Sarah Magill specialises in serious organised crime, courts martial and inquests. She maintains a practice that involves both defending and prosecuting serious criminal matters. She is a robust criminal practitioner with a proven record in dealing with heavyweight cases. She is regularly instructed in multiple defendant violence, firearms, drug and money laundering cases requiring meticulous analysis of complex case papers. She has extensive experience in the sensitive handling of vulnerable defendants and witnesses. Sarah also accepts instructions in disciplinary matters and has appeared for the General Medical Council.
Called to the Bar in 2016 as a transferring duty-qualified solicitor-advocate, she also regularly appears in courts martial and is frequently called upon to defend former and serving members of the military facing prosecution in civilian courts.
Sarah is on the serious organised crime and fraud panels and was appointed to the level 3 CPS general criminal panel in 2018. Sarah is also on the specialist regulatory panel which enables her to prosecute on behalf of various regulators including the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.
Sarah is as adept at defending youths and vulnerable defendants as she is senior members of the armed forces, high-net-worth individuals and businesses. She has a working knowledge of the prison estate and deploys this experience when instructed in cases involving offences occurring in prisons as well as inquests into deaths in custody.
background and expertise
Prior to qualification as a practitioner, Sarah worked within the field of forensic mental health, providing tier-1 support to individuals in prison and the community, Sarah regularly draws upon this unique experience.
During her time reading Law at Cardiff University, Sarah led an Innocence Project team who were responsible for the casework that ultimately led to a murder conviction being successfully overturned at the Court of Appeal, a first for such a team in British legal history.
Defended WO2 charged with conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. Catterick Military Centre.
Defended soldier charged with s.20 GBH on a subordinate. Catterick Military Centre.
Defended civilian subject to service discipline. Catterick Military Centre.
Defended two counts of attempted s.18 GBH with a knife. Catterick Military Centre.
Advised on appeal conviction
Private case – landowner with multiple weapons; sentence appeal allowed. Precious gun returned. Carlisle Crown Court.
Firearms – question of antiquity. Defendant was an antiques dealer with a large range of militaria for sale. Preston Crown Court.
Defended former soldier charged with possessing firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Preston Crown Court.
Separately defended two former members of proscribed organisations charged with crimes of serious violence involving firearms. Preston Crown Court.
False imprisonment of a prisoner by a prisoner in a prison cell. Secured acquittal of IPP prisoner. Hull Crown Court.
Series of armed robberies with imitation firearms, hammers and knives. Preston Crown Court.
Prosecuted two men for s.18 GBH. Barrow Crown Court.
Prosecuted two men for aggravated burglary involving a stabbing with a machete. Preston Crown Court.
Defended one of two men prosecuted at trial for an armed robbery where a finger was severed. Preston Crown Court.
Defended one of ten men prosecuted for football violence. Liverpool Crown Court.
Minor celebrity. Secured acquittal for all charges in a privately paid case that attracted a high level of media interest (national press and police professional standards in attendance). Redditch Magistrates Court
Prison Mutiny. Defended one of eight teenagers prosecuted for a “wanton orgy” of violent destruction in a YOI. Liverpool Crown Court.
Defended child accused of the near-fatal stabbing of a teenager. Reporting restrictions were lifted. Preston Crown Court.
Arson with intent. Two defendants had consumed ‘monkey dust’ and set fire to their house believing there to be individuals in the loft. Stoke on Trent Crown Court.
Defended man accused of arson with intent to endanger life following a prison fire. Preston Crown Court.
Defended a RNLI volunteer, one of 10 defendants in a conspiracy to supply class A and money laundering. Preston Crown Court.
Defended carer prosecuted for long-running £96k fraud against elderly man who passed away pre-charge. Ran abuse argument on basis indictment was bad (successful). Burnley Crown Court.
Defended carer prosecuted for long-running fraud against elderly relative who lost capacity pre-trial. Opposed hearsay and made s.78 app to exclude ABE; successful. Preston Crown Court.
Defended one of 38 in a conspiracy to defraud motor insurers ‘crash for cash’. Carlisle Crown Court.
Led by Tim Storrie, five defendants including one in absence. Conspiracy to supply class A. This was a matter linked operationally to an extremely sensitive high-profile case and therefore required additional attention. Manchester Crown Court.
Prosecution junior, ten defendants, conspiracy to supply class A in Blackpool. Preston Crown Court.
Conveying heroin and cocaine into prison. Stafford Crown Court.
Defended one of seven charged with conspiracy to supply cocaine. Carlisle Crown Court.
Defended teenager charged with importation of class A drugs. Carlisle Crown Court.
Conveying articles into prison (cocaine) – this case is the authority for how to sentence conveyance of drugs into prison. Successfully reduced sentence by half.
Appeared for the defendant who was acquitted after trial of an allegation of digitally penetrating the vagina of a woman in a hot tub during a party. Carlisle Crown Court.
18 year old defendant prosecuted for offences when 15 and 16 against 12 year old who then turned 13. CPS had waited to prosecute until he reached 18th birthday. Preston Crown Court.
Successfully defended trial, four count indictment; historic sexual offences against a child. Preston Crown Court.
Inquest touching on the death of a prisoner. Represented the family in a death in custody case where the cause of death was the consumption of novel psychoactive substances (‘spice’). Stafford.
PROFILE: Sarah Magill *
Fraud, Bribery & Corruption
Confiscation / POCA
Inquests / public inquiries
0207 489 2727
CPS Panel (Grade 3)
CPS Fraud Panel (Grade 2)
CPS Serious Crime Panel (Grade 3)
Specialist Regulatory Advocate Panel
Association of Military Court Advocates