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Lewis Nedas News

Lewis Nedas Law are London-based solicitors. Frequently rated in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500, we can help you or your business today. Tel: 020 7387 2032.
JAN
06

LNL Welcomes Diarmaid Ward Consultant Solicitor

handshakeWe are delighted to welcome Diarmaid Ward, a criminal defence specialist and advocate, who has joined us from a well-known East London firm of criminal lawyers.

In his ‘spare time’, he is a fully committed and active Labour Councillor for the Holloway Ward in the London Borough of Islington, AND is a school Governor at St Andrews Primary School in Islington.

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DEC
03

More Safeguards in Criminal Proceedings? - by Siobhain Egan

In its latest move to ensure that all EU citizens receive a fair trial, wherever they are in the EU, the European Commission has presented a package of proposals to further strengthen procedural safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings.

These most recent proposals aim to guarantee respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial; to make sure that children have special safeguards when facing criminal proceedings; guarantee access of suspects and accused to provisional legal aid at the early stages of proceedings and especially for people subject to a European Arrest Warrant.

These proposals are another milestone down the road of procedural rights and aim to complement a set of three other EU laws agreed since 2010: on the right to translation and interpretation, the right to information, and the right to access a lawyer. The hope is that the new proposals will help to ensure the smooth operation of justice in the EU.

The new proposals include:

  • A Directive aimed at strengthening the presumption of innocence and the right to be present at trial in criminal proceedings: this will guarantee that (1) guilt cannot be inferred by any official decisions or statements before a final conviction; (2) the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution and any doubt benefits the suspect or accused person; (3) the right to remain silent is guaranteed and not used against suspects to secure conviction; and (4) the accused has the right to be present at the trial.
  • A Directive on special safeguards for children suspected or accused of a crime: It is intended that it will make sure that children, who are vulnerable because of their age, have mandatory access to a lawyer at all stages. This means that children would be unable to waive their right to be assisted by a lawyer.
  • A Directive on the right to provisional legal aid for citizens suspected or accused of a crime and for those subject to a European Arrest Warrant
  • A recommendation on procedural safeguards for vulnerable people suspected or accused in criminal proceedings: ensuring that vulnerable people (for example those suffering from physical or mental disabilities) are detected and recognised, and that their special needs are taken into account in criminal proceedings. The recommendation proposes that vulnerable suspects benefit from special safeguards such as mandatory access to a lawyer, assistance by an appropriate third person and medical assistance.
  • A recommendation on the right to legal aid for suspects or accused persons in criminal proceedings: providing common factors to be taken into account in the assessment of whether one has a right to legal aid, and aimed at ensuring the quality and effectiveness of legal aid services and administration.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If you have been charged or fear you may be charged with a criminal offence in another EU country and require specialist legal, advice please contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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SEP
22

Prison Sentence Increased by Court of Appeal

Earlier this week the Court of Appeal exercised its power to increase sentences imposed by the Crown Court, finding that a sentence of 21 months imposed for conspiracy to defraud was unduly lenient. The Court of Appeal then increased it to three and a half years.

The case concerned a Yorkshire man, Bernard Collins, who had run a building and gardening business with his son, Barney Collins. According to the Attorney General's Office, the two men had developed a practice of cold calling potential customers and pressuring them to have work done. The work was then generally carried out poorly, and the customer overcharged.

The two were taken to court after they were found to have tricked two elderly clients into spending large sums of money on unnecessary or non-existent work.

In July of this year Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering at Teesside Crown Court and was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment. His son pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud, and was sentenced to ten months in prison.

Both sentences were referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the North Yorkshire Trading Standards department, and then on to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal has a great deal of discretion in these cases. It may refuse to hear the case at all or, if it does hear the case, it may either decide to leave things as they are or increase the sentence.

In this case the Court of Appeal did both - increasing Bernard Collins' sentence to three and a half years and refusing to overturn the sentence imposed on Barney Collins.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If your or one of your loved ones’ prison sentence is the subject of an appeal and you require specialist legal advice please contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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SEP
12

Increased Sentences for Benefit & Tax Credit Fraud

As part of the Government’s crackdown on frauds involving state benefits and tax credits, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has published new guidelines for prosecutors dealing with such cases. The guidelines are likely to result in tougher sentences for some of those convicted.

The guidelines include the CPS charging standard, which sets out the approach prosecutors should take in deciding the appropriate offences to use, so that the charge fits the crime in line with the prosecution of fraud more generally. The standard also states that where the alleged offending merits such an approach, and prosecutors anticipate a very substantial prison sentence, they should charge under the Fraud Act - which carries a maximum sentence of ten years - rather than using specific social security legislation, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years.

The guidelines set out the factors that prosecutors should take into account when advising the court on whether to send cases to the Crown Court - and which also act as the aggravating factors that prosecutors should draw to the sentencing court's attention.

These include:

  • whether the fraud was professionally planned
  • whether the fraud was carried out over a significant period of time
  • whether multiple frauds occurred (multiple frauds include where one false declaration or a failure to disclose a change of circumstances results in multiple payments)
  • use of a false or stolen identity
  • relevant previous convictions/cautions/previous out of court disposals for benefit fraud
  • an attempt to conceal or dispose of evidence
  • abuse of a position of trust
  • substantial consequential loss to public funds

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

If you have been charged with fraud involving state benefits or tax credits, you will require specialist legal advice. Contact our solicitors Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied.

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SEP
06

Five Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud

Five people were sentenced this week for their parts in what is thought to be the largest mortgage fraud ever investigated in England and Wales.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the £50 million fraud was very complex, involving more than 1,000 fraudulent mortgage applications, and a range of mechanisms, including false property valuations and submission of fraudulent paperwork relating to rental incomes and deposits. In many of the cases, the property against which the mortgages were secured simply did not exist.

The five conspirators, all from North Wales, included former police officer Antony Lowry-Huws, his wife Susan Margaret Lowry-Huws, and his business partner Sheila Rose Whalley. A solicitor, Nicholas John Jones, and surveyor Frank Edward Darlington were also involved.

Each was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud in relation to 189 fraudulent mortgage applications made between May 2003 and June 2008. This was, says the CPS, a representative sample from the over 1,000 applications made.

They were sentenced to a total of 21 years in prison, with the longest custodial sentence - seven years - being handed down to Antony Lowry-Huws, the apparent ringleader.

Fraud is treated very seriously by the authorities, who are clamping down on all aspects of financial crime, and frequently make use of investigative techniques such as dawn raids or search and seizure.

If you find yourself subject to a fraud investigation, we can help.

Contact Lewis Nedas’ Criminal Lawyers in London

For specialist legal advice from our fraud lawyers, call Jeffrey Lewis or Siobhain Egan on 020 7387 2032 or complete our online enquiry form here.

This blog post is intended as a news item only - no connection between Lewis Nedas and the parties concerned is intended or implied

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