How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71153
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

how do i get a solicitor to see my partner in prison

This answer was rated:

how do i get a solicitor to see my partner in prison

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

my partner was put in prison because she didn`t have a solicitor and we didn`t qualify for legal aid as i was working was benefit fraud her ex husbands doing he has not been sought after yet he sent 2 men around to her flat to rape her and beat her because she wouldn`t claim any more

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

my partner was put in prison because she didn`t have a solicitor and we didn`t qualify for legal aid as i was working was benefit fraud her ex husbands doing he has not been sought after yet he sent 2 men around to her flat to rape her and beat her because she wouldn`t claim any more

Did she plead guilty?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

no .she complied with the courts arrangement to pay it back at £100 per month as the judge asked but was paying £300 a month because she got 2 jobs ..i was paying all the household bills and i sent proof ..but because she didn`t have a solicitor they didn`t even look at it or was interested

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

jo please she don`t belong in there she has been beaten raped forced to hand over money not right .........sorry i`m so upset

Was she convicted after trial?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

at the trial ,,all they did was talk amongst themselves with the prosecution lawyer ans then 2 men stood each side of her and the judge said take her down no questions or anything

I'm sorry but that cant be right.

She would have had to give evidence unless she refused to do so and defendants only don't give evidence when there is no defence they can offer.

What was the date of the sentence?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

she wasn`t allowed to give any evidence jo was feb 3rd this year no one even asked her

I'm sorry but there is no way that can have happened. Nobody is disallowed from giving evidence ever in the UK.

Its often not a good idea but nobody is barred from going into the witness box in a contested trial.

It actually sounds as though she pleaded guilty from what you say? That would make sense because her defence isn't really very good I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

sorry it did happen the previous trial the judge said and i am serious now if you don`t get a solicitor you going to prison ...we could not afford one so i expected her to be able to represent herself but she REALLY wasn`t allowed to ..her defence was that she was forced and raped into submission being a woman yourself how do you feel about that jo

I am sorry but its completely impossible. Nobody is ever disallowed from giving evidence in their trial.

The reason her defence failed is twofold. The truth is its quite weak anyway. Duress is a difficult defence to run as its always possible to do something else other than commit offences particularly when the threat is not immediately. Secondly she seems to have chosen not to give evidence so it wasn't properly before the court.

If she did have a trial and this was at the Magistrates then she has an automatic right of appeal to the Crown Court although obviously she can only raise the defence that she has.

If this was a matter before the Crown Court then she needs specific grounds of appeal. I imagine it probably was not because Crown Court judges don't lightly allow auto representation.

The fundamental problem though is just plain that you seem to disagree with the verdict and the sentence.

In terms of the verdict, I am sorry to have to tell you this, but a higher court is not likely to take a different view of this. Part of the problem is that I'm afraid there are women who use things like this as an excuse so its a difficult claim to raise for anybody. Most of the problem though is that this really just amounts to pressure not duress. Duress literally require a gun to be held to somebody's head at the time the offence was committed. Even if there was truth in her allegations of rape and violence she didn't have to comply with the requests. She was always free to report it to the police as soon as she got away and seek an injunction order keeping him away.

In terms of the sentence, you havent' given me any information about the offence. You have to show that it was manifestly excessive to appeal it which it might be. You will need to tell me about the sum of the overpayment and the nature of the fraud to tell you whether its reasonable.

She is in time to appeal and there are solicitors freely available in prison to deal with appeals so if she has been telling you that she cannot find one then I'm afraid that is just plain incorrect.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.

Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

the sentence is 2 years ..for benefit fraud ..her ex husband is a really nasty piece of work and she didn`t want any more repercussions with me or my family, this is nothing at all to do with me ,i met her after this ha happened , she is a lovely woman who deserves help .this did happen.. neighbours found her at the time but because of her ex husbands reputation they will not give evidence

Well, he may be but thats not duress.

I know you are trying to help and I am sorry to have to tell you this but you need to face your position.

Ultimately she doesn't have to have anything to do with him at all. She didn't have to engage with him on this occasion and whatever threats he made she could have dealt with by reporting them and seeking an injunction order to prevent repeat incident.

Also, it really doesn't make any sense at all to say that she committed an ongoing offence like benefit fraud under duress.

Duress can sometimes be a defence to offences that take a very short amount of time to commit but where something is ongoing there were always other things that a person can do.

If you are at all concerned about the reputation of the ex husband then just don't get involved in this. Its not your problem. You have done nothing to contribute to this and it can only really have adverse consequences for you.

if this was a two year sentence then she would have been convicted by a Jury in the Crown Court who obviously disbelieved her I'm afraid. Jurors are not like Magistrates. Many people are wrongly convicted at the Magistrates Court. Generally speaking, at the Crown Court before an open minded Jury who is not biased in favour of the prosecution, its not usually possible to argue that you didn't get a fair trial.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

605 days sentence ,do you love some one to help all you can when they are helpless ,,she has no representation either in court or in prison all she has is me ,,i don`t have a degree in law but i have a degree of common sense .and it seems to me that the small person with not much money is being punished ,,she has obeyed her ex husbands wishes under threat at the time as most women do ..and is being severely punished for doing so i am a gentleman a dying breed i`m afraid ..if you can`t help me legally just tell me what i need to do to get her help in prison hand how to initiate the proceedings.

thanks Geoff


Yes, I know. But she is not helpless. I'm sure she is very capable and will sort this out and you cannot do it for her.

The trouble is here that she committed the offence and its for that she is being punished.

And actually most women do not obey their husbands.

I do understand that you want to find a way to believe that this isn't her fault and possibly she was placed under pressure but that doesn't mean she isn't to blame here.

In terms of what to do, you cannot move in prisons for solicitor's business cards. She will have access to a solicitor who will consider an appeal. If she is telling you that is not the case then that is just plain wrong. I used to do prison law almost full time and I have never met a prisoner who didn't know how to get in contact with a solicitor. Its not something that is hidden.

If this was a Crown Court hearing then she will have 28 days from sentence to appeal. There is some room for movement on that if the appeal is a good point though.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for your honesty jo

No problem and all the best.

Do not place yourself at risk. You are not responsible for her circumstances. She has to sort her own problems out including her relationship issues. You cannot do it for her nor should you.

Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you jo

You are welcome.

All the best.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

just spoken to my partner and there is no access to a solicitor and i rang the prison and there is no cards allowed you have to have a specific solicitor thats is yours what jo

I am really sorry and I know you are only acting upon the information she gives you but that is just plain wrong I'm afraid.

I did prison law for many years and prisoners have easy access to solicitors. Thats not to say necessarily that anybody will be willing to take on an appeal.

If you tell me where she is I will tell you who is available roughly? Probably HMP Holloway.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hmp foston hall derbyshire thanks jo

I have never been up that far but I will have a look around and see who covers that area if you give me about an hour.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

take as long as you need jo .thanks for helping me ,,

No problem.

I will come back tonight.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

i may be in bed jo up at 4.30 for work i will be in bed at 8.30 but i will leave pc on till then thanks xxx yes the kisses are for you

I'm on it now.

I don't practice much in the north at all so I don't know anything about these firms but they are both criminal specialists.

Try here

or here

I will be amazed if they don't have cards in the prison but if they do not then you can contact them and invite them to write to her.

Do bear in mind that they may not all be willing to take this on.