Our client in this case was an American citizen in the UK on a study placement with a prestigious London-based university. Unfortunately, she was found in possession of a flick knife within two weeks of her arrival in the UK.
After initially being represented by a duty solicitor arranged for her by the police, she choose to instruct Lawtons co-direct Nick Titchener, who jointly heads up our private client team.
There was a great deal at stake for our client, a young lady of good character with no previous convictions. The sentencing guidelines direct that a court should be considering a six-month custodial sentence as the starting point, with a range available of 3-6 months.
With this in mind, Nick and his client gathered together a substantial body of evidence and numerous references that would help mitigate her punishment. Nick then made careful and considered recommendations on which evidence would be the most helpful and should be used.
When appearing in Westminster Magistrates Court, our client pleaded guilty in accordance with the admissions she had made when questioned by the police. Nick then proceeded to mitigate at length and was successful in persuading the court to radically depart from the usual sentencing range and impose a 12-month conditional discharge.
Provided she commits no offences of any kind in the next year, she will now escape a custodial sentence. She was understandably overwhelmed and relieved with the outcome, and will now be able to put this unfortunate event behind her and continue with her studies.