Caroline Harris

Year Of Call: 
2001

Career background 

A graduate of Birmingham University (Law/French) with a diploma in French law from the University of Limoges, who went on to gain the Lord Justice Holker and Mars-Jones awards from Gray’s Inn.    Practised for 15 years as a tenant at Linenhall Chambers in Chester, specialising in crime, regulatory work, housing law.   In 2014, gained a Masters degree in Canon law, which included the study of racially and religiously-aggravated offending.   Joined Citadel in April 2017. 

 

Practice details 

Crime

Instructed by both prosecution and defence in a wide variety of criminal work at Crown Court and Appellate level, including homicide and other non-fatal violent offences, substantial drug supply cases, fraud and other offences of dishonesty, rape and other sexual offences against adults and children.    A grade 3 CPS prosecutor, with ‘rape panel’ accreditation.   Has experience of cases aggravated on the grounds of discrimination by reason of race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.  Regularly represents defendants who are vulnerable by reason of youth, mental illness or learning difficulties. 

Recent or notable instructions have included :

  • prosecuted a National Crime Agency case concerning a man charged with sexual offending via the internet, where almost 9000 victims had been identified, internationally
  • represented a woman who was alleged to be the ringleader in a substantial conspiracy to supply Class A drugs :  after legal argument, the charge was reduced and the defendant received a community based sentence
  • instructed by Denbighshire County Council to prosecute the most substantial animal welfare case in North Wales, a case with a wide variety of difficult evidential issues
  • prosecuted (on behalf of the SFO) a defendant charged with VAT and benefit fraud to the total sum of £260k
  • represented a defendant charged with rape and assault on his former partner:  acquitted of rape
  • instructed by the police in an appeal against a Community Protection Notice relating to the sale of ‘legal highs’ by a shop in Chester :  appeal dismissed
  • prosecuted a trading standards and fraud case on behalf of the local authority, with 14 complainants
  • represented a 67 year old woman charged with theft of jewellery and almost £20,000 cash from her 87 year old aunt :  the trial concluded on day 4 when the prosecution offered no further evidence
  • prosecuted a solicitor who stole £400,000 from two elderly clients
  • represented a defendant in a multi-defendant theft and drugs conspiracy case, involving vulnerable witnesses and vulnerable defendants
  • a variety of cases involving vulnerable witnesses requiring ‘ground rules hearings’ with and without the use of an intermediary, and several cases with the use of an intermediary for the defendant
  • early experience of the s.28 procedure for pre-recorded cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses (through the pilot scheme in Liverpool)
  • junior Counsel for the Crown in a multi-defendant murder case, teenagers accused (with their partners) of stabbing their father ; the appeal, joined with other cases, became one of the leading authorities on knife-related murder -  R -v- Marlon Kelly and others [2011]  
  •  

Regulatory 

Experienced in a wide variety of regulatory matters, having represented a number of local authorities and lay clients in cases ranging from liquor licensing to fish labelling regulations. 

 

Canon law 

Has a keen interest in cases involving religious discrimination (particularly when placed against discrimination based upon sexual orientation), clergy discipline, burial law, church property and other matters relating to law and religion.  Experienced in dealing with cases involving undue influence from cults and similar, and recently reached favourable settlement for a vulnerable woman who had become involved in a damaging religious group.

Publications in this field include :  Masters degree dissertation  ‘Same-sex marriage and the Church of England’, adapted for inclusion in a leading academic publication in Italy,  and an essay ‘Witchcraft : from Crime to Civil Liberty’ published in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal. 

 

Further information

  • memberships :  Criminal Bar Association,  Ecclesiastical Law Society
  • languages :  French (fluent),  German and Spanish  (conversational)