While the overall volume of cases in the courts may have reduced as a result of Covid-19, some serious cases are still being dealt with. 

One such case involved a sentence for a case being dealt with by our director, Stephen Halloran. Stephen was initially instructed on a privately funded basis.  The charges faced by the client meant he was at significant risk of a minimum mandatory five-year sentence.

The client had ordered a blank firing gun and pepper spray ammunition online from Eastern Europe. As a result of a later police search at his home address, the client was charged and contacted Lawtons Solicitors.

The first issue that needed to be established was whether the firearm and ammunition were subject to the minimum sentences laid down by the Firearms Act 1968. As a result of the instruction of our own firearm expert, it was established that the ammunition was subject to the minimum five-year sentence, but the firearm was not.

Following the indication of an early guilty plea at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, the case was sent to Wood Green Crown Court. The aim from the outset was to establish a case to show that exceptional circumstances existed, to persuade the judge not to impose the mandatory sentence that is usually imposed. 

It was considered essential to prepare medical reports that dealt with the client’s background, to show that the overall circumstances brought the case within the exemption contained in the legislation.

The case was sentenced during the Covid-19 pandemic and that factor was also relevant to the mitigation advanced by instructed counsel Kevin Molloy. The overall work undertaken by us ensured that the judge was persuaded to take the exceptional course and not impose an immediate prison sentence.

The expert team at Lawtons Solicitors, headed by Stephen Halloran, ensured that the client had the best possible opportunity to present a case that achieved this outstanding result.        

Stephen has a significant level of expertise in dealing with serious criminal offences, and much of the work he is instructed upon is privately funded. Stephen is available to see clients at our offices in London and throughout the South East.