Frances has a mixed practice, specialising in fraud and serious complex  crime alongside personal injury and regulatory work. She is a responsive and fearless advocate, who ensures every case is prepared carefully and thoroughly.  Frances is known for her ability to identify the salient points and explain complex evidence clearly and succinctly to juries and tribunals.

She represented the Appellant in the reported case of R v Stephen Woods [2020] EWCA crim 84, in which Spencer J stated:

“Miss Pencheon has set out her submissions in writing in a very attractive and clear way and, if we may say so, her oral submissions this morning have been excellent in their structure and clarity, and a model of what such submissions should be”.


Frances has a varied and busy practice in serious crime. She is regularly instructed to defend those accused of rape, sexual assaults and serious violent crimes, such as attempted murder and aggravated burglary.

Frances prosecutes and defends cases involving vulnerable witnesses, including section 28 pre-recorded cross examination cases. She is experienced and adept at representing vulnerable defendants and those with mental difficulties, as well as cases involving expert witnesses and issues of fitness to plead.

As well as frequently prosecuting complex multi-handed cases, Frances has been instructed as prosecution junior in a multi handed drugs conspiracy case. She represents private clients in tax and motoring matters.

Notable Serious Crime cases


Represented a defendant with schizophrenia charged with attempted murder of his best friend, involving issues of fitness to plead and the imposition of a hospital order


Represented a male massage therapist accused of sexual assault by a client whilst at work

R v B

Successfully appealed a sentence imposed for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
The defendant was 19 at the time of the offence and had significant mental health difficulties.  The sentence was reduced from 2 years immediate in a young offenders institution to 16 months suspended for 2 years.

R-v-B and Others

Prosecution Junior for a multi-handed drugs conspiracy case, where the defence was that those involved were selling boxing tickets rather than class A drugs.


Represented a young man with serious mental health difficulties accused of section 18 wounding of a bus driver and two knife point robberies within an hour time period.


Represented an American football scholar student accused of rape.


Represented an investigative journalist charged with stalking and harassment of a father and a Judge.


Represented a defendant in a section 18 wounding case where the complainant had been slashed across the face by a masked male on his doorstep.

Frances has a wealth of experience in fraud cases, both prosecuting and defending. She is well regarded as a confident advocate with maturity beyond her call.

Frances has been instructed to prosecute cases involving theft of money from a charitable organisation by one of the trustees, in addition to cases involving multiple complainants, including an eBay fraud matter which spanned several years.

She was instructed as prosecution Junior by the Special Crime Division on a high-profile case involving the theft of money from police property stores by a member of police staff over several years. The case involved 134 separate allegations and over 4,000 pages of evidence.

Frances has prosecuted a Complex Case Unit fraud matter, involving the use of covert recordings. This case was split into four trials, with Frances appearing as Leading Counsel on two of the trials.

She successfully defended a contested environmental POCA matter where the benefit figure was reduced from over £1 million to £276,000.

Notable Fraud cases


Prosecution Junior for a case involving the theft of over £100,000 from police property stores by a police employee

R v W and others

Prosecution Leader for trials 2 and 3 of a complex fraud matter involving covert surveillance recordings.

News & Insights

Significant Cases Include

R v Stephen Woods [2020] EWCA crim 84

Appeal against sentence, 30 months’ imprisonment recued to 2 years imprisonment for a ‘career burglar’ with mental health difficulties. The Court of Appeal accepted the submission that the defendant should have been awarded 1/3 credit, despite not pleading guilty at the first hearing, due to his mental health at the relevant time.

R v Benjamin Donnelly [2018] EWCA Crim 1662

Appeal against sentence, the Court of Appeal found that a sentence 30 months’ imprisonment for the possession of an offensive weapon, a machete, was manifestly excessive in the circumstances, the sentence was reduced to 18 months’ imprisonment.


  • Grade 3 General Crime
  • Member of the Criminal Bar Association

News & Insights

Contact Us

Chambers is centrally located within walking distance of the train station, secure car parks and the Courts.

Contact Us

St Pauls Chambers
Park Row House
19-20 Park Row

For out of hours assistance please call the senior clerk on 07854170429.

The switchboard will open from 08:30 until 17:30

Phone: +44 (0)1132 455 866
Email: [email protected]
CJSM: [email protected]

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