Tag Archives: crime

Busy week for Chesterfield crime solicitor


Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Denney Lau
Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau

Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau has had another busy week,combining police station representation, Magistrates’ court cases and office appointments.

You can read more about this below.


Negotiated basis of plea

Denney’s first client of his working week was a person who had been arrested on a warrant that had been outstanding since November 2016 and was before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  Although he accepted being guilty of an offence of assault, he did not accept the full extent of the allegation.  Denney was able to negotiate a basis of plea that was acceptable to the prosecution and the court.  He pleaded guilty and received a financial penalty.

Legal aid was granted which meant that our representation was free of charge to our client.

Trial prepared but no client

Later that day, Denney was to represent another legally-aided client who faced trial for theft from a dwelling.  The witness was to give evidence over a live link from Oxford.  The trial was fully prepared, but in the our client didn’t attend and the trial could not go ahead.


Client released under investigation

On Tuesday morning a client sought our independent legal advice in police interview.  The allegation was one of commercial burglary chesterfield police station solicitorfrom the summer of 2017.  He had been detained at chesterfield police station allegation of non dwelling burglary.  Following advice, our client put forward an account denying responsibility for the offence.

Representations were made that our client should not be detained while a decision from the Crown Prosecution Service was sought.  Instead, he should be released under investigation so that the final decision can be communicated at a later date.

Criminal legal aid meant that this advice and representation was free of charge.

Suspended rather than immediate custody

chesterfield magistrates court solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Again with the benefit of criminal legal aid, Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau represented a client who had breached his community order on two separate occasions.  To make matters worse, he had been unlawfully at large on a warrant without bail since September 2017.

The District Judge gave an immediate indication that he had no alternative but to send our client to prison immediately.  Having heard mitigation from Denney, instead he felt able to impose a suspended sentence leading to our client’s immediate release.

A night on call at Chesterfield police station

Lack of evidence on theft

Denney’s first client of the evening was a person who had been arrested for an allegation of theft.  A lack of evidence meant that our client chose not to answer police questions.  His continued detention was authorised to permit consideration of identification procedures and to see whether any further evidence was to be provided.

Representations secure bail from police

chesterfield police station legal aid solicitor
Chesterfield police station

His second client had been arrested for driving whilst disqualified but denied that allegation after receiving free and independent legal advice.  He was already being investigated for an identical offence.

Denney’s client was charged with both sets of offences.  The officer made representation to the custody sergeant that, bearing in mind the repeat allegations, our client should be detained for a remand application in the morning.

After hearing representations from Denney, the sergeant was persuaded to bail his client to court instead.


Chesterfield police station part two

Denney returned to Chesterfield police station to continue to represent the person detained for theft the night before.  There was a co-accused by now, although the co-accused was represented by a different firm of solicitor.

Our client was charged with several allegations of theft, as was his co-accused.  Denny was successful in persuading the police to grant his client bail, although the solicitor for the co-accused was less successful.  He was placed before the court for a remand application.

Favourable sentence in client’s absence

A client was due to be sentenced over the video link but refused to appear for the hearing.  The court decided to proceed in the client’s absence.  Denney continued to act in the best interests of his client.  This involved placing relevant mitigation before the court.  In the event, Denney secured a short custodial sentence that was almost equivalent to time already spent on remand, thus securing his client’s release within a further day or so.


Birthday celebration, so no court, no police stations and no clients.

Go-karting instead.


Successful bail application by Chesterfield crime solicitor

A client had been placed before the court for an application to remand him into custody after he was charged with being in breach of a dispersal notice.  There were several issues surrounding the lawfulness of the notice so he was advised to plead not guilty.  Bail was secured even though our client had no fixed address and a conviction would place him in breach of a suspended sentence.

Another client no-show

Denney had prepared a trial to be heard before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court although he required further information from his client.  His client failed to attend and the court allowed the prosecution to proceed in his absence.  Denney was not fully instructed so withdrew from the case.

Interviewed without a solicitor

A client had made an appointment to see Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney to discuss their case.  They had chosen to be interviewed without the benefit of free and independent legal advice and wanted to talk about the evidence and the procedure following a release under investigation.

Contact a Chesterfield criminal law specialist

chesterfield crime solicitor 5 Beetwell Street
VHS Fletchers, 5 Beetwell Street, Chesterfield

We gain our experience and enhance our reputation for being experts in the field of criminal law by representing clients in relation to a full range of offences on a daily basis,

If you want to instruct Chesterfield crime solicitor Denney Lau in a case then the details of our new office in Chesterfield can be found here.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


Unexplained Wealth Orders in force from January 2018

On 31st January 2018, regulations bring into force sections of The Criminal Finances Act 2017.  These deal with unexplained wealth orders as well as various other related provisions.  They are intended to be used with existing civil recovery powers.

The purpose of the unexplained wealth orders is to allow for certain unexplained wealth orderspeople who obtain property, which would ordinarily be beyond their obvious means, to be required to prove how they lawfully acquired it. This is, in effect, a reverse of the usual burden of proof where the prosecution must make a court sure of wrong doing.

Law enforcement agencies often have reasonable grounds to suspect that identified assets of such persons are the proceeds of serious crime. However, they are often unable to freeze or recover the assets under provisions in the Proceeds of Crime Act due to an inability to obtain evidence (often due to the inability to rely on full cooperation from other jurisdictions to obtain evidence).

Who can apply for unexplained wealth orders?

The authorities which may apply for such an order are:

  • The National Crime Agency
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • The Financial Conduct Authority
  • The Director of the Serious Fraud Office
  • The Director of Public Prosecutions

What happens if you are subject to an order?

If you are subjected to an order of this kind, you must provide a statement which does the following:

  • Sets out the nature and extent of your interest in the property
  • Explains how you obtained the property, particularly how any costs involved were met
  • Provides details of any settlement if the property is held by trustees
  • Sets out any other information about the property specified in the order

In addition to a statement, it may be necessary to supply documents connected to the property as required by the order.

What does the High Court need to be satisfied of?

Before it can make an order, the High Court must be satisfied that the following criteria are met:

  • There is reasonable cause to believe that the person in question holds the property and that it is worth over £50 000;
  • There are reasonable grounds for suspecting that this person’s known income (from lawful sources) would not be enough to obtain the property; and,
  • The person in question is a politically exposed person (see definition below) or there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they are or have been involved in a serious crime or someone connected to this person is or has been so involved.

unexplained wealth ordersA politically exposed person (PEP) is someone who is or has been entrusted with prominent public functions by an international organisation, a State other than the UK or another EEA State, a family member of such a person, a close associate or someone connected to them in another way.

Are any criminal offences created?

It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly make a statement that is false or misleading in response to an unexplained wealth order. Doing so can result in two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine. This offence can be tried in either the Magistrates’ Court or the Crown Court.

What if I fail to provide the information?

unexplained wealth ordersFailing to provide the information, in full or part, may prejudice any civil forfeiture proceedings.

In some cases, an unexplained wealth order will be accompanied by an interim freezing order. This prohibits the respondent to the order and any other person with an interest in the property from in any way dealing with the property.

Property held outside this country

unexplained wealth ordersWhere the property is thought to be in a country outside the UK, the Secretary of State may forward a request for assistance to the government of the receiving county. This can be a request to prevent anyone in that country from dealing with the relevant property and provide assistance in managing it as required.

Contact VHS Fletchers for specialist legal advice

To discuss unexplained wealth orders, or any other matter, please contact confiscation law solicitor Julia Haywood on 0115 9599550 at our  Nottingham office.  Alternatively use the contact form below for prompt expert advice.


A busy week at Chesterfield for Police Station Advice

This week from January 2018 provides a perfect illustration of the work undertaken by accredited police station representative Rob Lowe out of our busy Chesterfield office as he travels to provide expert police station advice.


The week started with a visit to Chesterfield Police Station just after chesterfield police station advicemidnight on Sunday.  The the police decided this would be the ideal time to interview to a client who had asked for the duty solicitor.

Luckily, Rob was offered plenty of strong coffee which was very welcome, because he was there until after two in the morning.  He managed to get a few hours sleep before I was required back for 10 a.m. on the Sunday morning to provide a further three clients with police station advice in Chesterfield.  Again, these had asked for the duty solicitor.

Unfortunately, he was back home in time to see Arsenal lose!


Monday started with a further visit to Chesterfield police station to represent a client who was answering  police bail.   Although this was a second visit to provide free legal advice and representation to our client, there is no additional fee payable to us under the legal aid scheme.

Immediately after this, Rob represented a client who had been asked to attend the police station for a voluntary interview.  He had the good sense to have notified us the previous week that he would be liverpool police station adviceattending the police station and would wish free representation under the legal aid scheme.

After dealing with that case, Rob got into his car and drove all the way up to Liverpool.  He met his client at the city centre police station at 6pm.  Again, he was attending voluntarily and had earlier informed Rob that the police wanted to interview him.

After that interview was completed, and the client had gone home, Rob wandered into the city centre for a bite to eat before travelling home through weather that was variously rain hail and then snow.  He managed to be tucked up in bed by 11 p.m.


Tuesday began with a trip to Mexborough police station.   This was to provide free and independent legal advice to a client who had mexborough police station adviceattended for a voluntary interview.  Rob attended by prior arrangement, the client having contacted us in advance.

Rob was back in Chesterfield by lunchtime to represent another client at the Chesterfield police station.   Again, this client had attended for a voluntary interview.

After concluding advice in that case , Rob went down into the custody suite  to look after a client who had been to Court in the morning and had been represented by a colleague.  He was unfortunately arrested for further offences when he left Court, and he asked for VHS Fletchers at the police station to provide advice and representation.


It was the firms turn to be duty solicitor again on Wednesday.  Rob started the day by representing a client who had asked for the duty solicitor at Chesterfield Police Station.

A colleague then told Rob that a further client, who had been referred to us by a friend of his, was coming to the police station at 12 noon for a voluntary interview.  He was met by Rob at that time and advice was provided accordingly.

Ilkeston police station adviceAnother case was in the cells also ready for interview at 12 noon, so a colleague was drafted in to provide advice in that case so that there was no delay to the interview for that client.

Once the voluntary interview was finished, Rob made his way over to Ilkeston police station to act as an agent for a firm of solicitors in London.  They had a client who was attending for a voluntary interview but were unable to make the journey up to Derbyshire.  Rob was was back home for 7:30p.m. for another late tea.


Thursday started early due to the need to provide advice at Sheffield City Council offices.  Rob represented a client who was being interviewed under caution for an allegation relating to improper use of a blue badge.

Rob then made his way back to Chesterfield Police Station to look after a client in custody who had been arrested and asked for representation from VHS Fletchers.

Rob made it home on time for a change, although this period of calm did not last long.  He chose to assist a colleague who was on call by providing advice and assistance to a client who was being interviewed at Chesterfield police station.


Rob was not required at the police station on Friday.  This provided a welcome opportunity to ensure that all of his paperwork was up to date from the week’s police station attendances.


On the Saturday, Rob rested.  Within the last seven days, Rob had provided free and independent legal advice to sixteen different clients.

In January alone Rob has attended ten different police stations in January –  as well as Chesterfield, Rob has visited

  • Grantham
  • Clay Cross
  • Ripley
  • Hucknall
  • Mansfield
  • Eastwood
  • Liverpool
  • Mexborough
  • Ilkeston

and one council office.  The list will no doubt be even longer by the end of the month.

Contact us for free and independent police station advice

As we hold a legal aid contract we are able to provide our clients with free and independent legal advice when they are interviewed free and independent police station adviceby the police.  This remains the case whether a suspect is a volunteer or under arrest, whether the interview is in a police station or at another place such as their home.

Police interviews are important.  What a suspect says or doesn’t say can help in the decision as to whether court proceedings should follow an interview.  As a result it is important that a suspect seek police station advice before answering questions.  Other reasons to seek legal advice can be found here.  We can help you decide if, and how, you should answer police questions.

Rob can be contacted at our Chesterfield office.  Details of all of our offices can be found here.  All of our telephone numbers are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that you receive our expert police station advice when you require it.

Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


Prosecution Res Gestae Argument fails at Derby Magistrates’ Court

Derby crime solicitor John Young recently represented  a client alleged to have assaulted his partner.  Success hinged on a prosecution res gestae argument.

The prosecution allegation

The complainant alleged that an incident had taken place outside her home address early in the morning.  Our client’s vehicle was said to have been parked outside at the time.

It was alleged that our client had pushed the complainant into the road causing her to fall over.  She alleged that this resulted in two broken bones in her foot. Our client was also alleged to have threatened to kill her whilst threatening her with a screwdriver.  He was said to have snatched her mobile phone from her and then left the scene.

Denied allegations

John’s client denied the allegations. He accepted that he had been at the scene but maintained that the complainant was the aggressor. Our client then described how she had tried to hit him but had fallen over in the process, landing in the road. He denied that he had made any physical contact with her.

Our client provided an explanation explaining why he was in possession of the mobile phone and the screwdriver.

In the event the victim declined to provide a forma statement to the police.  She did not support the prosecution.  The allegation as set out above was set out in the complainant’s first contact with the police.

Prosecution depended on res gestae argument

res gestae argument derby crime solicitorDespite the lack of a formal complaint,  our client was charged.  The prosecution case was to be based on a 999 call made twenty minutes after the incident was said to have taken place.  CCTV footage showed the delay in making the call.

Bodycam footage from police officers captured an initial complaint but this was nearly fifty minutes after the incident. There was a statement from a delivery driver who saw the complainant falling the road.  He  could not say how or why she fell.

As no-one saw the incident aside from the complainant and the defendant, the prosecution had to rely on hearsay evidence to try and secure a conviction.  This evidence would come from the 999 call and the bodycam footage.  Surprisingly, the prosecution did not make an application to admit this hearsay evidence prior to the trial date.

At the beginning of the trial the prosecution made clear the basis upon which they were presenting their case and made the hearsay application.  The prosecution conceded that if the application was unsuccessful then the prosecution could not proceed.

Problems with the hearsay evidence

There were several problems with the res gestae argument:

  • the bodycam footage showed that by the time the police arrived the victim was not “so emotionally overpowered” that the possibility of concoction or distortion could be disregarded
  • During the 999 call the complainant initially stated her leg was broken.  after questioning the operator establish that the victim only believed this because her leg was ‘painful’
  • It was clear from the bodycam footage that the leg was not broken.
  • During the 999 call the complainant alleged that she had taken the screwdriver from the client in order to stop him stabbing her with it.  Police evidence showed that the screwdriver had been recovered from the client’s vehicle when he was arrested
  • The timing of the incident showed that the complainant’s suggestion that this had been a chance encounter could not be true.
  • The CCTV footage showed that the complainant was not telling the truth when she said she had been assisted by a stranger while she lay in the road.
  • The footage also showed that, despite her allegation, she had not been swung around and then pushed by our client.
  • There were further significant differences between the accounts given in the 999 call on captured on bodycam footage.

A detailed analysis of the evidence by the defence

John’s detailed analysis of the evidence meant that he was able to use all of the above features of the case to argue against the admission of this purported res gestae evidence.  This included a thorough understanding of the timeline in the case and all of the inconsistencies between the different parts of the evidence.

He argued that it would be wrong to conclude that the complainant was so emotionally overpowered that there could not have been concoction or distortion.

successful res gestae argument derby crime solicitorThe Magistrates agreed with John’s submissions.  They refused to allow the Crown’s application to admit any of this evidence under section 118(1)(a) Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the relevant case law.

Once the Crown’s res gestae argument had been refused the Prosecution accepted that they had no further evidence to place before the Court.  No evidence was offered and the charge was dismissed.

Some more information about Res Gestae and hearsay evidence can be found here.

Defendant’s Costs Order Made

Our client was not financially eligible for Legal Aid.  He had funded the matter privately.  John successfully applied for a Defendant’s Costs Order which permitted recovery of a proportion of the private costs paid.

Contact Derby Crime Solicitor John Young

crime solicitor res gestae argument
Derby crime solicitor John Young

If you face allegations before the Magistrates’ court you will need an experienced solicitor with an eye to detail to ensure that your best case is placed before the court.

You will also want to instruct a solicitor who understands all of the relevant law and is fully prepared to make the arguments that you need to win your case.  This will particularly be the case if there is to be a difficult res gestae argument.

Please telephone John Young for an appointment on 01332 546818 or use the contact form below.


Charge of supply of psychoactive substance dismissed

Nottingham crime and duty solicitor Jameel Malik represented a client who had been arrested of intentionally supplying a psychoactive substance into prison.  The recipient of the drugs was said to be her son in HMP Nottingham.

Supply of a psychoactive substance?

Following a prison visit from his mother, our client’s son had been randomly selected for a search.  He was wearing two pairs of boxer shorts and was in possession of green vegetable matter.

Once forensically examined, this was found to be a psychoactive substance with a weight of 103g.  The value of the substance if sold in prison by the gram was a little over £10 000.

Free and independent legal advice in police interview

psychoactive substance not guilty verdictJameel had first met his client in the police station when she had requested the free and independent legal advice of the duty solicitor.  She had given an account to the police in interview denying passing her son the psychoactive substance.  She did accept that she might have passed him a note or a bar of chocolate.

CCTV footage of the prison visit was produced by the police in interview. This showed his client and her partner in the visiting hall.  Both sat down at the table with our client’s son.  The CCTV footage clearly showed Jameel’s client pass something to her son who then placed two packages in his boxer shorts.

Proceedings at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

psychoative substance nottingham solicitor
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Our client was charged with supplying a psychoactive substance.   The issue for trial was whether she had passed her son the substance during the visit.

Jameel provided advice about whether the case ought to remain in the Magistrates’ Court or be allocated to the Crown Court.  He successfully argued that trial could be dealt with before the Magistrates’ Court.

The matter proceeded to trial.  The CCTV footage was played.  Agreed evidence was read as to how the prison officers had retrieved the psychoactive substance.  The expert report proving the nature of the substance was also read, as were procedural issues relating to visitor searches.  Finally, our client’s interview with her denials were read out.

Submission of no case to answer

Having considered the evidence, Jameel then decided that it was appropriate to make a submission that there was insufficient evidence to allow the case to proceed.

He argued that even taking the prosecution case at its highest there was simply insufficient evidence to show that it was his client who had supplied the substance to her son.

He highlighted the following:

  • the amount of the substance was of significant size.  This was not discovered upon his client’s entry into the prison
  • the CCTV footage did not show what was passed
  • his search was actually two hours after the visit rather than immediately after the visit had taken place
  • there was a significant opportunity for the substance to have been acquired at another time during the morning.

Case dismissed

supply of psychoative substanceThe Magistrates retired to consider the submission.  Upon their return they stated that they did not believe that the prosecution had  sufficient evidence to provide a case for Jameel’s client to answer.  The case was dismissed.

Instruct a criminal solicitor in Nottingham

If you are investigated for an offence then you will want to instruct a firm of solicitors that will try and provide you with continuity of representation between your initial arrest and final disposal in the Magistrates’ court.

We will try to make sure that you keep the same solicitor throughout your case to avoid you seeing a number of new faces and having to explain your account on more than one occasion.

psychoative substance supply magistrates trial
Notingham duty solicitor Jameel Malick

Don’t forget that our independent advice and representation in the police station will always be free of charge, and you may be entitled to free Magistrates’ Court representation under our legal aid contracts.

If you want to instruct Jameel in a case then please call him on 0115 9599550 or use the contact form below.


Carefully prepared cross examination leads to not guilty verdict

Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher secured a not guilty verdict for her client following careful cross examination of a witness.  He faced an allegation of common assault.  He was said to have punched his partner once to the face when drunk.  She had visible injuries – bruising and swelling to her cheek bone.

Preparation of cross examination

In order to present your best case at trial, an experienced advocate will plan how best to ask the questions.  For example, in this case, Lauren would have to question the witness to suggest that she was not telling the truth.  If a witness’s truthfulness is challenged immediately, it might be unlikely that they help an advocate with other information that they could give.

As a result, Lauren questioned the witness first to establish that a third person had been present during the incident.  The witness, in answer to questions, confirmed that this person was a mutual friend who would not favour one party over another.  They had no reason to lie that the witness could think of.

This information was important as the third person was to be called as a witness for the defence.

Lauren then moved on to more contentious issues.  She cross-examined the witness on the important differences between the account she gave in her statement and the evidence she had given to the court.

At one point the witness conceded that she had “tried to contact the police to change my statement as I knew it did not make sense”.  This was an important concession by the witness.

Self-Defence raised

Our client’s defence was that he had been acting in self-defence but the injury was accidental.  He maintained that he was being hit by both the complainant and her friend.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, if this was true, her friend had not given a statement to the police.

A statement had been taken by Lauren from the mutual friend who had been present.  Unfortunately the police had failed to seek accounts from anybody else who had witnessed the incident.

Closing speech dealt with the detail

In closing, Lauren was able to outline all of the problems and inconsistencies with the account that the witness had given under cross examination.  She was able to point to the consistent account given by her client and the third party.

After due consideration, the Magistrates found her client not guilty.

cross examination by criminal legal aid solicitor vhs fletchers

Lauren’s client took the time to thank her for the work that she had put into his case.  He wrote:

“Hi Lauren, I’m very happy with what happened today.  You are a good solicitor.  The way you handled the whole situation was good. Thank you again for helping me”

Contact Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher

cross examination not guilty verdict nottingham solicitor
Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher

Whether you face a police investigation or proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court you will wish to instruct a solicitor who will spend the time preparing your case.  This might involve making sure that advice on the law is correct.  If could be giving careful advice on plea or sentence.  In this case it involved preparing a structure for cross examination of a witness to ensure Lauren’s client had the best opportunity for a not guilty verdict.

If you want to contact Lauren to discuss a case then please call her on 0115 9599550.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.


Chesterfield Crime Solicitor success on behalf of clients

chesterfield crime solicitor serena simpson
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Serena Simpson

Although only qualified as a solicitor for a year, and more recently qualified as a duty solicitor, Chesterfield crime solicitor Serena Simpson already has secured a number of outstanding results for her clients.

Some examples of recent successful cases are below:

R v B

Our client  had a long history of drug related burglaries over a number of years.  He was before the court for two admitted commercial burglaries and a theft described as a ‘spree’ by the sentencing judge.

Despite this, Serena was able to persuade the District Judge at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court to impose a suspended sentence.  The intention was to give her a ‘last chance’ to rehabilitate in the community

R v T

In this case our client disputed that he was responsible for causing criminal damage.  The cross-examination of the prosecution witness showed that there were obvious inconsistencies between her accounts.

In the end, the witness admitted that she had lied in her police statement and a not guilty verdict followed.

The case of H

chesterfield crime solicitor VHS Fletchers
Chesterfield Police Station

As well as providing representation to clients at court, Serena also provides advice and representation to clients who are under suspicion of having committed an offence.

This case involved a long and drawn out police investigation.  Our client was a school teacher who was accused of a string of sexual offences by her daughter. These were denied and in the end no formal statement was provided by the alleged victim.

After plenty of argument and correspondence with the police, it was agreed that there was no evidence to support a conviction and the case was taken no further.

R v R

Chesterfield crime solicitor legal aid VHS Fletchers
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Our client pleaded guilty to outraging public decency.  The offence does not feature in the Magistrates’ sentencing guidelines.  It is, however, a case that can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court.

Serena researched sentencing cases similar to the one that her client faced.  The Magistrates’ accepted jurisdiction and imposed a low level community order.

This result was secured as a result of Serena’s hard work and careful mitigation.

Thank you note for Serena

R v M

Our client faced trial for criminal damage.  Her defence was that it was a malicious complaint by her ex-partner and his new girlfriend.  Serena successfully applied for the complainant’s bad character to be before the Magistrates.  This related to previous incidents of domestic violence directed towards our client.

Under careful cross-examination the complainant was unable to give a consistent account.  His girlfriend gave a completely different account.   These inconsistencies in combination with clear evidence from our client meant that the District Judge did not require a closing from Serena.

The not guilty verdict followed.

Instruct a Chesterfield crime solicitor

Whether you face questions from the police or proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court you will want to instruct an expert criminal lawyer to fight your case on your behalf.

chesterfield criminal legal aid solicitor VHS FletchersWe offer free 24 hour emergency advice and representation in police interview under the legal aid scheme.

We will also provide you with advice on your entitlement to legal aid to ensure representation at court.  Alternatively, we aim to provide you with a fee estimate that will make sure that your representation is affordable.

Please contact one of our solicitors on 01246 283000 or use the enquiry from below if you wish to discuss a case or instruct us to represent you.




DWP Prosecution – Charges Withdrawn

DWP prosecution dropped nottingham criminal defence lawyer
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Nottingham crime solicitor Alex Chapman represented a client before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for allegations of fraud.   This was a DWP prosecution. The particular circumstances were such that he was able to persuade the prosecution that it was not in the public interest to continue with the prosecution.  His client therefore kept her good name.

DWP Prosecution alleges £17 000 fraud

The allegations faced were charged under the Fraud Act 2006.  The offence were based on a fraudulent claim for benefits between 2011 and 2013.  The case was serious because there had been an over payment of benefits of approximately £17 000.

DWP prosecution nottingham criminal defence lawyerAlex’s client had been interviewed by the DWP,  Shortly afterwards she had been offered a job abroad so left the country.  She was summonsed to attend court in 2014 but was unable to attend the court dates.  As a result the Magistrates’ Court had no alternative but to issue a warrant for her immediate arrest.

Despite failing to attend court our client had done her best to put herself in a favourable position.  She had paid off the debt in its entirety while in work although this had taken her two years to achieve.  She also made contact with the court to fix a date to surrender to the warrant.

All of the money repaid by our client

It was at this point that we were instructed and she informed us of the date.  Once Alex was involved he gave her advice as to the likely sentence for this offending.  As this was a prosecution under the Fraud Act 2006, the position was immediately more serious than had it been a prosecution for over-claiming benefit.  The position was aggravated because of the allegation that the claim had been fraudulent from the outset.  The Magistrates’ were likely to commit the matter for sentence upon a guilty plea because of this, and custody was likely.

Representations lead to withdrawal of DWP prosecution

At court Alex took the opportunity to speak with the prosecutor.  His discussions were designed to see whether the prosecution could be persuaded to abandon the prosecution as not being in the public interest.  This would be because:

  • his client was of good character
  • all of the over-paid benefits had been repaid
  • the offending was several years old
  • the chances of re-offending appeared slight
  • the fact that she lives abroad would mean that community elements of any sentence could not be imposed

Alex’s representations were successful so proceedings were withdrawn.  As a result, all the attendant risks for his client vanished and she kept her good name.

Affordable fixed fee representation

Alex’s client was not financially eligible for free advice and representation before the Magistrates’ Court.  As an alternative he was able to provide her with a fixed fee cost of his representation. She could budget for these costs because of this.

Positive Client Feedback

Perhaps unsurprisingly, bearing in mind the result that Alex achieved on behalf of his client, she was prompted to provide the following feedback:

“Words cannot describe how thankful I am to you. It’s an incredible feeling and I appreciate your help and support. ” 

 “I would like you to bear in mind that if at any point in your career you require a client reference, you will always have my positive feedback on your fantastic work.”

Contact a criminal solicitor in Nottingham

Whether you face an interview under caution with an investigator or a DWP prosecution before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court you will want to instruct an experienced criminal solicitor.  If you do so you will have the confidence that they will know what can best be achieved on your behalf in the circumstances that you face.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0115 9599550.  You can also use the contact form below.

It may be that one of our other offices is more convenient to you.  If so, you can find contact details for your nearest office here.



Chesterfield Criminal Solicitor – No Case to Answer

Chesterfield criminal Solicitor David Gittins recently used all of his court experience to successfully argue at trial that there was no case for his client to answer.  This would mean that all charges would be dismissed.  As a result his client would be not guilty of the offences. Previous criminal behaviour need not mean that a person is inevitably guilty of new offences.

The Allegation

David’s client had been arrested and charged with an allegation of criminal damage. The background was one of anti-social behaviour directed towards a neighbour.  A restraining order had been put in place as a result.

The complainant, as well as having the protection of a court order, had also put up CCTV .  This was specifically to cover a passageway between the two properties.

chesterfield criminal solicitorThe allegation was that David’s client had damaged this camera.  Although the damage was not caught on the camera, and there were no eye-witnesses, the prosecution had chosen to bring the case to court.  The case was brought on the basis of our client’s poor behaviour in the past and because he was in the area at the time the camera was damaged.

Although David’s client had denied the offence in police interview, he appeared to accept causing damage by catching himself on some low hanging wires in the dark.  He himself had called the police the following day to give that account.

The Trial

chesterfield criminal solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

David had seen his client to take instructions and provide advice on on several occasions before the trial date.  David had also taken the time to visit the property.  He took photographs to allow the Magistrates to fully understand the scene.

These instructions allowed David to develop a case plan ensuring that he knew what evidence was required from the witness to secure an acquittal for his client.

At trial the owner of the CCTV attended and gave evidence about the its location and how and when it was fixed to the wall.  During his evidence the witness accepted “it was possible” that some of the wires may have dropped. David knew this answer was key. Previously in discussions with the prosecution,  it was claimed that there were no such wires.

The witness gave evidence for the prosecution for over 30 mins. David then questioned the witness himself, although he chose to only a small number of questions.  This questioning only lasted three minutes.

chesterfield criminal solicitorAfter the prosecution case had finished, David made an application that the case ought to be dismissed.  This was because there was simply no evidence upon which his client could be convicted.  The prosecution witness had confirmed what his client had said about loose wires.  There was no eye witness testimony to the incident.  As a result there was no evidence to challenge his account.

The Magistrates retired and returned a short while later accepting David’s argument and dismissing the case.

His  client was delighted as he was subject to a Suspended Sentence Order so any conviction would have almost certainly resulted in a prison sentence.

Criminal legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court 

Chesterfield criminal solicitor david gittinsLegal aid is available for advice and representation before the Magistrates’ Court.  It is dependent upon our clients satisfying the legal aid agency of the merits of their cases and that they qualify on their means.

In this case, David’s client had the benefit of legal aid which means that his representation was free of charge to our client.

Instruct a Chesterfield criminal solicitor

criminal damage not guilty verdict
Chesterfield partner and crime solicitor David Gittins

Whether you find yourself under investigation by the police, or facing proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court, you will want to instruct a specialist Chesterfield criminal solicitor to present and argue your case.  We will give you a clear idea of what needs to be achieved and how it can be will benefit you.

There are many reasons to take advantage of our free and independent legal advice in police interview.  You can read about those here.

If you wish to instruct Chesterfield criminal solicitor David then please telephone him on 01246 387999 or contact him using the form below.  Details of your nearest office can be found here.


Lack of identification evidence leads to not guilty verdict

identification evidence nottingham crime solicitor
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher represented her client at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court who was charged with assault. After she properly identified that the issue in the case was identification evidence, the prosecution did not manage to secure the evidence that her client was responsible  in time for trial.  Not guilty verdicts followed.

The allegation

A member of the public had seen two males being assaulted so went to their aid.  Both males are drunk and in company with a female.  One of the males then becomes aggressive and pushes the female before attempting to hit the person who had been helping them.

Although the male walks away with the female he is followed by the member of the public.  He is then seen to kick the female and swing her around by her bag.  He calls the police because of his concerns.

When the police arrive, no complaint is made by the female.  Lauren’s client is in a group of three males by this time.  He is spoken to by the police and taken home, but then received a notification that he had to attend court.

No identification evidence…

Lauren advises him on the statements received.  There is not a statement from anybody identifying him as the person who either swung for the member of the public or kicked the female.  He enters not guilty pleas.  Lauren makes it clear on the case management form that identification will be the issue in the case.

…and still no identification evidence

Despite this, the prosecution serve no additional evidence until the morning of trial.  This is in an additional statement from the eye witness stating that he had pointed out the male to the police.  There was, however, no corresponding statement from the police officer confirming that if was Lauren’s client who was identified.

The prosecutor had to therefore make an application to adjourn the trial to try and put right this evidential problem.  The was opposed by Lauren, bearing in mind the time the Crown had had to secure any evidence.  The Magistrates’ decided that it was not in the interests of justice to grant the prosecution the adjournment.  As a result the prosecution had no alternative but to offer no evidence.  The charges were dismissed and Lauren’s client was found not guilty.

Contact a Nottingham Criminal Law Solicitor

identification evidence nottingham crime solicitor
Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher

Whether you face a police investigation or Magistrates’ or Crown Court proceedings you will wish to instruct a specialist criminal defence lawyer with an eye for detail who will fight your case.  This can be particularly important in cases involving identification evidence.  The identification might be by eye witnesses, from CCTV or from forensic evidence so the legal approach will be different in each case.

If you wish to instruct Lauren Fisher then please telephone her on 0115 9599550 or use the contact form below.  Alternatively, you can find you nearest office here.