Following on from Bekkie’s blog yesterday explaining everyday life as a Criminal Solicitor on Lockdown, we follow Bekkie each day to see how her role has changed amongst COVID-19.
Wednesday 8th April
06:00am I am not on call but the Police call to advise a client of ours is in custody for breach of bail. Speak to client on phone and advise we will be at Court in the morning to deal with the matter. Told him to have a sleep, get some food and as soon as possible we will appear in Court.
08:00 We weren’t on call last night but the call centre sent us a back up duty at 21:00 so we have one in the police station to deal with. When a detainee goes to back up duty the call centre call down the list until a solicitor can accept the call. The interview will take place today but we don’t know when yet. Time for a shower, make breakfast for everyone and then get ready for Court
09:00 Set off to Court. We lift share today and both arrive at Court for our clients. All hearings are via video link as our clients are in custody. I speak to mine in the video booth, the case was put off for CCTV to be provided by the Police last Saturday, however it has still not arrived other than on DVD. CPS don’t have a DVD reader and my laptop cant play it either. I advise the client we will need to ask for an adjournment if we cant get around it.
10:00 First in Court and the Judge enquires with the Court ushers whether there is a TV and DVD player in the building. After twenty minutes a TV is found, CCTV is viewed and I advise the client on the evidence available. He decides to plead guilty and therefore we head back into Court
11:00 My client has his suspended sentence activated and a number of weeks given for the new offence. The safest place for the client at the moment is prison as he is street homeless. He is happy to be remanded and thanks me for my assistance. He will come and see me on his release and attend the Council to go the housing list. I call his mother to advise her of the outcome as he asked me to do so.
12:00 Attempt to go to Tesco, the queue is past the store so I decide to leave it and go to our local store in the village. Text the neighbours to see if they need anything that I can drop off at their doors to save them going out. Get home and make dinner for the kids. Switch on the computer and start answering emails and calling people back.
14:30 Having reviewed my emails I note I have been served over 1000 pages of evidence to review for a hearing at the end of the month. There are already over 2000 on the digital case plan so I will need to take a couple of afternoons out of the diary to turn my attention to them. Decide that the weather is lovely and I could defrost a load of meat out the freezer for a BBQ. Wish I had got a paddling pool for the kids now.
15:30 Asked to swap Court duty with a local firm tomorrow so have a quick look and I can cover it. Paperwork can be completed in the afternoon. Call my client’s mother that it is in prison with the virus, he is doing a bit better which is good news. Police are still not ready for the client in custody. Lily is on call tonight so she will cover if it goes after 17:00
16:30 Call back local mental health support worker enquiring on Court dates for a couple of clients. Advise that no dates given from the Court yet but I shall contact them as soon as aware. Provide my personal mobile number so they can call me at any time if clients worried.
Call the police, still not ready so will hand over to Lily, BBQ is on, the cider is chilling. Last night off before the weekend and I’m on call from Friday morning until Monday night. Duty at Lincoln and Grantham police station so its going to be a busy one…