Kirsty joined VHS Fletchers in January 2023 as a Trainee Solicitor at our Nottingham office.
Kirsty completed her law studies at the University of Leicester in 2021, graduating with first-class honours. Kirsty then completed her Legal Practice Course and Masters in Nottingham at the University of Law.
Kirsty grew up in Mansfield and developed a passion for helping people accused of crime. Before commencing her studies, Kirsty had a great deal of work experience with VHS Fletchers, shadowing cases and helping on reception. Providing a first hand experience of the running of the firm and dealing with vulnerable clients.
During Kirsty’s studies she was the director of a Pro Bono project helping young people access the law and understand the implication of the law around them. Additionally, legal assistance was provided in the county courts for people submitting civil claims, helping people to understand the civil process and comply with the Civil Procedure Rules.
Kirsty’s criminal interest strengthened during her studies when she opted to write her dissertation in criminal law for her undergraduate degree. This discussed the use of sexual history evidence used in rape trials and its implications. In undertaking this work, Kirsty developed a greater understanding of the manner in which such evidence might be used, and the restrictions imposed on a defendant.
Outside the realm of legal studies and work, Kirsty enjoys hiking in the Peak District, live comedy and reading.
Patrick, known to many as Paddy, joined VHS Fletchers in July 2022 as a Trainee Solicitor in our Derby office.
He completed his undergraduate degree in Law at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2021 with a 2:1 classification.
Following this, he went on to study for his Legal Practice Course and master’s degree, continuing at Nottingham Law School, from which he is due to graduate in October 2022. During his time at university, Patrick undertook a half year placement beginning his journey into Criminal Defence Law.
His interest in criminal justice was honed during his dissertation for his master’s degree, examining the relationship between the policing of protest and human rights, and the impact of the latest legislation, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
Outside of work, Patrick is a keen athlete, competing in American Football, currently as a member of the Nottingham Caesars.
Danielle joined VHS Fletchers in July 2022 as a Trainee Solicitor at our Nottingham office.
Danielle completed her undergraduate legal studies at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2020, graduating with a first-class honours Law degree. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course and Master’s in Law at Nottingham Trent University achieving a distinction.
Danielle developed her interest in working in crime early on in her studies she also completed her dissertation on a section of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which governs the powers of the police. During her Masters degree, Danielle worked full time as a Court of Protection Paralegal, assisting lawyers, attending on clients and preparing evidence.
Danielle works in the Crown Court department and is currently completing the Police Station Accreditation Qualification to enable her to provide advice and to attend on clients who are detained at police stations.
Nicola has been a solicitor since 2002. She is a Duty Solicitor and specialises in criminal defence – representing clients in police stations and magistrates courts.
Nicola represents clients accused of every type of offence, from driving offences to serious offences including murder and serious drugs offences.
R v B Murder. Client accused of murder by way of injecting a fellow drug user with heroin. An acquittal was secured.
R v C Murder. A case of a man with no prior criminal involvement who was accused of a domestic murder and whose first court appearance was therefore on a murder charge.
R v W. Sexual Offences. A multiple rape allegation involving alleged rapes from a number of counties and a series of trials.
R v C. Domestic Violence. A serving prison officer was accused of a domestic assault. An acquittal was secured after trial had been adjourned four times.
Chloe joined VHS Fletchers in January 2022 as a Trainee Solicitor at our Chesterfield office.
Chloe graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in the summer of 2020 with an undergraduate degree in Law. Chloe then continued her studies at Leeds Beckett University, completing the Legal Practice Course in the spring of 2021 and is due to complete a masters degree in Summer 2022.
During Chloe’s studies at Sheffield Hallam University, she took on the role as Student Legal Advisor at the Helena Kennedy Prison Clinic, where she provided free legal advice to those individuals detained in prisons across the country. This role provided Chloe with the vital knowledge and experience of managing cases and dealing with various prison law matters including re-categorisation reviews and sentence progression.
Chloe is due to begin the Police Station Accreditation Qualification to enable her to provide advice and assistance to clients who are detained by the police.
Outside of work, Chloe enjoys local walks in the Peak District and baking cakes for her friends and family.
R (DVSA) v L. Crown Court. Forgery of Tachograph Records. Crown Court Litigator representing professional LGV driver charged with 39 offences of falsifying tachograph records. Allegation of forging records to enable him to work for longer hours than permitted under European driver rules and domestic legislation. Successful representations led to the prosecution dropping 17 charges. Our client pleaded guilty to the remaining 22 charges. Despite sentencing case law indicated that these offences should result in an immediate custodial sentence, a successful plea in mitigation led to a Suspended Sentence Order being imposed.
Kinga is a solicitor in our criminal defence department. She completed a law degree in her native Poland before moving to the UK. She took an access course in criminal law before completing her Law Degree at the University of Lincoln. Following that Kinga completed her Legal Practice Course and Masters in Law at Nottingham Trent University.
While studying in Lincoln, Kinga began to provide advice and assistance to those in need through the University Law Clinic. After being an adviser in her first year she became ‘Head of Firm’, managing a team of 10-15 student advisers. The pro bono advice included areas such as unfair dismissal, insolvency, data protection disputes, advice on how to open a business or landlord- tenant disputes.
Kinga is fluent in both English and Polish, and speaks Spanish at an intermediate level. She has worked as an interpreter for an agency, interpreting and translating for the NHS, local council and Coroner’s Court. Her work took to to prisons and psychiatric units, assisting the most vulnerable.
Kinga successfully completed her training with us and is a fully qualified solicitor.
Declan joined VHS Fletchers in July 2021.
He graduated from the University of Derby in 2020 with an undergraduate degree in law, before continuing his studies completing the Legal Practice Course in the spring of 2021. Declan also holds a master’s degree which focused on reflective legal practice skills.
During his studies Declan worked in the University of Derby’s Student Legal Advice Centre, where he provided free legal advice to incoming clients who were unable to pay for legal services. Declan advised on criminal and family law matters, which allowed him to work very closely with vulnerable and disadvantaged people who were in need of legal advice. Declan gained an in-depth knowledge of legal aid and gained a sense of appreciation for the importance of access to legal representation. Declan’s advice assisted multiple clients at court and has also allowed litigants in person to reliably use this advice in court.
Whilst working for VHS Fletchers Solicitors, Declan has gained an in-depth understanding of the Criminal Justice System. He has provided advice at the police station on a wide variety of criminal allegations, some being of the most serious criminal offences.
Declan has litigated cases at the Crown Court, which has included large scale drug conspiracies, fraud and murder. Declan also provides advice and representation for all matters heard before the Magistrate’s Court. Declan is well liked for his thorough approach to cases, his friendly manner, and his excellent client care.
Outside of work Declan is a keen sportsman having previously competed at a national level in swimming – training alongside current Olympic champion Adam Peaty
Hannah joined VHS Fletchers in May 2021 as a Trainee Solicitor.
Hannah graduated from the University of Leicester in 2015 with an undergraduate degree in Criminology, before going on to study the Graduate Diploma in Law at De Montfort University in 2016. She completed the course in 2018 achieving a Merit.
Following the Graduate Diploma in Law, Hannah went on to study a combined Masters degree with the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Trent University achieving a distinction for both in 2020.
Hannah is able to fully advise clients about the different stages of the Court process as she has worked as a Paralegal specialising in Criminal Defence since 2016 and previously as a Court Usher at Leicester Magistrates Court in 2015. Whilst working as a Paralegal, Hannah has worked on a variety of cases heard in the Magistrates Court and Crown Court, she regularly attends upon clients remanded in custody to provide legal advice and obtain instructions to assist with preparation of their case.
Hannah works diligently to ensure that the Criminal Procedure Rules and evidential procedures are complied with by the Prosecution in order to achieve a fair hearing for all clients.
R v C – Rape. Litigator. Client had learning disabilities and was assisted by an intermediary during the trial. The Client was acquitted after half time submissions and abuse of process legal arguments.
R v S – Rape. Litigator. The offence was domestic offence which was discontinued by the prosecution shortly before trial.
R v H and another – Murder. Litigator where the client and one other were accused of joint enterprise murder that proceeded to trial.
R v S – Murder. Litigator where the client was accused of killing his partner
R v J – Malicious Communications – Client was acquitted after a trial in the Magistrates Court, the prosecution did not adduce any evidence of the alleged text messages or phone calls.
R v B – Breach of Restraining Order – Client acquitted after a trial as the Magistrates found that the client had a reasonable excuse.
Kelly Parsons (formerly Shaw)
Kelly Parsons is the Head of our fast growing Prison law Department.
Kelly has over 20 years’ experience in criminal law specialising in Prison Law and Crown Court litigation. She is also a qualified Police Station Representative.
The qualifications and experience gained over that time have allowed her to take a ‘cradle to grave’ approach, allowing her to see cases through from their initial investigation stage with the Police to conclusion at the Crown Court, later representing clients at Parole, Recall and Adjudication hearings within a prison setting.
Kelly has experience of dealing with the full range of criminal cases including murder, complex drug conspiracies, historic and current sexual offences, alongside serious violence and dishonesty allegations such as burglary and armed robbery.
Clients value Kelly’s thorough approach to every case. She is extremely sympathetic and personable meaning that both the client and their family build a good rapport with her. She has a history of dealing with clients with mental health issues and also youths who find themselves within the criminal justice system. Kelly will always go the extra mile to assist clients during some of the most mentally and physically exhausting times of their lives.
Whether she is representing a client in front of a parole panel, in-house advocate or independent counsel, clients can be confident that Kelly will work independently and obtain all the relevant information and evidence to present their best case.
R v CD – Client re-released on licence following a recall for failure to be of good behaviour.
R v LB – Successful application for oral hearing to consider re-release following revocation of his licence for committing a further offence.
R v TM – Client’s adjudication dismissed in front of a District Judge. This related to an allegation of assault against a prison officer.
R v GK – Client serving an IPP Sentence (Imprisonment for Public Protection). GK has severe mental health issues and Kelly has assisted along with a number of fellow professionals to facilitate GK’s move to a lower secure hospital unit which can continue to assist with his day to day care. The IPP status is currently being reviewed by independent counsel and an application for Judicial Review may be submitted.
R v DB – Client pleaded guilty to four murders following complex investigations into his health and mental state and health at the time of the offending.
R v MS – Client acquitted of Murder following a 5-week trial.
R v CB – Client acquitted of a number of sexual offences against a child
R v IB – Charge of s18 GBH reduced to s20 against a family member. Client received a suspended sentence.