Crime Team blog: this week in Chambers

In: Article Published: Friday 08 January 2021


Nigel Edwards QC leading Andrew Hill, Instructed now by Chris Milligan of Bird and Co Grantham, have started a 7 week 5 handed Murder in Winchester. Despite the new lockdown coming into force the Court Staff, Counsel and Judge have all made sterling efforts to get this case off the ground and ensure the system keeps working. Sadly Counsel’s original instructing Solcitor Phil Street of Taylor Street Solcitors Aldershot died on Sunday the 3rd of a January 2021 of liver complications caused by his having contracted covid 19 early last year. Phil fell ill at Christmas again and having fought the good fight passed away. Phil was a larger than life ebullient character who never took a step back and always had a kind word for everyone he met. The thoughts and prayers of all in chambers are with his Son Oliver and his Partner Fiona. As a Chambers we recognise the hardships and concerns of all who face this pandemic and have to keep working. We hope everyone stays safe and abides by the latest guidance until we can all meet again on the other side. 

Paul Williams successfully secures bail for two of his clients this week facing charges of: a man accused of taking alleged criminal money and gold bars out of the country through Dover and a young man charged with multi victim sex allegations of rape and penetrative sexual activity with young girls.

Emma Scott’s client was sentenced this week to 2 years’ imprisonment for attempting to cause a child to engage in sexual activity and attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.  This case involved an online ‘sting’ operation by members of the public in which there was no actual child, but an adult who posed as a 13 year old child.  Sexual messages and images were sent by Emma’s client.  Arrangements were made for Emma’s client to meet the child but Emma’s client was met by the group who had organised the ‘sting’ instead.  Emma’s client had a number of learning and cognitive difficulties which impacted the commission of the offence and sentencing was a delicate exercise of starting with the impact as if there had been a real child (with a small deduction for the fact that there was not), and the incorporation of the overarching guidelines for sentencing offenders with mental disorders, developmental disorders or neurological impairments.  Emma’s client had been in custody for nearly a year and so he had effectively served most of his sentence at the date of the hearing.

A great start back in the traffic courts for Mohammed Saqib this week. In Staines magistrates court the defendant pleaded guilty for an offence of driving without insurance, however after successful submissions for special reasons, the defendant left court with an absolute discharge. 

The circumstances of the offence were that the defendant had broken down having run out of fuel on the motorway in his BMW M5, the police officers recovering the vehicle to the next service station realised the vehicle was without insurance. After hearing evidence from the defendant and an independent witness, following by careful representations by counsel in support of a special reasons argument the lay bench ruled in the defendant's favour.

33 Bedford Row are delighted to announce the opening of offices in Leeds and York as of Monday 4th January 2021. A very exciting step in our ongoing business plan.

We look forward to celebrating the announcement with you all soon.

Happy New Year all.