Posts Tagged ‘ remand ’


Kitchen table interviews

Written by admin
July 22nd, 2020

Throughout lockdown many interviews carried out at both Derby and Chesterfield custody suites have taken place remotely.

Whether it is a week day morning or the middle of a week day night officers have been keen to limit footfall by arranging for solicitors to attend police interviews over Skype, and sometimes over the telephone.

These interviews are obviously far from ideal but they are a way of ensuring that detainees still receive proper professional advice and sometimes they avoid the inevitable delay that can follow when a solicitor has to travel to the police station when the police have been late in notifying them of the interview time.

There was a period of time when Chesterfield police station was not allowing any defence representatives to attend for interview at all. St Marys Wharf police station in Derby has allowed for some attendance although for a while it was discouraged.

By having at least five people on call at any one time we have been able to deal with virtual interviews as and whenever they have been called for. Defence representatives from the Johnson Partnership have taken time to get to know clients and put them at their ease before sharing with them the information that has been obtained from the police and then advising them about how to deal with the forthcoming interviews.

Whenever possible we have continued to attend for interviews because we firmly believe that face to face contact with any detainee is the best way of guaranteeing a strong meaningful and beneficial working relationship!

During lockdown the Derbyshire criminal courts have run in a greatly reduced and somewhat experimental way. A lot of custody cases have been heard at Derby although prisoners have appeared via video links from Ripley police station and Chesterfield police station.

As the lockdown has eased so more work is being handled by Chesterfield magistrates court although at the moment the cases at Chesterfield are mainly for people on bail.

At the Johnson Partnership we have substantial teams of solicitors and clerks based both at our Chesterfield and Derby offices. Wherever a case is to be heard you can rest assured there will be somebody available who can take the time to get to know you and your circumstances. The person representing you will know and be known to the Magistrates before whom you are appearing. Whether it is an occasional bank holiday or Saturday court or a hearing at a newly opened weekday court centre.

Lock ups and Lock outs

Written by admin
November 19th, 2018

In a desperate attempt to save Her Majesty’s government a few extra ill-gotten pounds, the MOJ are now consulting on closing the remand courts in Doncaster, Barnsley, Beverly and Grimsby. The only remand courts in South Yorkshire and to the whole of Humberside, would be in Sheffield and Hull.

On the face of it, the considerable expense involved in refurbishments at Barnsley and Doncaster and the installation of video links at all three courts now seems to be for nothing.

The travel to be imposed on families and friends, who want to be present for vital first hearings, subsequent bail applications and hugely important sentencings are a cost that will now have to be met by the poorest members of society rather than the government through the justice system.

If there is anything that can be done to avoid the alienation and injustice that these sorts of closures bring we, at The Johnson Partnership, want to help to do it. We have long felt that it is time that the justice system operated for the benefit of those defendants, the complainants and witnesses who find themselves unwittingly involved in it, rather than its administrators and overlords.

 

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PRISON DEATHS?

Written by Sian Hall
November 10th, 2017

On the day where Nottingham Prison announces that five inmates have died during the course of the last three months and when the governor of Liverpool jail has been removed forthwith, the question of prison conditions and particularly deaths in prison is a live one.

 

Recently, Frances Crook of the Howard League for Penal Reform, called for the Probation Service and CCRCs to be involved in reviews whenever a prisoner who has been known to either of the branches of the probation service prior to their admission to prison, takes their life.

 

Many advocates shrink from saying to the Court that they believe the client is in imminent danger if admitted to custody. Many regard it as bad fall and rather cheap; others believe it is wrong to be seen to be holding a gun to the head of the Court.

 

All of our advocates have been trained to bring sensitive and delicate information to the attention of the court in an appropriate and reasoned fashion. Everyone is taught how to bring mitigation together in a way that should, if at all possible, avoid a vulnerable client ever being sent into custody.

 

Where a Court takes a decision to remand or sentence to custody our advocates are trained to ensure that the right information is passed as quickly as possible to the relevant authorities within the prison to ensure that the prison staff can give timely and appropriate care. Sadly, all we can ever do is provide this information, there can be no say in what those in charge will do with it.  By keeping a record of those to whom we have spoken and the information that has been provided to them, we aim to be in a position to ensure that any reviewing body is able to have a real and proper understanding of what was known by whom at what time.

 

 

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