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Grenfell Tower Bonfire Video – Has a crime been committed?

The recent sight of a Grenfell Tower model being lifted onto a bonfire and set alight will have disgusted all that viewed it. It has understandably been widely condemned but something that disgusts us is not always illegal. Following the arrest and subsequent release on bail of 6 people, the Police and Crown Prosecution Service will be considering whether a criminal offence has been committed. Here, Tom Oates, Partner, takes a look at the possible offences that might apply. The Malicious Communication Act creates an offence of sending a 'grossly offensive or indecent, obscene or menacing message' via a communications network, which could include websites, social media or messaging applications. There could be an argument made that this offence applies...

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Successful outcome for client with terminal cancer who Home Office refused to support

Scott Laing – solicitor in our Public Law & Community Care Department – recently represented a vulnerable man who had been refused support and accommodation by the Home office. Our client was incredibly vulnerable, blind in one eye and only able to walk short distances along with suffering from metastatic pancreatic cancer and undergoing palliative chemotherapy for this. Notwithstanding our client’s substantial health issues, the Secretary of State failed to consider an urgent application for support to be provided. As a result, urgent Judicial Review proceedings were issued and an immediate order made that the client and his family be provided support and accommodation. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the matter as the family were placed over 2...

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In this volume of Why We Do, What We Do, Roger Wilson, Solicitor Advocate, tells us about a drug addict that had fallen on hard times but was given a glimmer of hope

I recently represented a defendant at the Crown Court who was charged with Supplying Class A Drugs. He was facing a possible sentence of 4 ½ years imprisonment. [caption id="attachment_7346" align="alignright" width="227"] Solicitor-Advocate: Roger Wilson[/caption] He was a hopeless drug addict. He attended Court with his father, who was almost in tears at his son’s quick downward spiral. He had been married, had a 15 year old son, a house and everything seemed good. He and his wife separated and before long, he hit the drugs hard. He was a vulnerable addict and a victim of a practice known to the Police as “cuckooing”. This involves drug dealers taking control of your house and dealing drugs from there. In addition,...

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Quick thinking lawyers save local man’s life

Two employees of Bhatia Best Solicitors were praised after their quick thinking saved a man’s life. Rachel Shutt and Holly Milbourne who both work at our Mansfield office saw the man who had collapsed outside our office earlier this week. Holly phoned for an ambulance whilst Rachel ran outside in order to give the man first aid. Rachel placed the man in the recovery position and first aid was administered until the arrival of an ambulance. The man contacted our office to thank Rachel and Holly. It later transpired that the man was resuscitated in the ambulance after his heart stopped. The man had been told by the paramedics that had it not been for the quick thinking of Rachel...

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Why We Do, What We Do – Lucy Winterburn

In this addition of Why We Do, What We Do, Lucy Winterburn, Family Solicitor, remembers how she dealt with a difficult case involving injury to a baby. I represented a client whose children were removed from her and her partner, due to a non-accidental injury on their baby. Both my client and the father completely denied responsibility. A full investigation took place and there was a ‘fact finding’ hearing at Court, at which findings were made that the father was responsible for the injury. No responsibility was attributed to my client. My client was in complete shock but after I took her carefully through the evidence and advised her, she separated from the father and accepted the findings. As a...

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Young man thought he had stumbled upon a ‘gangland’ execution

Why We Do, What We Do – Vol. 2 By Claire Moran, Solicitor-Advocate (Criminal Defence Department) Claire Moran, Solicitor Advocate, dealt with a case in which a young man thought he had stumbled upon a ‘Gangland’ execution. I represented a young man at the Crown Court for a charge of Dangerous Driving. He had never been in trouble with the Police before, was a straight-A student undertaking his A-Levels and had been heavily involved in charity work, including the Police. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="227"] Criminal Solicitor: Claire Moran[/caption] One night he was driving his car with friends as passengers. They got some fast food and decided to go and eat it at a nearby Reservoir car park. As he pulled...

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Electric shock collars for pets to be banned

Electronic training collars which are used for dogs and cats are to be banned under new legislation, the Government has announced today. Remote controlled electronic training collars (e-collars) have a remote device that triggers an electronic pulse, which can be varied in strength, while others may spray a noxious chemical. As well as being misused to inflict unnecessary harm and suffering, there’s also evidence e-collars can re-direct aggression or generate anxiety-based behaviour in pets – making underlying behavioural and health problems worse. The action follows a public consultation on a proposed ban for all e-collars. However, after listening closely to the views of pet owners and respondents, the Government will not extend the ban to invisible fencing systems which can...

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Q&A with Amy Lyons

In this episode of the "Bhatia Best Q&A", we speak to Amy Lyons who is a Paralegal at our Mansfield office. 1. What is your name? Amy Lyons 2. What is your role at Bhatia Best? Paralegal 3. Which department and office do you work in? Criminal Defence – Mansfield Office 4. When did you join Bhatia Best? July 2016 5. What does your typical day consist of? Assisting solicitors, preparing cases for trial, attending initial appointments and representing clients at the Police Station 6. What is the most rewarding part of your work? When clients appreciate all of your hard work. [caption id="attachment_9857" align="alignright" width="250"] Criminal Paralegal: Amy Lyons[/caption] 7. What first interested you in a career in Law?...

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‘Paedophile Hunter’ will not face charges over contempt of court allegation

The leader of a well known ‘paedophile hunter’ group will not face charges following allegations that he failed to remove derogatory comments from his Facebook page during a trial at the Crown Court. Our client runs a paedophile hunter group that creates fake 'child' profiles online and wait for people to get in touch with them. If the suspect engages in sexual activity or attempts to meet the ‘child’ for sex, the group collate information and evidence which is then passed to the police. Once the group have sufficient evidence, the confrontation is often streamed live on social media. Our client was the key witness in a Crown Court case against a male accused of inciting a child into sexual...

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It’s just a bit of banter…or is it?

In this article, Steven Ramsell, Solicitor Advocate and Associate, discusses the Public Order Act 1986 and the difficulties people can find themselves in with it. You may not think that a bit of banter between mates would be the sort of thing to end up in Court, but there are a number of ways in which you could be prosecuted if it goes too far. What surprises many people is the fact that the various offences contained within the Public Order Act 1986 can actually be committed “in private”. Perhaps the most common of all Public Order offences is ‘disorderly conduct’ under Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. This can be committed quite easily and you may have...

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