Posts Tagged ‘ Youth crime ’


Written by Sian Hall
February 1st, 2018

On 15th January 2018, after almost ten years with the firm, Karl Meakin stepped out on his own account in the Magistrates’ Court.  An experienced prison lawyer, Karl is now strengthening the team of Chesterfield advocates comprised of Bob Sowter, Kirsty Sargent, and the inestimable John Wilford.

Karl will also be continuing to carrying on preparation and advocacy work for the Prison Law Team throughout the country.

The Chesterfield advocates are ably backed up by Richard Pell, Lucy Hooper, Yasmin James-Birch, and Lynda Gilbert.

With John’s added qualities as a regulatory specialist, the team has not only depth but considerable breadth.

Bob Sowter brings with him not only massive expertise in terms of adult and youth crime, but also a history of work carried out on behalf of the road haulage sector, which has ably equipped him to deal with a broader than average range of road traffic and vehicle related issues.

The remarkable Kirsty Sargent is the beating heart of the team, an excellent advocate and a superb organiser and administrator.

Karl could hardly be joining a finer group of lawyers who should ease him to greatness at an early stage.


Written by Will Bolam
October 28th, 2016

2016 has seen a dramatic change in the makeup of the East Midlands prison estate. Glen Parva Young Offenders Institution, which has held under 21 year old detainees for well over 30 years, has now become a mixed youth and adult facility.

For years, young East Midlands miscreants have had to listen to their older relatives telling them about the time they spent at the nearby barracks during their own younger days. Tigers Road and Saffron Road have been come synonymous with high walls and strict regimes.

The arrival of older prisoners at Glen Parva has meant that there has been a significant sea change in the character of the custodial facility.

A former governor of Glen Parva was heard to declare that “Young offenders are nothing more than animals”. This comment was made after a month of particularly exuberant behaviour by warring factions from different local cities.

The calming influence of more experienced time served detainees is said to have introduced an area of relative tranquillity to the leafy back waters of South Wigston.

A recent audit of The Johnson Partnerships work showed that the vast majority of the firm’s clients benefit in some way from legal aid.

In spite of reductions in the scope of work covered by legal aid and reductions in the number of people who are eligible for legal aid, the scheme still helps a great many people.

The Johnson Partnership have an absolute commitment to legal aid. From our Senior Partners to our newest recruits, all our staff are involved in providing a high quality service to all our legal aid clients, although a number will also carry out work on a privately paid and indeed pro-bono basis.

We are happy to provide non-means tested legal aid cover for all The Johnson Partnership clients in police stations throughout England and Wales. From our own offices we are happy to provide legal aid solicitors for Nottinghamshire, legal aid solicitors for Derbyshire, legal aid solicitors for South Yorkshire, legal aid solicitors for Humberside, legal aid solicitors for Leicestershire, legal aid solicitors for Lincolnshire, legal aid solicitors for West Yorkshire, and legal aid solicitors for Staffordshire.  On many occasions our solicitors and clerks will also be happy to travel throughout the length and breadth of the country to look after both existing and new clients where the case demands and where undue delay can be avoided.

As far as criminal fee earners are concerned, we have the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Nottingham, the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Mansfield, the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Derby, and the highest number of legal aid solicitors in Chesterfield available to look after the firm’s clients, be it at court, at the police station, in long term custody, or wherever the case requires.

With a range of full and part time staff, The Johnson Partnership can provide a comprehensive service for those requiring legal aid solicitors in South Yorkshire, whether they be at Sheffield or Doncaster Crown Courts, Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley or Doncaster Magistrates’ Courts or at police stations in Sheffield, Ecclesfield, Barnsley, Rotherham, or Doncaster. Our South Yorkshire legal aid solicitors are able to reach out to clients detained at police stations in West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, and across the Pennines.  From the offices of The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Doncaster and The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Barnsley we are well placed to reach courts and police stations throughout the area.

The Johnson Partnership Criminal Solicitors Scunthorpe office is located close to the police station and the Magistrates’ Court. From this base we provide legal aid solicitors for Scunthorpe and Humberside.  Full and part time staff enable us to provide a flexible service for clients requiring a legal aid solicitor in Scunthorpe, a legal aid solicitor in Grimsby, a legal aid solicitor in Goole, a legal aid solicitor in Hull, a legal aid solicitor in Beverley, and all of the smaller communities in between.


Written by Editor
December 15th, 2015

In the early 1990’s Derbyshire boasted many Magistrates’ Courts. As well as Derby, which had two courthouses, there were also Magistrates’ Courts in Ilkeston, Alfreton, Ashbourne, Belper, Matlock, Bakewell, Chesterfield, Buxon, Renishaw, and Glossop.  By 2013, courts were only being held in Derby, Chesterfield, and on a relatively limited basis in Buxton.

Inevitably, a number of Derbyshire clients requiring the service of Derbyshire criminal solicitors have found obtaining the services of a Derbyshire criminal solicitor more and more problematic.

Many of The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Derby and The Johnson Partnership Solicitors Chesterfield clients have grown used to timing their appointments to fit in with other occasions when they will be in either city or town centre. Bearing in mind the limited resources of many of our clients, we at The Johnson Partnership Solicitors understand the importance of reaching out to clients in their own homes and communities.

As ever, we maintain our firm commitment to seeing clients in their own homes, but we understand that this is not always convenient or appropriate. By networking with other firms of solicitors, many of whom do not provide a criminal service, as well as local libraries and local businesses, we have been able to create a network of mutually convenient neutral locations at which clients can be seen.

Accordingly, The Johnson Partnership Criminal Solicitors Alfreton clients, Ilkeston clients, Long Eaton clients, Matlock clients, Ashbourne clients, Bakewell clients, Buxton clients, Glossop clients, Dronfield clients, Swadlincote clients, Spondon clients, can all be seen on their own doorsteps albeit that the solicitors that they see will be more regularly based on The Johnson Partnership’s Derby or The Johnson Partnership’s Chesterfield offices.

In addition to having a broad range of solicitors available for all of the county’s courts, we also have police station advisors on hand within easy reach of St Mary’s Wharf Police Station, Ripley Police Station, Chesterfield Police Station, and Buxton Police Station. We are happy to attend clients who are being interviewed at home in their own houses, which we aim to do without delay or inconvenience.

Those clients who find difficulty in meeting the cost of travel to court are welcome to contact either The Johnson Partnership Chesterfield or The Johnson Partnership Derby office in order to discuss the possibility of special travel arrangements being made to helping getting to and from court. Whilst it is not going to be possible to help everybody make difficult journeys, where we can help, we will be pleased to do just that.  As you know, we aim to offer a comprehensive service to all of our East Midlands based clients to ensure that where East Midlands criminal defence solicitors are concerned, The Johnson Partnership remains the number one East Midlands criminal solicitors firm.

A new trend in criminal investigation has been the voluntary interviewing of clients who are not formally under arrest.

Warning clients to attend at police stations, or arranging to see them at their home to facilitate an interview away from the delays and problems of the custody suite is obviously appealing to many officers.

There has long been a concern that clients who are warned to attend for voluntary interviews will be susceptible to pressure to agree to be interviewed without a solicitor.  In fact, in the course of the last weekend, The Johnson Partnership have dealt with five voluntary interviews spread around four separate police stations, none of which have custody suites.

Clients who sought out the Firm either on the internet or through Yellow Pages, have made prior contact with The Johnson Partnership’s on call solicitor to arrange for support, advice and help to be available either when an officer has arrived at their home or when they have attended for voluntary interview at a non-designated police station.

In fact, police officers who have been contacted ahead of interview have generally shown themselves to be open to providing disclosure of their case ahead of time, to assist in avoiding delays when clients’ arrive to be questioned.

Rest assured that wherever possible The Johnson Partnership solicitors and clerks will be available to assist clients who are to be questioned by the police, within striking distance of one of our offices, whenever and wherever that may be.  Simply call our 24 Hour Helplines to make the necessary arrangements.

People arrested and asking for The Johnson Partnership can now rest-assured that they will be receiving an even prompter service whatever the time of day or night.  The Johnson Partnership’s new Night Owl rota, covering the Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Barnsley solicitors’ offices will ensure that double the number of people are on call throughout night times, weekends and Bank Holidays to advise clients in person wherever they are arrested.

In addition, clients required to answer police bail at anti-social times can rely on a police station advisor from The Johnson Partnership to be available come what may.

The Night Owl rota will be staffed by police station advisors, new solicitors and time-served duty solicitors alike.  However major or minor the matter you must feel free to ask for The Johnson Partnership.  Clients will be able to say to the police with confidence that Johnsons will be there in a jiffy!

Recently, a number of clients of The Johnson Partnership’s Chesterfield office have commented that John Wilford, Denney Lau, Katie Saxton, Kirsty Sargent and Bob Sowter are providing a Rolls Royce service.

Our convenient offices, looking out over Chesterfield’s main shopping thoroughfare, have proved a welcome dropping off point for many on their way to the Magistrates’ Court or the police station.

Long office opening hours between 08:00am and 6:00pm ensure that those who need to attend Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court, Buxton Magistrates’ Court, Chesterfield Police Station or Buxton Police Station can find advice and assistance even though they are in full time employment.

John, Denney, Katie, Kirsty and Bob are all committed to providing a highly personalised service for Derbyshire people who find themselves caught up in the Derbyshire criminal justice system.  The needs of each clients are evaluated and the appropriate service provided, be it a lift to the court door or the rearrangement of a police bail date to fit in with work or family commitments.

A number of clients have recently reported that the service they receive is little short than that expected from that other famous Derbyshire market leader: Rolls Royce!

Violent Offender Orders

Written by Editor
November 3rd, 2015

This new kind of stand alone Order is one of the most powerful and dangerous weapons available to the courts.

Anyone subject to a Violent Offender Order not only has to register their address with the local police station, but also has to report any temporary change of address that would mean that they were away from home for more than three days.

Orders can be made against anyone convicted of a serious offence of violence, even though the circumstances of that offence may be very specific and the offence may have taken place some time ago.

All sorts of additional restrictions and limitations can be added to Orders, such as requirements to stay away from specific people, specific places, groups of people, and so on.

Orders can be made, even though a sentence has been served and the perpetrator has moved on.

Theo Addae at The Johnson Partnership has developed a high level of expertise in contesting and defending Violent Offender Orders. The grounds for making an Order and the terms and conditions of any Order always have t0 be considered by a court before an Order can be made.

Where a Magistrates’ Court has made a Voilent Offender Order it is possible for a decision to be appealed to a Crown Court for a full re-hearing.

Bearing in mind this is a new area of law, there is of course inevitably scope for testing new law, and the way that it can be fitted into existing legal precedant in the High Court and the Appeal Court.

Theo Addae is ready and able to advise on any applications for Violent Offender Orders as well as the likely success of appeal proceedings where an Order has already been made.


Written by Editor
October 1st, 2015

In a week when Elizabeth II becomes the longest serving constitutional monarch and when Jesse Norman relies on parliamentary privilege to cast dispersions on Paula Radcliffe, my thoughts return to a lecture hall without a microphone let alone an interactive whiteboard.

I still remember the horror of being told that I was going to study Constitutional Law but that there was no constitution. I could not work out how the constitutional monarch ever learned what she was supposed to do, and if she didn’t know, how was I supposed to?!

Having come to terms with the fact that there was no constitution but there was a monarch, I then moved on to the role of Parliament within a constitutional democracy.

I still remember being told about the importance of parliamentary privilege and how it was important that matters could be vented in the chamber without fear of legal regress. I still remember the establishment of the standing committee system, to which the doctrine of parliamentary privilege was rapidly extended.

How surprising then on the same day to discover that parliamentary privilege and constitutional monarchy are all that is being discussed, even in the tabloid press.

Sadly, rather than developing any abstruse academic themes I find myself reflecting on two things only:-

  1. How much of a start would Jesse Norman need to avoid Paula Radcliffe catching him in under five minutes?
  2. What happened to the Bank Holidays we used to get every time there was a royal event?

Oh the delights of a legal education.


Written by Editor
August 5th, 2015

Ayse Altinkaya, the well-respected and long-serving office manager for Youngs Solicitors in Sheffield, has been recruited by The Johnson Partnership’s Doncaster office.

To find someone with the all-round ability and knowledge of Ayse Altinkaya is a real rarity in the present recruitment market.

Ayse is a super diary manager, can bill police stations, magistrates’ court, and crown court files, is used to preparing and briefing a wide range of cases and is already well on with her own legal executive qualifications.

We hope that Ayse will settle with us and we look forward to supporting her in achieving her own aims and targets. In the foreseeable future we hope that, as well as assisting the Crown Court team, Ayse will be able to qualify as a police station representative and return in triumph to the courts and police stations of Sheffield.

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