Sarah Langford

Sarah Langford

Call 2005

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Crime

Sarah is predominantly a Defence advocate and has amassed a wealth of trial experience on a wide range of offences, both when acting alone and whilst being led.

She has appeared a number of times in the Court of Appeal, and has also undertaken work for Appellants in Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority cases, has experience of Courts Martial work and Prison Adjudication Hearings, and has represented interested parties at inquest hearings. 

Her regulatory work includes appearing on behalf of Trading Standards and on behalf of County Councils in Education Act prosecutions.  Sarah also worked for the Treasury Solicitors under their Baby Barrister Scheme for those under three years call, where she would routinely draft advices and statements of case for the Prison Service.

She is also happy to draft Advices on Evidence, Skeleton Arguments, Sexual Offences Prevention Orders and Advices and Grounds of Appeal.

She has also under taken pro bono work and was Junior Counsel in an appeal against a conviction for murder in Jamaica.

Sarah is a member of the Criminal Bar Association.

Sarah has particular experience of the following:

Drug Offences

Sarah frequently appears in cases involving both the possession and supply of drugs.  She is well used to assimilating the large amount of evidence that is typical of such cases.

Cases of note include:

  • R v Grant Williams [2011] EWCA Crim 275 - Further to the Defendant’s guilty plea to possession with intent to supply class A on the basis of being a custodian at Southampton Crown Court, Sarah represented the Defendant in the Court of Appeal, when it was held that although a benefit figure could be valued at the amount of drugs he had consumed over the relevant period, it was legitimate to reduce the amount of the benefit if it could be established that the drugs had been purchased in part with legitimate income.
  • R v Vernon and Others, [2010] EWCA Crim 695 - Sarah was Junior Counsel in a two month trial at Bristol Crown Court in which she represented one of five men charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs, kidnapping, false imprisonment and three counts of rape.  Following the retirement of her Leader, Sarah appealed to the Court of Appeal against the three life sentences imposed and represented the Appellant alone.  The Court of Appeal held that a life sentence had to be reserved for cases where the culpability of the offender was particularly high or the offence itself particularly grave and that although the offences were serious and disgusting, they did not fall within the category requiring life sentences.

Sex Offences 

Sarah has represented both the Crown and the Defence in a number of cases involving sexual offences. 

She has particular experience of the following:

  • Representation of Defendants charged with rape of a child under the age of 13, and representation of young Defendants charged with rape of a complainant under the age of 16.
     
  • Representation of a number of Defendants accused of possession of a large quantity of indecent images and videos from levels 1 to 5.  This has involved analysing, interpreting and explaining complex expert evidence on the retrieval and storage of such images on various computer systems. 
  • Sarah has frequently and successfully argued against the making of Sexual Offences Prevention Orders, both in their application and in their content, and is well acquainted with the wealth of guidelines case law in this area.  She is also experienced in representing those charged with breach of a SOPO.
  • Representation of one of a group of men accused of ‘cottaging’ in local public toilets.

Violence

Sarah has been involved in a number of cases where Defendants have been accused of Grievous Bodily Harm, Gang violence including Violent Disorder and Riot, Affrays involving glassings and GBH level injuries and domestic and non-domestic Arson and Burglary offences.

Road Traffic Act Offences

Sarah has frequently dealt with cases involving allegations of dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, and driving whilst under the influence, as well as more minor road traffic offences.

She is well versed in special reasons and exceptional hardship arguments for those who wish to avoid a driving ban and/or penalty points following a conviction.

 

Academic Qualifications

BA English Literature

Wilfred Getz Award (Gray's Inn, 2004)