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Graham Heathcote

Graham Heathcote

Nottingham crime solicitor Graham Heathcote

Former pupil at Nottingham High School and LL.B graduate of The University Of Hull, Graham Heathcote qualified as a solicitor in 1991, having been trained at the leading firm Freeth Cartwright & Sketchley (now Freeths).

Upon qualification Graham joined Nelsons Solicitors, at that time a vibrant progressive new firm, where he was mentored by Richard Nelson, with a strong commitment to protecting the rights of the individual.

In those early years Graham practised solely in the field of criminal defence, being involved in representing a wide range of clients charged with, or under investigation for, offences such as burglary, robbery, rape, conspiracy and murder. In the late 1990s, Graham’s caseload diversified, adding further disciplines such as prosecution work for the National Probation Service and RSPCA, as well as starting from scratch a dedicated Prison Law department, representing both fixed term and indeterminate sentence prisoners.

Having a strong academic background, Graham was also commissioned by Central Law Training to both write and present courses to prospective new Duty Solicitors in the Magistrates Court and Police Station on a nationwide basis, as part of the qualification process necessary for all potential new practitioners in those areas, covering the entire criminal process from arrest to sentence.

Having been appointed partner at Nelsons several years previously, Graham left the firm as part of the merger of the respective criminal defence teams of Nelsons and Cartwright King in 2006, and was appointed partner at Cartwright King at that time. Shortly thereafter, Graham obtained qualification as a Higher Courts Advocate, enabling him to represent clients both in the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, in respect of matters at the highest level of seriousness.

nottingham crime solicitor Graham HeathcoteGraham left Cartwright King in 2016, joining the dynamic team here at VHS Fletchers on 1 August. Whilst still representing clients in the police station and all courts in respect of the full range of offences, Graham also continues to represent private clients, in particular motorists facing offences ranging from drink driving to speeding, particularly fighting hard, with considerable success, to save their driving licences.

He can be heard here talking about recent changes to the penalties to be imposed for those caught speeding:


If you require advice or representation about any of the issues he raises in the interview then please contact him.

Graham is currently a Ranking Lawyer in The Legal 500.

Please contact Graham by email or make an appointment.


Nottingham Office:
111 Carrington Street,

Tel: 0115 9599550
Email: graham.heathcote@vhsfletchers.co.uk

R v P. Defendant charged with the murder of her nine month old child. Highly emotive case. Diagnosis made that she suffered from Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy. Issues relating to causation, plus detailed psychiatric assessment, led to acquittal in respect of the murder charge and the defendant receiving a Hospital Order for the lesser charge of manslaughter.

R v L. Defendant, who was a police surgeon, faced a number of charges of speeding, all arising from emergency journeys to and from a local police station to deal with suspects in custody who were reported to suffer from various health problems. Case taken over from another firm which had not been able to persuade the Magistrates’ Court to refrain from endorsing the defendant’s licence with penalty points for each offence. Upon appeal to the Crown Court, the Judge and Justices were persuaded to find “special reasons” in relation to most of the offences, such that the defendant left court with only three points on his driving licence.

R v B. Defendant arrested and charged with drink driving. No eye witness had seen her drive. Case turned solely upon a confession given by the client in interview with the police. It became clear, upon carefully investigating the client’s medical history, that there was a background of discreet mental health problems. The interview with the police took place without representation and without an appropriate adult to safeguard her welfare, as a result of which the District Judge was persuaded to exclude from evidence the confession, thus acquitting the client.

R v O. Client had come to the UK legally, but had remained after his student visa had expired. He had then obtained forged identity documents, on the back of which he obtained paid employment. He was sentenced to a term of imprisonment at the Crown Court. The sentence was successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal in London, which was persuaded to reduce the sentence to such a length as to mean that the automatic presumption that the client be deported at the end of the sentence no longer applied.

R v G. This client faced an offence of speeding, as a result of the inevitable endorsement of his driving licence he faced a ban from driving due to the total number of penalty points accrued. He was the commercial director of a major UK supermarket. A ban would have made it extremely difficult to perform his duties in the manner expected of someone in his lofty position. The court was persuaded that a ban would cause the client, as well as others, exceptional hardship, and so he lived to drive another day.

R v O’C. The defendant was the tenant of a large warehouse, contained within which were several container lorries carrying over 400 cannabis plants. He was charged with producing cannabis. The Crown’s case was that he played a significant role in the production of this drug on an industrial basis. If convicted of the offence on that basis, a lengthy prison sentence was inevitable. Working jointly with Queen’s Counsel, careful investigation of the client’s account and the diligent obtaining of further evidence helpful to his case, as well as highlighting key issues relating the Crown’s failure to investigate fully all lines of enquiry, the client pleaded guilty to the charge on the basis of his role being far less than the Crown sought originally to prove, resulting in him being sentenced to perform unpaid work (aka community service). His co-accused, who had separate representation, received suspended prison sentences, despite the Crown claiming that their role was less than that of our client.

R v K. Police Assault Not guilty verdict in police assault trial following retrieval of client’s mobile phone footage.  Read more here.

R v  S. Assault Not guilty verdict in assault trial before the Magistrates’ Court.  Client keeps his good name.  Read more here.

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