Claire qualified as a solicitor in 2006. She specialises in defending young people at the police station and at court.
Having previously worked as a Mental Health Solicitor she has expertise in representing vulnerable people.
Claire understands the importance of building a relationship of trust and the need for continuity, so frequently represents clients from the police station through to trial.
Claire was part of the advisory board which was convened by the Howard League to work on the publication: “Sentencing Young Adults: Making the case for sentencing principles for young adults”. She continues to work with the Howard League in developing sentencing guidelines for young adults.
Together with Mel Stooks she is a founder member of the Youth Practitioner’s Association (YPA).
Claire works closely with professionals such as psychologists and psychiatrists to ensure that her clients understand the proceedings and are able to effectively participate in their defence
She has spoken on Young People and the Criminal Justice System to various organisations including Winchester University Criminology Students, delegates at the Rebel Law conference and lecturers at the BPP.
R v W,
Youth charged with murder and trial at the Central Criminal Court June 2020. Vulnerable client who was granted an intermediary for the Trial.
Acquitted of murder and convicted of manslaughter.
The Solicitor General applied to the Court of Appeal to refer the sentence imposed as unduly lenient. Court of Appeal dismissed the Appeal and said the original sentence of 7 and a half years imposed at the Central Criminal Court was correct.
Claire Dissington, solicitor, instructed Judy Khan QC from Garden Court Chambers and Junior Ed Fenner, from GT Stewart.
R v O, Uxbridge Youth Court
GT Stewart represented a 13 year old looked after child who was subject to a Care Order and Deprivation of Liberty Order.
He had been sentenced to a 6 month referral order for common assault and criminal damage in his care home. He was referred to Claire Dissington of who successfully applied to reopen the matter and vacate the guilty pleas. Following representations the Crown discontinued these matters and a further 4 cases of common assault, 3 charges of criminal damage and s4 public order act charge. He now remains without criminal convictions.
R v B, Highbury Youth Court
15 year old girl who was charged with 2 counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. She admitted the offences in interview and on arrest. She was subject to a reasonable grounds decision following a referral as a victim of modern slavery. Kevin Williams made successful representations that it was not in the public interest to continue the prosecution.
R v V, Chelmsford Youth Court
15 year old charged with 2 robberies. His Co defendants were committed to the Crown Court. Following representation by Claire Dissington his case remained in the Youth Court and he was sentenced to a 2 year conditional discharge.
R v N, Highbury Youth Court
Claire Dissington represented a girl charged with Possess an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. Arrested with a water pistol when she was 14 years old. Trial at Highbury Youth Court when she was 17. CPS refused repeated representations that this was not in the public interest to prosecute and there had been appalling delays. They proceeded to trial. She was represented by Claire Dissington and found not guilty.
R v A, Croydon Magistrates Court
Claire Dissington was referred a vulnerable woman who had significant Mental Health issues. She had 3 cases with offences ranging from assaulting emergency workers, common assault and criminal damage. All three cases were discontinued following representations to the CPS that it was not in the Public Interest to proceed with the prosecution.