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Caroline Harris

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

Appointed in March 2021 as Deputy Chancellor of the Diocese of Coventry – a judicial post within the Consistory Court.

Has keen interest and expertise in cases involving religious discrimination and offences involving clergy. Experienced in dealing with cases involving undue influence from cults and similar.

Instructed by both prosecution and defence in a wide variety of criminal work at Crown Court and Appellate level, including homicide and 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 4 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. Experienced in s.28 cases and those involving the assistance of an intermediary.

Significant experience in defending those accused with cannabis cultivation, who seek to raise modern slavery defences and engage with the NRM procedure.

  •  Prosecuted a National Crime Agency case concerning a man charged with sexual offending via the internet, where almost 9000 victims had been identified, internationally.
  •  Defended a man with severe mental health and intellectual disadvantages, accused of sexual offences against family members. Intermediary used.
  •  Prosecuted a 14-year-old boy charged with rape of three boys under 10. Intermediaries used.
  •  Prosecuted the gang rape of a woman who had a severe physical handicap.
  •  Prosecuted a brother who raped his younger sister over many years. 20-year sentence imposed.
  •  Leading prosecution counsel in a multi-handed fraud.
  •  Prosecuted (on behalf of the SFO) a defendant charged with VAT and benefit fraud to the total sum of £260k.
  •  Prosecuted a trading standards and fraud case on behalf of the local authority, with 14 complainants.
  •  Defended 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.
  •  Prosecution counsel in multi-handed car-ringing fraud.
  •  Defended a woman in a multi-defendant theft and drugs conspiracy case, involving vulnerable witnesses and vulnerable defendants.
  •  Defended 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.
  •  Prosecuted a 15-handed case of violence at a football match.
  •  Prosecuted a near-fatal shooting incident arising out of drugs/gang-related tensions.
  •  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].
  •  Represented a man involved in ‘County lines offences’ – acquitted of attempted murder and knife-related crime.
  •  Junior defence counsel in a gross negligence manslaughter case where a woman’s baby had drowned in the bath.

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.

  •  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..
  •  Early experience of the s.28 procedure for pre-recorded cross-examination of vulnerable witnesses (through the pilot scheme in Liverpool).
  •  Prosecution counsel in Gimbert v The Queen [2018] EWCA Crim 2190
  •  Prosecuted a man who attacked his friend and set fire to him.

Further information

  • Masters degree dissertation ‘Same-sex marriage and the Church of England’ adapted for inclusion in a leading academic publication in Italy,
  • An essay ‘Witchcraft: from Crime to Civil Liberty’ published in the Ecclesiastical Law Journal.
  • Ecclesiastical Judges Association
  • Criminal Bar Association
  • Ecclesiastical Law Society
  • French (fluent)
  • German (conversational)
  • Spanish (conversational)
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