Rape, Sexual Assault & False Imprisonment
Sarah Forshaw KC leading Valeria Swift and instructed by Nick Vamos of Peters & Peters, represented this young man from a wealthy and prominent overseas family, who was found not guilty of all charges against him following a two-week trial at Southwark Crown Court in February 2023.
Accusations made by his former girlfriend had resulted in a six-count indictment, including allegations of sexual assault, false imprisonment and rape. He was released under investigation shortly after his arrest, and was granted bail to return to and remain in his home country until the trial. Peters & Peters obtained permission for him to attend all pre-trial hearings remotely. The allegations date back to 2018. Trial was originally scheduled for early 2022, but was adjourned owing to prosecution disclosure failures. The failures continued up to and during trial, with a number of disclosure hearings taking place, and significant items of disclosure provided only on the day the case was opened to the jury.
Following the two-week trial, during which the client gave evidence, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on all charges after less than three hours’ deliberation.
Multiple rapes, false imprisonment and choking
Valeria Swift secured her client’s acquittal of multiple counts of rape, false imprisonment and choking at the conclusion of a three week trial. Instructed by Hodge, Jones & Allen.
Valeria Swift was instructed by EBR Attridge to represent the first defendant in an eight-handed attempted murder trial at Woolwich Crown Court. Her client was acquitted of attempted murder at the conclusion of the trial.
Murder of friend following drink & drugs orgy
Natasha Wong QC and Valeria Swift successfully defended man accused of murdering his friend in a fight following a night of drink and drug taking. The deceased suffered from significant heart disease and traumatic brain injury. Case involved exploration of issue of causation with evidence from numerous leading medical experts, including neuro-pathologists, cardiologists, histo-pathologists, toxicologists and forensic pathologists. Instructed by Ben Thomas of Sternberg Reed.
Murder of Sierra Leone teacher in South London Arson Attack
Natasha Wong QC and Valeria Swift secured the acquittal of their client, an autistic teenager with severe learning disabilities, at the end of a 12 week murder trial involving six defendants at the Old Bailey. A woman became the innocent victim of a drugs feud when she died in an arson attack just hours before she was due to return home to Sierra Leone. The 46 year old Teacher, was staying with relatives in Woolwich, South East London, when the blaze broke out. Client found not guilty of joint enterprise murder, manslaughter and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to multiple victims. Instructed by Jatinder Sokhal of TBW Solicitors.
Murder of Essex schoolgirl, Jodie Chesney
Defence of Immigration Officer accused of bribery in the Home Office.
Large scale human trafficking operation
Murder of a 17 year old aspiring "Rap" artist
Valeria Swift instrusted to defend a grandfather accused of raping his granddaughter. Defendant found not guilty.
Valeria Swift prosecuted a cold case of several stranger rapes in 1990. Defendant convicted.
High profile sexual assault
Valeria Swift prosecuted this high profile case where the defendant was charged with sexual assault on a co-worker at a top International law firm during an office party. Defendant found guilty.
Valeria Swift instructed to represent a step-father accused of sexually assaulting his step-daughter. Defendant found not guilty.
Valeria Swift instructed to prosecute a woman accused of grooming and sexually abusing teenage girl. Defendant convicted.
Valeria Swift instructed to represent a brother accused of raping his sister. Defendant found not guilty.
Child cruelty involving infant fatality
Valeria Swift defended this allegation of child cruelty involving infant fatality. Mother arrested in connection with death of her baby. Careful consideration had to be given to pathology evidence in order to negotiate best outcome for the defendant with the prosecution. Defendant pleaded guilty on an extremely limited basis which led to her being released from custody immediately.
Valeria Swift prosecuted this cruelty of father on his young son. The case required very sensitive examination of the vulnerable victim. Defendant found guilty.
Valeria Swift defended this matter of multiple allegations of historic rape. The case required sensitive cross-examination of a highly vulnerable victim. Defendant found not guilty.
Valeria Swift defended this rape case where the victim sustained over 20 injuries during the course of the alleged assault. Defendant found not guilty of rape.
Valeria Swift instructed by the defence in a multi-handed gang rape trial lasting several months. Defendant found not guilty.
Rape of infant child
Valeria Swift defended this rape of an infant child by father and indecent images – case investigated by the FBI and defendant arrested in UK as a result of multi-agency cooperation. Legal submissions successfully made to exclude the evidence obtained by the FBI – this led to further submissions relating to insufficiency of evidence. Defendant found not guilty.
Possession of indecent images of children
Valeria Swift instructed as sole defence counsel in a case relating to possession of indecent images of children. The defendant pleaded guilty to making numerous indecent images of children and mitigation advanced which resulted in the defendant avoiding an immediate custodial sentence despite the finding of category A images. Legal submissions successfully advanced to reduce the negative impact of the Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) on the defendant’s employment and career prospects.
Valeria Swift instructed by the prosecution in a rape case where the examination required meticulous planning to minimise distress to victim who resided in another jurisdiction, taking into account logistical difficulties of conducting a trial over two time zones. Defendant found guilty.
Valeria Swift instructed to defend a pilot with mental health issues accused of violent behaviour whilst armed with a knife. Defendant found not guilty.
Valeria Swift acted as sole defence counsel in an apparently motiveless serious stabbing of taxi driver by woman of previous impeccable character – initially investigated by the police as an attempted murder - exploration of defences of insanity and automatism – following consideration of expert evidence defendant pleaded guilty to a section 20 offence and was immediately released from custody.
Valeria Swift appeared on behalf of the defence as a led junior. Baby shaking case involving an exceptionally large number of multi-disciplinary experts on issues ranging from neuroradiology, infectious diseases and haematology. Defendant found not guilty.
Sexual abuse of 5 year old
Valeria Swift instructed by the prosecution in relatio to the sexual abuse of 5 year old by father – intermediary – believed to be first time counsel examined child witness from a remote room to assist the vulnerable witness – highly successful novel approach. Defendant found guilty.
Valeria Swift prosecuted as sole counsel in a case relating to a house rental fraud involving identification of money transfers to multiple bank accounts. Defendant found guilty – conviction upheld in Court of Appeal following full submissions.
Catherine Farrelly led Valeria Swift instructed by the prosecution, in this 6 handed conspiracy to commit GBH, which included a premeditated attack on another youth, his stab wounds close to his heart which were very nearly life ending. This case required expert analysis of telephone evidence which equated to over 20,000 pages. Defendants convicted of conspiracy.
Valeria Swift instructed to defend a man charged with a sexually motivated section 18 attack committed on lone female at night. If convicted, the defendant would have been at risk of a sentence for public protection due to an previous conviction for sexual assault on a woman in the woods (which was admitted in evidence). Defendant found not guilty of section 18 but guilty of section 20 thereby avoiding a sentence of public protection.
Conspiracy to supply drugs
Valeria Swift instructed as defence junior in this conspiracy to supply drugs. Represented only defendant to be found not guilty in very long trial. Successful result contingent on careful analysis of telephone evidence and extensive intrusive surveillance authorised under RIPA.
Conspiracy to supply drugs
Mark Dacey led Valeria Swift for the defence in this complex Conspiracy to supply drugs. They represented the only defendant to be found not guilty after a 3 month trial – successful result contingent on careful analysis of telephone evidence and extensive intrusive surveillance authorised under RIPA. Instructed by Dhanju Mclean.