Rachel Cooper defends nationally publicised transgender case

Miss Cooper was instructed in the well-publicised case of R v W, in which the defendant, a transgender woman, was convicted of multiple counts of sexual offences against women.

This was a developing case in which an on-going police investigation resulted in three new cases being laid against the defendant whilst the defendant was on remand due to assault allegations. Miss Cooper represented the defendant throughout the resulting allegations. These involved rape allegations against a recent partner; historic rape allegations; and allegations of sexual assaults against fellow prisoners. The latter resulted in the defendant being moved from a women’s prison into the male prison estate.

The case involved many vulnerable witnesses and ongoing disclosure issues. Miss Cooper worked closely with the prosecution to clarify the developing cases whilst robustly defending her client, and preserving the dignity and anonymity of the witnesses during court proceedings. The defendant also had significant vulnerabilities that needed to be handled with sensitivity and understanding. This resulted in the defendant entering guilty pleas to a reduced indictment that properly reflected the criminal acts that had occurred.

Miss Cooper has a particular interest in dealing with vulnerable and mentally disordered defendants, and often defends in cases of particular sensitivity.
The case attracted a lot of media attention throughout and required measured representations in court. At the end of the case Judge Batty publicly thanked Miss Cooper, and the prosecution, for their ‘sensitive handling of a difficult case’.