied for permission to refer the sentence to the Court of Appeal. Defence preparation included submissions not to increase the sentence passed.

  • R v BL 2017 St Albans Crown Court - Having viewed CCTV footage and imagery, our client was charged with Burglary. Considering the evidence, the defence successfully instructed a facial mapping expert to oppose the crown case. The defence also clearly identified and brought to the court’s attention the police officers’ failure to comply with PACE identification procedures which left the crown in an unfavorable position of having to offer no evidence and our client acquitted of the above charge and released from custody.

  • R V PW 2018 – Luton Magistrates Court – Defendant was charged with exposure at David Lloyd Health & Fitness Centre. Crown served CCTV footage as well as hearsay application. Having considered the CCTV footage and witness statements, we successfully opposed Crown hearsay application. The crown was obliged to discontinue matter on the basis that there was not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. An application for a Defence Cost Order was made.

  • R v TD 2018 Westminster Magistrates Court – Extradition to Ireland under European Accusation Arrest Warrant - challenged the identity of person named in European Arrest Warrant as per defendant’s instructions. Despite the limited time, we managed to instruct a fingerprint expert and undertake a fingerprint comparison on the morning of the final hearing. The defendant felt reassured and happy of all the steps and efforts we had taken to assist his case.

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