Althea Brooks

Year of call:2017
Expertise: Crime, Family
DevonChambers_May2021-15a
Appointments:Level 2 Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service
Memberships:Western Circuit, Criminal Bar Association, Family Law Bar Association, ADR-ODR accredited civil/commercial mediator
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Practice areas

  • General crime
  • Public law family

Profile

Through her hardworking and astute nature, Althea has developed a thriving practice, attracting a loyal following of family law and criminal law clients. She is revered for her thorough preparation of cases, grasp of the law and facts, and client-focused approach. This enables Althea to perfectly balance being a fierce and persuasive advocate in the court room while being empathetic with clients.

Crime

Not only does Althea prosecute, but she is also a formidable defence advocate. She appears in jury trials in the Crown Court for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), breach matters for the Probation Service, and trials and sentences for the defence. Althea has experience conducting matters involving young and/or vulnerable witnesses. Her manner is particularly sensitive when speaking to and examining complainants of domestic abuse at court.

Family

Althea accepts instructions for public law matters and has appeared in all stages of proceedings, representing parents, guardians, intervenors, and local authorities. Her confident yet gentle and approachable manner helps put clients at ease. Having represented parents with learning difficulties, she is experienced in adapting her communication style where necessary and working with intermediaries. Her experience as a criminal practitioner makes her well equipped for fact-finding hearings. Althea prides herself on providing detailed attendance notes and is always mindful of the importance of communicating outcomes to her instructing solicitors, as well as filing orders in good time.

Althea is an ADR ODR International-accredited civil and commercial mediator. She deploys her negotiation and mediation skills to ensure positive outcomes for parents at court, often facilitating consent orders, which are child focused and satisfy both parties.

Althea is regulated by the Bar Standards Board.

Recent Cases

  • R v B (2019). Prosecuted an appeal against terms of a Criminal Behaviour Order.  This included drafting a skeleton argument defending the terms sought. 
  • R v B (2019). Defended a man, with many similar previous convictions, of going equipped for burglary. Argument was about the weight that should be given to circumstantial evidence. 
  • R v J (2019). Defended a young man at trial charged with ABH. The prosecution submitted a tumbler was thrown directly at ex-girlfriend’s face; the defendant said it was thrown to the ground and rebounded.  Bad character of the defendant was raised by several gateways.
  • R v H (2020). Defended a serial domestic burglar in the face of strong evidence, including significant bad character, and an amended defence statement following additional DNA evidence.
  • R v P (2020). Prosecuting counsel for legal argument around terms of proposed Sexual Harm Prevention Order following conviction for voyeurism and outraging public decency. The defendant had a previous conviction and extended sentence licence from a different jurisdiction. The case included application for a reporting restriction in respect of a complainant.
  • R v R (2020). Prosecuted offence of domestic violence related aggravated burglary/s18 GBH. Defence witnesses included the 16-year-old son of complainant and defendant. Resisted application to sever the indictment and application to adduce bad character of non-defendants.
  • R v D (2021). Defended a young, vulnerable man accused of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, supply of Class A drugs, and possession of offensive weapon. Offences from two separate incidents were joined. Defendant had assistance of an intermediary for first day of trial. 
  • R v Mc (2021). Prosecuted a man for making and distributing indecent images of children. Trial included lengthy agreed facts and jury bundle of communications. Resisted defence application to exclude content that showed a sexual interest in children and messages regarding his step-daughter that the defence deemed prejudicial.
  • R v H (2021). Prosecuted a three-day trial of issue about the extent of dishonesty regarding ~£17,000 theft by an employed carer from a dying man in a hospice. Included detailed financial data and employer’s investigation.
  • R v D (2021). Prosecuted a seven-day trial with lengthy ABE evidence on assault ABH and coercive or controlling behaviour. Both the victim and defendant were elderly and vulnerable. The defence made applications for third-party disclosure and non-defendant bad character. Trial included extensive jury bundles for both prosecution and defence with handwritten notes, letters and diaries, medical records, and counselling records. 
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