Ayesha Smart

Ayesha both prosecutes and defends in all areas of criminal law. She is instructed in the full range of criminal cases from homicide, drug trafficking, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud, often requiring a level of expertise and skill normally associated with somebody of much more senior call.

Ayesha has specific expertise in drug conspiracies, modern slavery and serious crime where there are medical issues. She is adept at dealing with expert evidence both in relation to presentation before juries and cross-examination.

Ayesha has a particular passion for Animal Law and is a renowned RSPCA prosecutor. She also regularly advises and represents those who are charged with offences contrary to the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

My work

High Profile Cases

R v Fare [2021] - defended as sole counsel in a murder trial at Preston Crown Court. The Defendant was deemed to unfit to plead and a fact finding trial was undertaken to determine whether the act had been committed. Ayesha was successful in excluding both the Defendant's confessions and bad character evidence. Nevertheless, there was overwhelming blood spatter and DNA evidence, but Ayesha ensured that the Defendant received a fair trial in the circumstances. The Defendant was sentenced to a s37 hospital order with s41 restrictions.

R v Langton [2021] - defended in a rape trial at Durham Crown Court where the Defendant was alleged to have raped the complainant once she had passed out on the sofa. The complainant allegedly woke up during the act of the rape and immediately reported the matter to her housemate. Ayesha secured a unanimous acquittal.

R v Cross [2021] - defended in a rape case at Burnley Crown Court involving multiple counts of rape and one of attempted rape. Successfully opposed the admission of bad character for a sexual offence. Defendant was unanimously acquitted of all counts.

R v Musgrave [2020] – led junior for the defence in an allegation of joint enterprise murder at Teesside Crown Court. Defendant was unanimously acquitted of murder and manslaughter

R v Smith [2020] – defended at Leeds Crown Court in a section 28, child kidnapping case. Defendant was unanimously acquitted.

R v Haegar [2019]– defended at York Crown Court against multiple allegations of sexual assault each involving differing issues. Defendant was unanimously acquitted.

R v Lowther [2019] – prosecution junior for a complex, circumstantial case of attempted murder tried at Bradford Crown Court. Successful at the Court of Appeal in overturning a terminatory ruling.

R v Saeed [2019] - defending at Bradford Crown Court in a case involving an aggravated robbery committed by a paranoid schizophrenic. Eventually a s37 MHA order was made with s41 restrictions.

R v Skop [2018] - defending in a long running multi-handed modern slavery case at Sheffield Crown Court. Led by Nigel Edwards QC. Was successful in reducing a 10-count indictment involving multiple offences contrary to the Modern Slavery Act down to a few simple fraud offences after legal arguments.

Operation Satin [2018] - defending in a county lines drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy at Manchester Crown Court. The Defendant was left facing offences relating to firearms with intent to endanger life. The Defendant's DNA was alleged to be on the firearm by the Prosecutions forensic expert​. Defendant was unanimously acquitted.

Operation Shinbone [2018] – prosecution junior in one of HMRC’s top 3 prosecutions of 2018 at Teesside Crown Court. The largest haul was discovered on the back of a lorry in Middlesbrough where officers found 2,204,620 non-UK duty paid cigarettes hidden among a shipment of fridge freezers. Successfully prosecution of 7 Defendants.

R v Chec [2018] - defending in a long running multi-handed modern slavery case at Teesside Crown Court. Led by Nigel Edwards QC.

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