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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70190
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, I have two stepsons involved in the stealing of a mobile

Resolved Question:

Hi, I have two stepsons involved in the stealing of a mobile phone with another guy.They are 19 and 24 years old. They have been on remand for 2 months so far. They declared themself guilty for being present at the time of the robery but not for the robery itself. There is no sing of court date. Their state legal aid has done very little and hardly contact them to update them with the case. They thought that my younger stepson could get a suspended sentence for not having previous records.
What are my options? Would it help trying to hire a private solicitor? How do I chose the right solicitor? Can I hire a private solicitor on their behalf or they would have to requested? How long it takes to handover the case to the new solicitor? Would this speed up things or it just a waiting game?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Jo C. :

Hi. Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this. Does the older one have a record?

Customer:

yes he has got a court fine for affray and criminal damage

Customer:

My partner just manage to contact the solicitor. He said that everything has been delay because a big murder case. He is hoping to go to court soon and they are getting charge for robery.

Jo C. :

Thanks.

Jo C. :

Do you still need help with this?

Jo C. :

Sorry for the delay. I didn't see your response.

Customer:

Yes I still need your advice. Besides the previous questions is there any way to obtain bail once in remand? If is your first conviction how much of your sentence could be done on tag?

Jo C. :

You have various applications for bail.

Jo C. :

First at the Magistrates court, then if that fails you can appeal to the Crown Court.

Jo C. :

thereafter you can make an applicaiton but you have to show a change of circumstances.

Jo C. :

They are both adults and so would serve half of any custodial sentence less any time they have spent on remand.

Jo C. :

He may be a candidate for early release on tag but I would not rely on that. The conditions keep changing.

Customer:

Initially they were on bail from August until January. It got adjourned a few times. They didn't get sentenced because the eldest did not produce his pre-sentence report.

Jo C. :

So they were remanded upon a guilty plea?

Customer:

Yes they pleaded guilty for being there

Jo C. :

They can't plead guilty for being there. Being there alone is no offence. You have to participate to commit an offence

Jo C. :

It might be that they entered a guilty plea on the basis that they themselves did not actually do the act amounting to robbery

Customer:

the other guy involved was the one that took the mobile and hitting the victim. He passed the victims man bag to the eldest, so he pleaded guilty for that. The youngest pleaded guilty for being there and knowing what happened.

Jo C. :

He must have accepted some form of participation or its not a guilty plea but I see what you mean.

Jo C. :

If this is a mobile phone robbery then they are facing a custodial sentence I'm afraid.

Jo C. :

which was why they were remanded.

Customer:

But the other guy was the one that took it and the victim confimed it

Jo C. :

There's no particular mitigation in that. This is a joint enterprise robbery so they all become jointly liable for his actions.

Jo C. :

Much like a look out. A look out is not in a better position really than the person who actually goes into a property to do a burglary. They are both involved in the enterprise.

Customer:

The eldest and the other guy were given the option to start their sentence but nothing was mentioned about the youngest which according to the solicitor he had a 50/50 chance to do serve a suspended sentence

Jo C. :

If this is a mobile phone taken by means of robbery then, on the case law, you have to show that the situation is 'exceptional' to avoid immediate custody.

Jo C. :

Sometimes it is exceptional but that is the test.

Jo C. :

Younger people generally fare better than older.

Jo C. :

That is, unless of course he has pleaded to another offence.

Jo C. :

but that doesn't make much sense from what you've said.

Customer:

Any suggestions? would it be any difference a private solicitor?

Jo C. :

No. Duty solicitors are just solicitors in private practice who were on duty at the time that the matter came in.

Jo C. :

Obviously some duty solicitors are better than others but if you are otherwise happy with this solicitor the fact that he is duty makes no difference at all.

Jo C. :

You should remember that he is entitled to a barrister from the independent Bar if he wishes.

Customer:

Do you think that the youngest still has a probability of getting a suspended sentence? What it cold be the min and max sentence for the youngest?

Jo C. :

Obviously I haven't had full vision of this case but generally with a robbery of a mobile phone people should brace themselves for custody. Its a good win if you avoid it.

Jo C. :

Maximum and minimums aren't really very helpful. Neither will apply.

Jo C. :

The minimum is an absolute discharge and the maximum is 14 years custody but neither will be appropriate.

Jo C. :

The case law says 3 years custody.

Jo C. :

Although that would reduce to half less time spent on appeal and its just a starting poitn.

Jo C. :

point.

Customer:

Ok thank you very much for your time and help

Jo C. :


No problem and all the best.



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