When George Fredrickson was produced from custody to confirm the hearing at Nottingham Crown Court last week, he was worried that sentencing would once again be adjourned for reasons beyond his control.
George, just 18 years of age but with a string of convictions to his name, had prepared himself for his plea and sentencing hearing as best he could just 7 days ago, knowing that his parents and several other members of his family would be in attendance.
However, on the day of the hearing the previous week, there was no transport to bring George from his young offenders’ institution. The hearing could still have taken place, had the video link between the court room and the young offenders’ institution been worked as it should. Unfortunately, it did not.
George was understandably frustrated by the delay. Since the offence – a robbery which had taken place as a result of him falling in with the ‘wrong crowd’, he had opened his heart to his older sister and told her he knew he had to change his ways, or face a future behind bars.
It should be noted that, for George’s family, his criminal past was hard to understand. All his family members are hard-working professionals and business owners. It was, in fact, George’s older sister Katrina who instructed Forrest Williams to act on her brother’s behalf.
Katrina later told Tracy, George’s Case Handler, that several other companies had actually declined to take on the case due to its complexity and proximity of the hearing date. Tracy had initially reassured Katrina that neither of these issues would pose a problem for Forrest Williams as the company frequently accepts last-minute instructions and is very confident when dealing with technically difficult cases, as excellent working relationships with highly-skilled barristers is a cornerstone of the professional services offered to our clients.
In brief, one of the technical issues with George’s case was whether or not he was fit to plead. This issue was resolved by liaising with the health professionals concerned, and by arranging a visit to the young offenders’ institution by the barrister who would go on to represent George in court.
On the day of the second hearing, George was arraigned and pleaded guilty. However, due to lack of court time a further adjournment was discussed.
The barrister representing George acted swiftly and assertively to ensure that another court room was found and that sentencing took place. Initially, the judge indicated that he was minded to grant an 18 month sentence. However, the barrister continued mitigating forcefully until the judge indicated that the lowest sentence he could impose was 12 months in custody, starting that day.
For George, this means his release date will be put back by just 2 months. George and his family were very pleased with this outcome.
If you (or a family member) have a legal issue that is causing concern, Forrest Williams would urge you to make contact to discuss the situation as soon as possible – even if you think (or are told by other companies) that it is too complicated a case to resolve, or too late to instruct. Katrina made that call, on behalf of her brother – and, in her words, it was ‘money well spent’.
Call us now for legal advice on 01623 397200.