Practice area

Crime

Year of call: 1994


Fern has established a reputation for first class advocacy. Although a tough and effective cross-examiner, she is noted for her sensitive handling of vulnerable witnesses, and has particular expertise in cases involving vulnerable people – either as Defendants or Complainants. She accepts instructions in all areas of criminal law, but is generally instructed in the more serious and complicated cases on the Circuit.

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Fern’s substantial criminal practice includes all aspects of serious & complex crime particularly murder, manslaughter, serious sexual offences, child cruelty & kidnapping. In recent years she has been involved in many high profile cases, and her practice takes her to all corners of the Western Circuit, but particularly Winchester, Southampton, Bournemouth & Bristol.

Fern is a Grade 4 Prosecutor and on the RASSO List for the CPS and is on the Revenue and Customs “A” list of Prosecuting Counsel.


Recent Cases

  • Defence in a murder / rape trial, involving multiple expert issues including autoerotic asphyxiation
  • Defence of a man accused of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice/concealing evidence in respect of a drugs production operation
  • Defence of a man accused of sexually assaulting a young woman with cerebral palsy, involving cross-examination via an intermediary
  • Defence of a foster father accused of raping his foster son, where the alleged victim became incapable of attending trial due to psychiatric illness (a Horncastle case with extensive third party issues)
  • Acting for the principal defendant in a complex fraud spanning 10 years involving MOD surveillance vehicles
  • Defending a father accused of historic rape, physical abuse and cruelty against his four children up to forty years ago
  • Prosecution of a serious GBH committed by a woman who stabbed her boyfriend in the eye and ran an ambush defence at trial that she was the victim of an attempted group knife-point assault
  • Prosecution of a six-defendant violent disorder/GBH culminating in persistent head-stamping
  • Defending a woman accused of blackmailing a man with learning difficulties
  • Defence of a man accused of manslaughter and arson, concerning the death of his fiancée

Education

  • BA (Hons)
  • Diploma in Law
  • Diploma in Forensic Medical Science
  • BVC

Inn

  • Middle Temple

Appointments

  • Deputy District Judge (appointed 2012)