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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70405
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My son in law is due to appear in court in 19 days time on

Resolved Question:

My son in law is due to appear in court in 19 days time on a sexual assault allegation (he is innocent). The initial hearing was the 8th June at which point the magistrate told the CPS to hand over evidence to our solicitor within 7 days, this has not yet happened.
Our solicitor cancelled (yet again) today's meeting as this evidence has not been handed over and therefore we cannot plan our defence. The next meeting has been scheduled for 30th July - 6 days before the trial. I asked today could a postponement be requested due to the fact that CPS had not yet handed over this evidence and I was advised that they could try and get a postponement but the magistrate might not grant it. Every time we have met with the solicitor even on the initial hearing date a new member of staff appeared from the solicitor, I do feel they are not giving sufficient attention to something that could affect my son in law for the rest of his life if he is found guilty. Advise would be welcome please, should be look for a new defence solicitor?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Has your solicitor made an application to court for their failure to disclose ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No when I spoke to the solicitor's secretary this morning she said when we met on the 31/7 (5 days before the trial) they would do it then if necessary but didn't know if it would be agreed to

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

I've switched onto my private PC from my work's laptop - just establishing the connection

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Awaiting response to question answered but she now appears to be off-line, could have lost connection???
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Sorry for the delay.
How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My son in law is due to appear in court in 19 days time on a sexual assault allegation (he is innocent). The initial hearing was the 8th June at which point the magistrate told the CPS to hand over evidence to our solicitor within 7 days, this has not yet happened.
Our solicitor cancelled (yet again) today's meeting as this evidence has not been handed over and therefore we cannot plan our defence. The next meeting has been scheduled for 30th July - 6 days before the trial. I asked today could a postponement be requested due to the fact that CPS had not yet handed over this evidence and I was advised that they could try and get a postponement but the magistrate might not grant it. Every time we have met with the solicitor even on the initial hearing date a new member of staff appeared from the solicitor, I do feel they are not giving sufficient attention to something that could affect my son in law for the rest of his life if he is found guilty. Advise would be welcome please, should we look for a new defence solicitor. I was advised this morning that when we meet on the 31/7 the solicitor might then make an application to court for their failure to disclose but it might not be agreed by the magistrate

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, I've read the facts.
What would you like to know about this please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is this standard practice - CPS not handing over evidence when instructed by magistrates, I feel there is little being done by our solicitors to pull together a defence case and wonder if we should get another defence solicitor

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, quite frankly. It happens all the time. They are a shambles. There are lots of reasons for it. They are understaffed, they prosecute too much etc.
If it is really essential then you would normally get it listed for non disclosure but the fact that he is unable to do conferences without the case papers is not really unreasonable.
I really do hope though that he is not having this trial before magistrates? If this is to be contested with any realistic chance of success then it going to be before a jury in the crown court?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It is in Magistrates court!

Initially my son in law was offered a caution - not knowing what this involved (sex offenders register etc.) we thought this was a quick conclusion to a horrible situation. When we discovered the full facts ourselves he had no option but to take it to court and plead not guilty. He was never advised to take it to jury.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Has he admitted the offence at the police station?
Normally you only advise somebody to stay at the Magistrates if they are likely to be convicted and so the sentence is capped. Other explanations might be that he is privately paying and can't afford trial by jury or that he is remanded and doesn't want to stay in custody that long.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He has always stated he is not guilty. Not remanded. We are paying privately as he does not qualify for legal aid as my daughter has high earnings

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm not sure who they could have offered a caution if he denies the offence.
It might be an issue of paying privately.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70405
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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