Tag Archives: criminal solicitor

Chesterfield Solicitor Secures Client a Further Chance

chesterfield criminal defence solicitor kevin tomlinson
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Kevin Tomlinson

Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson used all of his considerable experience and persuasive powers in a recent case. before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.

His client was now before the court for a new offence.  The allegation was one of drink driving.  She was subject to a suspended sentence imposed only six weeks earlier.  She faced obvious difficulties in keeping her liberty.

The Allegation

The charge was excess alcohol.  Her reading was 61 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath.  The legal limit is 35 micrograms.

Kevin’s client attracted attention to herself because of her car was stuck in mud on a steep grassy bank.  This was at the rear of a pub.  The engine was switched on and was revving.  The wheels were spinning. It appeared to the Officers that the car had been driven from the Pub carpark onto the grass bank and had then got stuck.

Without the suspended sentence being in place, it was likely that bearing in mind the low reading the penalty would be a fine and disqualification.  The recent imposition of the suspended sentenec meant that the court would immediately think of activating the sentence.  There would be a separate penalty for the new offence.

Kevin took full instructions from the client to put before the Court.  His intention was to convince the Magistrates’ that it would be unjust to send his client to prison in all of the circumstances.  His client had never been to prison so it was important that she instructed an experienced advocate who knew the type on information he needed to seek to ensure a favourable outcome.

After spending this time, Kevin then spoke with a representative of the probation service.  They told him that his client was progressing well on her suspended sentence order. This enabled Kevin to argue that she ought to receive a further opportunity to work with the probation service.

 The Sentence

chesterfield crime solicitor
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

As he had spent the time necessary to seek full instructions and information from third parties, Kevin was able to address the Magistrates at length about the reasons behind the recent offending.  He could share personal mitigation and the good progress that his Client was making with Probation. In conclusion he said it would be unjust to send her to prison and invited the Court to impose a sentence that enabled her to keep her freedom.

After listening to the mitigation the Magistrates agreed with Kevin and agreed it would be unjust. The Court chose to impose a simple financial penalty and disqualify the Defendant from driving for 18 months. However, as a direct result of Kevin’s mitigation, the Court also offered Kevin’s client the opportunity to undertake an additional driving awareness course to reduce her ban by 25%.

To mark the breach of Suspended Sentence order the Magistrates were prepared to extend the operational period of the order by 6 months.

Client Feedback

Kevin’s client was delighted with the outcome and relieved to not face a custodial sentence.  She took the time to complete our client care questionnaire and told us ‘Mr Kevin Tomlinson was great’.  She was very satisfied with the service that she had received and would be certain to recommend him to others in a similar position.


Our client had the benefit of legal aid.  This means that she was able to instruct Kevin as her criminal defence solicitor for free.

Contact Kevin Tomlinson – Criminal Defence Solicitor

If you face police investigation or court proceedings then you will need an experienced solicitor on your side.  Kevin can be contacted on 01246 283000 or by email here.

Nottingham Crown Court Sentence

Nottingham solicitor advocate Nick Walsh recently dealt with a sentence before Nottingham Crown Court.  Careful mitigation drew distinctions between his client and two others to ensure that he received a suspended sentence rather than an immediate prison sentence.

Nottingham Crown Court
Nottingham Crown Court

Struck With a Bottle

Nick’s client, along with others, had pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm.   He was one of five people who had attended a house party.  Everyone present was drunk.

The behaviour of one of the group led to concerns from the victim that a female party-goer was to be assaulted.  As a result, the victim took hold of the aggressor.  He was then set upon by the group. During the assault he was punched and kicked and struck over the head with a bottle.

As a result of the assault he received a fractured jaw and had to undergo immediate surgery.  He was discharged from hospital two days later.

Negotiation of Lesser Charge

Only three of the five had been charged with offences.  They had originally been charged inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent to case really serious injury.  Negotiation at the Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing persuaded the prosecution to accept pleas to the lesser charge.

The probation service had prepared a pre-sentence report.  In that report, Nick’s client had accepted that he was the person who had struck the victim with the bottle.

Sentencing Guidelines

The sentencing guidelines relating to this offence can be found here.

One interpretation of the Guidelines would have placed this offence as one of greater harm, it being a sustained assault, and higher culpability as a weapon was used in the attack.  Had that been the case, the starting point for sentence for a ‘Category 1’ offence would have been three years imprisonment.

Further negotiation with the prosecutor and detailed representations to the Judge allowed the case to be treated as falling within Category 2 of the guideline.  This was due to the absence of pre-meditation.  As a result there was now a starting point of 18 months custody.

Careful Mitigation at Nottingham Crown Court

Although 17 at the time of the incident, Nick’s client was 18 at the point of sentence.  Nick was able to rely upon his client’s youth and more importantly what he had achieved in the ten months since the incident.  He had found work and broken off ties with his co-accused.  He also had compelling mitigation relating to his upbringing.

As a result, although it was Nick’s client who used a weapon in the incident the Judge at Nottingham Crown Court was able to distinguish between him and the others in the dock.  He received a sentence of 8 months suspended for 18 months with community requirements.   His co accused, however,  each received sentences 14 months’ immediate custody.

Contact Nick Walsh

Nick deals with clients at the police station, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.  As a result he can provide you with continuity of representation.  If you wish to instruct Nick in any case then please telephone him on 0115 9599550 or email him here.


Drug Driving Acquittal in Mansfield

Mansfield Crime Solicitor Tim Haines complied with court directions  in a ‘drug driving’ case which meant that the Crown were forced to drop a case on the day of trial.

Drug Driving

mansfield criminal solicitor drug driving acquittal
Mansfield Magistrates’ Court

His client was charged with ‘drug driving’. The prosecution case was that he had been driving with nearly eight times the legal level of the drug amphetamine in his system. The Defendant disputed this evidence.  He was not helped in this because he had managed to misplace his blood sample provided by the police to allow his own expert analysis.

The obligation is on a client and his legal representative to complete a pre-trial review form each and every time a case is adjourned to trial in the Magistrates’ Court.  In this case, Tim completed the form in great detail.  I was made abundantly clear that the expert evidence relied upon by the prosecution could not be agreed as the findings were disputed.

Expert’s Findings Challenged

Perhaps more importantly, because the findings were challenged, the client directly challenged the prosecution to prove that the sample analysed was the correct one.  The Crown was told that it would have to prove each evidential link between the sample being taken and analysed.

Despite this early identification of the relevant issues the prosecution failed to obtain and serve this evidence.  As a result, on the day of the trial Tim made representations to the Magistrates that the prosecution case was fundamentally flawed.  The Crown could not prove to the Court that the sample analysed by its expert was that taken from the Defendant after arrest.

Not an ‘ambush’ defence

An attempt was made by the prosecution to suggest that it had been ‘ambushed’.  It was argued that the issue as to lack of continuity had not been raised by Tim sufficiently mansfield crime solicitor drug driving acquittalin advance of the trial. This contention could easily be refuted by reference to the case management form completed some 6 months earlier.  This made it clear what the evidential issues were.

The Magistrates understandably refused the Crown application to adjourn the case to a fresh trial date.   They were able to point out that the completed pre-trial form was fully and accurately completed.  As a result the Crown had had 6 months to respond to the evidential challenge raised by the Defence. The Crown were left with no option but to offer no evidence against the Tim’s client and the charge was dismissed.

Tim’s client left court without conviction and what would have been a mandatory driving disqualification of at least 12 months.  He was able to keep his employment, which would have been jeopardised if not lost altogether if he had been disqualified from driving.

Contact Tim Haines

Road traffic cases may seem straightforward but can be complex.  If you wish to speak to Tim about a police investigation or court case  for drug driving or any other matter please telephone him on 01623 675816 or email him here.

Flawed Facebook Identification

Chesterfield crime solicitor David Gittins recently defended a juvenile before Chesterfield Youth Court.  His client was charged with the serious offence of robbery based on a Facebook identification.

Notwithstanding a positive identification of his client by the victim, David’s meticulous flawed facebook identificationpreparation of the case led to successful representations to the prosecution.  These resulted in the Crown discontinued the case several weeks before the trial was due to start.

Continuity of Representation

David’s client had the advantage of having continuity of representation.  David provided advice and assistance to the client at Chesterfield Police station.  He then continued with this representation at court.

In brief the complainant told police that the client and another male had got out of a car, pushed and kicked him to the floor, and stole a packet of cigarettes. The complainant provided a description of those involved to the police.  He then  searched Facebook to see if he could recognise those involved. During this process he thought he recognised David’s client as one of the males involved.

Full Alibi Provided to Police

David attended the Police station and advised the client who denied the offence.  He stated that he was not there.  He went on to   provide a full alibi. This account was provided to the Police in the form of a written statement including the names of several witnesses who could support chesterfield police stationthe client’s account. One of the witnesses was a social worker.  This was an attempt to ensure that the police conducted a proper investigation.

To David’s surprise, Instead of speaking to these witnesses the police focused time and money on conducting a Video Identification Procedure (VIPER).  Perhaps unsurprisingly, his client was identified again by the same witness as having been involved in the offence.

As a result, he was charged with the offence of robbery on the basis of the Facebook Identification without the other witnesses being spoken to by the police.  This was despite David’s representations to the contrary.

Early Preparation

David kept conduct of the matter when the case reached Chesterfield Youth Court.  He immediately set about to obtain the evidence to support the client’s alibi and undermine the identification evidence. David took statements from defence witnesses including social workers and family members, as well as contacting other agencies to prove where the his client was at specific times.

David also correctly identified that there were obvious differences between the description of the robber given by the complainant and David’s client.

Having gathered this alibi evidence and considered the quality of the prosecution evidence, David drafted a list of admissions for the  trial. His intention was that the prosecution agree these prior to trial.

These included maps, distances between specific locations and photographs of the Identification procedures. These were agreed by the prosecution.

Weakness in the Facebook Identification

Once they had been agreed, David wrote a detailed letter to the Prosecution outlining all of the difficulties they had with their case , particularly in the light of the agreed admissions and the alibi witnesses.  Upon further consideration of the case following those representations the Prosecution accepted David’s facebook-thumbpoints, including the weaknesses in the Facebook identification.  The cases was discontinued without the need for a trial.

This case demonstrates how a diligent and focused criminal law specialist can make a real difference to the direction of a case.  Early preparation put pressure on the prosecution to review the case in our client’s favour.  Although we must have been confident of winning the case at trial, David’s approach removed all risk from any court hearing.

Contact David Gittins

Should you wish to contact Chesterfield crime solicitor David Gittins to discuss a new or ongoing case please telephone him at our Chesterfield office 01246 283000 or email him here.