Sandra Paul, Partner in our Criminal Litigation team, has been quoted in various sources following the acquittal of a high profile hedge fund manager on historical charges.
"Investigating incidents that occurred years or decades ago relies upon the word of the individuals and time has a corrosive effect on memory.
"When the offence is one of sexual misconduct, the minute details of what happened, in what order and who did what are pivotal.
"Perhaps more critical inquiry ought to be made regarding delays in reporting that spans decades where the alleged offences concerns adults."
You can read the full articles by clicking on the links above (some require subscriptions) which have been published from 11 March 2021 onwards. You can also click on the drop down below to see Sandra's full quotes on the matter.
Sandra's full quotes
"Cases involving allegations of historic sexual offences are incredibly difficult to both prosecute and defend.
"Remembering the detail of events that took place decades ago is a challenge for anyone. When the offence is one of sexual misconduct, the minute details of what happened, in what order and who did what are pivotal to a fair trial.
"Typically, there are only two people able to provide an account of what happened, absent forensic or other evidence that might provide context. So these prosecutions rely heavily on the accounts of the individuals - yet time has a corrosive effect on memory.
"Whilst I am not suggesting we have a statute of limitation regarding these offences, I do believe historic conduct cases are tricky and involve a real and quantifiable prejudice. Perhaps more critical inquiry ought to be made regarding delays in reporting that span decades where the alleged offences concern adults.”
For further information on the issues raised in this blog post, please contact a member of our criminal litigation team.
About the author
Sandra Paul is a partner in our Criminal Litigation team. She has a wealth of experience in criminal and related litigation. The majority of her work concerns defending allegations of sexual misconduct. She works with clients in the UK and abroad, including allegations following the #MeToo campaign.
She has a particular passion and aptitude for working with children and young adults, navigating them safely through the youth justice system. Youth crime is a specialist area in which Sandra is a leader in her field.
Drawing on her advocacy experience, Sandra is particularly accomplished in preparing witnesses to give an account or evidence in settings ranging from court proceedings through to internal and external investigations or inquiries. Sandra’s career has included discreet representation of high profile individuals including politicians, bankers, music, sports and media personalities.