Senior Chartered Legal Executive
Rachel joined Burton Copeland in 2014 with over 25 years experience in Criminal Law. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives, qualifying in 2004, and is a member of the Police Station Accreditation Scheme regularly attending police stations to represent those arrested for a wide range of offences.
Rachel prepares a wide range of cases from simple theft to murder, and is also experienced in preparing cases relating to Proceeds of Crime. She has developed a particular specialism in sexual offence cases. She is well respected and recommended within the Criminal Bar for her approach to case preparation and handling of cases.
Rachel has developed an expertise in disclosure laws and has recently has been involved in a number of cases which have collapsed and led to recordings of not guilty against her clients, particularly those involving digital evidence from mobile phones, computers and social media. This followed persistent and early requests by the defence of disclosure of unused material from the prosecution which either supported the defence, contradicted the alleged victim or undermined the prosecution case generally.
Details of some of the cases and press reports are below:
R v C Acted for a defendant charged with sexual grooming. Part of the prosecution case was a number of selectively chosen messages from various social media sites. After numerous defence requests for disclosure of the messages in their entirety were refused by the prosecution, at trial, an application was made for disclosure and to adjourn the trial. The Judge granted the applications and refused to extend the custody time limits (CTL’s) as the prosecution had not acted expeditiously in by causing a delay in the service of the evidence, meaning that the client was immediately released on bail. The Crown Prosecution Service later offered no evidence in the case after the material disclosed undermined the case for the prosecution and a formal not guilty verdict was recorded.R v W A further case which demonstrates the need for early targeted and persistent disclosure requests to the police and Crown Prosecution Service. In this case it led to the acquittal of a defendant who was alleged to have had sexual activity with a child on several occasions. The client maintained that this such activity had never taken place and digital phone evidence which Rachel secured disclosure of supported his account and contradicted that of the alleged victim.
R v J Successfully defended a client alleged to have raped the victim whilst she was asleep – not guilty verdict.
R v M Represented a defendant charged with robbery of a victim in the city centre of Manchester. The defendant absented himself for the trial, so was tried in his absence and was therefore unable to give evidence in support of his defence but was nevertheless found not guilty of the offence.
R v D Acted on behalf of client who pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to supply 12 kilo’s of class A drugs of a high purity and alleged value of £7.5 million.
R – v – A – Defended a male charged with various offences of rape serious assault and firearms offences involving four women whom he allegedly groomed to become his personal sex slaves – subjecting them to beatings, physical punishments and public humiliation if they were seen to disobey his strict rules.
R-v- M – Represented a female charged with large scale Million pound plus Class A drugs conspiracy – Case dismissed following legal argument
R- v- C – Represented a male charged with double rape allegation, case involved intricate mobile telephone analysis and third party disclosure issues – Defendant was acquitted
R- v- H – Successfully defended male charged with cash in transit robbery where forensic evidence recovered. Prosecution offered no evidence following a challenge to this evidence prior to trial.
R-v-B – Female teaching assistant charged with sexual offences accused of being involved in a sexual relationship with a 15 year old male pupil. Ms B pleaded guilty to the offences on a limited basis which was accepted by the prosecution and was initially given a suspended prison sentence. The case generated press attention across the world which led to a review of the original sentence. The case then came before the Court of Appeal when the suspended sentence was overturned and Ms B was given an immediate custodial sentence.
R-v-N – Mr N contacted Rachel personally following recommendation. He had been charged with numerous counts of voyeurism, possession and sharing of thousands of indecent images and causing a child to engage in sexual activity. There was an issue in relation to file sharing aspect of the case and a defence expert was instructed which led to the prosecution accepting a basis of plea and thereby a reduction in sentence. When the case came before the Court he was given a suspended prison sentence.
R-v-AB – Represented a young male charged with a serous street robbery involving the use of a firearm where the defendant has been positively identified by the victim at an identification parade. The case required a detailed analysis and questioning of large amounts of unused material in the case by the defence which led to the prosecution offering no evidence on the first day of trial.
I couldn’t ask for a better service. I really can’t think of anything to express the total respect I have for everyone that helped me.
Thank you all so very much.
As counsel it is so important to have a good working relationship with the fee earner in the case you are conducting because it is their responsibility to assist with building rapport with the lay client, take instructions, review the evidence and discuss it with you, take witness statements, draft other documents, instruct experts and so on. Rachel [Murphy]carries out all of the above to the highest standard. I am proud of our working relationship. My admiration for her work is simply because she is amongst the very best fee earners I have worked with. I can say with confidence, having worked with her for over a decade, that she leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that justice is done and is very knowledgeable when it comes to criminal law. I would have no reservations in recommending Rachel. I believe her to be a diligent, wise and capable legal professional. In short, she is a pleasure to work with.
Massively happy with the help of my barrister getting the Court / Judge to understand my case. Thank you [Rachel Murphy] in helping reduce my sentence. Many many thanks, will use you for any future incidents, although I don’t intend to live the life of crime. Thank you.