Helena Spector

Year of call:

2019

Education:

2015 - Clare College, University of Cambridge MA Hons. Social Anthropology

2017 - Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge MRes Hons. Social Anthropology Distinction

2018 - City, University of London Graduate Diploma in Law Highest mark awarded for criminal law

2019 - City, University of London Bar Professional Training Course Outstanding

Career:

2019 - Pupil at Red Lion Chambers, London

2020 - Level 1 prosecutor

2021 - Tenant at Red Lion Chambers, London

2021 - Part-time barrister secondment at the Serious Fraud Office

2021 - Tenant at Park Square Barristers, Leeds

Appointments:

Junior Junior Counsel Panel, Government Legal Department -

Junior Junior Counsel Panel, Bank of England -

Memberships:

South Eastern Circuit North Eastern Circuit Criminal Bar Association

Awards:

2014 - Clare College Scholars’ Award, University of Cambridge

2015 - Clare College Scholars’ Award, University of Cambridge

2017 - Trinity Hall Bateman Scholar, University of Cambridge

2017 - Academic Scholarship, City, University of London

2018 - Academic Scholarship, City, University of London

2018 - Inner Temple BPTC Exhibition Scholarship

2018 - Inner Temple Duke of Edinburgh Award

Helena is a relentlessly determined advocate with experience across a range of offences in the Crown Court and Magistrates’ Court, including sexual and violent offences, offences involving fraud, dishonesty and financial crime, drugs offences and firearms offences.

Helena developed her Crown Court practice on the South Eastern Circuit acting for both the Prosecution and Defence. She has appeared in a multiple-day fact finding hearing at Luton Crown Court for a serious drugs matter that involved issues of modern day slavery and forensic expert evidence. She has a breadth of experience in representing defendants at PTPHs, bail hearings, committal hearings and sentencing hearings. Helena has experienced considerable success in securing suspended sentences for serious offences such as burglary and robbery, offences of violence, drugs offences and unusual offences concerning forgery and false documents.

Helena was recently instructed by the Serious Fraud Office to assist with an ongoing extensive bribery and corruption investigation. During this time she gained insight into the prosecution of large-scale conspiracies and managing the disclosure of vast volumes of evidence that are commonplace in white-collar litigation. On the basis of this work she has been appointed to the ‘Junior Junior’ Counsel panel with the Bank of England.

Helena has an excellent academic record, obtaining a Double First and Distinction from the University of Cambridge, graduating with the highest mark awarded for Criminal Law in the Graduate Diploma for Law and graduating with the grade of ‘Outstanding’ from the Bar Professional Training Course.

Before practising at the Bar, Helena worked in the field of asylum and human rights in South Africa and the UK, assisting on cases involving Boko Haram, statelessness and conflict in Sierra Leone. She has also worked with the Death Penalty Project on the appeals of death row prisoners in Trinidad and Tobago.

Helena has assisted with editing a chapter of the 2021 edition of Archbold (Chapter 20: Sexual Offences).

Notable cases:

  • R v A (2021) – Instructed as Defence in the acquittal of a man charged with two counts of sexual assault on a train. Client was acquitted on the basis of insufficient ID evidence despite the fact that the Complainant and Defendant were known to each other, CCTV evidence placed the Defendant at the scene and bad character evidence that the Defendant had previously assaulted the same Complainant under similar circumstances.
  • R v K (2021) – Instructed as Defence in an appeal of sentence at Winchester Crown Court. Successfully obtained a non-custodial sentence in a serious offence involving youths travelling from London to Sussex to commit knife point robberies. The client’s 8-month Detention and Training Order was overturned despite several previous convictions for serious robbery and knife offences and non-completion of previous community disposals.
  • R v O (2021) – Instructed as Defence in a sentencing hearing concerning a rare offence involving forgery at Peterborough Crown Court. Successfully obtained a suspended sentence despite successive Court of Appeal rulings that this specific offence should only be dealt with by way of immediate custody.
  • R v C (2021) – Represented an extremely vulnerable Defendant charged with domestic burglary at Wood Green Crown Court. Although the Defendant had 17 previous convictions and two domestic burglary convictions, mitigation proceeded on the basis of the Defendant’s complex behavioural and Schizoid disorders. The client received a sentence commensurate with her brief recall period, meaning that no substantive sentence would be served for the third domestic burglary.
  • R v K (2020) – Youth client acquitted of several robberies using a ‘zombie knife’ after a three-day Certificate for Counsel trial in Highbury Corner Youth Court. The offences involved use of a ‘zombie knife’ and the Defendant was acquitted despite compelling CCTV evidence, clear evidence the youth had committed two similar robberies that same day in the same area, and the fact that the defendant was arrested hours later in possession of the stolen items.
  • R v L (2020) – Successfully secured acquittal and dismissal of various charges of domestic violence against a number of complainants, including a 12 year-old witness. The defence involved highlighting central inconsistencies and fabrications across an hour-long ABE interview. During the course of the trial it was conceded that the child’s evidence was “deeply misconceived” and the most serious charges were dismissed.
  • R v P (2020) – Successfully obtained bail for a client despite three previous unsuccessful applications, evidence of current evasion from an outstanding European Arrest Warrant, previous convictions and 17 earlier breaches of his bail.