Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Waste of Time

When I was on call recently I received a call from the Defence Solicitor Call centre informing me that one of my firm's Clients had been arrested and detained for breaching his bail conditions. When a person is arrested for breaching their Court bail conditions the Police have to produce the Client before a Court within 24 hours of the arrest, or 48 hours if the arrest if a Court is not sitting within the next 24 hours. If the time limit is exceeded the Client must be released without any action being taken.

I telephoned the Police Station and spoke with one of the helpful Custody Sergeants. He told me that the Client had been arrested at 9.50 am that day but the local Court had refused to accept the Client at Court as his paperwork had not been completed by the Police. This meant that at 9.50 am on a Saturday morning the clock had started to tick and the Police and Court had to work together in order to get the Client before the Court on Monday morning at 9.50 am to ensure they were within the 48 hour time limit. At this point both the Custody Sergeant and I agreed that it was pointless to detain the client because it was extremely unlikely that the Client would get before a Court within the 48 hour time limit simply because the 'system' does not work efficiently. I did suggest that my Client should be released but the Custody Sergeant stated he must at least try to get the Client before the Court.

The 48 hour time limit approached and one of my colleagues went over to Court to deal with the matter. He arrived in the Court building at 9.15 am. The Client was moved from the Police Station to the Court and arrived around 9.30 am. The Prosecutor came in to Court on time and had the papers. The Court Clerk came in to Court at 10.05 am. As a result of the case not being called on by the Court Clerk at 9.50 am the Court had to release the Client.

Although the minor breach of bail had rightly resulted in the Client being detained it was foreseen at the start of the 48 hour period that his detention was probably going to be pointless, and in fact it was.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

True with hindsight!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the individual might be slightly less inclined to breach their bail conditions next time?

Gavin said...

Maybe.

As fate would have it this individual did breach his bail again and now he has been remanded in to custody.

Howard Wilson said...

The Police just love pointless detention though. Were you being ironic when you described the Custody Sergeant as 'helpful'?

contactlawuk said...

Its true..infact

Anonymous said...

Bail conditions are set to try and stop people committing crime or to protect witnesses, at least I always thought they were.

So, this person breaches their bail and receives 48hrs detention. I can try and hope that this might act as some sort of deterrent. Also, while that person is in a police cell, whoever it is that the court was trying to protect when they set the conditions is safe and sound.

All seems a great idea to me!

SarahTheDefender said...

A similar thing happened to me recently except it was the CPS lawyer who was late into court and without papers.

Made the whole experience all the more enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

at least he got 48hrs in the cells which is a damn sight more than he could expect going t see the magistrates within the time limit!

gorden said...

This is absolutely true in fact.

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Anonymous said...

"pointless detention..."?

At least someone who had breached bail conditions spend the weekend locked up. All hail to the Sgt for at least trying to work within the system. Side effect of a weekend of the General Public not having the pleasure of one of your Client's company is a nice bonus.

Notary Public Chorley said...

Great article

Notary Public Camden said...

Nice post!

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