Prison avoided for recent clients of Old Bailey Solicitors

Created on January 26, 2020

Two clients represented by Rod Hayler in the Crown Court avoid prison sentences

In the last month, Director of Old Bailey Solicitors, Rod Hayler has successfully avoided “inevitable” prison sentences for two clients in the crown court.

Supplying Class A Drugs 

The first client pleaded guilty to being in possession of a class A drug with intent to supply.  The client’s family was in significant financial difficulty and, unable to earn enough money through his legitimate employment to avoid a likely eviction, he approached a known drug dealer and asked how he might earn some quick money.  The answer was not entirely what he expected as he found himself swiftly taken out of London and placed in an address in an unknown Surrey town, with instructions to deal drugs to the inhabitants until he was collected.  The address was obviously known to the police because the client was arrested there later the same day.

Supplying class A drugs in this way, even for such a short period of time, would usually merit a prison sentence of between 3 years and 4 1/2 years, depending on the plea.  However, Rod Hayler used his extensive experience of cases of this nature (not least because of a raft of recent County Lines cases) to argue that this client’s culpability was reduced, partly because of his initial motivation for getting involved but also because of his complete lack of control over his actions, once he had foolishly volunteered his services.

The sentencing judge accepted Rod’s detailed representations and agreed to impose a suspended sentence which meant the client avoided the clang of the prison doors entirely.

Taking a mobile phone into prison

The second client had taken a mobile phone into a prison at the request of someone he knew who was serving a lengthy prison sentence.  The exchange had been witnessed by prison officers on CCTV and the client was quickly identified as the visitor in question.

The client entered a guilty plea in the crown court.  Having previously received a suspended sentence for an unrelated offence, the likelihood was that he would be sent to prison on this occasion.

Rod Hayler mitigated on the basis of the client’s personal circumstances, the fact he was now at university and the fact that he had clearly been prayed upon by the experienced offender due to his young age and naivety.

The judge accepted Rod’s representations and decided against a prison sentence.  In fact, instead of suspending the sentence, the judge decided to impose a Community Order.

Incredible sense of relief 

In both cases, the clients and their families had readied themselves for the very real possibility that they would be spending a number of months, perhaps years, in prison.  The relief, after both court hearings, was immense.

In both instances, the clients were young men with aspirations for their future.  They had both made mistakes, for which they were genuinely ashamed and remorseful.  Further, in both cases, the consequences of a prison sentence would have been profound for them and for their families.

How we can help

Of course, there are particularly serious cases where a prison sentence will be inevitable upon conviction.  However, in many cases where a prison sentence is the likely starting point, there are actions a defendant can take to reduce that possibility.  A guilty plea will allow the judge to apply a discount.  But a guilty plea will only be appropriate where guilt is genuinely accepted and correct in law.  Old Bailey Solicitors will provide advice regarding plea and the measures that can be taken to improve a defendant’s position before the court.  Often, that advice will need to be given at the outset of a case and not just before the sentence hearing itself.

If you are facing prosecution for an offence similar to those described above, or for any other type of criminal matter, contact Rod Hayler on 0207 846 9424 for advice.

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