With many offences, the punishment may vary according to the context of the criminality. For example, violence in a domestic context is usually treated more harshly than the same level of harm against a stranger. The same is true for drugs case, especially when it comes to drugs in prisons.
A failure to understand this basic point can result in clients being given incorrect advice...Read More
A Bad Day in Court?
Several newspapers recently pondered why ‘one woman is jailed after stealing just £3,000 but another who took £22,000 walks free.”
The story was sparked by a tale of two defendants who appeared at the same court centre, on the same day, but faced different judges.
The papers concluded that one was unlucky to have been sentenced by a Judge renowned for being...Read More
If you are arrested or are appearing in court, one of the first things you will probably ask yourself is ‘can I get legal aid?’. Fortunately, legal aid is still available for many criminal cases. Whether you are eligible will depend upon what level of assistance you need and what your financial circumstances are.
At the police station
If you are arrested or are being interviewed...Read More
Waiting to know your fate is never easy. When there is a delay in sentencing it gets even harder. There have been widespread reports in the press about spare courtroom capacity, with judicial sitting days at an all-time low. These reports correspond to our own experience and means cases are taking longer to get to court. But can a delay in sentencing work in your favour?
Unfortunately, court...Read More
Ten years for a double killing may not sound a lot, but look behind the headlines and you will find a ‘hybrid-order’.
In a truly tragic case, Samantha Ford drowned her 23-month-old twins in the bath.
Appearing at the Old Bailey for sentence, the Judge, Mr Justice Edis, handed down a 10-year sentence, causing widespread outrage. Longer sentences are routinely handed down for drug...Read More
Everyone will be aware that Brexit is coming and it is likely that we will be leaving the EU on 31st October 2019. Now, details have begun to emerge as to the legal and regulatory position if we leave without a deal. Some of the first information released relates to firearms legislation, for instance. Unfortunately, it raises more questions than it answers.
Given the importance of complying to...Read More
Can the police use witness statements you make in family proceedings to investigate, and possibly prosecute you for an offence?
That was the key question in M (Children) EWCA Civ 1364, where the police asked the court to disclose statements made by two people under investigation for terrorism offences.
The appeal concerned issues about the disclosure of that information, and the parent’s...Read More
As Airbnb listings in London soar to 80,000, up 400% from 2015 figures, Westminster Council is cracking down on social housing fraud. The Council is targeting those who use the site to unlawfully sublet social housing. As a result, there are over 1,500 investigations underway.
The council recovered £100,974 from a Toby Harman, a social housing tenant who had been unlawfully letting his flat on...Read More
We all know that the use of mobile phones is banned whilst driving.
Or are they?
The answer, according to the High Court’s recent decision in Director of Public Prosecutions v Barreto EWHC 2044 (Admin), is that it depends what you’re doing with it.
What did Mr Barreto do?
Ramsey Barreto was convicted in the Magistrates’ Court of using his phone to film an accident while he was driving. The...Read More
If you are being sentenced, the court will be aware of, and may take into account, any convictions you have. Whether this has any impact upon the sentence passed will very much depend on the date of those convictions and the relevance of any to the more recent offending.
If you plead not guilty, the court or jury can only be made aware of any convictions in certain circumstances. The relevant...Read More