Criminal Lawyers: Why We Do, What We Do

Why We Do, What We Do – Vol. 1
By Tom Oates, Partner (Criminal Defence Department)

Along with my colleague Morgan Hogarth, I represented a boy who had been in care for most of his young life. He’d been moved to the Mansfield area from London when we became involved in his case. He faced a charge of possessing class A drugs with intent to supply; basically ‘drug dealing’.

Criminal Solicitor: Tom Oates

He had already pleaded guilty with another firm of solicitors in London but had always said that he was put up to it by the manager of the care home, along with other boys. This was investigated by the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), a part of the National Crime Agency. The investigation took a number of months and we ensured that his sentencing was adjourned until it was completed. It was eventually decided by the NRM that his account was true and he was a victim of modern day slavery.

Morgan represented the client at the hearing after the NRM provided their report. He convinced the CPS to vacate the boy’s guilty plea and they withdrew the charge altogether.

It would have been easy to dismiss such a claim by a young boy outright, or put it down to him trying to deflect blame. Instead, both me and Morgan spent time with him and listened to him. In doing so, we helped the truth come out and this resulted in the CPS making the sensible decision to withdraw the case. Had it not been for us, a young boy that had already been let down by the system might have been let down even further.

That’s why we do, what we do.