Friday, June 23, 2006

Darn, We Nearly Got Bail

I went off to a local Crown Court today to use my skills as an advocate to try to secure bail for one of my firm's Clients. I do not yet have higher rights to do any type of hearing in the Crown Court but as a solicitor I am entitled to do bail applications.

The Client I was dealing with was not at the Crown Court because nearly 99% of Crown Court bail applications take place without the Client being present. As the Client was not present I had to try to draw some inspiration for the bail application from elsewhere. I sat down with the file and read through the facts, a knife point robbery on the street. I noticed that my Client had a number of convictions for violence and had failed to attend Court in the past. Hmmm... no chance of bail then!

I then thought back to when I represented the Client at the Police Station. The Officer dealing with the case had told me as far as he was aware my Client and the victim of the robbery were known drug dealers who had worked in the past as partners. The Police are more relaxed about known criminals committing offences against other known criminals, there is a certain amount of justice in that they keep their offending amongst themselves.

The witness statements in the evidence stated that the victim did not know who the robber was, then two days later there was another statement saying that the victim had now remembered who the robber was and that it was my Client. This was my inspiration, this small crack was going to be my point in the bail application.

Point number two: the Client claimed to have an alibi at the Police Station and I was pleased to say that a statement had been taken from the alibi witness who had confirmed the Client's account.

I met up with the barrister prosecuting the bail application and had a very pleasant chat. I conceded that I was bound to loose the application.

When the case was called on I went through the motions, I made my points and to my surprise the Recorder was happy to grant bail. As the Recorder was referring to the name of the person my Client was going to reside with the Court Clerk stood up, turned to the Recorder and muttered that he recognised the name. The case was put back. A short while later the Prosecution trotted in to Court with a list of convictions for the person that my Client was going to live with who had more convictions than my Client. I was invited to withdraw my bail application by the Recorder and to try again with a new address. I had managed to use my advocacy skills to secure bail in a no hope case to be scuppered by a Clerk who did have an amazingly good memory.

After making a few phone calls today I am pretty sure that another address will be located and I will go back to apply for bail again some time next week. Heres hoping I can convince another Judge with my no hope case!

6 comments:

WigAndGown said...

Whilst it's commendable that the clerk recognised the name, I'm afraid it's very sloppy prosecuting when you haven't checked the details of any proposed securities or people who live at the address to which a person is proposing that they are bailed to.

I often incur the wrath of Defence Counsel / Solicitors when their formal notice has a name and no more!

Anonymous said...

Erm, how about lets hope a dangerous violent person is NOT released back into the community...

Fred said...

Hopefully if you get the scum bail he will knife one of your family.

Gavin said...

Fred,

Your comment was particularly nasty and uncalled for.

I can appreciate that you may not like the subjects that I talk about, and you may disagree with the role of a defence solicitor but by making comments such as you have already you are acting exactly like the people you are expressing comments again.

Gavin said...

I meant to say, "expressing comments against".

fred said...

Gavin, not really, I never carry a knife and have never committed any crime. I have had friends and family who have been victims of your 'clients' and I stand by what I said. Get them off on a technicality and I hope they come after you and yours. We are all very fed up with the CJ system so you had better get used to the criticism.