Crime Team blog: this week in Chambers

In: Article Published: Friday 02 October 2020


David Nathan QC leading Chantelle Stocks of Noble Solicitors successfully defends client on charges of Murder and Manslaughter.

The Defendant was accused of causing a fatal bleed to her partner’s brain during the course of a vicious assault five days after she was released from prison for a similar crime.

Following extensive cross examination of two prosecution Pathologist’s the defence were able to persuade the judge that the crown could not prove their case and after two days of legal submissions the judge ruled there was no case to answer on both Murder and Manslaughter.

Nigel Edwards QC instructed to lead Abdul Shakir by Kingsman Solicitors. They are to appear before the Bradford Crown Court in relation to a matter of causing or allowing the death of a child. Mr Edwards has specialist expertise in cases involving children and young people, both representing and involving offences against such.

Andrew Hill secures suspended sentence for his client following his guilty plea to possession with intent to supply class A. Mr Hill had the following to say after the conclusion of the sentence: I believe the way the Learned Judge dealt with this case is a clear indicator of how Crown Court Judges are reacting to the pandemic being guided by recent case law. Counsel by nature like to take the credit for a good result and equally like to blame circumstances outside of their control for a bad result. However, it is important to acknowledge the work of others and specifically the judgement and compassion of Judges when they consider that they need not follow the usual sentence in current times. Long may their independence remain.

A 27- year old man of hitherto good character pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply cocaine, ketamine and MDMA. The street value was £900. The dealing was on behalf of another [away on holiday!] and he was to be paid in cheaper drugs to feed his own habit.

The presentation of references from his work and from a drug counsellor showed that he was an industrious worker with good prospects, who had done all he could to get help with his drug problem and indeed help others similarly affected.

HHJ Donne QC was able to suspend a sentence of 2 years suspended for 2 years by putting the criminality at the bottom end of the sentencing bracket under the Guidelines of 3 ½ to 7 years when describing the role of the Defendant playing a significant role like most street dealers. The Learned Judge gave 25% credit and felt able to reduce the term following the Defendants guilty pleas even further stating the guidance provided by the Court of Appeal in the recent case of Manning {AG Reference} 2020 EWCA Crim 592 and the effect of COVID-19. Moreover, taking account of the efforts of rehabilitation and a strong work record properly permitted the Learned Judge to pass a sentence avoiding immediate imprisonment.

Nichola Cafferkey instructed on a two handed socially distanced murder trial at Croydon Crown Court successfully got underway on Monday.. The case was reported by the BBC

Ravinder Saimbhi was due to start a trial in Birmingham Crown Court representing her client accused of a s18 Wounding with Intent. The current pandemic meant that the court was unable to accommodate the case despite the defendant having been in custody since April. Ravinder was able to successfully argue a change of circumstances and secure a release on bail for her client despite strong opposition by the prosecution. The trial is not likely to be heard before summer 2021 at the earliest. Instructed by Kevin Williams at GT Stewart.

Robert Fitt successfully argued that the CPS should not be permitted to add a section 5(1)(aba) Firearms Act 1968 count to the indictment brought against his client.  The defendant faced charges of possession with intent to supply £13,000 worth of heroin, cocaine and cannabis as well as possession of a sawn-off shotgun.  By convincing the judge at Harrow Crown Court not to allow a late amendment to the indictment Robert ensured that his client avoided a 5-year minimum sentence and received only 15 months’ imprisonment on the firearms charge.‚Äč"

Chambers is delighted to announce that Haydee Dijkstal is recommended as a 'Rising Star' in The Legal 500  2021 for International Crime and Extradition.