Venetia Stephenson.JPGVenetia Stephenson (1891-1969) was the first woman Defence barrister in murder trial in 1929.

Venetia Stephenson was called to the English Bar in 1924 and to the Irish Bar in 1949. She was notable as the first woman barrister to appear as leading counsel for the defence in a murder trial in 1929. A news story in the Daily Herald in 1929 remarked "Miss Stephenson wears horn-rimmed glasses and is petite and business-like. A lucid speaker, she has several times been complimented by judges on her ability in conducting cases." On 11 February 1929, Venetia Stephenson, under the leadership of Sir Henry Maddocks KC, appeared at the Court of Criminal Appeal to challenge the conviction of William Holmyard.  

In 1945, Herbert Morrison, the Home Secretary, noticed that there was a vacancy for one of the posts of magistrate in the London Police Courts, and he saw that a woman, Venetia Stephenson, had been a candidate but was passed over.  

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