Tag Archives: murder

Newark Crime Solicitor Gives Presentation to A Level Students

Experienced Newark crime solicitor Ian Carter recently took time out from his practise to speak with a number of A Level Law students studying at Vision West Notts College.


He had met both teachers and students at the school after manning a stall at the recent Newark careers fair.  They were keen for him to visit and give a talk on the ‘real world’ application of their studies.

Real life examples of advice in murder cases

They had begun to study the offence of Murder, and over the years Ian had provided advice and representation at the police station, as well as Magistrates’ Court advocacy and the preparation of cases for Crown Court trial.

newark police station solicitor

Ian spent an hour with two different classes talking about how a solicitor first becomes involved in a case, the type of issues that arise at the police station, whether a client can be bailed, and how the case will then progress through the court process.  He was then able to answer questions from the students.

Positive Feedback from Students

The presentations received positive feedback.  The students felt that he had made the talk very interesting through his explanations of real cases.  Ian provided a good insight into the role of a solicitor and how he fits into other aspects of the legal system.  The examples that he gave allowed the students to put the law that they had learned into a real context.

The students admitted that they had been concerned that the presentation would be a little ‘dry’ but in the end, as is often the case, they were ‘hooked’ on the stories behind real cases.

As the course progresses it is hoped that Ian will be able to give further talks to add some colour to the students academic studies.

Contact Ian Carter to discuss similar presentations

newark criminal defence lawyer Ian Carter
Newark crime solicitor Ian Carter

If you are involved in education and such a talk might be helpful to your students, whether sitting GCSEs or A Levels, or are in further education, please contact Ian Carter using the form below.  We hope to be able to help and can discuss arrangements when we receive your enquiry.


Serena Simpson’s Day – Police Station Representation in a Murder Investigation

Many people have a pre-conceived idea as to what solicitors do. They sit behind desks, see clients and then write letters trying to get what their client wants. It is assumed this simply repeats itself every day.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, however, for criminal solicitors. Each day they attend the office with an idea of what the day should hold – perhaps appointments  with clients, a number of court appearances or police station representation.  Maybe some time has been set aside for preparation of a particular case.

Criminal solicitors deal with the unexpected

The reality is though that criminal solicitors have absolutely no idea what each day will bring.  A new client contact the office may result in the need for any number of actions.

A person may need assistance with a road traffic case or a low value shoplifting.   They may face an allegation of a serious sexual offence or assault involving life threatening injuries. No matter what the allegation criminal solicitors have to be prepared and adapt to how one new client may all of a sudden change their entire day.

police station representation murder
Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Serena Simpson

Chesterfield Crime Solicitor Serena Simpson recently had to deal with the unexpected. She had a quiet day with no clients before the Court so was planning to use the day reducing items on her ‘to-do’ list.

In the event she received a phone call from the police.  A client had been arrested for murder and she was required to attend the police station to provide advice and representation in interview.

Police are investigating a murder

From experience our staff know that an allegation of murder is likely to take many hours and in many cases days to resolve at the police station. Interviews can proceed through the night or into weekends.  In such a pressurised situation we know that clients will benefit from seeing the same criminal defence lawyer throughout these interviews.  As a result we will always take steps to ensure that a lawyer of appropriate experience can be present to advise for the entirety of the investigation state.

In this case Serena considered her diary for this and the next day and was able to re-allocate work.  This left her free to commit to providing continuity of representation at the police station.  This would mean that Serena would be working late but had no way to predict when she would finish.  There was also the obvious impact on her family life as she wouldn’t be home until late.  Any plans she had were cancelled.

Serena provided police station representation to her client into the late evening before returning home.  She continued to be in communication with the police until later that night. The following morning she received an early call early requesting her immediate return to the police station for further interviews.

After many hours at the police station Serena’s client was released without charge.  There was no cost to him as police station representation is free to anyone being interviewed in the police station.

Finally, Serena was able to return to the tasks she had planned two days earlier, whilst waiting to see which client with what offence would next need her assistance.

Contact us for dedicated police station representation

All of our staff strive to offer the best service to our clients.  This is illustrated by the steps Serena took so that she could provide police station representation throughout this case.

Our 24 hour emergency service means that if you require legal advice on any criminal matter, whatever the time of day or night, and seek a solicitor who provides you with the client care that you need then please telephone your local office to speak to a criminal defence lawyer.

Chesterfield Crime Solicitors VHS Fletchers can be called  on 01246 283000.  Alternatively you can contact any of our solicitors using the form below.


Joint Enterprise Appeals

VHS Fletchers, as well as dealing with current criminal cases, also hold a contract with the Legal Aid Agency to provide advice on prison law matters and appeals.  This means that the advice, assistance and representation that we are able to give does not cease at the conclusion of any current criminal case.  We will be able to advise and assist in any joint enterprise appeals.

This is of importance to two clients that our prison law specialist Irene Tolley  represented at trial in 2004, when working for Varley Hadley Siddall solicitors.

At the time the case was one said to have ‘made British legal history’ , with the prosecutor announcing that he did not know of any comparable case.  The officer in the case described the prosecution as ‘unprecedented’, with the Crown Prosecution Service describing the case as ‘the first of its kind’.

On behalf of the clients Irene and counsel pursued appeals to the Court of Appeal and subsequently to the Criminal Cases Review Commission but without success.

Following legal developments earlier in the year set out below, Irene was in the process of locating the clients as they made contact with her.

On 18 February 2016 the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgement in the case of R v Jogee.

This ‘re-stated’ the principles of criminal joint enterprise in murder trial’s.  The court decided that for the last 30 years the interpretation of the law had been in error, ‘…equat[ing] foresight with an intention to assist, as a matter of law; the correct approach is to treat it as evidence of intent’.

The difference now is that a jury must be sure that a secondary party, a person who did not themselves carry out the fatal act, must now intend that the offence is carried out before they can be convicted of murder.

The Supreme Court were careful, however, to stress that the decision would not open the floodgates to 30 years of appeals on this issue:

‘…it does not follow that it will have been important on the facts to the outcome of the trial or to the safety of the conviction.  Moreover, where a conviction has been arrived at by faithfully applying the law as it stood at the time, it can be set aside only by seeking exceptional leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal out of time.  That court has power to grant such leave, and may do so if substantial injustice be demonstrated, but it will not do so simply because the law applied has now been declared to have been mistaken…’

As a result, the pursuit of any appeal after such a period of time cannot simply rely upon a perceived ‘change of law’ in joint enterprise.  Prospective appellants will have to demonstrate that as a result there has been ‘substantial injustice’ to the individual looking at the case as a whole.

Irene, along with original counsel, are taking these appeals forward, but there is much further work to do.

Should you wish to discuss a potential joint enterprise appeal with Irene, please contact her at the Nottingham office by letter or telephone 0115 9599550.  Alternatively, she can be contacted by email here.

Irene is able to assist with other appeals and a range if prison law matters.  Information about that can be found here.

VHS Fletchers Joint Enterprise

UPDATE:  Commentary from Andrew Wesley about the Jogee decision and joint enterprise can be found on the ITV website here.