Child sexual abuse / exploitation case with jurisdictional issues

Children – Public Law

29 November 2023

Louisa acted as lead counsel for a mother in a complicated case involving a number of Eastern European families. The allegations involving her client included rape, drug use, the sexual exploitation of children and failure to protect, and involved over 10,000 pages of evidence and some 60 hours of DVD evidence.

The case dealt with jurisdictional issues as well as various applications concerning disclosure, whether child witnesses should be called and whether a fact-finding hearing should be re-opened.

This case particularly illustrates Louisa’s skills in:

  • dealing with sensitive issues involving children
  • communicating empathetically with a client despite language barriers
  • assimilating and prioritising large volumes of evidence
  • giving clear and practical guidance was particularly valuable given her client’s unfamiliarity with the UK legal system.

The initial fact-finding hearing resulted in the court not finding proved a number of the findings sought by the local authority against Louisa’s client. Louisa made a successful application to re-open some of the findings that were made and these matters are to be re-heard over a further 4-week period.

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