Our Team

Our Team

Directors

Liam Allan

Liam is a Director and Co-Founder of The Defendant. Liam was falsely accused by an ex-girlfriend of multiple rape and sexual assault, in a widely reported case, during his Bachelors in Criminology and Criminal Psychology. Having struggled mentally whilst on bail, Liam was eventually charged and his case went to trial. During the 3rd day of his trial, it was revealed that 60,000 text messages had been downloaded from his accuser’s phone and had not been disclosed by the Officer in Charge, with a large portion of those messages proving his innocence. Liam is now an advocate for the falsely accused, with a particular focus on ensuring that there is sufficient support for defendant’s whilst they are going through the Criminal Justice System.

Hannah Arkwright

Hannah is a Director and Co-Founder of The Defendant.  In 2018 Hannah was falsely accused of domestic violence by an ex-boyfriend. The case never reached trial and was dropped after a year due to lack of evidence. It was this life changing experience that led Hannah to complete a Master’s Degree in Law, with the aspiration of becoming a criminal defence solicitor. Having experienced the criminal justice system as a defendant, Hannah quickly recognised where the support was lacking and became determined to do something about it. Hannah and Liam put their heads together, and The Defendant became a reality.

Hannah’s undergraduate degree was in Healthcare: Management, Policy and Research. She has also completed a course in Mental Health First Aid and has a level 7 diploma in Training.

Board of Trustees

As a registered charity, our Board of Trustees has responsibility for oversight and management of the charity’s finances and property, and administration of the charity according to charity law.

Freya Wood

Freya recently completed her Masters in law at the University of Law. During her time at university she got heavily involved with various pro-bono activities such as ‘street law’ which aims to advance justice to bring about positive change for both the individuals and others; and ‘SolidariTee,’ which is a student-led charity fighting for change in the refugee crisis. Freya was also very successful in the University’s mooting competition. Freya then spent a year with the ‘Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA)’ doing casework for the ‘Special Educational Needs and Disability’ tribunal and is now a children’s advisor at the refugee council, with the hope of becoming a human rights solicitor.

Ella Blake

Ella joined The Defendant as a trustee in September 2020. Ella has a passion for aiding the fight against miscarriages of justice in any way she can. She completed her degree in Law at the University of Sheffield, and is currently undertaking the Legal Practice Course. Ella has a keen interest in Criminal Law, including taking on the role of Student Manager for the University of Sheffield’s Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre. Simultaneously, Ella was heavily involved in the Innovation of Justice campaign, helping to raise awareness of issues within the Criminal Justice System and providing important exemplary cases a platform to highlight the nature of such issues. Ella has also completed various work experience roles in Criminal Law and seen first-hand the Criminal Justice System’s process from the perspective of a lawyer.

Christian Weaver

Christian joined The Defendant team in September 2020. Christian completed a law degree and his BPTC at Nottingham Law School. During his degree he worked as a pro-bono legal adviser at Nottingham Law School’s Legal Advice Clinic where he advised on housing and employment related matters. He also provided pro-bono legal support to numerous anti-discrimination grassroots organisations. Christian is passionate about the law being accessible to all and protecting the most vulnerable in society. Based on this passion, he founded ‘The Law in 60 seconds.’

Christian is a barrister at Garden Court North Chambers specialising in Human Rights.

Claire McGourlay – Treasurer

Claire is a Professor of Law at the University of Manchester School of Law. Claire runs the Miscarriages of Justice Review Centre and has been involved with miscarriages of justice since 1991. Claire teaches criminal evidence, criminal law, and Miscarriages of Justice. Claire believes that the CJS should work effectively and fairly for all that find themselves thrown into it and all those that work in the system. The system also needs to address and acknowledge mistakes quickly and efficiently.’

Maya Bhat – Social Media Officer

Maya is a second-year law student at Cardiff University. Her initial interest in providing support and information to defendants was sparked when studying a Miscarriages of Justice module. She has a years experience in corporate social media marketing and aims to use these skills to promote the charity. She aspires to become a solicitor after she has completed her degree.

And to the group of people who provide us with a wealth of experience and every-day advice:

  • Emily Bolton
  • James Cairns
  • Holly Greenwood
  • Julie Price
  • Dennis Eady
  • Margaret Gardener
  • Katharina Stock
  • Laurent d’Unienville
  • Mark George from Garden Court North Chambers
  • Daniel Berke from 3D Solicitors
  • Katherine Sproson from 3D Solicitors
  • Kate Eedy
  • Clive Dickman

To all those who have contributed to this website:

Kieran Donnelly, Emilie Collins, Marion Deletang, Jessica Chan, Joseph Garnett, Zahra Mirza, Laraib Raja, Ehsan Riaz, Rosie Hutchinson, Megan Riffel, Melissa Ingram, Dahlia Taqi, Aaisha Ahmed, Lauren Cross, Joe Royster, Elisha Rooke, Ellie Atkins, Abbie James, Alex Davies, Declan Larkin, Eirian Jones, Heather McGuirk