theForum is run by the charity Unlock. We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions but we may intervene and take any action as we think necessary. Further details can be found in our terms of use. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report-a-post button or email us at forum@unlock.org.uk.


Confused about the process


Confused about the process

Author
Message
lotsofquer
lotsofquer
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 115, Visits: 3.2K
punter99 - 9 Jun 20 11:43 AM
I try and be brief. I was told by police to expect a second interview, but it never happened. After about 9 months, I received the charges by post, with no prior warning. They had not been through all the devices and weren't going to bother, as they had already found enough evidence to prosecute.
Spoke to LFF on the phone, did the whole online course, but didn't pay for the face to face one. I don't honestly think it matters which one you do, all the judge will want to know is that you did something to address your issues. Do it if you feel it will help you, on a personal basis, to talk to someone. I also did some counselling and spoke to my GP.
I hired a local solicitor, not a specialist. There were two reasons for that. One is that I was pleading guilty, so it doesn't really matter so much. If I was pleading not guilty, then I would have definately considered a specialist. The punishments if you plead not guilty and it doesn't work are going to be much worse. Plead guilty at the mags court and you get a reduced sentence straight away.
Second, the local solicitor and barrister know the judges in their area and the CPS proescutors. A specialist from elsewhere may not.
The barrister told me two things. First, the judges see so many indecent images cases these days, they know the score. A specialist solicitor won't tell them anything they don't already know. Second, what the judge wants to know, is not what you did, or even why you did it, but what are you going to do now to help yourself change. If you are going to plead guilty, then that's where you should focus all your attention. I wrote a letter to the judge setting out a bit of background on my mental health problems, etc, admited responsibility, showed remorse, then all the stuff I'd done, since arrest, like LFF, counselling, anti depressants etc, to get help.
I would strongly recommend that approach. Write a letter, then show it to the solicitor first. Give the barrister as much detail about your life history as you can, so they have something to work with. They will pick the best stuff out, to present to the court.  Good luck!

Thanks very much for your honest response. 

The current law firm I have are not local to my area but the other side of the city so I'm not sure if they will know the judges/prosecutors etc or not. however I guess the specialist I was considering is from out of town anyway so doesn't make much difference in that respect.

I have it on my list of things to do to write a letter to the judge. I hadn't started yet (partly because I thought I had more time and partly because I wanted to do as much as possible - therapy and the LFF course before I did) as I didn't really have any idea where to start. Thanks for the things to focus on in this respect - it helps greatly.

I'm interested in your comment about the barrister and life history.  What is this in aid of? Do they go in to those things in the courtroom (I really have no idea what to actually expect on the day)?

Thanks

xDanx
xDanx
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 163, Visits: 3.2K
lotsofquer - 8 Jun 20 11:55 PM
Simon1983 - 8 Jun 20 11:40 PM
That sounds a load of bull on the part of the police, if they have issued charges then under PACE they must disclose to the solicitor what they have found under discovery. For them to have got the CPS to authorise charges there has to have been a report of what has been found.

Your solicitor needs to create some fuss on this.

It was the solicitor who said that not the police. I presumed it was normal....I guess that potentially answers the question about the solictor.  One specilist I spoke to way back closer to when I was arrested mentioned that they push the police to get that should of information ASAP etc etc which is not something my current solicitor has mentioned at all (outside of saying it's usually about a week before the court date that they can access it).

I am new here but I can say I have experienced very similar issues everyone else here has, More on that in my introduction later.

from the research I have been doing for the past few weeks, it is in the solicitors codes of practice to advise and inform all clients of their legal rights. It is a legal right to review and dispute any evidence which is being used to prosecute with the supervision of your solicitor.
not read through it all myself yet but here is a link https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/code-conduct-solicitors/, correct me if I am wrong on any of my statements as I am still learning all this myself.
If you are not given the advice or information you are requesting then this falls down to negligence which is something I am currently investigating.

Ask your solicitor for a copy of the Digital Forensics report



Simon1983
Simon1983
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)Supreme Being (6.3K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 160, Visits: 5.1K
Hi lotsofqueer

Well done for loooking at the worst case you have thought of a lot, any experience i talk about is from 2007/2008 i was sentenced to three years (image related) served 18mths, lucky for me all in the same London prison so i was close to family.

Your list is good, you might not get to keep all of it, but what they don’t let you keep they will store.

As a standard prisoner you will have to wear standard prison clothes ( you can wear your own under ware, socks, shoes,)

When you become an enhanced prisoner then you are permitted to ware your own cloths.

Do not take any cans that are aerosol, take roll on deodorant, shaving brush, shaving cream, etc 

Clothes (no black or white, correct and nothing outlandish keep it neutral 
 - tshirts x 10
 - socks x 10
 - pants x 10
 - shoes
 - jumper (x2)
 - jeans? (not dark or black) keep it blue i would say 
 - good towel x 2
 - flannel x 2
 - toothbrush (electric or manual?) I would say a manual one
 - trackies x 2
 - several books? Good idea 
 - shaver (non rechargeable batteries or mains powered) I would say you are better with a wet razor, shaving cream and brush, the reason i say this is that depending on the reception staff interpretation of the electric razor, if they believe the power card can be used to charge a mobile phone then they wont let you have it. So take a few packets of razors as the canteen price is daylight robbery 
 - decent amount of cash for prison account, good idea, back in 2008 you could also right to your bank and ask them to make a cash transfer as well. The prison confirms to them that you are there, they did in 2008 any way.
Power of attorney (for best friend - if he is still around after I tell him and happy to help)
How to end tenancy while still in non break period?
Gas readings and get out of my name
Water reading and get out of my name (and how to get credit back since it's in credit when inside)
Electricity reading and get out of my name (and hot to get credit back since in credit when inside)
Council tax
Property Storage

You might also want to think of taking some of the following 

pad of paper 
envelopes, standard and a4 size
a few books of first and send class stamps and a book of large letter stamps.
A small battery handheld radio and ear phones (helps pass the time)
AA batteries and AAA batteries depending on the ones your radio uses, again canteen prices are daylight robbery 
If your on medication or under any hospital treatment take this information with you

You are correct that when you get to reception i would advise you sign on the rule to be placed on the VPU, any good reception officer would advise this to you from experience the VPU is a much more settled environment (it was back in 2008) as most of the residents are either elderly, professional, educated people that just want to keep there head down and get through their sentence. The small minority that are on there to keep away from the debt collectors on the main wing soon learn that if they cause trouble they are placed back on the main wing or down the block. Back when i was in prison it was very rear to hear a whistle or alarm on the wing.

As well as keeping your head down and getting through your time, get a job and enrol in what ever education and evening classes you can, it keeps you out of the cell and your mind active

Hope this helps, if you have any other questions just ask

Stay safe 



lotsofquer
lotsofquer
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 115, Visits: 3.2K
Simon1983 - 9 Jun 20 1:28 PM
Hi lotsofqueer

Well done for loooking at the worst case you have thought of a lot, any experience i talk about is from 2007/2008 i was sentenced to three years (image related) served 18mths, lucky for me all in the same London prison so i was close to family.

Your list is good, you might not get to keep all of it, but what they don’t let you keep they will store.

As a standard prisoner you will have to wear standard prison clothes ( you can wear your own under ware, socks, shoes,)

When you become an enhanced prisoner then you are permitted to ware your own cloths.

Do not take any cans that are aerosol, take roll on deodorant, shaving brush, shaving cream, etc 

Clothes (no black or white, correct and nothing outlandish keep it neutral 
 - tshirts x 10
 - socks x 10
 - pants x 10
 - shoes
 - jumper (x2)
 - jeans? (not dark or black) keep it blue i would say 
 - good towel x 2
 - flannel x 2
 - toothbrush (electric or manual?) I would say a manual one
 - trackies x 2
 - several books? Good idea 
 - shaver (non rechargeable batteries or mains powered) I would say you are better with a wet razor, shaving cream and brush, the reason i say this is that depending on the reception staff interpretation of the electric razor, if they believe the power card can be used to charge a mobile phone then they wont let you have it. So take a few packets of razors as the canteen price is daylight robbery 
 - decent amount of cash for prison account, good idea, back in 2008 you could also right to your bank and ask them to make a cash transfer as well. The prison confirms to them that you are there, they did in 2008 any way.
Power of attorney (for best friend - if he is still around after I tell him and happy to help)
How to end tenancy while still in non break period?
Gas readings and get out of my name
Water reading and get out of my name (and how to get credit back since it's in credit when inside)
Electricity reading and get out of my name (and hot to get credit back since in credit when inside)
Council tax
Property Storage

You might also want to think of taking some of the following 

pad of paper 
envelopes, standard and a4 size
a few books of first and send class stamps and a book of large letter stamps.
A small battery handheld radio and ear phones (helps pass the time)
AA batteries and AAA batteries depending on the ones your radio uses, again canteen prices are daylight robbery 
If your on medication or under any hospital treatment take this information with you

You are correct that when you get to reception i would advise you sign on the rule to be placed on the VPU, any good reception officer would advise this to you from experience the VPU is a much more settled environment (it was back in 2008) as most of the residents are either elderly, professional, educated people that just want to keep there head down and get through their sentence. The small minority that are on there to keep away from the debt collectors on the main wing soon learn that if they cause trouble they are placed back on the main wing or down the block. Back when i was in prison it was very rear to hear a whistle or alarm on the wing.

As well as keeping your head down and getting through your time, get a job and enrol in what ever education and evening classes you can, it keeps you out of the cell and your mind active

Hope this helps, if you have any other questions just ask

Stay safe 



Thanks for the additional information.
I wasn't sure on razors as I had read somewhere (possibly on here) that upon entry to the court they are likely to confiscate them (health & safety and all that).  Likewise for the deodorant and shaving cream I didn't think they let you enter prison with it in case it was some other substance. No harm in trying I guess.

I did think about pad and stamps etc - not sure why it wasn't on my list. Although I doubt I'll have anyone to write to given my family is on the other side of the world (and I haven't told them) and on visitors will only be any friends remaining after I tell them (assuming they don't walk away and actually want to visit). Will consider a radio and batteries as well.

Job wise I had already looked at what I believe is on offer in the prison local to me. There are two or three jobs that interest me - whether there are any 'vacancies' I don't know but will be signing up for just about anything to get out of the cell daily.  I'd imagine that most jobs in prison are currently suspended anyway given the virus situation and potentially that could continue for sometime given (in my opinion) the likely coming next wave.

Do I need to update all my postal addresses to the prison address (bank etc) or should I just leave it where I'm living atm?  I imagine that if I do go to prison I won't be able to afford to keep paying rent which means that I think it's better to end my tenancy if I do go inside (save any funds I do have for when I leave prison rather than get in to debt trying to pay for a tenancy I'm not using).  That said I'm aware that if I do end the tenancy I'll likely be considered by the council as voluntary homeless when I do come out of prison making me even further ineligible for any sort of housing. While I'll be trying to get my own place again I suspect I'll struggle without a job and as I'm sure we've all seen on here getting a job with a criminal record (let alone this type of record) isn't going to be easy (and likely not pay enough for private rents when I live).

lotsofquer
lotsofquer
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)Supreme Being (2.4K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 115, Visits: 3.2K
xDanx - 9 Jun 20 12:28 PM
lotsofquer - 8 Jun 20 11:55 PM
Simon1983 - 8 Jun 20 11:40 PM
That sounds a load of bull on the part of the police, if they have issued charges then under PACE they must disclose to the solicitor what they have found under discovery. For them to have got the CPS to authorise charges there has to have been a report of what has been found.

Your solicitor needs to create some fuss on this.

It was the solicitor who said that not the police. I presumed it was normal....I guess that potentially answers the question about the solictor.  One specilist I spoke to way back closer to when I was arrested mentioned that they push the police to get that should of information ASAP etc etc which is not something my current solicitor has mentioned at all (outside of saying it's usually about a week before the court date that they can access it).

I am new here but I can say I have experienced very similar issues everyone else here has, More on that in my introduction later.

from the research I have been doing for the past few weeks, it is in the solicitors codes of practice to advise and inform all clients of their legal rights. It is a legal right to review and dispute any evidence which is being used to prosecute with the supervision of your solicitor.
not read through it all myself yet but here is a link https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/code-conduct-solicitors/, correct me if I am wrong on any of my statements as I am still learning all this myself.
If you are not given the advice or information you are requesting then this falls down to negligence which is something I am currently investigating.

Ask your solicitor for a copy of the Digital Forensics report



Thanks for the response and the link. I'll take a look at that later. And welcome.

It's not so much that my current solicitor hasn't advised that we will be getting the evidence - it's more the timing of when they say the police make it available (a week or 10 days before the magistrates court date).

I guess I'm not looking to go after my solicitor - I'm here i this situation because I did wrong and there are punishments to dished out. That said I will be reading through the link you provided and looking for anything else I may not have worked out/been told that may or may not help. I'm not sure it matters too much though given I'll be pleading guilty on the day.

xDanx
xDanx
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)Supreme Being (3.2K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 163, Visits: 3.2K
lotsofquer - 9 Jun 20 2:03 PM
xDanx - 9 Jun 20 12:28 PM
lotsofquer - 8 Jun 20 11:55 PM
Simon1983 - 8 Jun 20 11:40 PM
That sounds a load of bull on the part of the police, if they have issued charges then under PACE they must disclose to the solicitor what they have found under discovery. For them to have got the CPS to authorise charges there has to have been a report of what has been found.

Your solicitor needs to create some fuss on this.

It was the solicitor who said that not the police. I presumed it was normal....I guess that potentially answers the question about the solictor.  One specilist I spoke to way back closer to when I was arrested mentioned that they push the police to get that should of information ASAP etc etc which is not something my current solicitor has mentioned at all (outside of saying it's usually about a week before the court date that they can access it).

I am new here but I can say I have experienced very similar issues everyone else here has, More on that in my introduction later.

from the research I have been doing for the past few weeks, it is in the solicitors codes of practice to advise and inform all clients of their legal rights. It is a legal right to review and dispute any evidence which is being used to prosecute with the supervision of your solicitor.
not read through it all myself yet but here is a link https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/code-conduct-solicitors/, correct me if I am wrong on any of my statements as I am still learning all this myself.
If you are not given the advice or information you are requesting then this falls down to negligence which is something I am currently investigating.

Ask your solicitor for a copy of the Digital Forensics report



Thanks for the response and the link. I'll take a look at that later. And welcome.

It's not so much that my current solicitor hasn't advised that we will be getting the evidence - it's more the timing of when they say the police make it available (a week or 10 days before the magistrates court date).

I guess I'm not looking to go after my solicitor - I'm here i this situation because I did wrong and there are punishments to dished out. That said I will be reading through the link you provided and looking for anything else I may not have worked out/been told that may or may not help. I'm not sure it matters too much though given I'll be pleading guilty on the day.

I understand your goal is not to go after your solicitor, but it is important to understand what is expected of a solicitor and what your legal rights are. In my case I was simply pushed under the rug given no advice or anything. I did not known how serious my offense was until the last second of my magistrates hearing where I was basically advice to plead guilty in order to keep out of prison. I was on a similar mind set as you, I did wrong and I was prepared to face the punishment but because my solicitors did not give me any chance to dispute any evidence it simply gave the prosecutors the opportunity to throw anything they wanted at the judge.

If you plan to plead guilty then the likely hood will be it will get past to the Crown Court for sentencing, If it goes there and this is your first offense then a pre sentencing report will be produced from a probation officer who should arrange an appointment. this will get forwarded to the judge for his or her consideration. Another thing I would like to point out also which my solicitor failed to do for me, if this is in fact your first offense then its your legal right to obtain character references from friends and family. You mentioned before you have not told any one yet, It took me a long time to tell any of my friends, most of which have now ditched me due to the media but the few I have told have stuck with me and continue to do so because they understood the predicament I was in. Its vital you get as much support as you can as this will help from the judges perspective. Last thing you want is for those important to you to find out after the fact.

Hola
Hola
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)Supreme Being (8.4K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 73, Visits: 2.2K
punter99 - 9 Jun 20 11:43 AM
I try and be brief. I was told by police to expect a second interview, but it never happened. After about 9 months, I received the charges by post, with no prior warning. They had not been through all the devices and weren't going to bother, as they had already found enough evidence to prosecute.
Spoke to LFF on the phone, did the whole online course, but didn't pay for the face to face one. I don't honestly think it matters which one you do, all the judge will want to know is that you did something to address your issues. Do it if you feel it will help you, on a personal basis, to talk to someone. I also did some counselling and spoke to my GP.
I hired a local solicitor, not a specialist. There were two reasons for that. One is that I was pleading guilty, so it doesn't really matter so much. If I was pleading not guilty, then I would have definately considered a specialist. The punishments if you plead not guilty and it doesn't work are going to be much worse. Plead guilty at the mags court and you get a reduced sentence straight away.
Second, the local solicitor and barrister know the judges in their area and the CPS proescutors. A specialist from elsewhere may not.
The barrister told me two things. First, the judges see so many indecent images cases these days, they know the score. A specialist solicitor won't tell them anything they don't already know. Second, what the judge wants to know, is not what you did, or even why you did it, but what are you going to do now to help yourself change. If you are going to plead guilty, then that's where you should focus all your attention. I wrote a letter to the judge setting out a bit of background on my mental health problems, etc, admited responsibility, showed remorse, then all the stuff I'd done, since arrest, like LFF, counselling, anti depressants etc, to get help.
I would strongly recommend that approach. Write a letter, then show it to the solicitor first. Give the barrister as much detail about your life history as you can, so they have something to work with. They will pick the best stuff out, to present to the court.  Good luck!

Great advice, excellent points them knowing the magistrates.  In hindsight i was lucky to get a local specialist who knew the people
punter99
punter99
Supreme Being
Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)Supreme Being (7.2K reputation)

Group: Forum Members
Posts: 268, Visits: 1.5K
lotsofquer - 9 Jun 20 12:09 PM
punter99 - 9 Jun 20 11:43 AM
I try and be brief. I was told by police to expect a second interview, but it never happened. After about 9 months, I received the charges by post, with no prior warning. They had not been through all the devices and weren't going to bother, as they had already found enough evidence to prosecute.
Spoke to LFF on the phone, did the whole online course, but didn't pay for the face to face one. I don't honestly think it matters which one you do, all the judge will want to know is that you did something to address your issues. Do it if you feel it will help you, on a personal basis, to talk to someone. I also did some counselling and spoke to my GP.
I hired a local solicitor, not a specialist. There were two reasons for that. One is that I was pleading guilty, so it doesn't really matter so much. If I was pleading not guilty, then I would have definately considered a specialist. The punishments if you plead not guilty and it doesn't work are going to be much worse. Plead guilty at the mags court and you get a reduced sentence straight away.
Second, the local solicitor and barrister know the judges in their area and the CPS proescutors. A specialist from elsewhere may not.
The barrister told me two things. First, the judges see so many indecent images cases these days, they know the score. A specialist solicitor won't tell them anything they don't already know. Second, what the judge wants to know, is not what you did, or even why you did it, but what are you going to do now to help yourself change. If you are going to plead guilty, then that's where you should focus all your attention. I wrote a letter to the judge setting out a bit of background on my mental health problems, etc, admited responsibility, showed remorse, then all the stuff I'd done, since arrest, like LFF, counselling, anti depressants etc, to get help.
I would strongly recommend that approach. Write a letter, then show it to the solicitor first. Give the barrister as much detail about your life history as you can, so they have something to work with. They will pick the best stuff out, to present to the court.  Good luck!

Thanks very much for your honest response. 

The current law firm I have are not local to my area but the other side of the city so I'm not sure if they will know the judges/prosecutors etc or not. however I guess the specialist I was considering is from out of town anyway so doesn't make much difference in that respect.

I have it on my list of things to do to write a letter to the judge. I hadn't started yet (partly because I thought I had more time and partly because I wanted to do as much as possible - therapy and the LFF course before I did) as I didn't really have any idea where to start. Thanks for the things to focus on in this respect - it helps greatly.

I'm interested in your comment about the barrister and life history.  What is this in aid of? Do they go in to those things in the courtroom (I really have no idea what to actually expect on the day)?

Thanks

When you go for sentencing, the CPS and your defence barrister will each present their arguments to the court, saying what they think the judge should consider, when deciding your fate. The CPS will highlight all the worst things they can find, from the evidence they have got. They want to portray you in the worst light possible. It's your barristers job to do the opposite, and show the judge your best side. Character witness statements are very helpful, but anything from your life that is positive, can be used too.

You should arrange to have a talk with your barrister, before the sentencing date, so they can get to know more about you, as a person. What they use in court, will depend, on your circumstances. Basically, anything that they think will help, to get you a reduced sentence.

GO


Similar Topics


As a small but national charity, we rely on charitable grants and individual donations to continue running theForum. We do not deliver government services. By being independent, we are able to respond to the needs of the people with convictions. Help us keep theForum going.

Donate Online

Login
Existing Account
Email Address:


Password:


Select a Forum....
























































































































































































theForum


Search