Robert's Postbag: Chronological

To view the letters by subject, click here.

January 2017

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Drug offences, Courier under pressure

Prison offences, Drug couriers under pressure

December 2016

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Drug addiction, minimum sentences

Judges, biased

Private funding mixed with legal aid

Transcripts, paying for

November 2016

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Appeals, Litigants in person

Appeals, Criticism of former representatives

Appeals, Police misconduct

Guidelines, Applying the

Guidelines, Moving outside the given starting point/range

Police misconduct

Relationship rape

October 2016 - TBC

September 2016

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Guidelines, History of

Guidelines, Problems with

Sex offences, The different starting points for similar offending

August 2016

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Mothers as defendants


July 2016

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Barristers not taking instructions before a sentencing hearing

Release: Foreign nationals

March 2016

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Guideline, Applying the 

Murder, determining the minimum term

Sexual offence, child sex

February 2016

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Incompetent advocate as a ground of appeal

January 2016

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Conspiracy cases

Delay before sentence

Drugs - Street dealing

Good character

Judge determining the facts

December 2015

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Fraud - Suspended sentence
Prison population - reduction

November 2015


October 2015

Criminal Courts Charge

September 2015

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Duty to advise after case is over

Low fees and poor standards

August 2015

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Advocates providing adequate services and low pay

Extended sentences

Defendant has Schedule 15B conviction


Supply of drugs - Street dealing

July 2015

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Previous convictions, How to treat gay offences now legal

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Spent convictions

June 2015

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2015 new extended terms

Long terms are counter-productive

May 2015

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Joint enterprise

License, Breach of

Other sentences can't be consecutive to it


Joint enterprise


Harsh conditions

April 2015

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Determining age of defendant

March 2015

Prison law and Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015

February 2015

Article not written due to time constraints

January 2015

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Barrister's duty to see client after sentence

Court of Appeal

Late appeal

Drug cases

Assessing the category when the weight falls between the categories

Significant roles

Tag time

Duties of advocates

How to assess

Late appeals

December 2014

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Extended sentence

Release date


Need to separate count when linked with another offence


Current status

Number of still serving prisoners serving short terms


Determining matters not decided by a jury

Sentencing for matters where there is no conviction

November 2014

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Factual basis

Newton trap

October 2014

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Association in prison, Rights

Dangerous offenders, Judicial indications

Pre-sentence reports

Correcting them

Challenging them

September 2014

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Hospital Orders

Instead of IPP


Prison noise

Using mitigation

August 2014

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Child Cruelty offences

Time awaiting an appeal

Influencing a plea

July 2014

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Appeals from Magistrates Court to Crown Court

Bias, Asking a judge not to sit because of

Clothing in court

Courts increasing sentences

Drug offenders

Repeat offenders

June 2014

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Automatic life

Conspiracy to murder - Sentence available

Court of Appeal - Unmeritorious appeals

Guilty plea credit

Judicial indications

May 2014

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Disclosure and barring service

Extended sentences

​-Consecutive sentences


-No judicial discretion

-Unlawful sentences

Pre-sentence reports

April 2014

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Confiscation orders

Extended sentences: Release

Guilty plea: Discount

Prison in default of paying fines

March 2014

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Automatic life


-Dwelling, What is

-Minimum term

Life sentences

-Dangerous provisions with automatic life

February 2014

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Offensive weapon:

-Peaky blinder

Tag time


-Plea discount

January 2014

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Road rage


December 2013

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Domestic violence






Sexual Assault

November 2013

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Appeal dismissed

-Other avenues of appeal


Breach of trust

Can't increase the sentence

Conduct of a defence

Court of Appeal

October 2013

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Depression affecting sentence

Indecent photographs, Barred lists

Burglary. Multiple sentences

September 2013

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Prison visitors

Barrister is absent/does not show up

Prisoners writing letters

Theft/Court Martial

August 2013

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Cocaine supply

Homosexuality in prison

Rape - Extended sentence

July 2013

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Cell sharing - Prison safety

Sexual offences

Sex Offender Register



June 2013

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Home Dentention Curfew Scheme

May 2013

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Air rifle

- Minimum sentences

- Changes in law

Burglary - Unoccupied premises



-Sentences over four years

-Sexual offences

April 2013

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Barristers missing days

Extended sentences - Release

Factual basis - Judge determining

Judge giving wrong release

Poor representation

Reports - Dealing with conflicting conclusions

Supply - Determining the amount

March 2013

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Court of Appeal - Time limit

Custody - Courts try to avoid it

Different roles for different defendants

Penalty points - Taking other people's

Perverting the course of justice

Unmeritorious cases

February 2013

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Discount for time in custody

Consecutive sentences

Judge gives wrong release date

Life sentences - Fresh offences

January 2013

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Early Guilty Plea Scheme

Reporting solicitors/barristers

December 2012

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Anonymity - Asking for

Assaults - Group violence

Crown Court - Appeals

Custody - Deciding whether appropriate

Extended sentences


-Time to serve

-Is release automatic?

IPP - Commencement

October 2012

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All matters should be dealt with at the same time

Defendants rights to benefit of the doubt

IPP - Availbility

Matters not charged

New evidence after plea

Newton hearings


September Prison and release law 2012

Legal Aid - Prison Adjudications September 2012 Prison and release law Q1

Prison Adjudication

-Funerals, Leave to attend September 2012 Prison and release law Q3

- Legal Aid September 2012 Prison and release law Q1

- Standard of proof September 2012 Prison and release law Q1

-Appeals September 2012 Prison and release law Q1

Prison categories September 2012 Prison and release law Q2


- Prison categories September 2012 Prison and release law Q2

August 2012

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Firearms - Minimum sentences

Firearms - Vulnerable defendants

High value not known at theft

Minimum sentences - Firearms

Valuable articles


July 2012

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Breach of Bail

Complaint about a judge

Foreign convictions - Admissibility

Unlawful orders

Varying orders


June 2012

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Convictions wrong

Convictions presenting

Prison offences, Mobile phones etc.

Attorney-General's References, Who can request


May 2012

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Guilty Plea:

Guide to

Historic cases


Life sentences

Minimum sentences

April 2012

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Death by driving:

Defendant injured

Drugs definitive guideline:


Weight of drugs

March 2012

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Letters to victims

Detention under section 91

Theft: Breach of trust

Rape: Girl under 13

February 2012

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Whole life tariff

Conspiracy to supply drugs

January 2012

Drugs definitive guideline:

Part one click here

Part two: click here

December 2011

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Magistrate sentencing powers

Plea, Discount for

November 2011

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Rob, Conspiracy to

Money laundering

Attempted murder


October 2011

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September 2011

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Presence: Right to be present at your hearing

Judge: Asking for a different one

Representing yourself

Bar Pro Bono Unit

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Solicitor calling prisoner on mobile phone

August 2011

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Licence recall

Street robbers

Deducting time on remand

Phone hacking/Police corruption

Sexual Offences Prevention Orders Note

July 2011

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Sexual Offences Prevention Orders

June 2011

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Complaint against barrister

Cases not dealt with together

Sexual Offences Prevention Orders

Licence recall

May 2011

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Sexual Offences Prevention Orders

Possession of alcohol in prison

Prison disciplinary proceedings

April 2011

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Complaint against probation

Murder, Attempt

March 2011

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Life sentences: Guilty pleas

Three strikes rule

Appeals out of time

Appeals: Minor errors in papers

February 2011

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Burglary, Commercial: Guidelines

Minimum sentences: When do they apply?

Privileged defendants

January 2011

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Probation Service: Problems with reports

Guilty pleas: Judge fails to mention

December 2010

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Suspended sentences: Powers on breach

Archbold: Errors in chapter on suspended sentences

OAPA 1861  Boiling water  Relationship offences  Guidelines

Trafficked victims

November 2010

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Photographing court rooms

OAPA 1861 s 18 Stabbing

Trafficked victims   Poppy project

Extended sentence  The different orders

October 2010

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Burglary, Domestic   Guidelines