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Pamela practises in all areas of criminal defence, including serious crime and offences alleging violence (attempted murder, section 18 and section 20 offences), drugs offences, firearms offences, and cases involving animal welfare. She has experience of abuse of process submissions and of confiscation proceedings. She has appeared before the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions. She has significant experience in public order law and offences arising out of protests, having represented miners during the 1980s, anti poll tax in the 1990s and anti war protestors more recently. She has been noted for dealing with difficult and sensitive cases over the years. She has been led in cases ranging from murder to confiscation and RIPA and been both led junior and junior alone in the High Court in dangerous dogs cases.
Dangerous dogs & animal welfare
Pamela has extensive experience in dangerous dogs law and has appeared, been consulted, and advised in numerous cases since the ‘draconian’ Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was first enacted. Her work in this area involves both criminal (section 1 breed type, section 3 aggravated and non-aggravated offences) and civil proceedings (Dogs Act 1871).
She has appeared on many occasions in both the magistrates’ courts (which include some of the ‘amnesty cases’ in Liverpool) and Crown Court, in judicial review challenges and in appeals by way of case stated.
Pamela has responded to consultations issued by DEFRA and the Sentencing Council. She has also done extensive research into The Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 No 764 (N.I.8) and Dogs (Amendment) Act (Northern Ireland) 2001.
She has written frequently on dangerous dogs law and its interpretation. Pamela was awarded the Killick Column Award for Dogs’ Best Friend to acknowledge her work to tirelessly “defend dogs accused of being pit bull ‘types’ under the DDA and has an extremely high success rate, meaning that many innocent dogs’ lives have been spared due to her efforts”.
- Avon and Somerset Constabulary v Joshua Webb – at Bristol Crown Court and junior counsel at the judicial review proceedings at the High Court.
- R v Rodney Haynes  EWCA Crim 3247 – the Court of Appeal granted the appeal and ruled that where the Dangerous Dogs Act did not provide for limiting the number of dogs, the Appellant could agree an undertaking. This principle has been used in cases where the statute allows for disqualification but not for limitation of numbers, or alternatively where statute does not permit specific orders. The undertaking is recognised as being relevant for purposes of sentencing if there is a breach.
- The Queen on the application of Sandhu v Isleworth Crown Court  (EWHC) 1658 (Admin) – the court has no power under the Dangerous Dogs Act to direct where a prohibited dog (under section 1 of the Act) lives as there is no power in the Act to impose conditions, whereas the court does have a power if the charge is under section 3 of the Act. When considering if the dog is a danger to public safety, it is the dog that the court must consider, not the owner: if the court decides that the dog does not present a danger to public safety and makes a contingent destruction order, the dog shall be exempted provided that the conditions set out in the Dangerous Dogs Compensation and Exemption Schemes Order 1991 (amendment in 1997) are satisfied. A person other than the owner can be keeper of a dog, this is not a transfer of ownership and therefore is not in contravention of section 1(2)(c) of the DDA 1991.This case clarified the statute and parliament have since amended the law so that a court can have some discretion as to the owner of a dog being fit and proper to be in charge and restricted who can be keeper of a prohibited dog in 2014 and 2015.
- R v Canterbury Crown Court (2012) – By virtue of section 4A(5) an order for destruction may be contingent on measures for the dog’s control specified by the court. This can include the court having power to direct where the dog can reside.
- Hastie v Devon and Cornwall Police – This was a case regarding the dog ‘Stella’. The court made an order that Stella could be exempted to live with a keeper. As a result DEFRA and the CPS concluded that Article 12 of the Dangerous Dogs Exemption Schemes [England and Wales] Order 2015 should not apply to dogs that were no longer exempted. Please see The Guardian news.
- Ali and Others v Merseyside Police  EWHC 4772 [Admin]; 2015 Crim L.R 646 – Merseyside police had seized 22 dogs and destroyed these summarily as their insurance policies had lapsed. They had interpreted the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 ‘contingent destruction order’ to be contingent for life, however the contingency of destruction ceased once the dogs were exempted. The destruction of these dogs was therefore unlawful. Further information was reported in OurDogs’ article and the BBC news.
- R v Kenton Hooker – This was referred back from the Criminal Cases Review Commission to the Ipswich Crown Court, who quashed the destruction order and replaced this with a contingent destruction Order. Pamela was instructed after the conclusion of the Crown Court case. An expert had not been instructed to access the dog Bruno and the High Court on judicial review would not admit fresh evidence that should have been presented to the Crown Court. The positive assessment was considered to be ‘new evidence’ within the provisions of the Criminal Appeal Act and hence the Commission referred this to the Crown Court. Please also see EADT article.
- R v Jane Rix – The destruction order was quashed by the Manchester High Court on judicial review proceedings brought after the Crown Court refused to state a case. The case was referred back to Chester Crown Court who made a contingent destruction order. The original Crown Court had failed to provide sufficient reasons for making a destruction order.
- The Queen on the application of Housego v Canterbury Crown Court  WL 382756 –The Crown Court ordered destruction of the dog that had caused injury by an error in law in not appreciating that section 4A(5) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 gave the court powers to order where the dog was to live. The dog had been placed into a rescue sanctuary after the owner had committed numerous offences under section 3 of the Act and had been disqualified from keeping animals as a result. The High Court quashed the destruction order and the dog was to live in the sanctuary.
- R v Yvonne Webb  EWCA Crim 538 – Three Rottweillers had caused injury to a child. The Court of Appeal quashed the destruction order and new homes were found for two of the dogs. The owner had humanely euthanised one prior to the court hearings.
- R v NJ – An appeal against costs at the magistrates court. An appeal by way of case stated was refused and judicial review proceedings were commenced with permission granted in respect of an application for third party kennelling costs.
Pamela practises in all areas of criminal defence, including serious crime and offences alleging violence (attempted murder, section 18 and section 20 offences), drugs offences, firearms offences and robbery; and cases involving animal welfare, abuse of process submissions and confiscation. In addition to her many years of experience conducting trials in the Crown Court, she is a seasoned Youth Court practitioner.
She is tenacious when defending her client, both in her preparation of cases and in her advocacy.
- R v Y & 3 Others – Multi-handed importation of class A drugs with intent to supply at Woolwich Crown Court;
- R v O & Others – Anti-war protestors at Hove Crown Court who successfully relied on defences under s3 Criminal Law Act, reasonable excuse under Criminal Damage Act 1971 and necessity.
- R v Z – Z, the prime alleged offender, was acquitted of several allegations of rape of two young girls. His co-defendants were charged with sexual assaults. The case lasted approximately six weeks on account of cross examination, complexity of the case and the number of ABE interviews conducted with the four complainants.
- SP  1 Cr. App. R.(S.) 116 – Possession of offensive weapon and attempted robbery. Appealed on the basis that the totality principle had not been properly applied. The Court took a ‘merciful’ view on mitigating grounds and sentence was varied.
Hobbies & interests
- Border collies
- Civil liberties
- Animal health and welfare
- Research on Irish Dangerous Dogs Act
- Article on micro chipping
- Article for a German Shepherd Dog manual on section 3 Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
Speaking events, training and seminars
Pamela is a recognised expert in dangerous dogs work. Some of the occasions that she has been asked to speak include:
- Cooper and Co solicitors Dangerous Dog Law Symposiums in November 2017 and February 2018;
- A podcast for a university;
- A talk to a veterinary forensic lawyer group in June 2018.