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Friday, 29 January 2021 12:35

Seven person jury?

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The Labour Party has called for the government to temporarily cut the size of juries from 12 to seven in order to clear the Crown court backlog, which now stands at more than 54,000 cases. However, the legal profession has said the proposal risks undermining justice. The government also poured cold water on the idea. 
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 12:22

UNANIMOUSLY ACQUITTED

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Thank you to Sam Barker of 2 Harcourt Buildings, instructed by Wessex Solicitors who secured a unanimous acquittal at Southampton Crown Court for a 23 year old male of good character on counts of Rape and Attempted Rape. The case involved defence toxicological evidence of the effects of Ecstasy and alcohol on the memories of the complainant.  Wessex Solicitors instructed Mrs. Victoria Jenkins BSc(Hons) CBiol, Forensic Toxicologist from BioMark Forensics to give expert evidence in respect of this issue.
Friday, 22 January 2021 10:48

Court Safety

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Lawyers and trade unions have joined forces to tell HM Courts & Tribunals Service boss Kevin Sadler to step up safety measures at court or face a ‘political, legal and industrial’ response.  
Tuesday, 19 January 2021 09:54

COVID testing at court

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HM Courts & Tribunals Service is developing a ‘limited pilot scheme’ to test court users for Covid-19, as outbreaks of the virus continue to disrupt trials.
Monday, 11 January 2021 11:27

Free Advice

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Advise and assistance in the police station is free.
Wednesday, 06 January 2021 12:11

Message from the Lord Chief Justice

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"We have now entered lockdown for the third time. The courts and tribunals must continue to function. The position remains that attendance in person where necessary is permitted under the proposed new regulations. This would include jurors, witnesses, and other professionals, who count as key workers. HMCTS will continue to put in place precautionary measures in accordance with Public Health England and Public Health Wales guidelines to minimise risk. All those attending court must abide by guidance concerning social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks etc. Judges and magistrates will have a role in making sure this happens.
Wednesday, 06 January 2021 12:02

Courts remain open

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Courts will remain open during the new Covid-19 restrictions applying across England, the government confirmed last night. Guidelines state that reasonable excuses for leaving home during lockdown include fulfilment of legal obligations, such as attending court as a lawyer or jury member, or to carry out activities relating to buying, selling or letting a home.
Tuesday, 05 January 2021 17:10

Man accused of VAT fraud found Not Guilty

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Following a three week trial at Portsmouth Crown Court involving over 30,000 pages of served evidence, Counsel James Caldwell secures the ‘not guilty’ verdict of a man accused of a £310,000 VAT fraud against HMRC.  Instructed by Wessex Solicitors Mr Caldwell painstakingly examined every detail and managed to challenge the prosecution case at every turn.   Wessex Solicitors also instructed Fiona Marsh BSc MSc Forensic Scientist through Biomark Forensics to analyse handwriting and conclude that the documents provided in evidence were in fact forged which was essential to the defence case and assisted in securing the ‘not guilty’ verdict.
Friday, 18 December 2020 14:16

Congratulations... QC

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A huge congratulations to Mr William Emlyn Jones.
Friday, 18 December 2020 14:07

Justice relapse

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The criminal justice system will ‘relapse’ without more investment, the Bar Council said today, as the Crown court backlog continues to swell and cases take longer to complete.
Thursday, 17 December 2020 11:22

Women in gangs

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Role of grooming of women involved in violent crime examined as part of new gangs guidance by the CPS. 
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Thank you to Robert Bryan of Drystone Chambers.  Mr Bryan was instructed  by Wessex Solicitors in respect of Confiscation Proceedings before Portsmouth Crown Court.  The matter was listed for a contested hearing on the basis of issues as to valuation but mainly in relation to proportionality.  We argued, using a relatively recent amendment to POCA, and one that appears not to be often used in the Defence armoury, that when it comes to making the confiscation order the Judge has to consider proportionality.  Here that order would result in the defendant and family suffering extreme financial hardship.   Portsmouth Crown Court…
Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:48

Overuse of RUI

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Suspects were released under investigation in cases involving domestic abuse, sexual offences and offences against children when conditional bail should have been imposed on them, police and Crown Prosecution Service inspectors have found.
Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:48

Overuse of RUI

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Suspects were released under investigation in cases involving domestic abuse, sexual offences and offences against children when conditional bail should have been imposed on them, police and Crown Prosecution Service inspectors have found.
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