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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69983
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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ThereTrying to arrange an appointment privately

Resolved Question:

Hi there
Trying to arrange an appointment for a privately funded psychiatrist to visit a prisoner on remand. Sentencing is on 19th June. Solicitors say they cannot mix legal aid with privately funding and therefore cannot instruct the psychiatrist. The family will pay for the psychiatrist.
When the crime was committed the family and friends are of the strong belief that it was a psychotic episode caused by deep depression and extremely out of character. Suicide letters have been found dated one day after his arrest.
The solicitors have not been in touch with the prisoner since he went to prison 3 weeks ago and he has no idea what is going on. The solicitor and barrister are now on holiday and no-one at the firm seem to be dealing with anything.
Grateful for your advice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Nicola

Yes please continue trying to find an answer as still no joy from his solicitor.

Many thanks

Claire

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Need to find out how we can arrange the psychiatrst to attend. Solicitor will not get involved so who do we contact please. Duty of Care issue here
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
They can instruct them. If people pay privately then they can be instructed. They might not be able to apply to the legal aid board for authority for this report but that is a different point.
If they will not then a psychiatrist can always make a request to the prison for an appointment. They do reports all the time in this way.
Depending on where he is remanded it might not be possible to get in before the sentence date. It is hard enough to get legal visits for conferences at the moment.
The difficulty to consider is that even if the report is favourable if counsel wil l not use it at the time of sentence then it is all a waste of money. There is almost certainly a good reason for refusing to do so. The one I can think of immediately is that these are issues that go to fitness to plead rather than sentence and it is too late to raise fitness to plead.
The fact that the solicitor with conduct is away doesn't mean they cannot deal with this. Somebody will be covering his work.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Jo. I will let the young man's mum and dad know prior to their meeting with solicitor tomorrow. I believe they said the sentencing date can be put back as the psychiatrist will not be able to see him & collate their report in time.
Whilst I appreciate the legal timing difficulty reference fitness to plead, the letters are clear evidence that he was not in a right state of mind.
If council agree to use the psychiatrist's report & letters will the young man be automatically given psychiatric help during his detention? This is the reason that I am helping the family - I am concerned for his mental well-being.
Thank you, Claire
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No, not necessarily. In fact, in prison probably not.
The fact of a report can be useful for a sentencing Judge to consider when passing sentence.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69983
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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