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Showing posts from April, 2012

BIker Defence Solicitors

It's that time of the year when a bit of unashamed self-publicising is called for.

As a biker I have decided to set up a firm specialising in defending motorcyclists who have been accused of driving offences, such as drink driving, speeding, etc.  It's called Biker Defence Solicitors and has a website, which you can find at www.bikerdefence.com.

While we specialise in defending bikers, I also drive a car and could probably be persuaded to defend anybody up to no good behind the wheel as well... feel free to drop me an email at nick@bikerdefence.com for more information.

There endth the blatant ad.

Lords reform and why it shouldn't happen

A new report by MPs says that the House of Lords should be reformed into an elected chamber, I think the current proposal is for a split with 80% elected and 20% appointed. Let's think for a moment about who has produced this report: it is a report by MPs whose job is to fight elections and sit in parliament. Them arguing for an expansion to the number of elected seats available for them to contest is a bit like me arguing for more criminal offences to be created so I get more business.

When I was growing up the argument against the Lords was that it was wrong to have a chamber of parliament made up in a very large part by people who get to sit in the legislature by virtue of their birth only. I believe about 80 hereditary peers remain and I have no problem with removing their seats.

The overwhelming majority of the modern lords are appointees. These are people who have spent their lives doing important and good work that has been recognised by their elevation to the upper chamb…

Baby Jayden Wray

The BBC is today reporting on the demand by the parents of Jayden Wray for a full inquiry into the death of baby Jayden who died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2009.

Prior to Jayden's death both parents had taken their son to their GP and to University College Hospital on  numerous occasions complaining that they thought something was wrong with their child.  They were ignored.  The baby underwent his check up by the GP shortly before he died and the GP found nothing to be wrong with him - yet at this point according to the prosecution the baby had already suffered multiple bone fractures as a result of constant and ongoing abuse! 

The final insult came when one morning the parents woke to find Jayden was very ill.  As any normal parent would do they took him to the GP where he was examined by a trainee GP who, after consulting briefly with a senior doctor (who did not take the time to examine Jayden), told the parents that they should take the bus to University College Hospit…

TV in court

I was asked to appear in a debate on Sky News this evening to talk about TV cameras being allowed into court rooms.  I didn't do it for one simple reason.  I've put my back out and can barely walk never mind ride a motorbike to a TV studio then concentrate on and take part in a serious debate.  So, I thought I'd put a short discussion up on here instead.

I am personally quite apathetic toward the whole idea.  As a lawyer I obviously love the sound of my own voice so any chance to appear on TV and have a video of myself talking is a very welcome opportunity.

On the one hand, I can see that witnesses might be put off by the idea of appearing in court knowing that what they say will be filmed.  But, I suspect that you might also find that some victims welcome the idea of the chance to tell their side of the story and expose the person who has done something to them as dishonest, violent, or whatever the offence happens to be. 

It's also important to remember that courts a…

Searches that find me

I always like to check the searches that people have used to find this blog.

This week I have mostly been wondering about this search phrase:

"boyfriend smashed in girlfriends face"
What surprised me is that through the week I've noticed the number of people finding this blog using that phrase increasing.  As of right now, five people this week have found this blog by typing that in.

Plain cover

I have just heard what struck me as an extraordinary claim by a lady from Ash about cigarette smokers.  She told the television news that people buy the cigarette brand that says something about them.

Rubbish.

I only smoke socially, which means whenever somebody offers me one.  But, the smokers I know all fall into two camps.  There are those who buy their favourite brand because they like the taste/feeling that brand gives them when they smoke.  The other group are those who buy whatever is cheapest - in my experience that generally means Lambert & Butler for women and loose tobacco for men.

The only person I have ever come across who could be described as making a statement about herself through her tobacco choice was a lady who smoked only pastel coloured cigarettes.  They all came in a simply plain little box but each cigarette was a different, very attractive, colour.  Even she didn't flash her fags about and when asked claimed that those cigarettes were the nicest to smo…

Non-payment of council tax and business rates

It's not normally my area of expertise, but I went to Thames Mags today for a non-payment of business rates case.

Straight forward case, business had left the premises before Christmas and the Council had failed to act on the letter and emails they had been sent.

The Council weren't willing to take a view on the case and discontinue proceedings immediately despite admitting that they had receiving the emails and had not acted upon them - although they denied receipt of the letter.  They suggested that we should simply agree to them applying for a Liability Order against us and that we could then have it withdrawn later on.

The very nice lady from the Council informed me that this is the usual way they deal with cases where there is a dispute.  I believe her as well.

Let's be clear on this, if you accept a Liability Order you are accepting you are liable to pay the debt!  In criminal law it's tantamount to pleading guilty to something you haven't done on the basis t…

Shambles at court

I spent the day at Thames Magistrates Court today.  The court is a mess, completely disorganised and in total confusion.  I was told that the court was understaffed, which is probably due to the constant cuts in the criminal justice system.

One man I saw appeared charged with theft.  The brief facts were that he had printed his own bar codes, which matched genuine products from the store, onto sticky labels that he then used to put on items in the shop so that when he took the products through the checkout he would be charged only a fraction of the true value of the good.  Quite a clever way to steal items normally too large to get out of a shop un-noticed.

If I had been prosecuting I would have made the blindingly obvious decision to amend the charge to fraud and attempted theft.  The reason being that the use of fake bar codes is intended to deceive the person working the checkout.  Had I been the judge I would have taken the view that the offence was aggravated by a high level of p…

Big brother (and his mates) are watching

There is a programme that I am told is shown on the television called "The News".  This television programme has a number of, what I assume are spin-off daily and weekly pamphlets, called "Newspapers".  I try to avoid both the television and printed versions as they drive me right up the sodding wall!  However, I've been unable to escape the story of how the Government is planning to introduce legislation, similar to that it opposed in opposition (lying bastard politicians), that will allow the police and MI5 (and no doubt your local council) to intercept you electronic communications.  Obviously, they won't be allowed to read any of the intercepts (and I'm sure we all trust government employees not to sneak a peek) without a warrant from a judge.

If this story is true then it is an outrageous intrusion into our privacy. 

There are already procedures in place that allow intercepts to be performed.  But they do have a lot of rather boring and tedious rul…