Tag Archives: youth court

Application to exclude evidence before Nottingham Youth Court

application to exclude evidence obtained unfairly
Nottingham criminal defence solicitor Nick Walsh

Nottingham criminal defence solicitor Nick Walsh recently represented at a Nottingham youth court trial.  The identification evidence was disputed and Nick made an application to exclude evidence from a police officer.

Nick’s client was fourteen year old charged with theft of a motorbike from a domestic garage.  A police officer purported to identify Nick’s client from  The evidence was that he had been identified from CCTV footage by a police officer who our client very well.

Identification evidence from CCTV footage

application to exclude evidence infairly obtainedAn identification in such circumstances is governed by the Codes of Practice set out under Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.  As a result, following the not guilty plea being entered, Nick wrote to the Crown Prosecution Service asking that they disclose the contemporaneous notes of the CCTV viewing and the additional records required by Code D of the Codes of Practice.

The prosecution did not supply any of the documentation that had been requested.  The officer did, however, give a further statement dealing with the circumstances of the identification.

Expert cross examination of a police witness

At trial Nick had the opportunity of asking the officer questions about the circumstances of the identification.  His careful cross examination led the  officer to concede that he had not kept any records or notes of his viewing of the CCTV.  Additionally he could application to exclude unfairly obtained evidencenot be sure how many times he had viewed the footage.  More damagingly he confirmed that he had been given that task of viewing the CCTV by his sergeant and had been told that Nick’s client was already suspected of the crime.

The officer stated that he had based his identification on the way the suspect walked.  Having been made to view the footage again in court he had to accept that there was nothing distinguishing about the walk.

He also accepted that he had made his mind up that it was Nick’s client before he got a look at the offenders face.  Finally, he had to accept that the quality of the CCTV footage was poor.

Application to exclude evidence obtained unfairly

At the close of the prosecution case Nick applied to the Youth Court Magistrates’ to exclude the identification evidence.  This application was made under section 78 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.  This is on the basis of the breaches of the Codes of Practice.  In this case, where the identification evidence was the only evidence in the case, it would be unfair to admit it.

The Magistrates agreed and the evidence was excluded.  As a result, the prosecution had no option but to offer no further evidence and Nick’s client was found not guilty.

Client had the benefit of free criminal legal aid

Owing to our client’s age Nick’s representation of him was free of charge to both him and his parents under the criminal legal aid scheme

Contact an expert criminal defence lawyer

This case illustrates the importance of knowing the law that governs identification evidence.  It also shows that you need a criminal solicitor on your side who can make sure that a police office is made to answer the difficult questions.  This might open the door to an application to exclude evidence.

application to exclude evidence nottingham solicitor
VHS Fletchers offices across the East Midlands

Nick can be contacted on 0115 9599550.  Alternatively contact one of our other criminal defence solicitors at our offices across the East Midlands.  A contact form is below too.


Derby Youth Court mitigation results in Rehabilitation Order

derby youth court sentencing nick wright solicitor
Derby crime solicitor Nick Wright

Experienced Derby criminal solicitor Nick Wright recently dealt with a difficult sentencing hearing at Derby Youth Court.

His client was due for sentence for two robberies, four burglaries and going equipped to steal.  This catalogue of offences would have been so serious alone that the court would have been considering a custodial sentence.

The position was further aggravated.  The latter offences were committed while the youth was on bail for the robberies.  They had also been committed whilst in breach of bail conditions.  He was also subject to a community order for another robbery.

Sentence of detention inevitable?

Although the likelihood was that his client would receive a sentence of detention, Nick had spent some time with his client and knew that he was vulnerable himself.  Nick identified that this was a case where his client would benefit from a report from a psychologist.  Nick spent a great deal of time with the his client’s parents and social worker.  He had ongoing contact with the Youth Offending Team.

Derby Youth Court imposes rehabilitation order

The sentencing hearing took two and a half hours to conclude.  In the end, Nick’s powerful and persuasive mitigation meant that the Magistrates decided not to impose detention.  Instead a Youth Rehabilitation Order was made.  This is intended to be a far more constructive sentence to assist a young man to try and put offending behind him.

Some clients intend to admit an allegation.  Custody may seem inevitable.  These clients will still benefit from instructing an experienced solicitor.  The solicitor will be able to identify the steps that can usefully be taken to try and secure the best outcome possible on the facts of a client’s case.

Contact a Derby Criminal Solicitor

If you are being investigated by the police or face court proceedings then please contact Derby criminal defence lawyer Nick Wright on 01332 546818 or email him here.  If you face proceedings elsewhere then you can find your local office here.

Nottingham Duty Solicitor receives positive client feedback

nottingham duty solicitor helen lees
Crime and Regulatory solicitor Helen Lees

As a Nottingham duty solicitor Helen Lees recently represented a client before Nottingham Youth Court.

As a duty solicitor on the Nottingham scheme Helen will represent those on bail or in custody, adults or youths, who don’t have a particular solicitor that they want to instruct.  They are generally able to use the services of the Duty Solicitor.

Nottingham Duty Solicitor Scheme

On this occasion her client was a 17 year old appearing before Nottingham Youth Court.  He faced an allegation of common assault. He was going to plead guilty to the allegation.

He had attended court with his mother and step mother.  The case was not out of the ordinary or particularly serious.  It was clear, however, that Helen’s client and the two family members were treating the matter very seriously.  The son clearly regretted his actions.

As a duty solicitor, Helen will often meet clients who do not know anything about the court process or procedure.  They will not know the likely sentence for their offending.   As a result, Helen spends the time that it takes to ensure that they understand what is likely to happen in the court hearing.  She will advise on the likely outcome.

In this case Helen’s client pleaded guilty.  He had not been to court before so the court was able to sentence him immediately.  Much positive mitigation could be put.  He received a three month Referral Order.

Positive Client Feedback

nottingham duty solicitor client feedbackHelen was surprised when, shortly after the hearing, she received a thank you card from the family.

She was touched that they had taken the time to send it, and it was a reminder that all court cases are important to the people who take part in them.

Contact Nottingham Duty Solicitor Helen Lees

You will be able to take advantage of the services of the duty solicitor when you attend court for the first time but you may benefit from early advice and preparation.  Duty solicitors will be unable to deal with trials, for example.  Legal aid will often be available.  Alternatively we are likely to be able to deal with your case by affordable fixed-fee representation.

If you face criminal proceedings and wish to speak to Helen then please contact her on 0115 9441233 or email her here.