A WOMAN lawyer is swapping the trials of the Old Bailey for the more physical ones of the Great Wall of China.

Lawyer Damaris Lakin, 48, who has worked on high-profile murder trials with the Crown Prosecution Service's homicide team for over eight years, is embarking on the five-day trek in June for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

While she admits her job "is as exciting at it sounds," she is expecting this trek to be quite a challenge. Damaris, who lives near Hanger Lane, Ealing, said: "The walk will cover a total of about 40 miles of steep inclines, thousands of steps and unreconstructed bits so will be really demanding, especially as the weather is going to be hot, humid and in all probability wet."

Although she does not have any family connections with breast cancer, she does know people who have suffered. She said: "Most of us will know someone, whether family, friends or colleagues, who will get it. As soon as I started collecting I found more and more people had been touched by it.

"Breakthrough Breast Cancer works to fight breast cancer through research, campaigning and education. As 46 000 women and 300 men a year in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 9 000 women will die, this is an extremely worthwhile cause and so I want to raise as much as I can."

Damaris has already raised £3,200, when she only needed £2,695 for the trip, and now hopes to raise considerably more. She has already lost more than 2stone in weight in training.

She said: "As I will be climbing what is known as the 'heavenly stairway,' around 1,500 steps, I have been climbing stairs wherever I go as well as going on the treadmill at the gym. I had never been to a gym in my life. I have never before been one for exercise so this is a whole new experience for me and I am now on the training programme for it - today covered 7.5 miles in two hours in Richmond Park - so I am taking it seriously!"

She has also been talking to other trekkers half her age, but while somewhat daunted, she feels supremely positive. She said: It is not for the faint-hearted but I like a challenge."

If you would like to sponsor Damaris log on to: www.justgiving.com/damaris-lakin