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Profile of the week

Hannah Watkins

 

Position

I am a paralegal at Wilsons. I joined Wilsons in March 2013. Before joining I completed my GDL and LPC at the College of Law. I work primarily in public law but also support crime, family and immigration.

 

Your  Week

This week I received news that one of cases I have been working on in the Crime department has been resolved successfully. This is great news anytime of the year but especially at Christmas.

The client works in the city and has a very well paid job in the financial sector. He had been accused of common assault. He had never been in trouble before; he would not be able to do his job with a criminal record. It was unlikely that a conviction would carry a custodial sentence but it would mean the end of his career; paying his mortgage and providing for his children.

He had felt incredibly helpless. He knew in court all he could do was tell the truth. He had and never would assault anyone. However it was just his word against the word of someone else, how would the magistrates know it was him that was telling the truth?

The solicitor I was working with has many years of experience dealing with this type of offence. She was able to share her knowledge with me as well as our client. We were able to identify the evidence we needed to put together to show that it was the alleged victim that was lying and our client was telling the truth. I then took responsibility, under the solicitor’s supervision, for making sure we had everything we needed for court.

We work closely with some of the best barristers in the country and work hard to make sure our client is represented by an expert in their field. I attended the conference with the client and I was able to discuss the case with the client and the barrister to make sure we had covered every aspect of the case before the hearing.

On the day of the hearing I contacted the client to make sure he and the witnesses were at the court with plenty time. I then had to wait.

As soon as I could I contacted the barrister to find out the outcome of the case. I knew how important it was to the client and how hard we had all worked on his case. I was thrilled to learn that our client had been acquitted. The bench concluded that the complainant was lying.

I then contacted the client to make sure he had understood everything that had happened and to answer any queries. He was overjoyed to tell me that he had been acquitted. He was so happy and so very grateful that we had been able to support him all the way through. It meant that he could focus on having a very happy new year.

 

The Future

We welcome our newest paralegal, Daniel Merriman, to the Crime department. I look forward to working with him on future cases.