Ayesha Smart

Call 2014


‘A well-respected junior. She is meticulous and a cogent advocate, with an analytical approach.’

The Legal 500 - Leading Junior, Crime 2024
Photo of Ayesha Smart


Ayesha both prosecutes and defends in all areas of criminal law. She is instructed in the full range of criminal cases from homicide, drug trafficking, serious violence, sexual offences and fraud, often requiring a level of expertise and skill normally associated with somebody of much more senior call.

Ayesha has specific expertise in drug conspiracies, modern slavery and serious crime where there are medical issues. She is adept at dealing with expert evidence both in relation to presentation before juries and cross-examination.

Ayesha has a particular passion for Animal Law and is recognised as an expert in the field. She is a renowned RSPCA prosecutor and conducts private prosecutions on behalf of animal welfare organisations. She also regularly advises and represents those who are charged with offences contrary to the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, Animal Welfare Act 2006 and Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Crime cases

R v Wormald [2022] – Conspiracy to supply Class A drugs where I represented the Defendant. In spite of being place within Category 3 – significant role, a suspended sentence order was achieved after mitigation was advanced.

R v McClone [2022] – defended a teacher accused of grooming and engaging in sexual activity with a student in an abuse of trust. Various legal arguments were pursued to exclude evidence and object to bad character and hearsay. The Crown ultimately offered no evidence when a substantial part of their case was excluded.

R v Domingo [2022] – defended at Burnley Crown Court in a section 28 case involving historic sexual abuse against D’s daughter. Dealt with XX of vulnerable child witnesses. Created skeleton arguments dealing with applications to remove counts on the indictment and exclude prosecution evidence. This resulted in a 10-count indictment involving multiple offences being reduce to three discrete offences. D was unanimously acquitted.

R v Fare [2021] – defended as sole counsel in a murder trial at Preston Crown Court. The Defendant was deemed to unfit to plead and a fact finding trial was undertaken to determine whether the act had been committed. Ayesha was successful in excluding both the Defendant’s confessions and bad character evidence. Nevertheless, there was overwhelming blood spatter and DNA evidence, but Ayesha ensured that the Defendant received a fair trial in the circumstances. The Defendant was sentenced to a s37 hospital order with s41 restrictions.

R v Langton [2021] – defended in a rape trial at Durham Crown Court where the Defendant was alleged to have raped the complainant once she had passed out on the sofa. The complainant allegedly woke up during the act of the rape and immediately reported the matter to her housemate. Ayesha secured a unanimous acquittal.

R v Cross [2021] – defended in a rape case at Burnley Crown Court involving multiple counts of rape and one of attempted rape. Successfully opposed the admission of bad character for a sexual offence. Defendant was unanimously acquitted of all counts.

R v Musgrave [2020] – led junior for the defence in an allegation of joint enterprise murder at Teesside Crown Court. Defendant was unanimously acquitted of murder and manslaughter

R v Smith [2020] – defended at Leeds Crown Court in a section 28, child kidnapping case. Defendant was unanimously acquitted.

R v Haegar [2019]– defended at York Crown Court against multiple allegations of sexual assault each involving differing issues. Defendant was unanimously acquitted.

R v Lowther [2019] – prosecution junior for a complex, circumstantial case of attempted murder tried at Bradford Crown Court. Successful at the Court of Appeal in overturning a terminatory ruling.