Tag Archives: district judge

Police evidence of disorderly conduct rejected leading to not guilty verdict

disorderly conduct
Newark criminal advocate Nikki Carlisle

Newark criminal advocate Nikki Carlisle was instructed to defend an allegation of disorderly conduct before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.  The trial was listed before a district judge.

Police officers change evidence in disorderly conduct trial

Two police officers gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution.  In their original witness statements they had both described Niki’s client as shouting and swearing in the street.  They described a number of other members of the public being present.  Their view was that his behaviour would have upset these people.  The officers went further to state that they were also distressed by the behaviour because he had been verbally abusive to them.

In a somewhat curious development, when the first officer came to give evidence he was unable to remember anything said or done by Nikki’s client.  This surprising turn put Nikki’s client in a much better position.

disorderly conduct

The second police officer, however, departed from his statement by saying that the behaviour was far worse than originally described.  He stated that our client had been aggressive and that he had been subject to “the worst verbal abuse that he had ever received in his life”.

The officer went on to give examples of the kind of the things our client had said to him.  Nikki was able to play the bodycam footage that had been provided to us during disclosure.  This showed that the defendant was not saying any of the things the officer had spoken of in evidence.

Bodycam footage undermines police evidence

Instead, it showed the second officer being sarcastic towards our client, goading him and then using what was clearly excessive force to arrest him.  This included spraying him in the face with CS gas.

Despite this clear evidence, the officer tried to explain the difficulties away.  He maintained that the abuse must simply not have been picked up by the body worn camera microphone.  He claimed that our client had been resisting arrest and that he was in fear of violence.

Nikki addressed the District Judge in relation to two substantial points:

  • whatever the Judge made of the alleged conduct, he should not infer that members of the public would have felt harassed, alarmed or distressed without evidence of that
  • the only person claiming to have been so affected by the behaviour was the second officer who could not be called a truthful witness.

The District Judge found our client not guilty of disorderly conduct.  The judge went as far as to comment on the unnecessary use of CS gas in this case.  Our client is pursuing a police complaint.

disorderly conduct

Why instruct an criminal defence solicitor?

This case demonstrates a number of reasons why you ought to instruct a solicitor to defend criminal proceedings on your behalf.  Although this was a minor matter when compared to many other offences, it was of great importance to our client.

disorderly conductDespite the nature of the offence we were successful in applying for legal aid funding to ensure his free representation in the Magistrates’ Court.  You can read more about legal aid here.

We were able to ensure that all relevant evidence was disclosed, including the important body worn camera footage.  Some recently publicised problems with disclosure can be found here.

Finally, we will ask questions on your behalf and make arguments based on the law and the facts to the courts.

Whether your case involves disorderly The reasons why you might want to think about instructing us in your criminal case can be found here.

Contact us

We represent clients across the country from our offices in the East Midlands.  You can find the details of your nearest office here.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.

disorderly conduct


Prison sentence avoided for breach of a suspended sentence order

Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Kevin Tomlinson had to use all of his experience and persuasive advocacy to ensure that his client did not receive a prison sentence after his breach of a suspended sentence order.

breach of a suspended sentence orderKevin’s client was charged with nine offences.  Five of these were committed whilst he was subject to a suspended sentence order.  The law is such that if an offence is committed during the lifetime of a suspended sentence a court must activate the suspended sentence.   The only opportunity a person will have to avoid this is where it is successfully argued that it would be unjust to do so.

It was perhaps the case that in the circumstances that Kevin’s client found himself in, custody would seem inevitable.  In the event, Kevin  managed to achieve for his client what at first seemed impossible.

Allegations in breach of a suspended sentence order

Kevin’s client had been arrested in relation to a number of thefts from shops.  Perhaps unsurprisingly Kevin’s client was a drug user.  The offences were committed over a period of time, but he was interviewed about them by the police in a single interview.

In interview, Kevin’s client accepted each offence.  Because of his record the police had kept him for court on a Saturday morning.  Kevin represented him when he pleaded guilty to all of the offences.

The court had insufficient information to allow our client to be sentenced at a Saturday court.  As a result the case was adjourned until later in the week for the sentencing hearing.  Unfortunately, our client was remanded into prison to await sentence.

The sentencing hearing

At the sentencing hearing, Kevin set about securing information to put before the court in a bid to convince them that it would be unjust to send his client to prison for breach of a suspended sentence and the new offences.

breach of a suspended sentence order
Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court

Kevin took all the information that he would need to provide the court with detailed personal mitigation.  He took the time not to rush through this important part of the process, resisting pressure from the court for the case to be called on.

After taking these instructions, Kevin’s next port of call was the probation service.  The probation staff confirmed that our client was progressing well on his suspended sentence order in terms of trying to tackle his drug use.

As a result, Kevin had enough helpful information to allow him to argue that his client should not receive an immediate prison sentence but should be given a further chance.  This was a credible argument even though there was a breach of a suspended sentence order.

Prison sentence avoided

Kevin’s client was due to be sentenced before the resident District Judge at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court.  Following the prosecution opening and some information from the probation service, Kevin then addressed the Judge.

He argued at length on behalf of his client.  Kevin relied upon the reasons behind the offending, some personal mitigation, the good progress under the order and the short period spend in prison before sentence.  In conclusion he asked the Judge to decide that it would be unjust to impose the sentence for breach of a suspended sentence order.

After listening to this mitigation the District Judge agreed with Kevin.  He decided to impose a sentence which allowed our to retain his freedom.  Kevin’s client was understandably delighted with the outcome and relieved to not face a custodial sentence.

Free legal aid funding in the Magistrates’ Court

Our client had the benefit of legal aid. for these hearings in the Magistrates’ Court.   This means that our advice and representation of him was free of charge to him.

Instruct a Chesterfield criminal defence solicitor

breach of a suspended sentence order
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Kevin Tomlinson

If you find yourself being investigated by the police or facing court proceedings then please contact us immediately.  Our office number 0246 283000 is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure that you receive emergency free and independent legal advice if you are being interviewed by the police.

Advice and assistance in police interview will always be free of charge to you.  If you case proceeds to either the Magistrates’ or Crown Court then we will give you the best advice as to whether you are entitled to legal aid or alternative ways of funding your case.

Alternatively you can contact us using the form below.



Magistrates’ Court representation secures discontinuance

Derby crime solicitor Stacey Mighty provided advice and magistrates court representationrepresentation to a client charged with an allegation of criminal damage.  She had already provided free and independent legal advice to her client in police interview.  Stacey then gave her client the continuity of representation that he wanted by going on to provide Magistrates’ Court representation.


Denied allegation of criminal damage

Our client faced allegations that he had had damaged his girlfriend’s property.  You can read more about the law on criminal damage here.  He was denying the allegation.  Further, our client believed that his girlfriend was no longer interested in cooperating with the prosecution.

In this case, the complainant in the case had told the police that she did not want to pursue the allegation.  As a result the prosecutor at court already knew that was the case.  Despite this a decision had been made that the prosecution should continue.

Prosecution in the public interest?

Stacey had made representations prior to the case being heard that the prosecution should simply drop the case. It was a minor allegation and it could not be in the public interest to proceed when the witness was no longer interested.

Other factors suggested that the prosecution was not necessary:

  • there was no history of domestic incidents
  • a defence had been put forward in interview
  • our client’s limited convictions
  • there would be a need to force the witness to attend court

Magistrates’ Court representation by solicitor will make a difference

Stacey’s client pleaded not guilty due to the position adopted by the prosecution.  He was ready to contest the case at trial.  The case was, however, listed before a District Judge in the Magistrates’ Court.

magistrates court representationStacey took the opportunity to raise the same issues again but with the Judge.  He shared Stacey’s concerns as to whether the case should proceed.

Instead of listing the case for trial the District Judge gave the prosecution two weeks to fully review the decision to proceed.  As a result of Stacey’s representation at court the prosecution decided to discontinue the charge.  This decision ultimately meant that the resources of the prosecution and the court could be diverted to other cases.

Stacey’s client avoid the risk of being convicted after trial before Magistrates.

Contact Derby crime solicitor Stacey Mighty

magistrates' court representation Derby
Derby criminal solicitor Stacey Mighty

The benefit of instructing specialist crime solicitors VHS Fletchers solicitors is that we will aim to provide you with continuity of representation at the police station and Magistrates’ Court.

This means that the solicitor with knowledge of your case will deal with you throughout proceedings where possible.  This case demonstrates the benefits of such an approach.

Our independent legal advice in the police station is always free of charge to you.  You can read some of the benefits of our advice in the police station here.

Magistrates court representation will often be available under the criminal legal aid scheme.  You can read more about that here.

Whether you need free legal advice in the police station or Magistrates’ Court representation please call Stacey to discuss your case.  She can be contacted on 01332 546818.  Alternatively you can use the contact form below.