Louise Sweet QC is a specialist criminal practitioner who defends in legally complex, emotive and high profile cases. Her practice is wide ranging and includes financial crime, murder; serious drugs cases and sexual violence. She is a ranked Silk in both leading directories, Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 2018-19.
She has vast experience in defending all types of sexual offence allegations. Grooming cases include Operation Silk, Operation Nautical (Oxford CC) and Operations Clover 1 and 2, trials arising from the Rotherham child sex exploitation scandal. (Sheffield CC)
She has appeared in cases of notoriety attracting huge national press interest including Mick Philpott, The Derby Fire Case, whose six children perished in a fire, a Coronation Street actor cleared of rapes, a matricide committed by a teenage couple who hid their victim in the airing cupboard.
Other fatality cases include securing the acquittal of a man accused of a Hoxton gang murder, gaining a manslaughter “diminished responsibility” verdict for a man with alcohol dependency syndrome who beheaded his partner and a not guilty verdict for a mother accused with two others of killing her 7-week old baby. Experienced in challenging complex medical evidence.
Louise has been described by the Legal 500 as a “very effective and direct” jury advocate in the field of financial crime, defending business crime, corruption and money laundering prosecuted by all agencies, SFO, FCA, Trading Standards and Customs. (Ranked in the Legal 500 for Fraud)
Cases include Operation Mecklenberger (An 80m Euros bureau de change money laundering case) at Southwark CC, The Wonga Fraud (£6.2m payday loan company fraud) and Operation Elvedon (corruption in public office) has also represented a man cleared of boiler room fraud, a Director operating out of the Gherkin Building.
Specialist in vulnerable witness cases. Criminal Bar Association tutor.
Legally Qualified Chair, Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. (GMC)
Acts for professionals facing disciplinary matters.
Eligible to accept instructions under the Direct Access Scheme.
Silk (2016) Louise has a wide breadth of experience in defending prosecutions by all agencies including SFO, NCA, Trading Standards, HMRCE and FSA (FCA) investigations. Highlights include “The Wonga Fraud” where 19000 fraudulent loan applications to the payday loan company netted £6.2 million, R-v- S and Others (Operation Mecklenburger) where 80 million Euros, the proceeds of organised crime, was laundered via bureau de change in central London, R-v- A and Others (Operation Elveden) misconduct in a public office and R –v- Ozakpinar and Others (corrupt CPS procurement practices which went to the heart of Ludgate Hill)
R -v- B and 3 Ors: 2016: Director found not guilty in boiler room fraud operating out of The Gherkin Building, multi handed, diamonds and art. Central Criminal Court.
R -v- D and 3 Ors: 2016: Corruption of the “green economy” carbon credit fraud investigation into City investment firm and its associates. Maidstone.
R –v- A and 6 Others (2015): Bureau de change money laundering, 18 defendants split in to three trials, (Operation Mecklenberger) 80 Million Euros laundered. Successfully opposed the admission of extra jurisdictional evidence. Successful exclusion of Albanian drugs gang conviction. Southwark. 3 month trial.
R –v- C and 12 Others (2015): Blackfriars Crown Court: Defendant cleared of large scale Oyster Card Fraud where TfL alleged corruption of the database and cloning by Louise’s client an employee of TfL for 15 years.
R –v- V and 5 Others (2014): Birmingham Crown Court: Defendant cleared of conspiring with local businessmen in mortgage fraud. SFO
R –v- I and Others (2014) Southwark Crown Court: Organised fraud against credit card companies. 28 suspects. 19 charged. Fraudsters targeted payment protection facilities offered by credit card companies. Lloyds TSB targeted in multi-jurisdictional asset dissipation alleged. 3-month trial. SOCA
R -v- A (2012) Southwark Crown Court: Over £1 million claimed fraudulently via the disability access to work scheme. A claimed to have set up the business with his partner to help the disabled. Investigators uncovered sham jobs. DWP prosecution.
R -v- D: Birmingham Crown Court. International fraudsters targeted Barclays Premier Accounts for over a million pounds, approached employees of Barclays at networking events before recruiting them for fraud.
R -v- B: Maidstone Crown Court: Police discovered £1 million pounds alleged proceeds from £53 million Kent Securitas Robbery in traceable Bank of England notes in company director’s car. International money laundering suspected on a large scale. Judge noted “it is not every day a man is found with a million pounds in his boot”.
R -v- B and Others: Southwark Crown Court: 5 accused in fresh air invoice scam against RBS.
R -v- B and Others: Snaresbrook Crown Court: Multi million pound Trading Standards prosecution. Fake golf clubs imported from International jurisdictions, China and Thailand. “E Bay” fraud. Complicated asset tracing.
R –v -E and 8 others, Cardiff Crown Court: Accused cleared of Fraud on several clearing banks and Next plc the clothing company.
Louise has considerable experience in defending all crimes that result in the loss of life. She has particularly experience in cases of notoriety and sensitivity. Brutal facts and difficult defences do not faze her, she is described as a “fearless and formidable advocate, who combines skill and hard work” Legal 500.
She is particularly sought out in joint enterprise murder cases, cases involving the cross examination of vulnerable witnesses or those involving complex medical evidence.
Murder/Manslaughter Case Highlights
R-v-S 2019: Cardiff CC: local man cleared of murder and spared life sentence passed on 3 co-defendants in joint enterprise murder. Horrific footage of brutal stabbing caught on residential CCTV.
R-v- H 2018: Central Criminal Court: 37 year old man found not guilty of a joint enterprise murder committed in broad daylight said to be provoked by fall out at wake. Stabbing. CCTV images successfully challenged. Anonymous child eye witnesses.
R-v- M 2017 Central Criminal Court: father accused of baby shaking murder. 35 fractures and 3 separate episodes of cerebral brain damage. Complex Medical expertise. Vulnerable and young witnesses, autistic sibling age 10 and younger sister age 7
R –v – JR 2016 Central Criminal Court: decapitation murder reduced to manslaughter: diminished responsibility alcoholic dependency syndrome. Complex medical evidence. Emotive domestic violence motive challenged. A/G reference sentence.
R -v- O and others 2015 Central Criminal Court. Hoxton man found not guilty of teen murder after cell site evidence demonstrated to be flawed.
R –v- R and others 2015: Islington man cleared of murder in bike robbery stabbing. Joint Enterprise issue.
R –v- G and others 2014: Preston. Mother cleared in Polish baby murder case. 7-week-old baby died of head injuries that suggest deliberate assault. Complex medical evidence, multiple experts: age of hemorrhages, age of bone fractures, specialist pediatric consultants.
R-v- W and others 2014: man cleared of shooting in Sheffield’s Parson Cross drugs wars.
R-v- S and others 2014: Wood Green Crown Court: Albanian male cleared of stabbing two males with machete. Witness gave evidence over live link from hospital due to loss of bowel and lower intestine.
R-v- Philpott and Others 2013: Nottingham Crown Court: Arson and Murder; represented Michael Philpott, accused of starting fire that led to death of his six children at his Derby home. The case involved extensive bad character, complex new “petrol branding” science and hundreds of witnesses.
R -v- W and others: Blackfriars Crown Court: Attempted murder, Harlesden youth gang shoot man in back in tube station. Gang inspired by controversial homemade rap videos. Whole incident captured on CCTV. Complex bad character issues.
R –v- R and Others: Central Criminal Court: Gang violence: 40 Somali youths stab rival in front of terrified crowd at Camden tube station. Complex CCTV and mobile phone defence reconstruction of alternative narrative so that defendant was cleared of murder.
R –v-H and Others: Central Criminal Court: Matricide: Teenage couple plan execution of mother and leave dismembered body to be discovered by playmates from estate in the airing cupboard. Diminished responsibility.
R-v-A and Others: Bristol Crown Court: Biggest operation led by Avon and Somerset Police. 12 defendants. Local businessman cleared of drugs motivated contract killing. Not Guilty.
R-v-H, Central Criminal Court: Wood Green shopkeeper defended his property with fatal consequences, beheading “unlawful act” manslaughter defence successful.
Louise is experienced in more difficult cases, particularly when reputations are at stake, where there are complex legal arguments, expert evidence is required or there are multiple complainants and vulnerable witnesses.
For example, high profile cases include the successful representation of a serving Lord Mayor, Coronation Street Star, teaching and sports professionals accused of serious sexual offences and other cases of difficulty or attracting intense media interest. (e.g. See Operation Clover below)
Has lectured for BMA on disclosure.
Expert in cross examination of vulnerable witnesses.
Serious Sexual Offences Case Highlights
Historic grooming cases Operation Silk and Operation Nautical (Oxford CC) and indecent images from dark web.
R –v- AT 2019: Operation Malbec: Doctor accused of sexually motivated examinations of multiple patients. Historic allegations between 15-30 years old. Previous adverse GMC findings. Huge press interest. Please see BBC News for further details.
R-v- H 2018: 19 year old man found not guilty of sexual assault allegations made after music festival.
R-v-Y and others 2018: Operation Silk: Multiple complaint allegations made against family man. Historic offences. Child sexual offences.
R –v- A and others 2017: Operation Nautical: family man found not guilty of sex allegations: historic offences, multiple defendants, child sexual grooming offences. Grooming.
R-v- F and others 2017: historic family abuse case where both parents and elder brother accused of sexual offences and child cruelty of 5 children, allegations spanned three different local authorities and more than 35 years. Vast and complex disclosure.
R-v S: 2016: Businessman is cleared of historic sexual abuse, serving police officer complainant made allegations after 23 years.
Operation Clover 1 and 2: 2016: Sheffield Crown Court, Offences arising from Rotherham child sexual exploitation scandal as detailed in the Jay Report 2014 suggesting there could be 1400 victims of CSE in Rotherham. National media interest. The trials were closely followed by the IPCC, Rotherham Social Services and other agencies in the light of allegations of corruption.
R –v D and 7 Ors: Operation Clover 1: accused cleared of conspiracy to rape. Historic offences, allegations of child sex exploitation and procurement for prostitution.
R-v Z and Others 2015: Southwark Crown Court: (Operation Peltier) Hungarian people smuggling and prostitution gang where rape and sexual assault were alleged to be part of the tools of control for the criminal gang. 7 defendants. Defendant targeted by first joint police force operation between UK and Hungary.
R –v Dodson 2015: Sheffield Crown Court: Lord Mayor who was forced to stand down from office when accused, cleared of historic sex abuse allegations.
R –v- G 2014: Maidstone Crown Court: Polish man cleared by jury of “dark alley stranger rape”. Successfully challenged interpretation of results for defendant’s DNA found on intimate clothing. Defendant denied sexual contact.
R –v A and Ors 2014: Snaresbrook Crown Court: Child prostitution and gang rape. Girls targeted at children’s homes, grooming with drugs, alcohol and money. 5 defendants. Girl admitted lies when cross examined to exonerate Louise’s client.
R-v TG 2014 Southwark Crown Court: Priest admitted downloading more than 5000 images of child abuse was given a suspended prison sentence.
R –v H 2014: Cardiff Crown Court: Historic rape allegation case where family member accused uncle of long term sexual abuse alleged to have occurred over 20 years ago.
R-v-C and Ors: Wood Green Crown Court: Celebrity photographer is accused of campaign of rape and sexual abuse of models. Defendant claimed Terry Richardson, who provokes debate for his overtly sexualised images of women, inspired his photographs.
R-v-A, Central Criminal Court: Premiership footballer. Gang rape.
R-v-B Middlesex Guildhall: Coronation Street star cleared of Café de Paris nightclub rape of 21-year-old student. National press interest.
R-v-A Wood Green Crown Court: School Governor cleared of historic child abuse.
R-v-A Snaresbrook Crown Court: Schoolboy cleared of recruiting schoolgirl to befriend her classmates for 7 man gang rape. Multiple victims alleged.
R-v-L Inner London Crown Court: Teenager acquitted of unlawful sexual intercourse with police officer’s teenage daughter.
Louise brings more than two decades of experience at all levels of the criminal justice system to her appellate practice.
She has particular expertise for those whose mental health defences have been overlooked. Alcohol and drugs dependency, PTSD, ex service personnel.
Sexual Offence Appeals, especially those involving medical evidence or complex unused material.
Fresh evidence appeals.
She is available to give a second opinion at short notice where required in conviction or sentence cases.
AG Ref 2016: Attorney requested leave to appeal sentence for man in manslaughter diminished responsibility, alcohol dependency syndrome proven.
Appeal of SW: Successful appeal from Blackfriars CC of IPP imposed for shooting by gang at Harlesden Tube Station.
Appeal of W: Murder conviction, fresh medical evidence appellant’s gulf war PTS.
Appeal of W CA 2010: Successful fresh evidence appeal. Soldier, after returning from service abroad, accused of historic sex allegations. Inadequate third party disclosure led to failure of justice at the trial. Man freed on appeal.
Louise brings more than two decades of experience as a criminal defence advocate to her disciplinary work.
She sits as a Legally Qualified Chair for the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service maintaining standards and discipline for Doctors.
Louise represents medical professionals in criminal proceedings.
Psychiatric and medical causation.
Shaken Baby Syndrome.
Health care sector: GDC, GMC, NMC and GphC.
Louise is experienced in representing defendants in health and safety cases including gross negligence manslaughter cases.
She has appeared in cases involving deaths and serious injury in the work place.
Particular expertise in fire science and emerging science in petrol brand identification in arson related allegations.
Louise has conducted complex cases in this area.
R –v- I 2015 Southwark Crown Court: Operation Mecklenberger, 80 Million Euros laundered from merchant credit cash back fraud. Leading Junior.
R-v- Z 2015 Southwark Crown Court: Operation Peltier, Organised crime, Hungarian people traffickers and nationwide brothel network dissipate assets through Eastern Europe. NCA
R –v- I 2014 Southwark Crown Court: illegal pharmaceuticals profits laundered across continents.
R –v Denton Birmingham Crown Court: Man known as the “Spider” hidden assets alleged in Portugal, France and China. Profits from multi million pound VAT carousel fraud and Barclays Bank account fraud found in thorough financial inquiry. Life style assumptions avoided.
R –v- Bowrem Maidstone Crown Court: International restraint and confiscation. SOCA prosecution. Avoided life style inquiry assumptions to save family assets.
R –v- Bellchambers and Others Snaresbrook Crown Court: Multi million pound restraint and confiscation with offshore hidden assets. International jurisdictions, including China, Thailand and Australia. Trading Standards prosecution.
R –v- B Southwark Crown Court: Multi million pound restraint and confiscation, offshore hidden assets arising out of fresh air invoice fraud. International jurisdictions, Dubai and Liechtenstein asset disposal. SFO prosecution.
Louise Sweet QC is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a Leading Silk 2018 – 2019
Louise is also in the Legal 500 and Ranked Silk 2017- 2019 Crime (general crime) and Fraud
‘A fearless and formidable advocate, who combines skill and hard work’. Legal 500 2017 Crime
‘She has a very effective and direct approach.’ Legal 500 2017 Fraud