Lesley Manley

Called in 1983


Called in 1983

Lesley Manley is one of London’s most experienced trial advocates. Lesley Manley is best known for defending in the £40 million Marache Supreme Court trial. The trial lasted nine months and was the biggest and longest running fraud trial in Gibraltar’s history. This matter is subject to an appeal pending at the Privy Council.

Lesley is a well known figure around the crown courts in London and further afield. She has a well deserved reputation for dealing with difficult cases and demanding clients. Recently Lesley Manley has been instructed in a 11 handed grooming case, “Operation Articulate”. Lesley also appears regularly in the Crown Courts and has experience in the Court of Appeal, Mental Health Tribunals and also appeared in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. Lesley Manley has been instructed as a leading counsel in “Operation Aguillar” which is a fraud trial involving a number of defendants who are non hearing.

In particular she has special expertise in representing defendants with mental illness, mental impairment and autism. She has written published articles on this point. She is also experienced in representing deaf defendants.

She has both prosecuted and defended in cases alleging a wide range of criminal activity. Although now mainly a defence advocate she has wide experience of prosecution work on behalf of the DWP and the CPS and for several years was instructed by the London Borough of Camden to prosecute a range of Health and Safety Offences and also environmental/housing matters.

Examples of the wide ranging nature of instructions she has recently received are : possessing extreme pornography, facilitating illegal entry into the UK, arson, aggravated burglary, robbery, rape, grievous bodily harm and murder. In addition other offences ranging from copyright theft, child neglect and murder have been defended.

Sexual Offences.

Lesley has acted as both leading and junior counsel in cases of serious sexual violence. In many cases the sexual violence has been accompanied by other forms of extreme violence. A the Central Criminal Court Lesley defended in a case where the victim was raped, then subjected to robbery, physical mutilation and threat to murder. At the Central Criminal Court Lesley defended a woman who with other women organised the gang rape of a younger woman and a mallet and hammer were used in order to subjugate the victim.

Notably in 2015 Lesley was instructed to defend one of eleven defendants in Operation Articulate at the Central Criminal Court.

Lesley has acted in other type of serious crime. She successfully defended a Lithuanian National accused ( together with others) of kidnapping another Lithuanian national who was perceived to be a business competitor.

She has also acted in cases of child cruelty where the facts alleged required skill in dealing with forensics evidence. In particular she has defended where a new born baby was repeatedly having bones broken by the mother.

She has defended in cases of armed robbery and other cases were firearms have been used.. In particular she defended in a case where the accused gate crashed a party and robbed all the guests at gunpoint.

In addition she has defended in cases of attempted murder and murder where focused examination of forensic evidence was of crucial importance.


Criminal Bar Association



“Are you fit for fitness to plead” published in Crimeline

Mental Impairment Identifying The Signs

” I’ll prove I’m innocent. I’ll take a lie detector test” . The admissibility of Polygraph Evidence by Colin Witcher and Lesley Manley


The following can be found on www.cpdcast.com

False Allegations of Rape

Fitness to Plead

Mercy killing-An act of Compassion or Self Interest.

Murder-Sexual Infidelity as a defence.


“Developments in Law and Practice in Sexual Offences” 11 September 2014

“Vulnerable and Intimidated Witnesses. Law and Practice” 23 October 2014





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In 1994 Lesley served as Chair of the Educational Appeal Panel in Tower Hamlets. This experience helps her to assist those wishing to lodge appeals in respect of school admissions.

She is also an approved pupil supervisor and an advocacy trainer at Middle Temple.



Current Instructions

R v X Instructed as leading counsel in multi-handed million pound fraud trial at Southwark Crown Court to commence in 2016

R v X Drugs Importation / Class A Drugs at Croydon Crown Court

R v X Case involving serious Harassment of Officials with issues of Fitness to Plead to be determined at Aylesbury Crown Court.

R v M ( and others) Case involving the arranging of Sham marriages. Newcastle Crown Court

R v X Sham marriage case at Isleworth Crown Court

R v X Central Criminal Court. Undercover police operation in respect on online attempts to be provided with 3 year old child.

Recent Instructions

R v Marrache & Others. Called to the Bar in Gibraltar in 2012 after being instructed as junior counsel for the defence in Gibraltar’s longest running jury trial. This concerned an alleged fraud by lawyers in the sum of £40 million pounds. The trial concluded on the 4 July 2014.

This case was complex not only in terms of the financial and Tusts  aspects of the case but in terms of its international aspects. Evidence was received by live link by agreement with the government of the Czech Republic. There was  evidence relating to a number of EU countries in particular Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and the Republic of Ireland and also to Israel, Canada and the United States.

This case was the subject of international media attention and reports can be found on www.chronicle.gi and www.gbc.gi/ . This matter is the subject of an appeal to the Privy Council.

In addition to acting as junior in respect of the criminal matter Lesley researched legal issues in respect of constitutional matters and appeared in court to assist Charles Gomez, Gibraltar Counsel, who brought a Constitutional Motion against the Attorney General’s Office and The Governor of Gibraltar on behalf of Benjamin Marrache.

R v X Instructed to defend in series of robberies at Durham Crown Court.

R v D Instructed to defend allegation of section 18 at Teeside Crown Court.

R v M Supply Class A drugs at Woolwich Crown Court.

R v R Section 18 Grievous Bodily Harm at Snaresbrook Crown Court


Lesley Manley is appreciated for her sensitive approach at the Coroner’s Court.

She has acted in numerous fatal road traffic collisions.

2015 Acted on behalf of parents who tragically lost 3 year old child in fatal traffic accident.

2013 Acted on behalf of family whose relative had died as a result of fall from Beachy Head. Verdict. misadventure.

She has also acted in a variety of difficult cases. They include

  1. an inquest into the death of a baby when suffocated by a family member
  2. Represented a Custody Sergeant ( Newcastle Coroner’s Court) following the death of a man who had swallowed a drug package.
  3. An inquest into the death of a wife whose husband had been originally charged with her murder. Verdict. Suicide.
Notable Cases

Lesley Manley has over 25 years of experience prosecuting and defending serious sexual offences. On occasion such offending has been linked to other offending such as false imprisonment, robbery and inflicting grievous bodily harm. She has also been instructed in cases where those in authority are alleged to have ” groomed” victims. Several cases have attracted media attention. She was instructed to advise, draft the indictment and prosecute a case where a stepfather had been drugging a young child in order to sexually abuse her since the child was aged 6.

Lesley has often been instructed to advise on cases with a view to referring them to the Criminal Review Commission.

Lesley also has considerable experience both prosecuting and defending female defendants charged with committing sexual offences. These include cases where it has been alleged a female arranged rape upon a ” love rival” as a punishment, a case where it was alleged a schoolgirl was forced into prostitution by an older girl, a case where a female was involved in having intercourse with a number of underage boys and a case involving offences against a child by his mother.

Case Examples : Sexual Offences

R v Bernard Wright [ Serial rape case with defendant attacking victims at knifepoint]

R v Peter Ramsay [ Internet date rape case followed by serious physical assault on victim]

R v X. Woolwich Crown Court [ Rape of 13 year old girl by mentally impaired defendant]

R v X. Woolwich Crown Court [ Sexual Assault upon stepdaughter ]

R v X. Inner London Crown Court [ Multi-handed rape by school boys upon fellow pupils]

R v X. Croydon Crown Court [ Historic sexual abuse by stepfather upon stepdaughters from different families. Abuse spanning 1960’s -1980’s ]

R v X Croydon Crown Court [ Historical case. Rape by father of his biological daughter when she was 11-14. Complaint made when accused aged 76]

R v X Reading Crown Court [ Historic sexual touching of granddaughter. Successful application to exclude lie detector evidence the Crown wished to place before the jury]

Case Examples : Financial Crime

R V Gorecia 2010. The defendants were accused of cheating the Revenue of £1.2 million pounds. An abuse of process argument advanced by previous counsel had been dismissed. The defendants continued to maintain they had immunity from prosecution. Isaac Jacob of 9 Stone Buildings co-defended in the matter using a multi-disciplinary approach with their respective knowledge of tax law and criminal law. In due course the Revenue found a file which lead to the re-opening of the abuse argument and the case against the defendants was stayed.

In R v W ( and others) at Maidstone Crown Court the defendant was charged with a conspiracy to defraud the NHS by way of dishonesty in respect of procurement of contracts. The trial was estimated to last 6 weeks but collapsed after 4 days as a consequence of the defence raising issues in connection with disclosure and failure of the Crown to properly investigate matters which may have pointed to the defendants’ innocence.

R v X Croydon Crown Court. Defendant charged with substantial benefit fraud but no evidence offered after DWP accepted the level of domestic violence she had suffered was so severe that she was psychiatrically incapacitated by post traumatic stress syndrome.

CASES: Miscellaneous

R v X Child Cruelty. Croydon Crown Court. Mother aged 17. Accused of fracturing bones of new born baby.

R v X Aggravated Burglary Luton Crown Court. Brain injured defendant accused of breaking into his sister’s house and attempting to kill her.