Thanks to her operational forensic background with the police service, Lorraine Harris benefits from additional insights, not usually available to barristers, into all types and levels of crime. Her in-depth knowledge of crime scene examination and police protocols assist her greatly in both prosecution and defence work.
As former Head of Crime Scene Investigation (SOCO) for Kent Police, Lorraine was responsible for forensic strategy and crime scene investigation for crimes including murder, firearms offences, sexual and violent assaults, burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, criminal damage, drug offences and arson.
She was recognised by the then Home Secretary, the Chief Constable (also president of ACPO) and Her Majesty’s Coroner for her role as lead forensic officer in one of the UK’s largest human-trafficking investigations (the death of 58 immigrants found in a container lorry at Dover Port).
Lorraine enjoys both prosecution and defence work in the Crown Court. Her background coupled with a practical approach means that she is able to represent a variety of clients, often being selected for her ability to deal with those who have additional needs. Aside from trials, Lorraine’s sensible approach allows her to present mitigation for those defendants who have been committed to the Crown Court for sentence.
Lorraine’s attention to detail means that she often secures excellent proceeds of crime results. She represented Humberside Police in their highest confiscation of money seized from an address both in the lower court and then at appeal in Crown.
Although the majority of Lorraine’s work is in the Crown Court, she still maintains a high level of success in defending difficult matters in the Magistrates Court. Recently achieving acquittals in reasonable chastisement, racially aggravated public order and assault of a vulnerable adult. Lorraine also deals with traffic matters, securing acquittals in careless driving and speeding technicality trials as well as a high success rate in securing exceptional hardship findings.
Lorraine was appointed as independent counsel and has undertaken legal professional privilege work in two very high profile matters involving allegations made by Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise and South Yorkshire Police. Both of these matters attracted a high volume of media interest.
- R v AW (Teesside Crown Court) – Disclosure junior for defence in historic rape. Over 10 years of telephone and facebook messages to show contact between complainant and witnesses. Issues with police investigation and loss of paperwork. AW found not guilty.
- R v M (Leeds Crown Court) – For CPS. Prosecuted trial of man accused of S18 GBH against a police officer. Mental health issues arose and finding of fact found M did the act. Hospital order at close.
- R v DP (Leeds Crown Court) – For CPS. Listed for trial but DP pleaded guilty on day of trial. Handling items stolen from the house of the deceased following his murder while the body was still in situ.
- R v ZR (Teesside Crown Court) – Represented Mrs R who was accused of theft from a vulnerable lady on a weekend trip. During cross examination of the complainant the issue of her knowledge of what money she had spent throughout the trip arose. Submission of no case to answer successful and Mrs R found not guilty.
- R v LP (Warwick Crown Court and Sheffield Crown Court) – Represented LP. Previously of good character LP was charged with 3 burglaries and allowing to be carried on 2 separates indictments (8 offences in total). The first indictment had 3 co-defendants, the second indictment LP stood alone. LP guilty pleas were accepted, his co-defendants maintained not guilty pleas until day of trial. Preceding trial the Crown attempted to lay further mattes on the indictment for LP but were unsuccessful in doing so. LP then charged with an additional burglary in a 3rd jurisdiction. Able to argue totality and good character at sentence and received 34 months in total for all offences.
- R v SB (Leeds Crown Court) – Represented Crown Prosecution Service. For CPS. Burglary – offender duped an older lady into entry by feigning ill health, after lady had given her drink and something to eat she stole her purse. Lady had dementia, issues of medical disclosure, hearsay and bad character arose. Plea of Guilty obtained.
- R v AQJ (Manchester Crown Court) – Represented AQJ in his POCA following conviction for unlawful imprisonment. AQJ along with others had held 2 men in a house against their will until they repaid money that had been handed over during a fraud. The complainants were subsequently arrested and charged with fraud totalling £1million taken mainly from elderly Asian men. Crown proceeded with POCA against defendant – legitimate claim by illegitimate means.
- R v SB (York Crown Court) – Represented Miss SB who had posted “revenge porn” on her ex boyfriends facebook page. Photographs of him in female underwear. SB initially claimed the complainant had posted pictures to advertise his services on adult websites. Further investigation revealed they were different pictures. Issue of law: Sentence, whether previously posted for reward.
- R v ST – Teesside Crown Court – Represented ST in his trial for Arson. Defendant had previously burned down same barn. Expert evidence called with regard to particular burn times and electrical fires.
- R v AD (Kingston Upon Hull Crown Court) – Represented AD in his trial for Arson. CCTV placed AD at scene of fire when discovered, AD also awoke with singed hair the following morning. Expert evidence called. AD found guilty but of lesser charge (no intent to endanger life).
- R v JG (Kingston Upon Hull Crown Court) – Represented JG who was accused of hitting his wife’s lover. His co-accused was a freeman of the land and refused counsel however this would have had an adverse effect on JG’s case so dealt with both defendants’ issues. Able to get lover’s wife to admit that her husband was a lying. Both defendants acquitted. Judge made positive comments on Lorraine’s contributions to the co-accused case.
- R v KS (Scarborough Magistrates Court) – Represented KS for S39 assault on daughter. Reasonable chastisement defence. Daughter had mental health and behaviour issues. Police officer investigating had previously been complained about by KS and the police officer’s bad character was adduced at trial. Acquitted.
- R v Ma (Leeds Magistrates Court) – Successfully argued that loss of CCTV evidence was an abuse of process and case discontinued against Ma.
- R v JSD (Doncaster Magistrates Court) – Represented the defendant JSD in a careless driving matter. This was argued on a procedural point that the Crown were out of time and had not laid the charges correctly. The Crown discontinued the matter.
- R v A (Grimsby Magistrates Court) – Represented the Defendant A in a motorcycle careless driving matter. This case was argued using expert evidence. Using previous experience in investigating fatal road accidents an expert opinion was sought following disclosure of the Crown’s case. The expert report addressed the issues of concern that Lorraine had highlighted and was submitted to the Crown who discontinued the case.
- R v AJC – Represented the Defendant AJC in a speeding matter. This case was argued using expert evidence. The location of the camera, the officer’s statement were contradictory. The matter came to day of trial where the Crown offered no evidence based on the reports submitted.
- R v JL (Kirklees Magistrates Court) – Represented Mr JL in his trial for criminal damage. Able to show complainant had tampered with video evidence submitted to court, lied about version of events and had been taunting Mr JL. Mr JL acquitted.
- R v Mb (Leeds Magistrates Court) – Represented Mb who was accused of racially aggravated public order. Acquitted.
- R V H (Leeds Magistrates Court) – Represented H, a teacher, in his trial for assault of a vulnerable adult. Self defence arose due to history of biting and aggressive behaviour. Acquitted.
Contact Lorraine’s clerk