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Criminal Defence Blog

Archive for September, 2016

Best Criminal Defence Solicitors?

How do you define the best criminal defence solicitors?


Many people claim to be the best criminal defence solicitors, some are acknowledged by others to be the best.


What does it take to be the best criminal defence solicitors?


A knowledge of the law is obviously important but this is not what separates the good from the best. Some criminal defence solicitors are very poor in terms of basic knowledge but to be fair that is unusual. Most know the law and the truth is most cases are relatively straight forward in terms of the law. It is very rare to get a complex case.


If it’s not the law that separates the best criminal defence solicitors then what is? We are in the privileged position of being told that we are the best by a lot of clients, courts and top barristers we work with. It is not unusual for us to get feedback from barristers to say that we are the best they have ever worked with.


Rather than us tell you why we are the best criminal defence solicitors we asked others why they thought we were. Some common threads came up.


best criminal defence solicitors











Hard Work. As a team we give every case our all. We never switch off and all of the team work long hours and at home. We have a team chat function that buzzes constantly. We make sure that no case ever leaves this office without it being fully prepared. We always know we have done everything we can on a file.


Tough fighters. A lot of feedback relates to how hard we fight, how we are not scared to upset the prosecution or the police if we need to get a result. Now it may appear that way but that is not the full story. We only do that when we have to. Most time we work with organisations such as the police and prosecution. We get on well with them and the courts we appear in. There is no sense in upsetting everyone just for the sake of it. But mess with one of our clients and you will see a different side of us. We do what we have to.


Devastating cross examination. If a witness is lying our Steve Williams will expose them in court. Described as ‘surgeon like’ he will gently lead the witness into a carefully crafted trap, exposing the lie. Delivering the ultimate killer blow with his well known question “which of the 2 versions of your story is a lie? Did you lie to the police or are you lying now? We know you are lying, which just aren’t sure yet which is the lie….. maybe they are both lies?”


All of these are valid but we think that the most important aspect is our legendary, award winning client care. This underpins everything we do. We only work so hard because we genuinely care. It is nice to win awards, it is good to hear other professionals tell us how good we are and yes it give us a boost when a client moves to us and his old solicitors say ‘I don’t blame you, they are the best’. But the thing that means the most to us is when clients get a good result and when they are happy. Everything we do is for the clients. We are not a Legal Aid firm. We pick and choose which clients we work with and that means if we take your case on its because we believe in it. We will take it personally. You are taught at law school not to get too close to the clients, not to take it personally. We do things differently. To us it is personal. We will be at your side through every step of the way. We will care about your case as much as you do. We know it’s not just about getting good results it’s also about the journey to that result and we will make sure it is as good as possible. We know it is stressful, we know it will never be easy but we will be in this together.


If you want to find out what makes us different, why we win so many awards and why so many say we are the best criminal defence solicitors call us now.



Call anytime on 01623 397200.


Revenge Porn Lawyers – What is Revenge Porn?

revenge porn lawyersRevenge Porn Lawyers are frequently asked, what exactly is revenge porn?  In this post, we explain the basics.  If you need revenge porn lawyers for an ongoing case, call our expert team now on 01623 397200.


What is ‘Revenge Porn’?


In April 2015, the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 created a new criminal offence of Revenge Pornography, which made it an offence to disclose private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.


Prior to this, revenge porn offences had to be dealt with via existing copyright and harassment legislation, for example the Communications Act 2003, Malicious Communications Act 1988 or the Harassment Act 1997.


What is the extent of this offence?


In the 18 months following the implementation of the legislation, 206 prosecutions have been brought.


However, it is widely accepted that shame and humiliation deters victims from reporting the crime.


On the other hand, the accelerating use of social media creates more opportunities for perpetrators – i.e. through the use of revenge porn websites, as well as Facebook accounts and other platforms.


As the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, recently commented: ‘There is a growing trend of crimes committed on or through social media’.


The message to would-be perpetrators is that revenge porn offences are being taken very seriously, are now viewed by the criminal justice system as distinct from other offences and that those involved with law enforcement and prosecutions are becoming increasingly skilled in understanding the nature of the offence and bringing perpetrators to justice.


How could a perpetrator be punished for this offence?


If found guilty of a revenge porn offence, a perpetrator could be given a maximum 2 year custodial sentence and ordered to pay a fine and court costs.  Our team of revenge porn lawyers are experts in this field and can help you if you are being investigated for revenge porn offences.


What sentences have perpetrators received since the new legislation took effect?


21 year old Jason Asagba, one of the first people to be convicted under the new legislation, was given a six month custodial sentence (suspended for 18 months) and ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work within the community. Asagba was also given a restraining order and ordered to pay £345 in costs.


Asagba was convicted of posting, texting and emailing intimate photos without the woman’s consent with intent to cause her distress, after pleading guilty to Revenge Pornography.


His victim had been asleep when he had taken photos of her; no consent was given. Asagba sent the photos to the victim’s family via text and also sent the victim a photo via email.  In addition, Asagba hacked into the victim’s Facebook account and shared an image on her timeline.


In line with the legal definition of the offence of Revenge Pornography, Asagba had disclosed private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress. It was clear from the actions detailed above that Asagba had intended to cause the woman distress and embarrassment.  Sharing such photos in a public forum was vindictive and criminal.


Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) guidance on Revenge Porn:


  • Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person without their consent and with the purpose of causing embarrassment or distress. The images are sometimes accompanied by personal information about the subject, including their full name, address and links to their social media profiles.
  • The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.
  • The issue in cases of ‘revenge pornography’ will be whether the message or communication is grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false, not whether the image itself is indecent or obscene.
  • Section 1 of the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with the sending of electronic communications which are indecent, grossly offensive, threatening or false, provided there is an intention to cause distress or anxiety to the recipient.
  • Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 makes it an offence to send or cause to be sent through a ‘public electronic communications network’ a message that is ‘grossly offensive’ or of an ‘indecent, obscene or menacing character’.
  • Where there is more than one incident, or the incident forms part of a course of conduct directed towards an individual, a charge of harassment should be considered.
  • Where the images may have been taken when the victim was under 18, prosecutors will consider offences under the Protection of Children Act 1978.
  • In the most serious cases, where intimate images are used to coerce victims into further sexual activity, other offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 will be considered.

If you have been charged with Revenge Pornography, and need revenge porn lawyers, contact our office on 01623 397200 for free initial advice.


Rape of a Child Solicitors

rape of a child solicitorsRape of a Child Solicitors


We were delighted to assist a family recently during a very traumatic case.


We were instructed by Mrs H, mother of a 14 year old vulnerable child with special needs.  She contacted us absolutely mortified following the police asking her son to attend the police station for interview in relation to an allegation of rape of a child.  They needed rape of a child solicitors, and they came to the right place.


The alleged victim was known to Mrs H and her family, and whole her son denied the allegation completely, the allegation had huge consequences for the family.  The family of the alleged victim cut off all contact with Mrs H and her family, despite them being long-term, close friends. 


And, perhaps the worst part, it was clear that Mrs H’s estranged husband, the client’s father, did not believe his son was innocent.


As defence lawyers, we have a privileged and unique position.  We often see families experiencing the worst things they can imagine, and we are given access to people at their most vulnerable time and an open licence to ask personal, intimate questions.


It was clear that this was a family still reeling from the client’s diagnosis of complex special needs, and the client’s father in particular was unsure of how to deal with his son.


This led to a difficult, but necessary, conversation between caseworker Katie Forrest and the client’s father.


“I reminded him that his son was presumed innocent until proven guilty and that his son would need his support at this time more than ever.” Katie says.


We were instructed to fully investigate the allegation and to take a pro-active approach, with the aim of attempting to resolve the matter without any formal charges being laid against our client.


We took a detailed statement from the client himself, as well as his mum, dad and sister, who were all present on the day in question.


We organised expert representation for our client at several police interviews, together with protecting his rights and requirements as a vulnerable child himself.


We were confident that the matter was proceeding well, and then we were notified that a second similar allegation – of rape of a child – had been made against our client.


Our client, and his family, were devastated, and clearly the prospects were not looking good at this point.


We, however, renewed our focus on the case and continued in depth liaisons with the police officer.  By working collaboratively and pro-actively, we were able to present our case to a prosecutor before our client was charged with any offence, and after reviewing this, the decision was made that our client would not be prosecuted in relation to either allegation.


We were all absolutely delighted.


As specialist rape of a child solicitors, we are the experts you need to defend any allegations of rape of a child.  We do NOT represent anyone who accepts they are guilty of rape of a child.


If you are falsely accused of rape of a child, call our expert team now on 01623 397200.


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