Isobel Ascherson


Isobel is an experienced barrister who defends and prosecutes the most serious matters in Court centres across the South East and East Anglia. Her caseload includes murder, kidnap, fraud, GBH and serious sexual offences.

Isobel specialises in serious sexual offences and has forged a reputation as an extremely capable advocate over the last 15 years since specialising in this area. These cases range from allegations against professionals including Doctors and Teachers, historic allegations and allegations by very young complainants. She has particular expertise in dealing with complainants or defendants who need support due to vulnerabilities including special needs and mental health difficulties. She is lauded for her ability in communicating with very young complainants and defendants in particular.

Recent cases include a defendant of 16 diagnosed with the abilities of a 7 year old, defendants and complainants with diagnosed mental illnesses, dementia and conditions leading to findings of being unfit to plead. Isobel also advises retrospectively on the bases of convicted defendants, and has already taken a number of such cases to the Court of Appeal.

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Areas of practice


  • Called to the Bar 1991
  • LLB 2:1 University College

Associations and memberships

  • Gray’s Inn
  • CPS Grade 4 Prosecutor
  • CPS London Rape List Prosecutor
  • Sussex, Kent & South London Bar Mess

Notable cases

R v Edwards [2011] EWCA Crim 1361

R v Z [2009] 1 Cr.AppR 34

Limits on use of s.114(1)(d), in case of hearsay bad character evidence.

R v Xhelollari [2007] 151 S.J.L.B 1265

Whether appropriate to sentence to IPP in single adult rape conviction.

R v G [2004] 1 A.C 1034

House of Lords, unanimous overruling of Caldwell and a fresh approach to recklessness.

Rv Linge (2011)

Defendant under 25, with 5 separate complainants. Rape and other sexual offence allegations.

R v Snowden (2011)

GBH with baseball bat. Issue of identification, when victim names defendant to police both before and after the attack.

R v F (2012)

Defendant accused of historic rapes by wife, and appears to confess to such on three separate occasions to three separate witnesses.

R v W-L (2012)

Defendant of 16, severe learning difficulties accused of sexual offences against other children in the same school.

R v K (2012)

Defendant accused of rape and abuse by both daughters, as is co-defendant neighbour with similar previous convictions.

R v Aktar (2012)

Defendant accused of conspiracy to kidnap and torture, much of the case based on mobile phone cell site evidence.

R v Harris (2011)

Historic sexual allegations against a school teacher.

Rv Gajraj (2011)

Woman stabbed partner in chest in self-defence.

R v Brassett (2011)

Defendant school teacher accused of historic sexual assault by pupil.

R v F & Ors (2011)

Prosecution on behalf of CPS Kent on a multi-defendant, multi victim case where male family members sexually abused younger boys.

R v McIver & Ors (2010)

Rape allegation against defendant with serious learning difficulties who required an intermediary.

R v Newley (2010)

Indecent images case with defendant seeking gender reassignment.

R v Chen & Ors (2009)

Prosecution for CPS Central London. Multi-handed blackmail and kidnap case.

R v Braham (2009)

Led by Patricia Lynch QC. Manslaughter where woman fatally shot at a person.