Gemma has been practising in general crime across the Western Circuit since 2007 when she worked as an advocate for the CPS. She completed pupillage with the Crown Prosecution Service before leaving in 2013 to come to the independent bar. At the Bar she has continued to prosecute for the CPS, HMRC, DWP, Local Authorities and the Probation Service as well as successfully developing a strong defence practice.
Prior to qualification, Gemma worked for a Local Authority in child protection, and as such has a particularly good rapport with young and vulnerable people, which she uses to ensure witnesses give their best evidence, and to make them feel as comfortable as possible with the court process. Given the current emphasis on handling young and vulnerable witnesses these skills ensure Gemma is able to deal with the most sensitive of cases; she has successfully completed the vulnerable witness training programme and a significant proportion of her practice relates to defending the most vulnerable in society or prosecuting cases with very young witnesses.
Gemma has a deep understanding of criminal procedure and her practice encompasses the full range of offences with particular emphasis on complex drug conspiracies, serious sexual offences, dishonesty including fraud and money laundering, murder, serious violence and public order. Her practice has particular emphasis on cases with young or vulnerable witnesses or defendants, and she is regularly instructed to represent those with complex learning or mental health difficulties.
Gemma has experience of dealing with complex and sensitive disclosure issues including Public Interest Immunity, and is regularly instructed in cases involving Confiscation under the Proceeds of Crime Act. She has experience representing the police in civil proceedings in applications for Sexual Harm Prevention Orders and Sexual Risk Orders; she has trained ACPO on Domestic Violence Protection Orders and provided training to Local Authorities on Disclosure.
Recent Cases of Note: Drugs
- R v Hibbert   EWCA Crim 2047
- Operation Origin (2019) Prosecution Counsel 10 defendant Class A drug conspiracy- county lines
- R v H (2018) Southampton Crown Court. Conspiracy to supply Class A
- R v G (2018) Southampton Crown Court. Taking Drugs into prison- community order imposed
- Operation Operative (2017) - Multi-handed drugs conspiracy involving the supply of an estimated £4.5 million of import grade cocaine. Press Reports here
- Operation Pretty (2016-2017)
- Magic Network - prosecuting Counsel multi-handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and associated Money Laundering Offences
- Kane Network - prosecuting Counsel supply Class A drugs
- Scouse Network - Junior Prosecuting Counsel (led by Jodie Mittell) 8 handed conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and associated Money Laundering. Local Press Report for Op Pretty here
- R v S (2017) Newport (IOW) Crown Court. 8 count indictment - conspiracy to supply drugs and possession with intent to supply at Bestival (Class A/B/C) Defence Counsel; suspended sentence
- R v G & W (2017) Southampton Crown Court - Conspiracy to Supply Class B. Prosecuting Trial Counsel
- R v N & P (2017) Swindon Crown Court - possession with intent to supply Class A/B/C. Prosecuting Trial Counsel
- R v H & ors (2017) Southampton Crown Court - Conspiracy to Supply Class A. Prosecuting Counsel
- R v R (2017) - Newport (IOW) Crown Court. Possession of Pyschoactive Substances at Bestival (new legislation) Defence Counsel
- R v W & ors (2016) Bournemouth Crown Court: Prosecution Counsel in multi-handed cross-county Class A drug Supply case where significant custodial sentence handed down.
Fatal and non-fatal Violence/Public Order
- R v Martin  EWCA Crim 648- appeal against sentence to Court Martial Appeals Court
- Operation Login [2019-2020] Junior counsel in high profile multi-handed complex murder, assisting and offender and conspiracy to supply Class A.
- Operation Rosette  Winchester Crown Court. Junior counsel in murder committed by two brothers (led by Adam Feest QC). BBC report here.
- Operation Manner  Bristol Crown Court junior counsel (led by Adam Feest QC) in hit and run manslaughter. Case involved complex disclosure exercise and lengthy abuse of process arguments. BBC report here.
- Operation River  - Second led junior (led by Nigel Lickley QC and Jodie Mittell) in multi-handed murder and aggravated burglary following a botched burglary where victim shot. National press coverage here.
- R v S (2020) Southampton Crown Court- Wounding with intent x 2 (s.18 OAPA) Defence Trial Counsel for vulnerable Defendant suffering with severe bi-polar disorder. Local Press report here.
- R v L (2020) Southampton Crown Court- Defence Counsel for Defendant fit to plead but subject to Hospital Order with Restrictions for assault on worker at psychiatric unit where he resided.
- R v H (2020) Bournemouth Crown Court- Prosecution Counsel in arson where Defendant unfit and then fit to plead. Multiple previous offences for arson.
- R v G (2019) Southampton Crown Court. Defence Trial Counsel for allegation of wounding with intent. Acquitted after trial but guilty plea entered to s20 unlawful wounding. Sentence of 4 with extended licence years successfully appealed to Court of Appeal as manifestly excessive.
- R v D (2019) Portsmouth Crown Court. Defence Counsel for mother accused of false imprisonment, child cruelty and assault in relation to teenage son. Prosecution offered no evidence after submissions in relation to undermining unused material.
- R v H (2019) Portsmouth Crown Court- Defence Counsel for Defendant who was unfit to plead charged with intentionally/ recklessly endangering life through arson. As a result of psychiatric evidence obtained Crown accepted plea to simple arson.
- R v H (2019) Southampton Crown Court- Multiple Assaults on 3 year old child by father.
- R v R (2019) Southampton Crown Court- Child Cruelty. Defence Counsel in case involving allegations of child cruelty and assault by father and mother on two teenage daughters. Case required careful cross examination of girls, particularly given English was not their first language and one child had the assistance of an intermediary.
- R v C and H (2019) Southampton Crown Court: Prosecuting Counsel in multi-handed s.18 unlawful wounding case where victims sustained significant knife injuries including slash marks to the face. Local Press report here.
- R v G (2018) Bournemouth Crown Court. Defence Counsel in allegation of unlawful wounding with intent where Defendant had previously sustained Traumatic Brain Injury. CCTV showed Defendant snap pool cue in half and hit victim around the head. As a result of expert medical evidence obtained the Prosecution accepted a plea to a lesser offence and a suspended sentence was imposed.
- R v T (2018) Winchester Crown Court. Prosecuting Counsel in case involving allegations of domestic violence and coercive and controlling behaviour alleged against a serving police sergeant by a serving police constable. Sensitive and evidentially complex case. Local Press report here.
- R v W (2017) Southampton Crown Court: Child Cruelty and Assault - Allegation over sustained period of time. Involved cross examination of vulnerable complainant - Defence Trial Counsel Secured Acquittal
- R v H (2017) Bournemouth Crown Court. Wounding with intent (s.18 OAPA) - Prosecuting Counsel where Defendant not fit to plead and s.41 restriction order under MHA imposed
- R v G (2017) Bournemouth Crown Court - Arson and Aggravated Stalking (domestic violence) - Prosecuting Counsel
- R v S & ors (2017) Southampton Crown Court - multi-handed affray in middle of Southampton City Centre during the middle of the day - Defence Counsel - suspended sentence imposed
- R v B (2017) Salisbury Crown Court - Arson
- R v W (2017) Salisbury Crown Court - GBH (vulnerable victim sustained broken jaw in several places) - Defendant received suspended sentence. Defence Counsel
- R v B & ors (2017) Bournemouth Crown Court. Multi-handed affray involving attack on vulnerable persons with multiple weapons including stun-gun. Prosecuting Trial Counsel
- R v M (2016) Child Cruelty and ABH - allegations of physical abuse against father by 6-year-old child - Case involved sensitive witness handling - Prosecuting Trial Counsel
- R v S (2016) Portsmouth Crown Court - s.20 GBH where victim pushed down flight of stairs received considerable life altering injuries and in coma for several months. Prosecuting Counsel
- R v S (2016) Winchester Crown Court. Wounding with intent (s.18 OAPA) where victim repeatedly stabbed with various knives in his own home. Defence Trial Counsel
- R v S (2015) Swindon Crown Court: serious assault involving concrete block repeatedly used to strike victim to the head- Defendant prosecuted twice for the same violent behaviour. Case raised issues of abuse of process, autrefois convict and judicial review.
- R v H  Newport (IOW) Crown Court: prosecuting counsel in case of obstructing a coroner/perverting the course of justice and drugs supply where the Defendant had dumped and abandoned the body of his friend on the street following an overdose.
- R v H (2020) Southampton Crown Court. Defence Counsel in two handed Aggravated Burglary involving multiple weapons
- R v C (2020) Southampton Crown Court. Defence Counsel in Robbery. Issues of Abuse of Process because of delay in bringing case raised- Defendant was 15 at time of alleged offence and an adult at date of charge. Prosecution Offered no evidence.
- R v W (2020) Southampton Crown Court. Defence Counsel in robbery of 83 year old pensioner. Local news report here.
- R v M and others (2020) Portsmouth Crown Court. Trial defence counsel in three handed multiple allegations of robbery. One count dismissed following successful half time submission.
- R v G and others (2019) Winchester Crown Court- 5 handed aggravated burglary involving firearm
- R v G (2017) Southampton Crown Court. Series of knife-point robberies committed by 14 year old (vulnerable Defendant) Defence Counsel - non custodial sentence imposed
- R v B & O (2017) Portsmouth Crown Court. Multiple Count Indictment series of machete point robberies on taxi drivers. Prosecuting Trial Counsel
- R v I,M,G and ors (2016) Southampton Crown Court - 7 handed conspiracy to steal involving over £100,000 of undelivered good from delivery company. Prosecuting Counsel
- R v D and ors (2016) Portsmouth Crown Court - conspiracy to possess Counterfeit currency – Defence Counsel- successful dismissal application
- R v E & ors (2015) Dorchester Crown Court: multi-handed Aggravated Burglary involving Defendants breaking into address and assaulting occupants with a baseball bat causing significant injuries. Defendant received suspended sentence. Defence Counsel
- R v G (2015) Salisbury Crown Court: Robbery. victim severely disabled with mental age of a 4 year old; required extremely careful cross examination. Defence counsel- defendant acquitted
- R v W, S, M (2015) Southampton Crown Court: Prosecuting Counsel in multi-handed robbery of a victim who suffered from Asperger’s and who had been robbed/ beaten up whilst fleeing the scene of another robbery.
Gemma's practice encompasses the full range of sexual offences. She is most often instructed in cases involving vulnerable witnesses or defendants; either because of age or mental health difficulties.
She has experience of representing the police in civil proceedings in applications for Sexual Harm Prevention orders and Sexual Risk Orders.
Recent cases of note
- R v B (2020) Winchester Crown Court. Prosecution Trial Counsel- inciting a child into sexual activity. National Press coverage here.
- R v D (2019) Southampton Crown Court- instructed trial counsel for defendant with severe autism and not fit to plead in allegations of sexual assault made by sister. Case required sensitive handling of client
- R v W (2019) Southampton Crown Court- instructed trial counsel for defendant with severe learning difficulties charged with sexual assault on a stranger.
- R v N (2019) Southampton Crown Court. Appeal against the making of a SHPO for a defendant with severe mental health and learning difficulties. SHPO had been made in lower court without any opportunity for the Defendant to be represented or participate in proceedings due to his mental health difficulties. The Order made was severely draconian, required him to notify the police in advance of any sexual activity and imposed a curfew that lasted for 4 years. Appeal against these terms successful. National reporting here.
- R v R (2019) Southampton Crown Court. Prosecution Counsel- allegations of historic indecent assault and recent sexual assault by a grandfather in his granddaughters, one of whom aged 5 years old. National reporting here.
- R v P (2019) Southampton Crown Court- Defence Counsel- attempted sexual communication with a child and inciting a child into sexual activity
- R v K (2019) Winchester Crown Court. Junior Prosecution Counsel in multiple recent and historic rape and indecent assault allegations (led by Timothy Bradbury) in relation to the Defendant’s daughters, step-daughters and sister. Complex third party material and disclosure exercise and hostile witness. Local reporting here.
- R v R (2019) Portsmouth Crown Court. Defence Counsel Allegation of domestic violence sexual assault. Prosecution Offered no evidence,
- R v O (2018) Portsmouth Crown Court. Prosecution Counsel in knifepoint rape. 18 year sentence imposed. Local news report here.
- R v E (2018) Portsmouth Crown Court. Allegations of attempted Rape and Sexual Assault by an uncle on his niece. Case stopped following successful submission of no case to answer
- Operation Mespohere R v M (2018) Southampton Crown Court: 17 year old defendant charged with gang rape together with three others. Several counts dismissed at half time and acquittal secured
- R v K (2018) Portsmouth Youth Court: 12 year old charged with inciting 5 year-old sibling into sexual activity. Prosecution offered no evidence following legal arguments on admissibility of evidence
- R v W (2018) Bournemouth Crown Court: historic allegations of multiple rape and indecent assault by complainant’s father
- R v H (2017) Southampton Crown Court: Historic allegations of indecent assault by grandfather on two granddaughters
- R v T (2017) Portsmouth Crown Court: inciting a child into sexual activity. Instructed Defence Counsel
- R v M (2017) Bournemouth Crown Court: Sexual Assault - Prosecuting Counsel
- R v E (2017) Southampton Crown Court; Indecent Images - Defendant in possession of and distributing close to 1 million images across all categories - Defence Counsel - suspended sentence imposed
- R v P (2015) Portsmouth Crown Court: Prosecuting Counsel in Sexual Assault where the complainant had learning difficulties and significant vulnerabilities.
- LLB Law with French (Hons) 2.1 - University of the West of England, Bristol
- Certificate in European Political Studies - Université de Robert Schuman, Strasbourg
- Bar Vocational Course (Very Competent) BPP Holborn
- LLM Sports Law and Practice (Distinction) - De Montfort University Leicester
Professional qualifications & appointments
- Grade 3 Prosecutor
- Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Specialist
- British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)
- Criminal Bar Association
- Western Circuit
- Inn: Inner Temple
Gemma White is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.More Information