Tag Archives: ilkeston

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 not in public interest argues Ilkeston legal aid solicitor

Ilkeston legal aid solicitor Chris Evans successfully persuaded the prosecution that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute his client for an allegation of common assault.

Was the prosecution in the public interest?

In order to bring a prosecution two tests must be satisfied.  The first is the evidential test.  The second is the public interest test.

In Chris’s case, the evidential test was met.  His client was at a party and following an argument she had assaulted her boyfriend.  The assault was captured by police bodycam footage.  She had also been interviewed without the benefit of free legal representation in the police station.

Admissions to the assault had been made in that interview, although she had gone on to say that her boyfriend had tried to prevent her leaving the party

Prosecution persuaded to withdraw the charge

Despite these admissions, Chris believed it was worth speaking with the prosecution about whether his client should be prosecuted.  He argued that the following points were relevant to the public interest:

  • there was an element of provocation.  Her boyfriend had engaged in a sex act with the hostess of the party in a hot tub.
  • this led to the altercation which was captured on the bodycam footage
  • none of the witnesses in the case, including the boyfriend, wanted to take matters further
  • her admissions were qualified as she had said that her boyfriend was unlawfully preventing her from leaving the party
  • she was young, of good character, and a conviction or caution would have harmed her career prospects.

Contact an Ilkeston legal aid solicitor

VHS Fletchers is the only firm offering criminal legal aid in Ilkeston.  We provide free advice and representation under the legal aid scheme at both Derby St Mary’s Wharf and the Nottingham Bridewell police stations.  Our lawyers also provide representation across the East Midlands and nationwide.

Should you face proceedings before the Magistrates’ or Crown Court we will provide you with full advice about how best to fund your case.  This will include assistance in completing a legal aid application where appropriate.

prosection not in public interest says ilkeston legal aid solicitorYou will not have to travel out of Ilkeston to give instructions to our local solicitors which we believe will be more convenient to you.

If you wish to instruct Chris Evans or one of our other lawyers at our Ilkeston office then please telephone 0115 9441233 or use the form below.






Bodycam Footage Helps Secure Not Guilty Verdict in Five Minutes

police bodycam footage trial solicitor
Nottingham crown court

Nottingham crime solicitor advocate Andrew Wesley recently represented a client at trial before Nottingham Crown Court.  The allegation was that his client had assaulted a teenager in the street with a stick.  Fortunately, the aftermath of the incident was captured in police bodycam footage so the jury acquitted five minutes after retiring.

Client was a victim of anti-social behaviour

The background to the case was that Andrew’s client and his housemate had been subject to anti-social behaviour for eighteen months prior to this allegation.  This had involved abuse, threats, damage to property and assaults.  Although the police had been involved time and again, they advised our client that there was insufficient evidence to bring any of the culprits to justice.

The day prior to the allegation, both householders had suffered assaults and damage to the fencing of their address.  The problems started again on the night of the allegation.  The fence was damaged again, youths entered their garden, and threats were made.

As well as calling the police, our client’s housemate went onto the street to try and film those involved.  She was hit with a stick so our client had to intervene and pull her back into their house.

The police were called again, but in the meantime a large group had gathered, including the parents of one of the alleged victims of an assault, and further threats were made.

Bodycam Footage captured initial complaint

The crowd dispersed because the police arrived, and our client and his housemate made a complaint.  This was captured on bodycam footage.  Unknown to them, however, one of the youths had turned matters around and claimed that she was the person assaulted by our client.  Two of her friends backed her up in her story.

Andrew’s client elected to have his trial by jury which in this case was a wise choice.  Although there were obvious problems with the prosecution case, a choice had been made to proceed.

Evidence before the jury that could not be challenged

Through careful preparation, Andrew was able to rely on evidence that could not be challenged by the prosecution so helping the jury decide that his client was not guilty.  This included:

  • the 999 call of the housemate that showed the witnesses could not have been telling the truth
  • the injuries of the complainant were minor so not consistent with the assault described at all
  • footage taken by our client showed the mood of the group after the incident to be threatening and abusive
  • police bodycam footage captured the first complaints of our client and his housemate as well as their demeanour.

Both our client and his witness gave evidence well.

Although the prosecution witnesses also came over well before the jury, there was a large amount of evidence that at the very least suggested that they were not telling the truth.  The jury took no time at all to come to that conclusion so our client was found not guilty.

Positive client feedback

We have been provided with feedback as to how we dealt with the case from beginning to end.  It is particularly pleasing to be able to read comments such as:

ilkeston crime solicitor bodycam footage Further, the praise was not dependent upon the outcome for our client:

ilkeston criminal defence lawyer bodycam footage

Finally, we know the stress that police investigations or court proceedings place on both our clients and other people involved in the case.  Our aim is to try and remove as much of that pressure as possible.

ilkeston legal aid solicitor bodycam footage

Contact a Criminal Law Specialist

This case was prepared from our Ilkeston office by experienced crime solicitor Chris Evans.  We are the only firm providing advice and representation under the legal aid scheme in Ilkeston.

You can find your nearest office here but we are able to provide our services nationwide.  Alternatively, you can use the form below to contact us.


Trainee solicitor completes London Marathon

Elliott Moulster London MarathonOver the weekend our Trainee Solicitor Elliott Moulster successfully ran the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. The Marathon was a 26.2 miles run across the heart of Central London. This year it was ‘enjoyed’ by a record number of people. In total, there were almost 40,000 runners of every age and ability, each with their own reason to run.

First London Marathon

Although Elliott had never run the London Marathon before, it was a challenge that he was somewhat familiar with having completed the Nottingham Robin Hood Marathon on two previous occasions.

Ilkeston trainee solicitor Elliott MoulsterDuring the first occasion, which he ran for charity, Elliott was able to secure a ‘good for age’ time under 3:00:05. This achievement meant that he was able to obtain automatic entry for the London Marathon. This was opposed to entry through the formidable public ballot which can only accept roughly 1/5 of all applicants due to the sheer volume of demand.

As this was his first Marathon since starting his training with the firm, preperation for the occasion proved to be somewhat challenging.  With daily work in the firm’s Regulatory Law department, and his additional commitments including:

  • Police Station Accreditation

all taking priority, time to go out running for hours on end was often sparse.

Placed 880th out of 40 000

Notwithstanding this challenge, it appears that he is managing these commitments extremely well.  He passed the finish line of the London Marathon with a new personal best of 02:50:50. This time saw him finish 880th out of the 40 000 who entered.

He could not have done this without the support of his friends and family. Their encouragement at mile 23 saw him through ‘the wall’ that he hit towards the end of the race.  With hindsight this was probably self-induced due to his erratic pace at the start of the race!

Overall, he is pleased to that it was an amazing experience and one that he looks forward to repeating in the future, albeit in an even quicker time!

Ilkeston regulatory solicitor VHS Fletchers

Local Criminal Legal Aid Advice

VHS Fletchers Nottingham

We hold criminal legal aid contracts that allow us to continue representing our existing and new clients under the legal aid scheme from our offices in Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield and Newark.

Our Newark Office

Our office in Newark demonstrates our commitment to providing advice and representation to local communities who in other ways have been let down by the justice system.

criminal legal aid Newark
VHS Fletchers Newark
derby criminal legal aid
VHS Fletchers Derby office

Newark no longer has a police station where suspects can be interviewed and the Magistrates’ Court closed several years ago.  Those appearing in court now have to travel over 20 miles to Nottingham Magistrates’ Court, while those arrested are taken to Mansfield police station, a similar distance.

Local Offices Serving Local Communities

VHS Fletchers has made the decision that we will be able to provide criminal advice and representation in the police station, Magistrates’ and Crown Courts while being based in the heart of the communities that we serve.

We will hopefully contribute to reducing the stress and anxiety that investigations and proceedings can bring by making it easy and affordable for our clients to visit their legal representatives in a local office.

This approach should also allow for our clients to receive continuity in terms of the advisers and solicitors they meet, which we know clients value.

Details of the lawyers that you will meet at each office can be found here.

chesterfield criminal legal aid
VHS Fletchers Chesterfield office

Contact Us to Discuss Criminal Legal Aid

If you face police investigation then advice and assistance at the police station will always be free under criminal legal aid.  Magistrates’ criminal legal aid is both means and merits tested, and means tested for the Crown Court.

You can read more about the different legal aid schemes here.

We can give you further advice at your local office.

Details of our offices can be found here.

east midlands criminal legal aid

Alternatively you can use the contact form below.