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Posts Tagged ‘case studies’

Revenge Porn Client Avoids Prison Sentence

revenge pornRevenge Porn Client Avoids Prison Sentence


If you are being investigated for revenge porn, you will need to be pro-active and get our expert team on your side immediately.  Call us now on 0800 1933 999.


In Derby Magistrates’ Court today, Zack Wallis told our experienced criminal defence solicitor, Steve Williams, that he was relieved about the outcome of his case and that he had learnt from what was a very worrying experience.


Zack, who is just 19 years of age, had been charged with the relatively new offence of Revenge Pornography.


(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.)


When Zack first contacted us for help, he explained that the Revenge Porn charge had been brought as a result of actions he admitted, which he and his peer group thought were socially acceptable.


However, Steve Williams quickly made Zack aware that although growth in the use of social media made it very easy to share private photographs with a wide audience, new legislation meant that people doing this with the intention of causing distress to the ‘victim’ would be prosecuted.


Zack was shocked when Steve told him that the penalties for this offence included a maximum two year custodial sentence.


As in all cases which Forrest Williams Legal Ltd agree to take on, we spent time listening to Zack’s account of what had happened prior to his being charged with the offence.


Zack told us that he had been in a one year relationship with the victim some years ago. The relationship had ended after Zack found out the victim had been seeing someone else behind his back.


Out of the blue, Zack said, he received a message from the victim via Facebook and they communicated online for a while before agreeing to meet up.

When they met up, they had sex. Zack admitted he filmed them having sex, and he also admitted then sending the film to his friends. He said this was common practice amongst his peer group.


All was going well until Zack called the victim and a male answered her mobile phone. Zack told us he was angry, as he remembered how the victim had two-timed him in the past.


Zack then sent the film to his friends and, following an angry exchange between him and the victim, sent a copy of the film to her too. She contacted the police to report what Zack had done.


Zack was told by the District Judge that his actions were being taken very seriously by the court, and that a custodial sentence was being considered.


The initial hearing, at which Zack pleaded guilty to the offence, was adjourned off to a later date so he could meet with Probation Services and a pre-sentence report be prepared with recommendations for the court.


When Zack attended court with Steve for the second time, he was informed that a restraining order had been made as well as an order for him to pay £1,000 in costs to the victim, for whom the District Judge said the offence had caused “significant distress”.  Zack was also ordered to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.


Zack was very relieved to have avoided the custodial sentence which, at the first hearing, the District Judge warned him was a likely outcome. The starting point, according to the magistrates’ sentencing guidelines, was 6 weeks’ custody.


However, the court took into account Steve’s assertive handling of the case and the mitigation put forward on Zack’s behalf – including his remorse, good character and lack of previous offences.


Zack told us he had taken stock of his past behaviour and taken on board the need for his behaviour to change, regardless of what his peers continued to believe was ‘the norm’ for young people. Some behaviour, he had learned, could have very serious consequences.


If you have been charged with Revenge Porn, or if you have any questions about this new offence, contact our office today 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.


Best Sexual Assault Solicitors Secure Victory At Trial

best sexual assault solicitors


Best Sexual Assault Solicitors Secure Victory At Trial


Darrell contacted us absolutely bewildered and terrified. He had been wrongly charged with sexual assault.


He just did not know what to do.


From our first conversation with Darrell it became apparent that this was clearly a malicious allegation.


Lucy, the alleged victim was the sister of Charlie, who was, at the time, a tenant of Darrell’s. Charlie, however, had not paid her rent in months, so Darrell was having to go through the process of evicting her from the flat. Because Charlie was young, her mum acted as guarantor, and so Darrell, as per the agreement, was contacting Charlie and Lucy’s Mum to recover the outstanding rent.


Lucy became involved a few days before the eviction was due to take place. She contacted Darrell and appeared to be the more reasonable sister and was arranging for Charlie to hand over the keys to the flat. 


An agreement was put into place and the three of them met up at Charlie’s flat and the key was handed over. The flat was in a state, and items had gone missing.  Darrell decided that he would go forward with obtaining the outstanding rent from their Mum due to the state of the property.


Lucy invited Darrell back to her house for a cup of tea, so that they could discuss things and get everything sorted. Again Lucy was very determined to try and persuade Darrell to not pursue her mother for the outstanding rent.


Lucy started talking about her tattoos, and began to show them to Darrell (without his request).  Darrell was not interested.  Lucy then asked Darrell to touch a scar in the centre of her back to see if it was raised.


Darrell was there for around 45 minutes.


A few days later Darrell was arrested on suspicion of Sexual Assault against Lucy.


He was charged and given a date to attend Derby Magistrates Court.


This is when he contacted us, looking for the best sexual assault solicitors to help him.


We arranged for Darrell to come in and meet his caseworker, Jess Sadler [pictured above], face to face so he could tell us what happened.


There were no time limits.  It was just Darrell’s chance to tell us what really happened, and we were there to listen for as long as he needed.


We started preparing his case immediately. We knew how important this was to him, and how life changing it would be if he was falsely convicted of the offence.


It was a difficult case from the beginning. It was essentially his word against hers, with no evidence to support either version of events.


Darrell was represented by our senior solicitor, Steve Williams.  Steve has over 25 years’ experience in criminal matters and is personally known to Derby Magistrates.  Darrell wanted the best sexual assault solicitors and there was no better person to represent Darrell.


As the best sexual assault solicitors in the area, we are used to thinking outside the box and building every case individually, free from templates, pro-formas or any other restrictions.  In this case, we decided that due to the lack of third-party evidence to support our case, we would use something that nobody could deny to persuade the Magistrates to believe Darrell’s version of events.


We used Darrell.


Darrell had been a landlord for many years, and so many of his tenants wanted to help in whatever way they could to repay the help that Darrell had given to them. We contacted each of them, explained the process and took witness statements from them all.


The point was we wanted to show to the court that Darrell was not the type of person who would commit this offence.


Darrell came in and had numerous meetings with his caseworker, and met with Steve before the trial to prepare him for what was going to happen and help him through cross examination.


The trial day came.


Darrell attended with his witnesses, Steve and his caseworker.


We went into court and the prosecution opened the case and called Lucy to the stand. Lucy gave evidence which completely contradicted the statements she had given to the police.


Steve cross-examined her and highlighted all of these discrepancies in her evidence.


Lucy’s mum was then called to give evidence, as it was alleged that Lucy rang her straight after the alleged incident to tell her about what had happened. This evidence again contradicted everything that was said in both cross-examination of Lucy and her police statements.


At this stage the prosecution case was finished.


It was our turn to put forward Darrell’s defence.


We asked for a short moment to discuss with our client.


We went out and explained that he was in such a strong position right now, and so we advised that it was worthwhile making a submission that there was no case to answer to the court.


If it was successful then the case would be thrown out and that would be the end of the matter.


We explained the pros and cons of making the submission, and Darrell agreed it was worth a go.


Steve went into the court room and made a very persuasive argument as to why there was no case to answer.


The Magistrates went away and considered our application.


After a short five minutes they returned.


No case to answer.


Darrell was free to go.


Darrell and his partner were overwhelmed.  We had saved Darrell from having to stand up in court, and had protected his innocence.


We are now working with Darrell to recover his legal fees from the National Taxing Team. 


If you need the best sexual assault solicitors to defend you, call us now on 01623 397200. 


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