Helen Jones

Year of Call: 2013  


Overview


Helen Jones appears daily in the Crown Court for both the Prosecution and the Defence, as a led junior and a junior alone. Helen has a diverse practice and is often instructed in cases of a complex or sensitive nature. She has also appeared before the Court of Appeal both led and as the sole advocate in successful appeals.

Helen has considerable experience in representing young and vulnerable defendants appearing in the Crown Court, Magistrates’ Court and Youth Court. Helen is frequently instructed to defend youths charged with serious offences as well as individuals with mental health and learning difficulties in cases involving psychiatrists, psychologists and intermediaries.

Helen has a wide-ranging defence practice and has represented individuals charged with the full spectrum of criminal offences including serious violence, rape and sexual assault, dishonesty, supply of drugs and possession of weapons.

Helen is a Level 3 CPS prosecutor and conducts trials, appeals and sentencing hearings in the Crown Court. Helen is regularly instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service, as well as other prosecuting agencies such as the National Probation Service and Transport for London.

Helen has prosecuted serious matters as a junior alone such as grievous bodily harm, possession with intent to supply class A drugs, possession of weapons and dishonesty offences. She is frequently instructed to provide written advice. Helen is experienced at addressing disclosure issues and has delivered lectures to police officers on disclosure at the invitation of their force.

Helen worked at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse from January to July 2019, as junior counsel and subsequently as an investigation lawyer. She is well-versed in Inquiry legislation and procedure.

Helen has achieved successful outcomes representing members of the military in Courts Martial cases.

Helen accepts instructions in regulatory matters. She has presented cases on behalf of Nursing and Midwifery Council and acts for the General Dental Council.

Helen is also public access qualified and can therefore accept instructions directly from lay clients.

 

Crime


Helen is experienced in prosecuting and defending cases involving serious violence and drugs, in addition to sexual offences and financial crime (see separate specialisms). She is a member of the CPS Advocate Panel at Level 3.

Led by Craig Rush, Helen represented a male charged with attempted murder of three individuals and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life (R v R and H). Their client was convicted of wounding with intent and two counts of attempted wounding instead of attempted murder (read media coverage here)

Helen practises as a junior alone in a range of matters, including the following examples:

  • R v M – Exeter Crown Court (2019). Helen represented a young man charged with possession with intent to supply heroin and cocaine and possession of a knife in an alleged ‘county lines’ case. The Prosecution case was that he was a street dealer with a ‘significant role’ in the operation, attracting a starting point of 4 and a half years’ imprisonment for the drugs offences, in addition to the knife offence which fell under the mandatory 6 months’ imprisonment provisions. Following guilty pleas, Helen prepared a sentencing bundle of supporting material and persuaded the judge to take a lower starting point, resulting in a total sentence of 2 years’ imprisonment.
  • R v A- Stratford Youth Court (2017). Acting under a certificate for counsel, Helen conducted a trial in relation to charges of section 18 wounding with intent and possession of an offensive weapon. The complainant was the teenage client’s adult neighbour and there were three civilian witnesses for the Crown, along with body worn footage with an alleged confession and medical evidence of stab wounds. Self-defence was successfully run at trial and her client was acquitted.
  • R v H – Southwark Crown Court (2017). Helen defended a female convicted of section 18 wounding with intent, namely biting off part of a pedestrian’s ear during an alleged ‘road rage’ incident, in a case that attracted considerable media attention (read media coverage here). Whilst the Prosecution invited the judge to sentence the defendant on the basis that it was a category 1 offence, Helen successfully submitted that the matter fell into category 2 and her client was sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment after a trial.
  • R v C – Snaresbrook Crown Court (2017) Helen defended a troubled female with multiple previous convictions, charged with two robberies and an ABH. Following an unsuccessful dismissal argument, Helen drafted a carefully considered defence statement with various disclosure requests. On carrying out further enquiries triggered by the defence statement, the Crown offered no evidence on all counts.
  • R v J – Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court (2017). Helen represented a businessman accused of biting the ear of a member of staff at a prestigious London hotel. Helen ran a legal argument on the day of trial, in light of disclosure and investigative failings, which resulted in the acquittal of her client.
  • R v S – Inner London Crown Court (2017). Helen’s adolescent client was charged with five robberies and an attempted theft- the Crown alleged that he was riding a moped with another and carried out the robberies on pedestrians. Helen persuaded the Crown to accept pleas to theft in order to significantly reduce the starting point for sentence and secured a suspended sentence rather than immediate custody for the client.
  • R v S – Cambridge Crown Court (2017). Helen’s client pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by providing a false statement in relation to a robbery she had witnessed, in attempt to exonerate her boyfriend and his friend. Helen persuaded the judge to impose a suspended sentence in light of the unusual mitigating circumstances.
  • R v A- Isleworth Crown Court (2016). Helen represented a female alleged to have organised an ‘acid attack’. Her client was acquitted after an 8-day trial.
  • R v S – Canterbury Crown Court (2016). Helen represented a young man who had pleaded guilty to seven counts of supply/being concerned in the supply of class A drugs, as part of a serious large-scale county lines operation.
  • R v G – Kingston Crown Court (2016). Helen secured the acquittal of a young man charged with a multi-handed affray caught on CCTV, having argued that he was acting in self-defence.
  • R v S – Maidstone Crown Court (2016). Helen appeared for a youth at his appeal after he had been sentenced to an 8 month DTO for ABH at the Youth Court. The appeal was allowed and the DTO was replaced with a referral order.
  • R v K – Southend Crown Court (2016). Helen represented a teenage girl of good character alleged to have stamped on the head of an adult male at a house party. Following conviction in the Youth Court, Helen successfully appealed the matter to the Crown Court.

Serious Sexual Offences


Helen has been instructed by both the Prosecution and the Defence in complex cases involving allegations of serious sexual offending.

Helen appeared on behalf of the defendant at a five-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court (R v H) in 2017, led by Michael Haynes. Their client initially faced a 21-count indictment including rape and sexual assault of five young females, which was reduced to a 13-count indictment at trial. Their client was acquitted by the jury of one attempted rape, three rapes and six sexual assaults against three complainants, and convicted of three rapes against two complainants. He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with a child. The case was widely reported in the press (BBC News report). His sentence was reduced following a successful appeal in March 2018.

Helen prosecuted a retired psychiatric nurse for historic sex offences in 2015 at Basildon Crown Court (R v B), led by Allan Compton. Due to the nature of the allegations and the number of complainants involved, there was a vast amount of unused material. The defendant was convicted unanimously on all counts (ITV News report)

Helen also appears as the sole trial advocate on behalf of individuals charged with sexual offences in the Crown Court, and in the Magistrates’ Court and Youth Court under certificates for counsel. Such cases have included securing the acquittal of a scout leader charged with sexual assault (Basildon Crown Court, 2015) and acting under a certificate for counsel for a defendant charged with four offences of sexual assault, who had also previously served a substantial custodial sentence for other allegations of sexual assault (Medway Magistrates’ Court, 2016). In the latter case, Helen made a successful half time submission on all four charges.

Helen has experience in large disclosure reviews, including sensitive third-party material. The West Midlands CPS instructed her as Disclosure Junior from March 2017 in a complex investigation into child sex offences, which culminated in numerous convictions at Birmingham Crown Court in May 2018 (BBC News: Coventry).

Fraud


Helen has appeared on behalf of clients charged with money laundering and fraud, as a led junior and junior alone. She has also been instructed in confiscation proceedings on behalf of clients involved in fraudulent activity.

From January to March 2018, instructed by Ian Kelcey of Kelcey and Hall and led by Quentin Hunt, Helen represented the second defendant in a ‘boiler room’ fraud trial at Blackfriars Crown Court. Their client was the manager of a company selling millions of pounds of carbon credits to private investors, and the case involved thousands of pages of financial material and accounting evidence. The first and third defendants were convicted but the jury was hung in relation to the second defendant. He was subsequently acquitted following a re-trial in Spring 2019.

In August 2014, instructed by Bark & Co and led by Peter Griffiths QC, Helen represented the head of a Welsh charity, facing allegations in relation to fraudulent use of the charity’s funds at Swansea Crown Court. Their client was acquitted of two counts and the Crown decided against a retrial in relation to the third. (BBC News)

Helen has represented several employees for fraud, such as RP at Peterborough Crown Court, instructed by Simon Caltagirone (Peterborough Telegraph). Helen successfully persuaded the Prosecution against pursuing a second count against her client.

In Summer 2015, Helen assisted a City firm, who were advising an international company in relation to a cartel investigation, with a large-scale disclosure review.
Helen has both prosecuted and defended individuals charged with a range of dishonesty offences, including the following cases:

  • R v M and M- Basildon Crown Court (2016). Helen prosecuted a husband and wife on an indictment containing 50 counts of burglary and the case culminated in guilty pleas.
  • R v S – Basildon Crown Court (2016). Helen appeared on behalf of a man accused of possession of articles for use in fraud (card skimming devices). The prosecution offered no evidence following representations and the judge’s comments at half time.
  • R v P – Ipswich Crown Court (2016). Helen represented a man at trial in a large conspiracy to burgle 45 domestic properties at Ipswich Crown Court. She then made a successful appeal against sentence at the Court of Appeal in March 2017.
  • R v H – Woolwich Crown Court (2016). The Crown offered no evidence against Helen’s client on the first day of trial for forgery after she made written and oral representations.
  • R v O – Woolwich Crown Court (2016). Helen’s client was charged with handling stolen goods. Helen persuaded the Crown to accept lesser pleas and following mitigation, the judge sentenced the defendant to an absolute discharge, describing her decision as an ‘extremely unique and unusual course’.

Road Traffic


In addition to appearing in the Crown Court, Helen also appears in the Magistrates’ Court for individuals charged with road traffic offences, including dangerous driving, careless driving, excess alcohol and speeding.  She seeks the best possible resolutions for her clients, which has included drafting written representations to the Crown, resulting in discontinuance of all charges.

Helen has made successful wasted costs applications, and advanced exceptional hardship arguments that have resulted in the retention of clients’ driving licences. She has also successfully appealed decisions to the Crown Court.

Military Law


Helen has an interest in military law and defends in Courts Martial cases. She represents individuals charged with offences under civilian law (such as an Army Officer facing an allegation of rape) and specific military offences under the Armed Forces Act 2006.

In November 2019, Helen represented a Chief Petty Officer who pleaded guilty to conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline, namely posting naked and sexualised photographs of himself on an open twitter profile, alongside tweets that identified him as a member of the Royal Navy. Whilst the pre-sentence report recommended a reduction in rank and the possibility of imprisonment (either suspended or immediate), following Helen’s oral and written submissions in mitigation, her client was instead sentenced to a reprimand.

Memberships


  • Criminal Bar Association
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Middle Temple
  • Youth Practitioners’ Association

Qualifications


  • BA (Hons) English Literature (Durham University, 2011)
  • Graduate Diploma in Law (College of Law Guildford, 2012)
  • Bar Professional Training Course (College of Law London, 2013)
  • Middle Temple Lord Diplock Scholarship (2012)