Stephanie Panchkowry

Call 2011

“You are one of those people who never gets convicted. No idea how you do it. You just have an aura of acquittal about you.”

“You are on fire! Amazing, exceptional work.”

“Outstanding cross-examination.”

“Exceptional work”

“Outstanding results. Wonders never cease!”


Stephanie’s practice is solely criminal defence, involving conspiracies, firearm offences, serious drug and violent offences, as well as dishonesty offences.

Notable Crime cases

R v LT & others [December 2020 – current] Croydon Crown Court

Stephanie was instructed as a led junior in a serious drugs conspiracy case, involving the supply of kilos of Class A and B drugs. She represented the “controlling mind” of an organised criminal network. The evidence largely centred around audio evidence obtained through a probe installed in the car of one of the co-defendants. Issues included the legality of the probe and exclusion of evidence.

R v JS [October 2021] Lewes Crown Court

Acquittal in an aggravated burglary case, after the Crown offered no further evidence. Stephanie effectively and intricately cross-examined the vulnerable complainant, causing significant concern over his credibility and reliability both in relation to the evidence he gave about her client, along with the co-defendant. The defendant was alleged to enter the complainant’s property in the middle of the night, headbutting him to gain access, whilst holding a machete and hammer and making threats to his life. He was positively identified by the complainant in an ID parade and there was a positive DNA match on blood stains on business cards alleged to be handed to the complainant on leaving the property, along with on a breathing matching brought into and left inside the property.

R v KH [July 2021] Croydon Crown Court

After difficult and lengthy discussions, the prosecution offered no evidence on the first day of the trial. The defendant had been charged with four counts of cruelty to a child who suffered from severe autism, ADHD and was unable to talk. The abuse was alleged to span over three years.

R v WM [June 2021] Inner London Crown Court

Acquitted by unanimous verdict of having a machete on the dashboard of a vehicle when driving through London. The Jury accepted that he had a good reason, namely, that he had it on him for work purposes.

R v WL [May 2021] Reading Crown Court

Acquitted by unanimous verdict of ABH against a security guard, having previously pleaded guilty to 5 counts of shoplifting. The alleged assault was captured on CCTV and corroborated by two security guards who gave live evidence supporting the Crown’s case. Bad character application successfully opposed for three previous violent offences, including s.20 GBH to be adduced into the evidence.

R v JL [February 2021] Guildford Crown Court

Acquitted of domestic burglary and criminal damage. The defendant was alleged to have entered his ex-partner’s property as a trespasser and stolen her items therein, whilst proceeding to vandalise her property, scratching ‘HOE’ into the wall and smashing her iPad. The defence case centred on this being a set up. He accepted entering her property but not as a trespasser and accepted changing the ‘HOME’ sign of blocks to ‘HOE’ by removing the ‘M’ but denied scratching ‘HOE’ into the wall. After lengthy cross-examination, the prosecution withdrew the burglary count and the Jury acquitted him by unanimous verdict of criminal damage.

R v JL [January 2021] Harrow Crown Court

Acquitted by unanimous verdict of threatening another with a blade. The defendant was armed with a knife in an altercation with two other males. He was said to be in a stance described by two independent eye witnesses as ‘ready to stab’ them.

R v JL [October 2020] Southwark Crown Court

Acquitted of theft of three designer handbags. The defendant was alleged to enter the designer store and grab three handbags from the display. He was chased but managed to escape, fleeing the scene by jumping on his bicycle and making off. He was positively identified by store staff. Two previous convictions were adduced into the evidence of exactly the same offending, grabbing items in designer stores and making off on a bike. After being acquitted, Stephanie was congratulated by HHJ Bartle QC on the effectiveness of her presentation of the case.

R v ZL [August 2020] Croydon Crown Court

Acquitted of PWITS Class A. The defendant was seen by officers suspected to be involved in a drug deal. He ran from them and was caught. Officers found a drugs’ pot in his pocket with 28 wraps of crack cocaine and a single wrap that was separated in his pocket. He had thrown a bag full of £300 cash in the bush when he was evading police. He had two mobile phones on him, where the download was linked to significant drug supply. Stephanie cross-examined the drugs expert at length at court. The defence was that he did not know about the drugs; he had found the bag, which contained the drugs pot and the cash; he opened the pot, saw cannabis, smoked it and did not see the crack cocaine underneath. There were no remnants of cannabis in the drugs pot.

R v WH [March 2020] Southwark Crown Court

Acquitted by unanimous verdict at re-trial in a multi-handed knife-point robbery of a Bentley worth £280,000. DNA evidence matching the Defendant was located on various parts of the Bentley; defence statement altered accordingly after disclosure of forensic reports. Defendant cross-examined on his initial bare denial of being in the Bentley to his later admission that he had in fact been in the Bentley but was not involved in the robbery. The defendant had a previous conviction for conspiracy to commit robbery. On acquittal, the Defendant was released after being remanded in custody for one year.

R v CT & others [December 2019 – January 2020] Kingston Crown Court

Stephanie represented one of the defendants in a high-profile, multi-handed conspiracy to commit robbery of £4.1m of jewellery. The defendant was part of a professional gang that planned the robbery of a Le Vian sales representative. Sustained violence was used causing long term physical and psychological effects to the victim. Following a complicated 8 week trial, all Defendants were convicted after 9 days of jury deliberation. Issues at trial included whether it was an “inside job”, with the complainant agreeing to violence being used against him – the use of force thereby not being in order to steal; duress; evidence being heard in camera; and the admission of an Osman warning.
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R v SC [September 2019; October 2018] Isleworth Crown Court

Acquitted of a domestic s.18 wounding with intent and ABH. The defendant was alleged to throw a glass at the complainant, which hit her face and smashed, causing permanent scaring. He was then alleged to have kicked the door into her face a few days after, re-opening the wound. There was a hung jury on a s.20 count in the alternative. At the re-trial, the Crown relied on new evidence of an expert witness on causation who concluded that the complainant’s version of events was to be believed and that the defendant’s version would not result in the injuries sustained. Despite this compelling evidence, there was yet another hung jury. A not guilty verdict was formally entered.

R v BH [April 2019] Lewes Crown Court

Acquitted of drunkenness on an aircraft and assaulting a member of cabin crew.

R v KK [March 2019] Wood Green Crown Court

Acquitted on a re-trial of possession of a bladed article, successfully arguing that the defendant had a good reason for having the knife on him. The defendant was alleged to have the knife hidden down his jogging bottoms. He ran from the police when observed; he was chased and detained. An eye witness saw the handle of the knife as he was running. The knife was found in the front garden of a house; the defendant admitted to throwing the knife into the garden. He alleged to have thrown a bag over a fence, containing other knives used for work which were wrapped up in a fold-up case. The defendant gave evidence that the large knife was being used by him earlier that day at work and he had left in a rush, with no time to wrap the large knife with the other knives. He simply placed the large knife into the bag, protected by some trousers. He panicked seeing the police and threw the knife and threw the bag separately. This bag alleged to contain the other knives was never found.

R v MF [April 2018] Isleworth Crown Court

Acquitted of domestic burglary, despite CCTV capturing the use of a card stolen during the burglary being used an hour and a half after the incident and the jury being told about the defendant’s five previous convictions for domestic burglary. The defendant pleaded guilty to fraud in that he had used the stolen cards to make transactions after finding the card on the street in the middle of the night. Having been remanded and facing a significant sentence, the defendant was released from custody after his acquittal.

R v SM [March 2018] Croydon Magistrates Court

Stephanie successfully argued for imprisonment to be suspended after the defendant brutally attacked and murdered her dog by slicing its throat.

R v TF [January 2018] Blackfriars Crown Court

Successfully appealed sentence for an allegation of domestic burglary, reducing the length of the custodial term by one year.

  • 2011-2012 – LL.M International Commercial Litigation – UCL
  • 2010-2011 – BPTC – College of Law
  • 2007-2010 – First Class LL.B (Hons), Law with Business – University of Brighton – (Criminal law 83%)

  • Criminal Bar Association

  • Cholmeley Studentship Scholarship
  • Full Lord Denning Scholarship
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award
  • Board of Governors Scholarship, University of Brighton
  • Award for Best Second Year LL.B (Hons) Law with Business student, University of Brighton
  • Award for Best First Year Undergraduate in Public Law, University of Brighton
  • Advanced Award for Critical Thinking

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