Lee Sergent

Year of Call: 2016, 2007 - Solicitor

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Lee is a very experienced, tenacious and persuasive criminal defence advocate.

Lee has appeared on behalf of defendants accused of serious offences including attempted murder, rape, kidnap, firearms, drugs and fraud offences, as well as being led by Queen’s Counsel in a number of murder trials.

Criminal Defence

Overview

Lee is well-versed in representing defendants accused of extremely serious offences; from conducting shorter trials involving serious violent and sexual allegations to longer multi-handed cases. Lee also has considerable experience of representing young, vulnerable and mentally unwell clients.

Lee is assiduous and methodical in his preparation. He is always alive to potential legal points, winning cases by making applications to dismiss, to exclude the decisive evidence and to stay proceedings. Lee is tactically astute and recognises that good judgment is a must for any successful trial advocate.

Lee is a formidable advocate who will always fight his lay client’s corner whether by robustly cross-examining a witness at trial or by advancing powerful mitigation at a sentence hearing.

Notable Cases

Acting Alone

  • R v RL [2019] a ten-count trial involving alleged sexual offences on underage girls
  • R v RM [2019] representing the first defendant in a three-handed trial of allegations of conspiracy to commit armed robbery involving the use of GPS trackers
  • R v DC [2019] two-handed trial involving allegations of possession of a firearm and possession with intent to supply several kilos of cannabis. A number of legal issues were involved including strict liability (firearms), confessions and duress. DC ran duress against his co-defendant and was found not guilty of all counts
  • R v BM [2018] acting on behalf of BM in this multi-handed kidnap and wounding with intent trial
  • R v JE [2018] representing JE at trial facing historic sexual abuse allegations going back to the late eighties when the Complainant was a young child
  • R v LW [2018] LW was accused of anally raping an eleven-year-old boy some years earlier. Acquitted by the jury following a trial
  • R v JM [2017] representing at trial JM who was alleged to have stabbed a man in the chest and head during a robbery causing the man permanent brain damage
  • R v AA [2017] representing at trial a man with complex mental health issues accused of setting fire to his own flat and being thereby reckless as to endangering the lives of others
  • R v OAO [2017] this was a multi-handed, multi-million-pound fraud involving the theft of thousands of peoples’ identities which were used to fraudulently claim tax credits, the proceeds of which were laundered using numerous means. The Prosecution offered no evidence against OAO on the second day of trial
  • R v T [2017] T was accused of committing sexual offences, including a number of counts of sexual intercourse with a girl under 16, on his half-sister years earlier when she was a young child. The defence was that these were false allegations. The jury found T not guilty of all counts except for one count of indecent assault. The indecent assault conviction was subsequently quashed on appeal- see below
  • R v LVB [2017] LVB was accused of falsely imprisoning his ex-partner and children and threatening to kill them. Jury acquitted LVB of all counts following a trial
  • R v RH [2017] representing RH at trial where he was accused of multiple counts of anal rape on a man with learning disabilities and who required the assistance of an intermediary during the trial
  • R v LC [2016] LC was accused of the oral rape and attempted vaginal rape of a young woman in a toilet cubicle in a public house. Following trial, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts
  • R v CN [2016] represented at trial a man accused of multiple counts of burglary and handling stolen motor vehicles as well as a charge of GBH with intent, whereby it was alleged that CN reversed a stolen motor vehicle at speed into a police officer causing him very serious fractures to his leg
  • R v CH [2016] multi-handed GBH with intent trial concerning the stabbing of a young man in South London
  • R v FK [2016] FK was found to be unfit to stand trial. Acted on behalf of FK at a jury trial of issue, namely whether he did the act of causing death by dangerous driving
  • R v KL [2016] represented a young man who stood accused of attempted vaginal rape and anal rape of a fifteen-year-old girl. Following trial, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on both counts
  • R v AB [2016] AB faced a fifteen-count indictment containing multiple allegations of rape, assault by penetration, assault occasioning actual bodily harm as well as a count of perverting the course of justice. Following trial, the jury returned unanimous not guilty verdicts on all counts
  • R v GN [2016] GN faced eight counts of rape and rape of a child under 13 in respect of historic allegations made by his niece and nephew. Not guilty verdicts on all counts returned by the jury following trial
  • R v JH [2015] represented JH in a six- handed trial that concerned the alleged supply of firearms and ammunition. JH was acquitted by the jury of the ammunition charge he faced
  • R v WS [2015] WS was one of seven defendants tried in respect of allegations of conspiracy to commit kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. WS was acquitted following a successful submission of insufficient evidence at the close of the prosecution case
  • R v TP [2014] represented at trial a seventeen-year-old defendant with complex mental, learning and behavioural disorders who was charged with wounding with intent and attempted murder
  • R v VS [2014] VS was accused of committing a serious sexual assault on his cousin. Acquitted by the jury
  • R v MA [2014] MA was a care worker accused of sexually assaulting two vulnerable service users who had severe learning disabilities and were staying at the respite care home he was working at. The jury convicted the defendant in relation to a single allegation made by one of the complainants but acquitted him of two further allegations made by the second complainant with issues of contamination of her evidence being advanced to the jury
  • R v CC [2014] represented a defendant accused of kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail in a multi- handed trial and retrial
  • R v AA [2014] represented a defendant accused of entering a neighbour’s flat uninvited and attacking the elderly female occupant. AA found to be unfit to stand trial necessitating a trial as to whether he did the acts. Not guilty verdict in respect of attempted GBH with intent following submission of no case to answer at close of the prosecution case. AA acquitted by the jury of the further two counts (trespass with intent to commit a relevant sexual offence and ABH)
  • R v KY [2014] represented the first defendant in a multi- handed trial of defendants accused of conspiracy to commit cash-in-transit robberies
  • R v LH [2013] represented a defendant facing allegations of false imprisonment and sexual offences alleged by two women on different occasions including an allegation of knife- point rape
  • R v MB [2013] the second trial concerning the murder of a young man in Islington who had been stabbed to death in an attack that formed part of a series of tit for tat stabbings perpetrated by rival local gangs. MB was charged with conspiracy to cause GBH with intent. Prosecution offered no evidence a week into the trial following the exclusion of some identification evidence and further disclosure that contradicted the prosecution case against MB
  • R v GI [2013] a father accused by his eighteen-year-old daughter of throwing her off a third-floor balcony. Originally arrested for attempted murder but charged with GBH with intent. Successful submissions of insufficient evidence at close of prosecution case following legal argument regarding the weight of the daughter's original written statement as against her contrary oral evidence given at trial
  • R v RS [2013] multi- handed trial involving allegations of gunpoint robbery of a vehicle and kidnap. RS convicted by jury. Successful application to stay a second indictment charging firearms offences on grounds that the second indictment was founded upon substantially the same facts as those that the first indictment was founded upon
  • R v OS [2012] two allegations of sexual offences by two women at a house party. Successful submissions of insufficient evidence at the close of prosecution case in respect of assault by penetration count. Jury discharged in respect of the second count and tried by fresh jury. Defendant acquitted of second count by the new jury
  • R v GD [2012] multi- handed conspiracy to steal from heavy goods vehicles. Defendant acquitted by jury

Reported Court of Appeal Cases

  • R v T [2017] EWCA Crim 1774 T had been convicted by the jury of one count of indecent assault and acquitted of the more serious counts of sexual intercourse with a girl under 16 alleged to have been committed by him on his half-sister years earlier when she was a young child. It was successfully submitted that the conviction was unsafe based upon the way the case had been summed up by the trial judge, with Lord Justice McCombe observing that “…. the tendency of the summing up was to undermine the credibility of the applicant and to enhance that of the complainant.” Appeal allowed, conviction quashed
  • R v Mansaray (Mahammed) [2014] EWCA Crim 1282 sentence imposed for offering to supply fake drugs reduced from eighteen months to fifteen months
  • R v Christopher Rowsell [2012] EWCA Crim 1533 sentence reduced from two and a half to two years imprisonment
  • Davinder Kapotra and The Queen [2011] EWCA Crim 1843 successful appeal to Court of Appeal leading to quashing a restraining order made on acquittal. Referred to at 19-358d Archbold 2016

Led by senior counsel

  • R v TA [2014] led by Queen’s Counsel in multi- handed murder trial involving rival drug dealers in Folkestone
  • R v AA [2013] led by Queen’s Counsel in multi- handed murder trial where it was alleged the deceased had been targeted and located using a tracker system. Acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter and conspiracy to falsely imprison
  • R v OS [2013] led by Queen’s Counsel in the first of two trials concerning the murder of a young man in Islington who had been stabbed to death in an attack that formed part of a series of tit for tat stabbings perpetrated by rival local gangs. OS charged with murder. It was successfully argued that the decisive evidence- the purported recognition of OS from CCTV footage by an Intelligence Analyst- ought to be excluded as its admission would have such an adverse effect on the fairness of the trial; the jury acquitted OS upon the judge’s direction
  • R v CG [2011] led by Queen’s Counsel in multi- handed gang related murder of a young man in Sydenham representing the first defendant in the second of two trials in respect of the murder. Acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter
  • R v RM [2008] led by senior counsel in a high-profile caustic soda GBH and gang rape case. RM was convicted of rape and of causing GBH but acquitted of causing GBH with intent
  • R v MG [2008] led by senior counsel in multi-million-pound conspiracy to supply amphetamine case where the defendant was acquitted by jury after trial

Contact Lee

Background

Lee practised as a Solicitor-Advocate from 2007 to 2016, working for two major London criminal defence firms. During his time as a Solicitor-Advocate, Lee exclusively worked as a Crown Court Advocate gaining considerable experience and undertaking ever more serious cases. In 2016 Lee decided to transfer to the Bar and has been practising at the independent Bar ever since.

Education

New College, Oxford University (BA Jurisprudence)

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