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.
Alex’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Alex’s representations were successful so proceedings were withdrawn.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.”
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