Sarah Barlow

Call 1993

"Sarah’s advocacy is very effective – she commands the attention and respect of the court and never takes bad points. She exudes confidence, and is excellent with clients and can get on their wavelength."

The Legal 500 2024
Photo of Sarah Barlow

Police Law

Sarah is regularly instructed to represent police officers facing criminal and/or disciplinary investigations; she appears at both the misconduct stage and the PAT.

Called to the Bar in 1993, her experience covers the whole sphere of criminal law and professional misconduct issues.

Fully familiar with police processes and codes of conduct, Sarah is keen to be involved in the case from an early stage, especially where there may be anticipated or concurrent criminal proceedings.

Approachable and known for her detailed preparation, Sarah is a fearless advocate with meticulous attention to detail. She adopts a forensically tactical approach and brings her 26 years of experience defending and prosecuting complex criminal cases when examining both the evidence of witnesses and documentary evidence.

Having represented officers in a number of separate force areas, Sarah accepts instructions across the country.

Sarah regularly presents lectures and seminars to both lawyers and Police Federation representatives on a number of aspects of misconduct proceedings; she will be providing training during the course of 2019 and is always delighted to provide either assistance or training on request.

Police Law Cases

Recent notable cases include:

Re G: successfully defended a police officer charged with s39 assault. It was alleged that the officer had used excessive force on a suspect during the course of the execution of a search warrant at a property. The officer admitted to using force from the outset, maintaining that the use of force was necessary, reasonable and proportionate. After a day and a half of prosecution evidence, a submission of no case to answer was successfully made. The District Judge agreed with the submission that the prosecution had placed no evidence before him to suggest that the force used was anything other than lawful. The officer was acquitted.

Re D: (West Yorkshire) officer accused of sexual assault whilst on duty; strategic admissions avoided the need for findings to be made in respect of any sexual matters alleged.

Re J: (Humberside) successfully defended an officer accused of falsifying evidence and faking injury.

Re O: (Nottinghamshire) successfully defended an officer accused of using racist language; this was a particularly difficult and sensitive case.

Re C: (Merseyside) successfully defended an officer facing two separate sets of criminal proceedings: CPS were forced to offer no evidence in the first set of proceedings following two days of legal argument and evidence that exposed fatal flaws in the disclosure process; in the second set of proceedings CPS were also forced to offer no evidence at an early stage.

Re R: (Durham) defended an officer accused of using excessive force; the majority of the allegations were found not proven at the misconduct stage. In respect of the only allegation found proved, successfully appealed the finding to the Police Appeals Tribunal. The allegation was found not proved and the officer was re-instated with immediate effect.

Re F: (Nottinghamshire) officer accused of deliberately misrepresenting police powers and use of excessive force.

Re R: (Humberside) officer accused of using excessive force.

Re T-J: (Humberside) officer accused of OPL.