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HJA In The News

Daughter of Chelmsford man who allegedly died of asbestos exposure is seeking answers from his employer

24th March 2017 - Chelmsford Weekly News

The daughter of a former carpenter who died of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, is seeking answers as to how his former employer allowed him to be exposed to the toxic dust.

Carol Scarlett is appealing to her father’s ex-colleagues to come forward with information regarding the working conditions in the Construction Department of Essex County Council between 1973 and 1987.

Isobel Lovett, a partner at Industrial Disease Team, is representing Mr Scarlett’s daughter.

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Sisters sue London hotel where they suffered brutal hammer attack

22nd March 2017 - The Guardian

Three sisters from the United Arab Emirates who were the victims of a brutal hammer attack while on a shopping trip to London are suing the hotel where it happened.

Drug addict and “hotel creeper” Philip Spence was sentenced to life imprisonment for attempted murder after he bludgeoned the women in their room during a burglary at the four-star Cumberland hotel on 6 April 2014.

They were asleep but disturbed him at 1.30am as he rifled through their possessions. He hit one of the sisters, Ohoud al-Najjar, 38, so hard six times in the head and face that he left her profoundly disabled. Spence was described during his criminal trial as “a crackhead”.

Ms Riffat Yaqub, a partner at Personal Injury Team, is representing the family.

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New youth sentencing guideline begs more questions than answers

20th March 2017 - The Justice Gap

The new sentencing guideline for young people published recently and due to come into effect on 1 June, introduces a shorter sentence for children who plead guilty earlier in criminal proceedings. It also takes account of their vulnerability and background. While this is to be welcomed more generally, the strict guideline raises some questions.

The aim is to encourage defendants who are going to plead guilty to do so as early in the court process as possible. However, it will more likely put pressure on young people to plead guilty at a magistrates’ court quite often before they have obtained legal advice and, crucially, before they have been appraised of the evidence against them.

Appearing in court is a daunting experience for anyone and young people require more time to provide an account of an incident to a magistrate than the ten minutes that most are afforded. It is simply too rushed and will force some to plead guilty when in fact, they need help to determine their defence.

Caroline Liggins is a Criminal Defence solicitor at HJA who qualified in 2009 as a non-practising Barrister and converted to be a solicitor in 2012.

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The importance of making a Will and what you should consider

15th March 2017 - Final Choices

Making a Will gives you reassurance that your savings and possessions will go to the people and causes you care about and avoids the potential for disputes between those you have left behind.

If you die without a Will, or your will is poorly drafted and out of date, there is no guarantee your possessions will pass those you intended. This can cause a great deal of stress, upset and financial difficulty for loved ones. Despite this, last year a survey of adults in the UK found that 59% had not written a Will.

Nicola Waldman is a partner in the Private Client team

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Hanged remand prisoner felt he had ‘demons in his blood’

13th March 2017 - Portsmouth News

FAMILY of a remand prisoner who died six days after entering a jail have said they want answers.

Daryl Hargrave, 22, was the second man to die at HMP Winchester in a single week in July, 2015.

He had been remanded to the prison after being arrested following a stabbing in Gosport.
Lawyers acting for his family said he was found dead at 3.11pm on July 19 – 11 minutes after he was supposed to have been observed in his cell. Solicitors said the scheduled observation was missed.

His inquest is due to take place in Winchester from Monday, and his family hope they will learn more of his death.

Clair Hilder, Civil Liberties Senior Associate, is representing the family at the inquest.


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