Specialists in Serious Fraud and Complex Criminal Defence
MPR cause Thames Valley police to drop historic sexual abuse case against HNW
Our client was a HNW with considerable assets and accused of a historic sexual assault on a minor which was alleged to have happened over 40 years ago. He was interviewed by police last year and placed on police bail until MPR solicitors got involved. He was not represented at the first arrest interview. Following that interview when he realized the allegations were extremely serious, he instructed Seema Parikh of MPR solicitors to take over his legal representation with the aim of getting the investigation dropped at the pre-charge investigative stage and to remove various bail conditions that had been attached.
MPR solicitors were able to develop a case plan and strategy which required a very pro-active defence and lengthy enquiries into the background of the alleged complainant and the facts surrounding the allegations.
It was submitted to the police that the case was extremely weak and circumstantial and written representations were made by both Seema Parikh who heads the Firm’s Serious Sexual Offences Team and advice sought from a specialist Queens Counsel who also felt the case was weak. Following lengthy negotiations with the CPS and the investigating senior officer and presenting defence material at an early stage, it was possible for MPR solicitors to persuade the CPS to drop the case against our client before it even reached the charging stage. The client’s personal belongings, computer hardware, and financial documents were returned.
The firm is rapidly gaining a reputation for defending those accused or charged with historic child abuse and serious sexual offences. The highly discreet and professional team is run by Managing Partner Seema Parikh who has a calm but strategic manner in dealing with these very sensitive cases. She has acted for individuals in the film industry, footballers, Armed Forces Personnel, professionals, teachers, accountants, bankers and even a US Air Marshall where the President of the United States was personally briefed on the case.
The Team covers all nature of cases from the most serious historic sexual abuse cases to rape, possession of indecent images, extreme pornography, voyeurism, offences outraging public decency, sexting.
Our aim is two-fold:
1. To give pre-charge advice where individuals are still being investigated by the police with a view to bolstering the defence case and making tactical decisions to avoid a charge or preserving and obtaining crucial defence evidence. This could also include making written representations to the CPS not to charge the case on the basis that it has not met the threshold for prosecution.
2. Where an individual has been charged, to provide a pro-active defence utilising the firm’s expertise and knowledge of legal issues, IT, Forensic issues, psychiatric and psychological issues such as false memory syndrome. We can put together a highly effective team of relevant experts to assist the defence case and strategy. We also work very closely with leading barristers and Queens Counsel. The firm also has an in-house senior barrister who also practices at the Independent Bar to whom we can always consult for initial specific advice without the costs of formally instructing a barrister thus saving clients the initial expense and providing a seamless service.
We would prefer to advise and represent clients at the early initial stages in investigations as this is where the defence really starts. Strategic advice at the police interview stage is crucial to a defence case. A case can be lost or won in some cases depending on the advice that was given by a solicitor during the police PACE interview. Most solicitors are not experts in the law on sexual offences and may not realise the serious implications of the Sex Offenders Register if a person admits or is convicted of a sexual offence.
However, we understand that sometimes individuals may have been interviewed by police without a solicitor or may have used the services of a free duty solicitor at the police station and are now seeking specialist legal advice. In those circumstances, we can take over the case and offer specialist defence advice with an initial consultation.
At all times we understand that anyone facing these types of offences will be put under considerable strain and pressure and so too will their family. We treat all our clients with the dignity and sensitivity that they deserve and we do not judge our clients. We act in a professional manner at all times. We understand that often an individual may not wish to disclose the nature of the case to members of the family and in those circumstances, we work very closely with our clients and can act as a sounding board for those tough times.
We take the stress off our clients from having to liaise with the police which can often be a daunting exercise especially for those not used to being investigated. We will liaise directly with the police or the CPS in your behalf thereby avoiding any potentially embarrassing phone calls, letters and/or emails.
Our clients are given two points of contact at the firm and will always have access for advice to the firm’s Managing Partner or a designated member of her team.
We operate a 24 hour advice and representation line for our clients and they can access a solicitor in an emergency 24/7.
Seema Parikh has written a brief news bulletin on the various police operations that are currently investigating allegations of historic sexual abuse. Click here.