Since completion of her pupillage at KBG Chambers, Katie has built a busy and successful Crown Court Practice incorporating a balance of Prosecution and Defence work.
She is regularly instructed incases involving serious violence, allegations of historic sexual abuse and heavy-weight drug offences. In 2021 she was instructed in a multi-handed £160mdrugs importation. She recently defended in a rape and kidnapping case involving a vulnerable child victim and Defendant. She has been led in cases involving allegations of sexual abuse, attempted murder and murder.
Katie builds very good working relationships with lay clients which regularly means that she is briefed for clients in repeat proceedings before the Court. She is compassionate and measured. She represents clients who are often very vulnerable and frequently deals with cases involving intermediaries.
Katie is instructed in regulatory work including prosecuting and defending involving DEFRA and the HSE. She also has experience in defending cases at Courts Martial. She has significant experience in Appellate work including in the Court of Appeal and the Administrative Court.
Katie is a Grade 2 CPS Prosecutor.
As with all members of KBG Chambers, Katie is happy to cover all Courts within the South West.
'One of her strengths is her ability to communicate with vulnerable defendants. She is also excellent in cross-examination.'
Katie Churcher’s practice is evenly split between defence and prosecution work - she is regularly instructed in cases involving serious violence, allegations of historic sexual abuse, and major drug offences and recently acted for the defence in a complex case concerning the rape of a teenage girl by a man previously sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
'Katie is fabulous with clients, fiercely organised, and she is able to get her point across effortlessly.'
Katie’s criminal practice encompasses serious sexual offences, high value fraud, drug supply, violence and has been led in murder trials at Plymouth Crown Court and Exeter Crown Court.
More recently, Katie has expanded her practice to include regulatory Prosecutions, acting for both the Prosecuting authority and Defendants.
Crocker v Devon & Cornwall Police& Plymouth City Council  EWHC 2838 (Admin)
Katie was instructed to act for the appellant in appeal against a closure order made against the Defendant by Plymouth Magistrates’ Court. Before the substantive appeal could be heard, the Crown Court was tasked with deciding whether the fact that the appeal notice was filed out of time on the Respondent meant that the appeal was time barred. The Crown Court ruled against the Appellant and so the case was appealed by way of case stated to the High Court.
Katie successfully appealed byway of case stated a point about the proper construction of the joint effect of section 84(5) of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and the Crown Court Rules SI 1982 No 1109 (as amended). The issue for the High Court was whether the Crown Court has any power to extend the time for service of a notice of appeal on the other party to the appeal after the appeal notice had been sent in time to the Court office. The Crown Court concluded that Hampshire Police Authority v Smith  EWHC 174 (Admin);  1 WLR 40, which had considered time limits for appeals against closure orders made under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”), meant that there was no power to extend time. The High Court concluded that there was such a power to extend time limits.
R v JS 
Katie was a led junior instructed to defend a woman jointly charged with her ex partner of the murder of a 60year old vulnerable man with severe learning difficulties. The allegation was that the two Defendants went to the deceased’s address, stamped and kicked him to death and left to die, only to be found a couple of days later. The case involved the Defendants running a ‘cutthroat’ defence in blaming the other for the murder. Due to its nature, the case involved extensive forensic evidence relevant to blood staining, DNA profile matching and shoe size/print identification. In addition to the served material, the unused material included a significant volume of forensic notes and documents which underpinned the conclusions reached in the various forensic reports. These needed to be examined in some detail in order to both test the veracity of the conclusions of the Prosecution forensic evidence and to establish whether any alternative conclusions could be drawn from the forensic picture. As a led junior, Katie was involved in the preparation of her client’s defence and the trial strategy.
R v BS (and others) 
Katie was instructed to defend a incase involving a multi-million pound drugs importation. The case involved a joint National Crime Agency and Border Force team which boarded a vessel which had travelled from Barbados in UK waters. During the search at least 2 tonnes of the controlled drug that was suspected to be cocaine was found having been stored in various communal locations throughout the boat. The cocaine had a street value of £160,000,000. Katie defended one of the crew members. The case involved aspects of modern slavery and partial duress. After the trial of his Co Defendants and on considering the defence drafted by Katie on her client’s behalf, the case against him was dropped.
R v BD, GV & EM 
Katie was instructed to prosecute a commercial scale cannabis production involving three Albanian defendants found to be living in a cannabis factory set up in a disused farmhouse. The case involved consideration of issues of disclosure and all three Defendants advancing defences under s45 Modern Slavery Act 2015. This required careful consideration to be given recent Court of Appeal authorities dealing with cases in which the Defence is raised and an ongoing review of the public interest in the case. The matter resulted in all three Defendants pleading Guilty on the day of trial.
R v GR 
Katie was instructed to defend a case involved allegations of historic rape of the Defendant’s step daughter. The case was conducted during the pandemic and this meant the trial taking place at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester. The trial involved a delicate and strategic cross examination of a number of the Defendant’s estranged family members and highly emotive evidence.
CIFCA v GP & others 
Presently instructed to prosecute a multi-handed fisheries agency prosecution of illegal electrofishing in Cornish waters. The case involves a novel offence (and is due to be the first of its kind to be sentenced) and involves complicated confiscation proceedings.