Tag Archives: crime

Legal Aid Granted After Exceptional Hardship Application

Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher  pursued an exceptional hardship application for her client to ensure that he had the benefit of legal aid.  She then ensured that his trial was prepared properly with the Crown, once again, failing to secure the evidence that would provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

The circumstances of the offence

exceptional hardship criminal legal aid nottingham vhs fletchers
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Lauren’s client was charged with and allegation of common assault.  A member of the public had reported the assault.  When the police attended at the scene they found the alleged victim who named Lauren’s client as being responsible for an unlawful assault.  He was named and arrested nearby.

In interview, Lauren’s client maintained that he could not remember anything about the night.  Unsurprisingly he was charged to court.

A few days later, his partner made a further statement to the police.  She stated that she had been drunk when she made her original statement.  The incident had also been two-sided and she had not been assaulted.  Due to the fact she was no longer a helpful witness to the prosecution she was tendered to the defence.  This means that Lauren could call her as a witness if she wanted.

Lack of identification evidence

The prosecution had not noticed that without this witness there was no evidence identifying Lauren’s client as the man involved in the incident.  This was the case because the eye witness had not been present when our client was arrested.  As a result of the original statement by our client’s partner there had not been identification procedures.

Once Lauren had identified this she properly put the court and prosecution on notice that identification would be a trial issue.  Had she not put the prosecution on notice it was likely that the prosecution would be granted an adjournment to seek the necessary evidence.

Failure to hold a VIPER procedure

Despite being warned of the problem with the evidence the prosecution and police failed to pursue the VIPER identification evidence.  Lauren’s client confirmed that he would consent to the procedure late in the case.  As a result his details were passed to the officer to make the necessary arrangements.

nottingham criminal legal aid exceptional hardship

Despite this, by the trial no attempts had been made to make the arrangements for a video identification parade.  As a result the prosecution took a realistic approach and offered no evidence.

Magistrates’ Court Criminal Legal Aid Exceptional Hardship

Criminal legal aid in the Magistrates’ Court is subject to both a merits and means test.  Firstly, the Legal Aid Agency has to be sure that there are features of the case that mean that legal aid should be granted.  The defendant is also subject to a means test.  There is no contribution, so if the defendant earns over a certain level after deductions then legal aid is not available.

It is possible, however, to make an application to the Legal Aid Agency to ask that legal aid is granted on the basis of exceptional hardship.  This procedure involves the defendant’s solicitor setting out the likely fees to represent them at court and then asking the Agency to say that the expense would be more that they could afford.

In this case, Lauren spent the time with her client assessing that such an application would be worthwhile.  Because of this he was able to have the benefit of free advice and representation at the Magistrates’ Court trial.

Contact a criminal law solicitor in Nottingham

exceptional hardship criminal legal aid VHS Fletchers
Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher

Whether you face a police investigation or proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court you will want to instruct a specialist criminal defence lawyer.  We will provide you with advice and representation that you can afford.

Please remember that advice and representation in police interview is always free of charge under the legal aid scheme.  This is always true whether you are interviewed while under arrest or as a volunteer, at the police station or another place such as your home.

We will always provide advice as to whether an exceptional hardship application is likely to succeed and advise on the process.

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


Early Guilty Plea Leads to Suspended Sentence Order

Derby crime solicitor John Young represented a client before Derby Magistrates’ Court.  His client had placed himself in a very serious situation because he committed a number of assaults at a working men’s club.  This case demonstrates the benefit of an early guilty plea in an appropriate case.  John was able to build his mitigation on these pleas to persuade the court that an immediate prison sentence could be avoided.

The allegations

John’s client had been charged with allegations of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and three common assaults.  These offences involved four members of the same family, including two vulnerable victims.

The incident developed following an argument between our client’s wife and others in the club.  There was some pushing and shoving from both sides of the argument, coupled with some threats.  This initial incident appeared to blow over.

Unfortunately, the incident flared up again.  No doubt due to the drink consumed, John’s client repeatedly punched the first victim. and then assaulted the others.  He was restrained while the police are called.  Fortunately, the injuries were relatively minor, but there were other families and young children present who were upset.

Sentencing Guidelines

early guilty plea derby crime solicitor vhs fletchersThe offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm can be heard before the Crown Court.  This might have been a case that the Magistrates decided ought to be sentenced there because a number of aggravating features were present:

  • offences in a public place
  • our client was in drink
  • children were present and affected
  • injury was caused
  • two of the victims were vulnerable
  • it was a sustained and repeated attack
  • arguably an intention to cause more serious injury than resulted

As a result, the case could easily have been categorised within the most serious category of offending with a starting point of 18 months in prison if John’s client had sought a trial.

Early Guilty Plea

John’s client faced a choice as to whether he ought to plead guilty or not.  He felt aggrieved about how the incident had started.  John took the time, however, to take him through the evidence and explain why he was guilty of the offences.  Further, John explained to him the benefits of an early guilty plea.  This is in terms of both credit (a reduction in sentence) and because it arguably shows remorse for offending.

It is always more difficult to persuade a court to be lenient where a client has been found guilty after a trial.

Mitigation leads to suspended sentence order

Although the offence was serious because of the early guilty plea the court was able to say that the remorse expressed was genuine.  The court took account of John’s client’s good work record and settled relationship.  He was also the sole breadwinner supporting his wife and child.

In recent times he had had problems with both his health and debt.  He had a limited record of convictions and had not appeared before the courts since 2009.

As a result of John’s careful mitigation, his client received a short sentence of eighteen weeks suspended for two years.  This was combined with a substantial number of hours of unpaid work and compensation.  The case was kept before the Magistrates’ Court.

Contact a Derby criminal law solicitor

early guilty plea derby criminal defence lawyer
Derby crime solicitor John Young

Whether you face a police investigation or proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court you will want to instruct a criminal defence lawyer that gives you appropriate advice.  This will help you secure the best outcome for you, whether that is due to an early guilty plea or by having a trial.

If you want to instruct John Young then please telephone him on 01332 546818 or use the form below.  Alternatively, you can find your nearest office here.



Suspended Sentence Order Allowed to Continue

suspended sentence order chesterfield crime solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Chesterfield Crime Solicitor David Gittins recently used all of his experience to identify a reason why it would be unjust for the Court to activate a Suspended Sentence Order.  His job was made all the more difficult as the new offence was an assault on the same victim.  David was successful in persuading the court that justice could be best served by his client receiving a further opportunity.

Offending during a suspended sentence order

David’s client had been arrested and charged with an allegation of common assault. It was said that whilst in drink he had punched his partner who was trying to get him to leave her car. This was witnessed by others at the scene and resulted in both police and ambulance staff being called.

suspended sentence order chesterfield crime solicitor
Chesterfield Police Station

David’s client was taken to the police station.  He chose not to answer questions in interview, instead providing a “no comment” interview.  He was, unsurprisingly, charged with the offence.  The case was initially listed for trial.  This was because our client initially wished to argue that he was acting in self-defence.  Further analysis of the evidence and legal advice from David meant that he changed his plea to guilty.

Legal advice leads to sensible guilty plea

This guilty plea put David’s client in breach of a suspended sentence.  That offence had also been committed in similar circumstance.  As a result, it appeared highly likely that the court would activate the suspended sentence.

David spent some time with his client so he could obtain any information that could be used in mitigation.  He also took the time to seek information from the probation officer at court.  The officer was able to confirm that his client was progressing well on the community elements that comprised the suspended sentence order.  This information gave our client an opportunity to argue that he ought to be given a further opportunity.  Instead risk was best addressed in the community.

David addressed the District Judge at length about the reasons behind the recent offending.  He offered forward the personal mitigation.  This was linked to  good progress that his client was making with both the probation  and mental health services.

He was able to outline how any period of imprisonment would be detrimental to his client’s rehabilitation because the support and treatment he was currently receiving would not be available in prison.  He was at risk of losing stable accommodation which is so important in an offender’s rehabilitation.

Suspended Sentence Order Allowed to Continue

The District Judge agreed that it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence because of the detailed mitigation put forward by David. Instead he imposed a further suspended sentence order. The breach had to be marked so the operational period of the original suspended sentence order was extended by two months.

David’s client was obviously delighted with the opportunity to continue to turn his life around and receive treatment within the community.

Criminal Legal Aid Available

 Legal Aid is available for Magistrates’ Court proceedings, although it is dependent on a merits and means test being satisfied.  In this case, David’s client was able to receive legal aid for his representation.  As a result our advice and representation was free of charge to him.

 Contact a Chesterfield Crime Solicitor

Chesterfield criminal defence lawyer chesterfield
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor David Gittins

Whether you face a police investigation, Magistrates’ Court proceedings or a case before the Crown Court you will wish to instruct a criminal law specialist.  We provide advice and representation nationwide from out offices across the East Midlands.

If you wish to instruct David then please telephone him at our Chesterfield Office on 01246 283000 or use the contact form below.  Our other offices can be found here.


Adjournment refused, not guilty verdict follows

nottingham criminal defence solicitor adjournment
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court

Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher recently represented a client at a Magistrates’ Court trial.  The case was an emotive one because it was alleged that he had assaulted his young son by dragging him from one room to another.

Police attended at the address later in the day following a report by the  mother that Lauren’s client was preventing her from leaving the address.  This informs police that she saw our client drag the child by his feet earlier in the day.  The child confirmed this at the time and there was a visible injury.

Young witness support defence account

The child provided a video statement.  Although the child was originally a witness for the prosecution, a review of the video evidence showed that the account given was inconsistent with that of the adult witness.

This final account supported what Lauren’s client said about the incident – the child had been playing with a knife so our client intervened, took the knife and dragged the child away by the hand.  As a result there was no unlawful assault.

Lauren took the unusual step of serving this interview on the prosecution so that she could invite the Crown to agree the evidence.  As an alternative a hearsay application was served because nobody with care of the child was prepared to allow the child to come to court.  Lauren shared the view that the child should not need to be present at court.

Prosecution failure to comply with duty of disclosure

The day before the trial the prosecution had the case listed for a Case Management Hearing.  The Crown had failed to comply with its duty of disclosure.  Agreement is sought to adjourn the trial in the absence of Magistrates but Lauren did not agree.  Her client did not wish further delay in the case so the case was adjourned to the trial date.

On the morning of the trial the prosecution still do not have the information it needed so a further application to adjourn is made.  Lauren insisted that the prosecution present a proper chronology of how the Crown had dealt with disclosure.

When the Crown presented the chronology it was clear that the reviewing lawyer had requested information that undermined the credibility of the remaining witness.  The lawyer had made the request time and again but it had been ignored by the police.

Eventually the police confirmed that there was such information but still did not pass it to the prosecution but it was not available for the trial.

Prosecution adjournment opposed

The prosecution adjournment was sought on the basis of the public interest in a charge of this nature being heard properly.  Lauren opposed the adjournment on the following grounds:

  • there was the likelihood from the outset that the witness was not telling the truth
  • the child involved confirmed there had been no offence committed
  • the proceedings were causing problems for her client before the family court
  • summary justice should mean speedy justice so the prosecution and police should not be allowed to ignore the rules

A not guilty verdict was recorded

The District Judge considered the representations and refused the adjournment request.  As a result the prosecution were not in a position to proceed and offered no evidence.  A not guilty verdict was entered.

Instruct a criminal law specialist

nottingham criminal defence lawyer adjournment
Nottingham crime solicitor Lauren Fisher

Whether you face police investigation, Magistrates’ Court trial or Crown Court proceedings you will want to instruct a specialist in criminal law who will spend their time trying to secure the best result for you.

If you wish to instruct Nottingham criminal defence solicitor Lauren Fisher then you can telephone her on 0115 9599550 or contact her using the form below.



Successful Police Station Accreditation for Elliott Moulster

Ilkeston crime solicitor Elliott Moulster
Trainee solicitor Elliott Moulster

We are pleased to announce that our trainee solicitor Elliott Moulster has successfully completed his Police Station Accreditation.

This means that he is now able to represent clients at the police station who have requested the duty solicitor.  He has also proved himself able to represent our own clients or duty clients who face the most serious of allegations that if charged could only be heard at the Crown Court.

Police station accreditation

As would be expected, the process for securing such a qualification is onerous.  Although Elliott was exempted from the written examination as he has completed the Legal Practice Course, he still have to undertake the preparation of a portfolio of his work for assessment and take part in the Critical Incidents Test.

Two part portfolio

The Portfolio is in two parts.  For the first part he had to work with experienced Duty Solicitor Lauren Manuel.  He attended the police station with her and observed two cases where she provided the advice.  Elliott then attended on two further occasions and was observed providing the advice himself.

The second part of the portfolio involved Elliott attending the police station himself, assessing the evidence and providing the advice himself.  He then had the opportunity of speaking with Lauren about the issues that arose and the decisions that he made.

The written portfolio is then assessed by an independent organisation to ensure that Elliott has demonstrated the necessary understanding of the complex law and evidential issues that can arise at the police station.  Only when he has proved that can he pass the accreditation.

Critical incidents test

The Critical Incidents Test is the second part of the assessment.  The purpose of this test was to assess your Elliott’s effectiveness in the police station.  It simulates police station situations so Elliott had to listen to audio recordings of extracts from typical police station situations.  He then had to record appropriate responses to these conversation.

The purpose of this test was to assess:

  • the appropriateness of his responses
  • his oral communication skills, and
  • his assertiveness

As a result, if Elliott should represent you at the police station then you can be sure that you are in safe hands.  His abilities have been independently tested before he meets you!

Contact a solicitor or police station representative

nottingham crime solicitor police station accreditationWe offer 24 hour representation at police interviews nationwide.  If you are a suspect in a criminal investigation such representation will always be free of charge to you under the legal aid scheme where you are interviewed by the police, whether this is as a volunteer or under arrest, whether in the police station or at another location such as your home.

Please contact your local office if you know you are to be interviewed, or make sure the police contact us if you are under arrest.  Any of our office numbers will allow you to speak to a lawyer 24 hours a day all year round.

Chesterfield criminal solicitor Gavin Haigh – Specialist in Protest Law

protest law derbyshire
Chesterfield criminal solicitor Gavin Haigh

Although previously linked with VHS Fletchers as a consultant, we are pleased to announce that Chesterfield crime solicitor and protest law specialist Gavin Haigh is now an employed member of our criminal team.

Gavin prides himself on his meticulous attention to detail.  His robust defence of clients on all matters makes him a formidable advocate and police station representative. Gavin is not shy to raise objections when required and forcefully protect his client’s rights at all times.

Specialist in Protest Law

Gavin has been a qualified solicitor and Duty Solicitor for 12 years and during that period he has has found a particular interest and specialism in the criminal law as it affects protests and marches.

This can involve advice on:

  • the policing of university protests
  • the policing of political protests
  • advising on general animal welfare issues
  • providing advice relating to environmental protests including recent advice relating to anti-fracking protests

Gavin has represented clients interviewed or charged as a result of their alleged activities including anti-fur demonstrations and hunt monitoring. This is an area of law where solicitors are instructed as a result of word of mouth and the trust that is built on previous client representation.  As a result the continued instruction of Gavin is a ringing endorsement of his abilities.

Unique flexible appointments for our clients

Although Gavin will be based in our Chesterfield office, his flexible working arrangements will bring additional benefits to our Derbyshire clients.  Gavin is happy to offer appointments with clients and their witnesses outside normal office hours and outside the office setting.

This flexibility recognises that it is not always possible for people to easily make time away from work commitments to travel to see a solicitor during normal office hours.  This service, along with his willingness to arrange appointments around our clients’ availability (such as in the evening or weekend) will further demonstrate our commitment to put our clients first.  These are arrangement are, of course, in addition to our commitment to provide 24 hour emergency advice and representation.

It may be of significance to existing or potential clients that we are not aware of any other firm of criminal solicitors in Chesterfield offering a similar service.

Attention to detail and robust defence

Gavin prides himself on his meticulous attention to detail.  His robust defence of clients on all matters makes him a formidable advocate and police station representative. Gavin is not shy to raise objections when required and forcefully protect his client’s rights at all times.

Contact Chesterfield Criminal Solicitor Gavin Haigh

If you face a police investigation or court proceedings for any offence and particularly allegations arising out of public protests protest law issues, then you can contact Chesterfield at our Chesterfield office on 01246 283000.  Alternatively you can use the form below to email your enquiry to us.


Prison Avoided For Repeated Restraining Order Breach

derby criminal defence lawyer mitigates restraining order
Derby crime solicitor John Young

Derby crime solicitor John Young recently acted for a client who faced what appeared to be an inevitable prison sentence.  His client had an appalling history for breaching his restraining order.  A first order had been made in 2010 but this had been breached five times.

Although that order was revoked in 2012, a  second Restraining Order was imposed in 2014.  That order had already been breached 10 times with the most recent sentence for breach being three weeks prior to this sentencing.

New breaches of a restraining order

John’s client was originally charged with two allegations of breaching the restraining order.  On the second occasion he had been arrested at his ex-partner’s address so was clearly guilty of the offence.  However John was able to negotiate with the prosecution that it wasn’t in the public interest to proceed with both charges.  As a result, his client only pleaded guilty to the single offence.

All of the circumstances would suggest that a prison sentence was inevitable in this case:

  • offence committed during a period of supervision
  • offence placed him in breach of a community order
  • he had an extremely poor record for identical offending

The sentencing guidelines suggested that not only should the case be dealt with by a prison sentence, but that the client should have been committed to Derby Crown Court for sentence.  A sentence of six months in prison was represented by the prosecution as being insufficient because of these guidelines.

Suspended sentence rather than immediate custody

Instead, John used all of his experience and persuasive advocacy to ensure that his client received a further chance to turn his offending around while in the community.   It is hoped he can avoid further breaches of his restraining order.

Continuity of Representation

John’s client was assisted by the fact that we are able to provide continuity of representation in most cases.  He had dealt with his client for the previous court appearance so knew all of his background and the history of previous orders.  As a result, all of this worked to his client’s advantage.

John’s client was both surprised and pleased to receive a suspended sentence rather than an immediate prison sentence of some length.

Contact a Derby Criminal Defence Solicitor

We offer 24 hour emergency advice and representation for those being investigated for criminal offences or detained for court at weekends.  Police station advice and representation will always be free of charge to you, as will any interview with the police under caution, whether you are arrested or a volunteer, at the police station or at your home address.

The locations and contact details for your nearest office can be found here.

John Young can be contacted on 01332 546818 or if you want to email him then please use the form below.

Voluntary police interview leads to no further action

free legal aid for voluntary police interview
Newark crime solicitor Barbara McDonnell

Newark crime solicitor Barbara McDonnell recently represented a client in a voluntary police interview.  It was a somewhat unusual case. She negotiated an outcome that all parties were happy with.   her client had the benefit of free advice and representation.

Barbara’s client worked as an escort.  It was alleged that she had stolen a lap top from a vulnerable man in a care home.

Voluntary Police Interview

When the police tell a suspect that they want to speak to them voluntarily this is likely to create the wrong impression.  The conversation is still a police interview.  It will be an interview under caution.  It is likely to be recorded.  The information that the police gain in interview can be used against a suspect in court.

Barbara’s client requested that we be present in interview.  As this was an interview under caution the advice and representation would be free of charge due to criminal legal aid.  As a result, Barbara was able to give her advice and protect her interests during interview.

Our client received advice and answered all questions put to her.  She maintained that she was not guilty of theft as she had simply forgotten that she still had the laptop. At the point she had noticed she had it she would have returned it.  Unfortunately, she had dropped the lap top and it could no longer be used.

Police take no further action

Barbara’s client was worried about the case going to court.  She didn’t want anyone to know she had been working as an escort.  As a result she had been prepared to admit to a theft and receive a caution.  In the event, because of Barbara’s advice, she was able to offer to pay the victim the cost of a new laptop.   The police took no further action against her.

Contact a Newark Criminal Solicitor

This case highlights the importance of instructing a solicitor in a case from the outset.  It remains important even where you may have committed an offence.  We can help you to secure the best possible outcome for you in the circumstances.  We are contracted with the government so we can provide free police station advice.

If you are due to be interviewed by the police or have a case before court then please contact Newark criminal defence solicitor Barbara McDonnell or email her here.

Free Police Station Advice Leads to Restorative Justice Outcome

free police station advice newark crime solicitor
Nottingham and Newark Crime Solicitor Lauren Manuel

Nottingham and Newark crime solicitor Lauren Manuel recently gave free police station advice to a client at Newark police station.  She showed that just because a person may have committed an offence it doesn’t mean that they should be prosecuted at court.

The client had been contacted by the police to voluntarily attend the police station.  The police wanted to speak to her about an allegation of assault.  This was said to have taken place at a seaside amusement park.  The person said to be assaulted was a security guard.

The Allegation

The boyfriend of our client had been causing trouble at the park.  Security staff were trying to throw him out because he was drunk and behaving in a disorderly manner.  Whilst they struggled with him, Lauren’s client rang the police to complain about the way the staff were treating her boyfriend.  It was claimed that she hit one of the security staff on the head with her phone.  As a result of the attack the security guard received an inch long cut to his head.  He needed hospital treatment.

Free Police Station Advice

When the police tell a suspect that they want to speak to them voluntarily this is likely to create the wrong impression.  The conversation is still a police interview.  It will be an interview under caution.  It is likely to be recorded.  The information that the police gain in interview can be used against a suspect in court.

Lauren’s client realised that she was in a potentially serious situation.  She contacted Lauren to tell her about the interview and make arrangements for her to attend with her.  Lauren would be able to give her advice and protect her interests during interview. Further, because this was an interview by the police under caution the advice and representation would be free of charge.

When Lauren attended for the interview, it was clear that the evidence against the client was strong.  The police had CCTV evidence so she could be clearly identified.   They had also traced the call to the police as coming from a mobile phone registered to her.

The nature of the interview meant that any charge would be Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm.  If convicted at court she could well have faced a custodial sentence.

Restorative Justice Negotiated

Lauren’s client was a single mother with two small children so was obviously very scared at facing the prospect of a prison sentence.  She admitted hitting the security guard although she had not intended to cause him such a serious injury.  She was extremely sorry for what she had done, and wanted to apologise to the victim.

As a result, Lauren advised the client to give her account to the police in interview.  It would be an opportunity to offer an apology and put forward her genuine remorse.

Lauren was then able to make representations to the police that the matter be considered for a restorative justice disposal.  These representations were successful so the prosecution was avoided. The matter was dealt with by her client writing a letter of apology to the victim.

Contact a Newark Criminal Solicitor

This case highlights the importance of instructing a solicitor in a case from the outset.  It remains important even where you may have committed an offence.  We can help you to secure the best possible outcome for you in the circumstances.  We are contracted with the government to provide free police station advice.

Lauren splits her time between our Nottingham and Newark offices. If you are due to be interviewed by the police or have a case before court then please contact her on 0115 9599550 or 01636 614013.  To send a message to her directly email her here.

Pre-emptive strike defence succeeds at trial

pre-emptive strike self defence trial
Nottingham crime solicitor Derek Brown

Nottingham crime solicitor Derek Brown used persuasive advocacy to ensure that his client was found not guilty of assault on the basis of a reasonable pre-emptive strike.

Derek’s client was of good character.  The background to the case was that the complainant had been seeing our client’s boyfriend. This news came out of the blue, understandably causing Derek’s client upset.

Unfortunately, the complainant chose to try and make matters even more upsetting.  She parked outside our client’s house the night before the allegation was made, laughing and using behaviour calculated to provoke a response.

The very next day the complainant was parked up again.  She made an allegation that Derek’s client had approached her in her vehicle, reached through the window and punched her and pulled her hair.  The incident was said to have been unprovoked.  Later in the same day, our client was said to have approached the vehicle again and hit it.

Police Interview as a Volunteer

Our client had been interviewed by the police as a volunteer.  This means that she was not under arrest.  Her answers to questions were still tape-recorded however, and would have the same value as evidence in court even though she was not arrested.

She had chosen not to have a solicitor present in interview.  This might be an unfortunate effect of calling a suspect a volunteer – it perhaps creates an impression that the investigation or interview is somehow less important than when arrested.  Legal advice and representation remains free under legal aid.

Denied assault allegation

In interview, she explained that she had seen the complainant parked up and asked her what she was ‘playing at’.  At that time, the car window was fully wound up.  The complainant stated that she had done nothing wrong, but then suddenly opened the car door and took off her seat belt.

The complainant started to move to get out of the car.  Derek’s client maintained that her body language was aggressive.  She believed she was going to be attacked so before she could get out of her seat she punched her once to the face.  She did this because she believed she was going to be subject to an imminent attack.

Not guilty due to reasonable pre-emptive strike

At trial, both the complainant and Derek’s client gave evidence.  Derek recognised that potential weaknesses in his client’s case of a reasonable pre-emptive strike were:

  • the motive that she had for assaulting the complainant
  • the complainant was hit while still in the car

Despite the problems, Derek’s client gave evidence well.  Derek’s experience meant that he was able to address the Magistrates’ in a strong closing speech.  The Magistrates’ went on to find his client not guilty.

Contact a Nottingham Criminal Defence Lawyer

If you have a difficult case that may turn on whether you instruct an experienced lawyer, then please contact Derek on 0115 9599550 or email him here.