Crime Team blog: this week in Chambers

In: Article Published: Friday 26 March 2021


Hi all

I hope you're keeping well.

Welcome to the crime team blog for the week commencing 22nd March 2021:

After 11 weeks In a five handed alleged murder, including 4 weeks where covid caused delays, Nigel Edwards QC and Andrew Hill have finally got a their jury out. All counsel, the jury, judge and staff have worked hard together to keep this case on track in the incredibly difficult circumstances of covid and social distancing.

An EU National's Settlement Application for Indefinite Leave to Remain was granted by the Home Office on Monday (Dr S Chelvan, Head of Immigration and Public Law instructed via the Bar Public Access Scheme).  One of the issues needing to be addressed as part of the application was the applicant's US Criminal Conviction in 2014 resulting in a 10-day sentence and $500,000 fine.  Nigel Edwards QC and Ayesha Smart were instructed to provide an Opinion of the impact of this conviction for the purposes of UK criminal law, concluding the matter would have been very unlikely to be charged, let alone prosecuted.

Hammad, said in response to the successful grant:

“My case was particularly complex due to my US conviction along with new post Brexit laws.

I consulted with a few Legal experts and got conflicting advice. Eventually Dr S Chelvan was highly recommended by another solicitor who in-fact admitted she did not have enough expertise to deal with my case. 

I have worked with multiple legal experts from high profile Law firms. Most of them partners. All of them were absolutely great and got significant results for me. However after working with Dr S Chelvan in the last few months, I must say he is in a league of his own. 

When we first started working together, I really hoped I would be able to get Pre-Settled status post 31st December 2020. After finally submitting all the paperwork to the Home Office, my stance had changed. I was almost sure I was going to get Settled status. And I did. 

Level of granular detail Dr Chelvan went to get everything right was absolutely great. He covered every single loophole that could possibly cause the Home Office to reject my application or give me an unfavourable result. 

For example he recommended I get an opinion from a Criminal QC to mitigate the impact of US conviction on my immigration application. Thanks to Nigel Edwards QC and Ayesha Smart, their opinion took care of that. 

As I have already stated, I had already consulted with other legal experts prior to getting Dr Chelvan onboard. No-one comes close compared to his level of detail, experience and in-depth knowledge of immigration rules.

When we started working together, it was a few days before Christmas. We worked non-stop throughout the holiday season. There was continuous back n forth communication between us. Dr Chelvan ruined his Christmas to ensure we submitted our first draft of application documents before 31st December 2020. 

Finally many thanks to Dr S Chelvan, Nigel Edwards QC ,Ayesha Smart for helping me get Settled Stats which seemed like an impossible result in December.” 

An absolute discharge was handed down for a bit of cannabis after the Crown dropped two counts of rape after service of the DCS. D was arrested at home and in his haste to dress he threw on a pair of pants that had cannabis in the pocket! A lovely end to a harrowing case – Sharmila Salvi defending for Olliers, Manchester compared the rare sentence to a golfing hole in one!

Ravinder Saimbhi is instructed on a case involving allegations of wounding with intent against multiple complainants and which will consider cell site, CCTV and gait analysis evidence. Trial listed for September 2021. Instructed by GT Stewart solicitors

Ravinder Saimbhi successfully opposed an application to dismiss at Leeds CC on a case of s18 Wounding with Intent where the defendant is accused of assaulting the complainant with heavy glass objects causing head injuries in a domestic setting. The case will proceed to trial. Instructed by CPS Leeds

Ravinder Saimbhi instructed to prosecute a 2 handed affray, ABH and assaults at Kingston CC. The defendants entered not guilty pleas at PTPH this week and the case warned to proceed to trial in late July 2021.

Robert Fitt achieved a suspended sentence this week for a client that pleaded guilty to GBH and possession of a bladed article.  The defendant had taken a knife to a public house in Southwark in July 2020 and stabbed the complainant five times, causing really serious injury.  Mr Fitt convinced the court that his client should be sentenced on his own version of events, namely that he had been bullied and goaded by the complainant.  Mr Fitt persuaded the judge that the case did not fall into the highest category of the sentencing guidelines despite the aggravating features and that the defendant’s significant personal mitigation made it appropriate to take an exceptional course and suspended the prison sentence.‚Äč