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Sarah Dunne (formerly Acres) studied law at the University of Leicester and the College of Law in Chester. Sarah completed her training at Hegarty Solicitors to qualify as a Solicitor in 1997.

Since her qualification, she has practiced as a criminal specialist and amassed vast experience in defending a whole range of criminal offences from road traffic matters to murder and just about every offence in between.

Sarah has had a wealth of experience in dealing with young offenders and those with mental health issues. As a mother of three, she has a particular understanding of those vulnerable groups and regularly works with psychiatrists and other medical practitioners to ensure that their needs are addressed by the Courts.
Sarah has over 20 years’ experience of representing suspects in police custody round the clock. She goes on to assist those who are charged in the Magistrates Court where she represents them at trial or addresses the bench in mitigation.

If cases proceed to the Crown Court, Sarah has Higher Rights of Audience. She can provide continuity for her clients by appearing on their behalf in the Crown Court or, in appropriate cases, she has strong links with a range of barristers from Junior Counsel to QCs.

As a qualified prison law supervisor, Sarah regularly attends a range of prisons to assist clients with Parole Board hearings, disciplinary adjudications and a range of prison law problems and sentence planning issues. She is presently committed to securing the release of a number of post tariff IPP prisoners who have sought her expert help in persuading the Parole Board that they are now fit for life in the community.

Sarah has extensive experience of representing motorists who face disqualification for speeding or other road traffic offences. She has assisted companies facing prosecution at the hands of the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the City Council.

Sarah has also acted in unusual situations. Sarah has a keen interest in the safeguarding of human rights and is a member of Liberty. Her most remarkable case to date involved assisting a prisoner who had been convicted for murder in Guernsey to make representations to the English High Court for the setting of his minimum term. The lengthy process involved representations to the Guernsey authorities and resulted in a change to Guernsey legislation. A number of years ago, she successfully concluded a four year battle to stop the authorities from enforcing a confiscation order which, had enforcement taken place, would have led to a sick and disabled woman losing her home.

More recently, Sarah represented a vulnerable man who was locked up for making threats to kill. Sarah was able to uncover the witness and medical evidence to show that he had made the threats, not because he was dangerous and wanted to cause harm, but because he was scared of life in the community and saw prison as a place of safety. She was then able to work with other agencies to put together a package of care in the community so that he felt safe for release and the Judge felt it was safe to release him.

Fantastic service! …The service provided by Mrs. Dunne was impeccable and I cannot thank the law firm and particularly Sarah Dunne enough! I would strongly recommend Hegarty solicitors to anyone who has a case to prosecute or defend.

Mr O. Criminal Defence Department Client

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