Profile

Claire Stevenson

Year of Call: 2014

Education:

Bar Professional Training Course (BPP, London Holborn)
LL.B (Hons.) Law (University of Kent)

Areas of work:

Crime (Defence and Prosecution)



Claire regularly defends allegations of serious crimein the Crown Court: fraud, drugs, and serious sexual assault and violence offences.

Claire is a Grade 2 Prosecutor on the CPS Advocates Panel and is instructed to prosecute a wide variety of matters in the Crown Court. In addition to her instructions from the CPS Claire also prosecutes for the National Probation Service and the DVLA

The Nursing & Midwifery Council instructs Claire to present disciplinary offences before the Fitness to Practise Committee.

Claire represents requested persons in extradition hearings, from first instance, through to appeals in the High Court.

Claire works for the Legal Department at OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education)on a regular basis, after being appointed to work in-house on a “specialist contract” basis. Work includes advising and representing in enforcement and prosecution.



Recent Cases

Crime

R v DV– successfully argued the first defence of insanity in the last twenty-three years at Snaresbrook Crown Court

The defendant was facing a three-count indictment: one of affray; and two of racially aggravated public order offences. The jury found that there was a threat to his parents, in their home address, with knives, using his mother as a human shield from police Tasers. It was alleged that he was racially abusive, causing a police officer to be in immediate fear of violence. The defence of insanity was argued. The jury acquitted on the counts of public order offences, and further acquitted of affray on grounds of insanity.

R v DS – led by Paul Simon (9 KBW), defending against allegations of historic sexual assaults upon a girl under the age of fourteen

Between 1979 and 1983, allegations of indecent assaults, and threats to kill were committed against a girl, between the age of eight and twelve years old.

R v EB & MZ – led by Joint Head of Chambers at 9 KBW, Ms. Shabeena Azhar, prosecuting a sham marriage

The husband was from the Indian subcontinent, his wife from Lithuania. They were said to have entered into a “marriage of convenience” to circumvent the law. Upon seeing the case against her, the wife pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year. The husband absconded. His case is ongoing.

R v MN & Ors – represented an intervener in a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

The defendant had been convicted of conspiracy to supply a high purity, class ‘A’ drug (cocaine), with a street value of £263,000. The prosecution alleged that one of the properties registered to the intervener was an asset that was subject to confiscation. The third-party intervener alleged that he had full interest over the property, both legal and equitable.

R v KL – prosecuting a youth for five charges of robbery and attempted robbery

Youth sentencing guidelines and legislation – including section 91 of the Powers of Criminal Court (Sentencing) Act 2000 (specified offences) – were considered at sentence. The youth was found to be a “dangerous offender” under section 229 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. He was sentenced to three and a half years’ detention.

R v JT – represented a vulnerable defendant with mental health difficulties, who pleaded guilty to unlawfully wounding, and possession of a bladed article

Upon consideration of the expert reports, due to mental health difficulties, the defendant was sentenced to a Hospital Order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983.



OFSTED

ELA Ltd v OFSTED

Reported at: carestandards.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/Public/View.aspx?ID=1449

Successfully represented OFSTED in a six-day tribunal hearing before the First-tier Tribunal (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber)

The provider appealed after their registration to provide childcare at two nursery settings was cancelled. The appellant had a poor inspection history. Over eight years, there had been a number of inspections, resulting in numerous breaches of the Early Years Foundation Stage, and notices being issued, which were not complied with. This led to Ofsted cancelling registration. The appellant was no longer meeting the prescribed requirements for registration, and there was a lack of capacity to improve compliance with legal requirements designed to keep children safe and well, and to ensure that their learning and development needs are met.

Claire won legal arguments as to the admissibility of evidence, and an application to adduce further evidence. There were seven witnesses for the respondent, six for the appellant. Most of the breaches were contested, so that there was a large amount of evidence to go through, including live evidence, inspection reports, correspondence, and recordings. The decision to cancel registration was confirmed. The appeal was dismissed.

OFSTED v SN

Reported at: www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/childminder-who-continued-practise-after-15478147

Successfully prosecuted a disqualified childminder, charged with two offences: 1) childminding whilst suspended (section 69 of the Childcare Act 2006); and 2) childminding whilst unregistered (section 76(4) of the same Act)

Concerns were raised following an inspection which obtained an “Inadequate” judgment. Despite numerous visits, phone calls and letters, the Early Year Regulatory Inspector was unable to establish contact with the defendant and conduct monitoring visits. The defendant was issued with a notice of decision to cancel her registration. OFSTED then received concerns that raised issues about the care of children, and the suitability of adults linked to the premises. As a result, registration was suspended. Cancellation of registration took place once her appeal against the decision was struck out, due to failure to comply with the court directions.

About three months later, OFSTED received concerns from a parent, who confirmed that she had been asked to pay back family tax credits over a prolonged period. She was unaware that the defendant had been suspended. Similarly, another parent contacted OFSTED regarding her son’s care whilst with the defendant. She had been contacted by Family Tax Credits, requesting payment of money for childcare of more than £3,000 for the period April 2017 to September 2017. The parent stated that she had had concerns about the care being provided to her son.

The court determined that this was a serious matter, involving “a breach of trust”. The defendant was sentenced to a sentence of four months’ imprisonment, suspended for twelve months, with a requirement of unpaid work hours.



Extradition

Ireland v DM – sought permission from the High Court to appeal

The judge at the first instance made an order to extradite the requested person to Ireland. At first instance, the requested person raised two issues: firstly, that there would be a real risk to his human rights if he were to be extradited; secondly, that it would be disproportionate to extradite him.



Regulatory

Nursing & Midwifery Council v P

After a five-day hearing – in which a nurse was alleged to have dishonestly failed to disclose to her employer that she had been previously dismissed, failed to provide an appropriate standard of care to a resident, and failed to provide an appropriate level of wound management to another resident – the Panel found that the allegations were proved, thereby amounting to “misconduct”, and that the nurse was “impaired”. A suspension order was imposed.

Nursing & Midwifery Council v B

Over a three-day hearing, a nurse was alleged to have failed to remain in attendance with a resident whilst that resident was on escorted community leave; and, upon returning to the ward, failed to search the resident. The Panel found that the charges were proved. The nurse received a “conditions of practice order”.

General Dental Council v SB

The dental nurse admitted to misleading, through failure to immediately inform the Council that she had been convicted, and then sentenced for a criminal offence. Claire successfully argued that there was no dishonesty.



Voluntary, social & equality work

Claire volunteers with Chambers’ ‘OIC Roadshow’, delivering bespoke training to police officers, addressingpractical problems of procedure, evidence and disclosure.

Claire is part of a team within Chambers that delivers seminars to defence solicitors on police disclosure. These issues are frequently reported on in national media, due to the collapse of a number of high-profile rape trials, the resulting inquiry into the disclosure of evidence, and the Crown Prosecution Service that has been commissioned by the Justice Committee.

Additionally, Claire alternates between mentoring and judging the Bar Mock Trial Competition, in which students at local schools compete for a chance to appear in the final, held at the Old Bailey. Claire invests time in post-graduates aspiring to be Called to the Bar, and her Inn of Court, by coaching advocacy at weekends, and assisting students to make contacts with young barristers during evenings.

Claire is an Equality and Diversity Officer for Chambers.



Outside of the law

When time allows, Claire enjoys spending time with her friends and family, riding horses and travelling. Claire unwinds by practising yoga. She is training to become a Strala Yoga Guide.



Terms of business

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

Miss Claire Stevenson is regulated by the Bar Standards Board, holds a current practising certificate and her details can be found on the BSB’s Barrister Register https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/regulatory-requirements/the-barristers'-register/

Miss Claire Stevenson holds insurance cover for all legal services supplied through professional indemnity insurance with the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) The coverage is worldwide subject to their terms which are available on their website https://www.barmutual.co.uk/

Miss Claire Stevenson is registered with the Information Commissioners office under the Data Protection Act https://ico.org.uk/

If you are not satisfied with the service that Miss Claire Stevenson provides you can make a complaint to Chambers. Information on Chambers Complaints Procedure is available on Chambers website www.9kbw.com/about-us/complaints-procedure

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from Chambers you may complain to the Legal Ombudsman (This must be done within the time limits set out) The contact details can be found on the Legal Ombudsman’s website http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/



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