Jessica Slaughter is a specialist criminal barrister. She prosecutes as a level 4 CPS panel advocate and defends in complex criminal cases.
Having prior experience as a mixed common law barrister on the South Eastern Circuit, Jessica has chosen to continue her varied experience within family law which complements her criminal caseload.
Prior to pupillage, Jessica worked for a domestic violence organisation and has considerable knowledge and experience surrounding these delicate and sensitive issues.
Jessica began her career with family law cases in pupillage in 2010. In recent years she has spent more time dealing with complex, serious cases in the Criminal Courts but has always continued with her family law practice throughout her 13 year caseload.
In her criminal practice, Jessica regularly deals with issues such as rape and sexual abuse, controlling and coercive behaviour, domestic violence, child neglect, and drug use. Her knowledge of these matters including the disclosure process and police material has proved invaluable in her presentation of her family cases.
Jessica applies a meticulous work ethic to her cases.
Jessica is approachable and empathetic and clients feel at ease in her company. She can be firm in her advice when necessary and is not afraid to robustly deal with issues in Court.
Jessica is able to receive instructions directly from the public in certain cases.
Led by Michael Hodson for the defence in a case involving multiple allegations of sexual and violent offending within a domestic context.
Led by Paul Currer for the prosecution in a 6 week trial resulting in conviction of a mental health nurse who had abused elderly dementia patients in their care home.
Led by Chris Smith for the prosecution in a 6 week trial involving multiple defendants and complex cell site and phone evidence following numerous conspiracies to burgle, steal and defraud in relation to cars and car parts. During the trial Jessica was responsible for examining a number of witnesses. Jessica represented the Crown for the sentencing hearing.
Led by Tim Roberts KC in the successful prosecution of a murder case with two defendants and a re-trial for the first defendant.
Led by Sam Green KC and Andrew Haslam KC for the prosecution in multi-handed conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life. The case involved complex disclosure issues and Jessica’s role included reviewing vast arrays of sensitive material.
Defended client in 6 day trial in relation to historic sex offences involving multiple complainants.
Defended client in 6 day trial in relation to historic rape allegations against a family member. The client was acquitted.
Defended client accused of raping his girlfriend. The case involved lengthy review of unused material including phone communication between the two parties spanning a large time period.
Prosecuted former Catholic priest following historic sex abuse allegations.
Prosecuted 14 year old accused of digital penetration of 10 year old foster sister.
Prosecuted 5 day trial for a robbery in a dwelling, involving sensitive intelligence and complex legal directions in relation to joint enterprise.
Prosecuted attempted section 18 trial where the defendant had driven his car at speed at his former partner whilst she was in a friend’s car. The defendant was convicted of all offences
Defended man in 5 day trial for possession of bladed article in a fight outside a Mosque. Hours of CCTV footage were utilised during the trial to secure the acquittal of the client.
Prosecuted section 18 trial involving identification issues and expert facial mapping evidence.
Successfully defended client at the Court of Appeal leading to a reduction in sentence following an extended sentence for a knife point robbery.
Defended client in affray trial. The client was acquitted despite CCTV showing him kicking the complainant.
Defended client facing section 18 trial after an attack was made by him and his family members against a former work colleague. Successfully negotiated and dealt with the case resulting in a suspended sentence.
Provided pre-charge advice and prepared prosecution case for trial in a dwelling robbery matter which involved issues of identification and a vast amount of telecommunications evidence. Both defendants received a sentence of 13 years’ custody.
Prosecuted man who had seriously assaulted his partner in front of her young children. The case involved an intermediary and pre-trial visits with the children.
Defended client in blackmail case involving threats towards a political figure. Successfully negotiated basis of plea and resolution to the case which resulted in a 2 year sentence.
Defended client at trial for dwelling burglary, after drafting abuse of process argument and successful negotiations with the prosecution, agreed on plea to handling stolen goods resulting in a far shorter sentence for the client.
Defended client accused of dwelling burglary. The case was stopped following legal submissions in respect of DNA and moveable objects.
Prosecuted children’s nurse who had stolen painkillers from her hospital ward whilst on duty.
Prosecuted an 8 day trial in relation to a conspiracy to burgle dwelling houses involving over £250k worth of jewellery and gold. The three defendants were convicted and received a total of over 23 years’ custody.
Prosecuted defendant for transferring criminal property linked to a large scale drugs operation. The value of the imported drugs was in the region of £17.25 million. This defendant’s role related to the transfer of over £200,000 of cash.
Defended woman accused of public nuisance offences related to suicide attempts. Following expert evidence on the mens rea issue and negotiation with the prosecution, the Crown offered no evidence.
Prosecuted 8 day trial for controlling and coercive behaviour, assault and other domestic related offences. The case involved meticulous analysis of messages sent between the defendant and the victim as part of their relationship.
Defended man in internet trolling case involving several victims who had died in tragic circumstances.
Defended father accused of harassing his teenage son. The case involved cross examination of the child and negotiations resulting in a reduction in the offence and a suspended sentence for the client.
Jessica’s experienced family practice covers both children and money cases. She has experience acting for the Local Authority, children and parents / family members during public law proceedings. Given her background in supporting domestic violence victims, Jessica is well placed to advise and represent clients in cases involving non molestation and occupation orders. In private law proceedings, she has represented clients with complex issues including applications to transfer proceedings outside the jurisdiction, internal relocation, special guardianship orders, parental alienation and transfer of residence.
Jessica represents clients in relation to applications for financial remedies including settlement and final hearings. Her varied cases have provided exposure to a number of issues, including pension disparity, inheritance disagreements and cohabitation disputes. A client represented by Jessica during a financial remedy final hearing who was awarded more than the usual 50% of the marital assets described her attention to detail “second to none”.
Currently instructed in a private law dispute with potential risks of mother relocating abroad with the children.
Represented mother in complex private law proceedings with irresolvable issues. After considerable negotiation, it was possible to achieve an agreed shared care order on day 2 of the final hearing.
Represented Local Authority in 6 day final hearing involving complex issues with teenage children and a litigant in person parent.
Represented father in private law 2 day final hearing involving unilateral relocation of the child by the mother, a litigant in person.
Represented father at 2 day private law final hearing. The father’s application for the child to live with him was successful.
Represented applicant in contested non-molestation order application. The case had a protracted history and the respondent had also made a cross application for a non-molestation order. Lengthy discussions at final hearing led to agreeable cross undertakings.
Represented mother in private law proceedings including successful Re W application for a child to give evidence at a fact find hearing, and an application to change the child’s surname.
Represented grandparents in 5 day care hearing involving the instruction of an independent social worker.
Represented the elder children in 5 day care final hearing involving multiple local authorities due to the geography and relocation of some of the family members.
Represented father in 5 day final hearing in a care case which overlapped with private law proceedings and an SGO application involving numerous witnesses and intervener.
Represented father at final hearing, then drafted grounds of appeal and represented client at successful appeal hearing and subsequent further final hearing.
Represented mother throughout numerous hearings in complex private law proceedings culminating in final hearing with costs arguments. There were multiple expert witnesses due to allegations of parental alienation.
Represented mother in private law proceedings for her application to vary the Child Arrangements Order, listed for final hearing alongside father’s application to enforce the Order. The father’s breach / enforcement application failed and mother’s application to vary the Order was successful.
Representing mother in care proceedings involving allegations of non-accidental injury and neglect, involving liaising with court appointed intermediary to assist with mother’s complex needs.
Represented mother at 2 day fact find hearing involving allegations of financial control and coercive behaviour and breach of Court undertakings.
Represented father throughout care proceedings. There was a complete change in position from the mother on day 1 of the final hearing and this required very careful client care and management to assess where this left the father in terms of his options.
Drafted skeleton argument and represented mother at her article 15 application to transfer proceedings to Poland.
Instructing Solicitor "I consider [Jessica] to be something of a 'rare find' - hardworking and extremely able; personable and contactable; knowledgeable and articulate. She is an excellent lawyer who instils confidence in her running of a case."..."It is rare to experience the level of support, tenacity and sheer persistence from instructed Counsel to ensure the desired result for a client."
Opponent describing Ms Slaughter’s cross examination of expert witness: “clear, calm, forensic approach”.
Jessica was praised by the Court of Appeal for her “concise and persuasive oral submissions” and able representation of her client – Regina v Kass Khan Elgie  EWCA Crim 676.
In an appeal regarding a knife point robbery sentence, the Court of Appeal described Jessica’s submissions as “attractive and focused” – Regina v Peter Laws  EWCA Crim 1788.
Circuit Judge expressing gratitude to Ms Slaughter for her “patience, courtesy and clarity when cross-examining” a litigant in person in a complex family case.