Leeds barrister Frances Pencheon has been tipped for the top after demonstrating remarkable advocacy skills in a recent mystery trial at Swindon Crown Court.
The six-day trial – in which investigative journalist Richard Carvath was acquitted of a 4a stalking indictment – is strictly hush-hush due to reporting restrictions, though many people are aware of the background to the case and the identity of the complainant.
Miss Pencheon, of St Pauls Chambers, defended her client with a depth and breadth of excellence which belied her four-year call, on a circuit a long way from her home turf.
A brilliant functional advocate with hidden subtleties, Fran Pencheon mastered a complex legal case which at times was challenging even to the legal expertise of Swindon’s senior presiding judge, His Honour Judge Peter Crabtree OBE.
Pencheon showed herself to be a shrewd inquisitor in cross-examination, successfully exposing a criminal conspiracy, and catching out the complainant and the police (including a senior detective, a D.I.) in big porky pies.
Pencheon’s spell-binding closing speech was justly described by observers as compelling and irresistible – in fact, in law and in the persuasiveness of her oratory.
Seasoned prosecutor Mrs Susan Cavender, of Guildhall Chambers (Bristol), in complimenting Pencheon, was heard to say that Pencheon was showing ‘QC habits’.
We think Miss Pencheon is a future Silk in the making, and we wish her well in her career at the Bar.