Our Mansfield solicitors received individual items of positive feedback from clients they have represented within the last week.
Melanie Hoffman assisted a client at trial who was charged with Assault Occasioning Actual bodily harm. The allegation arose out of a long-standing neighbour dispute, and was said to have been a prolonged assault resulting in a fracture.
The trial involved cross-examination of three prosecution witnesses, all of whom gave evidence that Mel’s client had assaulted the complainant in various ways. Careful preparation meant that Mel was able to highlight all of the inconsistencies between these witnesses. Mel was also able to highlight to the Magistrates and the prosecutor that the injuries were not supportive of a charge of causing Actual Bodily Harm.
As a result, although the client was found guilty of an allegation of common assault, he was found not guilty of the more serious charge. Despite having had a trial, Melanie put forward mitigation that allowed the Magistrates to deal with her client by way of a financial penalty only.
Her client was very pleased as he provided a prompt and full testimonial , stating that Mel was ‘outstanding in Court today’. He went on to say that of other Mansfield solicitors she was ‘the best solicitor I have ever come across’, maintaining that she was ‘tremendous’, fighting for him in court and secured ‘the best result’.
Separately, solicitor Tim Haines represented a client for a drink drive charge. She was 3 1/2 times the legal limit to drive, and her driving resulted in a road traffic accident with a stationary car, leading to her own car being written off. Tim’s client had never appeared in court before.
Guidance for sentence in such cases is now easy to find. The sentencing guidelines can be found here. Tim’s client had researched the position and was understandably worried about the likelihood of a prison sentence.
Tim spent the time with the client that was needed to ensure she provided him with all of the mitigation relevant to her case. It became clear that she was particularly vulnerable, and the offence reflected a culmination of various malign factors in her life.
Tim was able to ensure that the Magistrates fully understood the careful mitigation he put forward, and how if affected culpability and the likelihood of re-offending. In the event, rather than receive a starting point sentence of 12 weeks’ custody, the court dealt with Tim’s client by way of a community order with a rehabilitation element only. The inevitable disqualification could be reduced if the client undertook the relevant course.
Another prompt testimonial reflects well on Tim’s people skills as well as his advocacy – ‘I wanted to thank you for your support at court this morning. I realise you spend a lot of time in that environment but for me it was a first and last. You helped me through an extremely nerve-racking situation with professionalism and compassion and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to any other person I know should they find themselves in a similar situation. Thank you again.’
Neither client was financially eligible for Magistrates’ Court legal aid. Both were able, however, to afford to be represented by our Mansfield solicitors who made a difference to their cases by way of an agreed and affordable fixed fee.
Options for funding your case can be found here.