A Colchester solicitor gives us a behind-the-scenes take on the legal 

Cannabis has been legalised...

Well, sort of. Following a review by the Home Secretary in the summer, cannabis has been approved for medical use since November 1.

Carly Barton, a former university lecturer who suffers fibromyalgia following a stroke, is believed to be the first person prescribed it by a private pain specialist. 

However, the Government has approved only one supplier from the Netherlands at a cost of £2,500 for a three-month supply. 

Ms. Barton said “this prescription will absolutely clear me out - my savings, everything will be gone and in two months’ time I won’t be able to afford to repeat this prescription, so I’m going to be a criminal again by buying it illegally”.

Moped ramming: Police being investigated

Videos of moped riders being rammed off their mini-hairdryers by police using “approved tactics” have been circulating. 

One rider in South London, was rammed while not wearing a helmet and was taken to hospital by the same officer as no ambulance was available. 
There are worrying aspects to this case. 

Firstly, the rider was not accused of robbery, but the far lesser offence of theft of a vehicle. 

Being rammed while not wearing a helmet could have caused death, rather than the broken foot that resulted. 

Secondly, the officer was interviewed under caution for ABH. 

The absence of any clear guidelines as to when an officer might face prosecution exacerbates the already difficult positions in society that they hold.

If I was given a pound…

For every time I had been asked, how (morally) I represent people accused of criminal offences, I would be a millionaire. 

The truth is, us solicitors don’t always know when someone is guilty.

We may suspect it - perhaps because the evidence is overwhelming - but we don’t know that the person is guilty unless they tell us.

Our code of conduct prevents us from representing a person who wants to plead not guilty when they have told us they are guilty. 

If the person decides to plead guilty, it is our role to ensure that they are sentenced in a manner prescribed by law.

A person’s right to representation is one that had been safeguarded for hundreds of years.

And finally...

I had a client recently who attempted to rob a supermarket petrol station. 

He cut a pair of eyes into a large black rubbish sack and placed it over his head and upper body in a Blue Peter-style attempt at a disguise. 

The only trouble being, this took place close to Halloween and having entered the kiosk, the staff thought it a devilish prank and he was laughed out of the shop. 

His “mask” slipped as he left meaning he could be identified by CCTV. 
He painted a glum figure within the court cells, while his advocate was struggling to keep a straight face.