Friday, September 23, 2005

Newton Hearings

I was down in the diary to deal with a Newton hearing today. Newton hearings are often fairly odd because they are mini trials to decide how guilty someone. Usually a Newton hearing comes about because a Client has made limited admissions or accepts responsibility for part of a crime but not all of it.

My hearing today was to decide if my Client had accidentally struck his partner or whether he had really laid in to her and caused her moderate injuries by punching, kicking etc., etc.

The slightly odd thing about this hearing was that there had been two previous attempts to have the Newton hearing but the victim had failed to attend and had shown little interest in attending today. I say it is slightly odd for this scenario as people accused of domestic violence often say nothing when they are interviewed, they then plead not guilty at Court in the hope that the victim will not come to Court, or that the Prosecution will not have other evidence such as witnesses, photographs or hearsay applications that are capable of proving the case without the victim attending. I had not previously dealt with this Client before and had not worked on his file until I prepared for today's hearing.

I went off to Court expecting the victim not to turn up again and for things to go my way. The victim did not turn up, but eventually the Court ran out of time to deal with my case and at 4.45 pm it was decided that it was too late to deal with any issues arising from my case even though the victim had failed to attend again. A trial from the morning that had an estimate of 3 hours kept on going until past 4.45 pm. If that trial had finished on time my Client would have got his chance to argue that his basis of plea was correct.


Solicitor said...

I love your write-ups about the Newton Hearing.I just want to know if how can I avail your service?Thank you and more power to your site.

peter said...

i am sorry to say that i am one of those people that has just gone through this newton hearing in the crown court. I found it very unfare my side of the case was never even told to the judge and yet i was told to sign the statement and then plead guilty, after that i have had proceed of crime etc, now awaiting sentence for what i have not done. The courts and barristers should not be allowed to confuse and disregard the defence as i can prove all that i say ,but will never be allowed to say it. Maybe its the quick way but not the best we need fare and good defence and good judges to implement the laws. This is the problem with legal aid they pay to little for the work thats needed.

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Anonymous said...

I have just been ordered to have a newton hearing. Three of us were charged with the production of cannabis. I entered a guilty plea on a basis. My two co defendants pleaded not guilty and were cleared at the crown court. My case was then listed for a mention. My version is that I simply allowed my premises to be used for the production of cannabis. My fear is that the judge was not happy with the not guilty verdicts of my co defendants. I get the distinct feeling that the judge will be prejudice against me from the start, and with the absence of a jury this will be grossly unjust.
Any advice out there

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Rachel said...

My son was attacked and bitten and in his self defence he defended himself resulting in the attacker receiving a hairline jaw fracture.
He was charged with a sec 18 intent and was advised to plead guilty to sec 20.
However we did not realise that by doing this what the consequences in the justice system would be !!
Even though CPS and the Police had his full medical hospital report of his injury and also he is still receiving hepatitis jabs and antibiotics none of his injuries were able to be put across in his defence or the other parties criminal convictions in which are very lengthy in the court,as when you plead guilty you have accepted whatever the prosecution put across.
What is Justice!!!
The other party faces no criminal proceedings, walks free and claims a big compensation payout -didnt even turn up at court to see my son sentenced for it -this alone speaks for itself -IT BEGGARS BELIEF!!

Col said...

I was scheduled for a Newton Hearing back in 2012. About 5 mins before kick off, my barrister informed me that the crown would take my basis of plea,which was production of cannabis for personal use. The crown would only accept a guilty plea based on supply.
However, my barrister found a wonderful forensic scientist who was going to inform the court a sample of cannabis had been discovered a few days previous that was 3 years old and still fresh.
The crown's main argument was that 14 plants was too much for me to use and I intended to sell the surplus for a profit.
I think the crown fell back to my basis of plea because they didn't want that revealed in court.

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