The secure CJSM email is:

catherine.picardo@1mcb.cjsm.net

Catherine trained at international City firm Eversheds LLP. She then practised at Dentons and Clyde & Co and has a solid commercial background, working on two public inquiries: Bloody Sunday and Lockerbie. Due to her background in commercial law she is undaunted by fraud whether it be small scale or complex. Catherine re-specialised into criminal law as the idea of persuading a jury was fascinating. As a consultant for a leading national defence firm, she advises defendants at the police station and so can explain the procedures simply to jurors.

Catherine became a Crown advocate at the Crown Prosecution Service and was lead reviewing lawyer on a class A drugs test purchase operation, which involved witness anonymity orders.

Catherine is a personable but tenacious advocate who is particularly adept at dealing with vulnerable and young witnesses. She is familiar with ground rules hearings and deals sensitively with clients and witnesses with special needs. She is equally at ease defending as she is prosecuting and has a vast experience at all levels from the magistrates/youth court to the Crown Court and Court of Appeal.

Crime

Catherine was a Crown advocate after over 7 years and was lead reviewing lawyer on a drugs test purchase operation, Operation Stratum, which involved witness anonymity orders. Catherine has experience of cases involving the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, including money laundering and confiscation.

Catherine regularly prosecutes at the Crown Court on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Probation Service, the Secretary of State for Transport (DVLA), British Transport Police, Transport for London, the Department for Work and Pensions.  She has also defended clients facing charges by these authorities.

She has experience of drafting sexual harm prevention orders.

As a consultant for a top national criminal defence practice, Catherine has advised clients charged with rape, murder, firearms offences and drugs importation.

Recent cases

Sexual assault:

  • R v a youth – prosecuting a youth, aged 15, charged with multiple sexual offences against his younger siblings aged 4, 8 and 9. Ground rules hearing and use of an intermediary. Convicted of all 5 charges.

Stalking:

  • R v P – appeal against conviction at Southwark Crown Court – successfully acting for the respondent in a serving Met Detective Constable’s appeal after he had been convicted of stalking a Harrods shop assistant. This case had media interest as well as presence from the Police Disciplinary Team. Appeal dismissed;
  • R v O – prosecuting a stalking offence in which there were threats to murder the victim and burn her house down. Guilty verdicts;

Rape:

  • R v X – successfully defended a 54-year-old man of previous good character, charged with attempted rape of his 12-year-old step-daughter and earlier sexual abuse allegations. Successful section 41 and bad character applications;
  • R v a youth– defending a youth charged with 3 charges of rape of a female under 13. Certificate for Counsel granted. Drafting a basis of plea and making representations to the RASSO charging lawyer. The client received a youth rehabilitation order;

Indecent images:

  • R v X – secured a suspended sentence order for a defendant facing multiple charges of possession and making indecent images of children (categories A and C).

Violence:

  • R v D – defending a section 18 jury trial. Domestic violence and drugs context with serious life-changing injuries. Careful handling required in light of the unusual issue of ‘demonic possession’;
  • R v F – Defending a young man at Kingston Crown Court facing a charge of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm, in which a night club attack caused serious injuries to the complainant’s teeth. Acquittal;
  • R v T – affray & assault occasioning actual bodily harm. tTe defendant, a refugee with mental health issues after torture for his homosexuality in Iran was arrested for a fight at a party. Acquittal;
  • R v R – aggravated burglary, robbery and theft. The Crown accepted a basis of plea to an alternative count of affray. Deferred sentence imposed.

Fraud:

  • R v O-P – defending a contested confiscation hearing in which the realisable asset was the matrimonial home and the client faced deportation.

Dangerous dogs:

Catherine is regularly instructed in cases under the Dangerous Dogs Act and has successfully obtained contingent destruction orders.

  • R v M – defence case was that the dog was a cross-breed, not a Japanese Tosa, and so it was necessary to counter the Crown’s opinion of the characteristics of ‘type’. Persuaded the court that the dog was not a danger to the public and a contingent destruction order was imposed.  The case was reported by the BBC.

Education

  • MA, Cambridge University (New Hall) 1992-1996
  • PGDL and LPC, Nottingham Law School 1996 -1998

Hobbies & interests

Spanish and French films, walking in the Peak District, the Surrey Downs or the Sierra, the theatre, gardening, travelling.

Seminars

  • Seminar at the Oxbridge & Cambridge Club on trial advocacy at the Crown Court
  • Legal television programme in collaboration with Azam & Co
  • Lecture and Mock Trial at the Citizenship Foundation, London

Appointments

  • CPS panel, grade 1

Languages

  • Spanish (fluent)
  • French (degree level)
  • Italian
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