My first experience with the law was when I was arrested for something I never did back in 2015, and I have written this post because everyone needs to know how unsupportive solicitors are when it comes to mental health and crime.
Back in February 2015, I was arrested for harassment, then assaulting a police officer with intent and resisting arrest and then perverting the course of justice when I got to the station.
I asked for a duty solicitor because I don’t know any lawyers and although I had never been in trouble with the police I don’t trust them, and they refused to let an appropriate adult come to the station with me for support.
The solicitor arrived nearly two hours later, and he was very unsupportive, and when I asked for a doctor, he said that the quicker we do the interview, the quicker we could get out of there.He was falling asleep, and I was being asked the questions. I remember thinking he just wants to get out because he is tired. I was first asked about issues related to harassment and assault for which I was advised to answer with no comment.
I was then re-arrested for perverting the course of justice, and once again my solicitor told me not to say anything due to my mental state and memory and that he recommended that I get help for my mental illness because this will be going to the Crown Court.
I phoned my solicitor a few weeks later to see if there was anything they could do, for example, a deal with the police or CPS but all he said was that we would have to wait to see what I get charged with and that he had to go because he was busy.
I could tell what he was thinking “Not another mad criminal trying to get out of any wrong doing”. The truth has I had no idea I had done anything wrong and no memory of what I was being accused of. I had an argument with someone who told me I was one of their best friends via email and I had no idea I had made a phone call to cancel a complaint made against me. I had no idea there was a complaint against me. I also have no recollection of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. This account never happened because my dad saw the whole incident.
Three police officers turned up at my house, and the investigating officer was sarcastic, damaged our property and kneed me in the back several times and causing a bulging disc to the left side of the lower back affecting both sides. Anyway, more about that in another blog post.
During my involvement with unsupportive solicitors, I came across three solicitors, two male and one female. I was appointed a younger junior female lawyer after my visit to the magistrate’s court and my first visit to the Crown Court.
The female lawyer was a bit more friendlier than the male. The first male solicitor ignored my Dad when he introduced himself out the police station and in the Magistrates court. However, the female came across a little bit junior, and when it came to representing me at trial, she was off on that day, so I was told that another solicitor might be there if they finish at the magistrates on time. They also said that it didn’t matter as my barrister would be there.
The problem was that I never knew who my barrister would be as I had three different barristers. The first barrister wanted me to plead guilty to Common Assault but the second barrister was a lady barrister who told me to stick to a not guilty plea as she tried to get the CPS to drop the assault charge.
The third and final barrister another male and my last solicitor also a male, advised me to get the case over with due to my mental state and plead guilty to Common Assault even though I wasn’t guilty.
So I told another lie and pleaded guilty to something I never did which will remain on my record all because my solicitor and barrister wouldn’t fight my corner because I’m just another nuisance criminal with a mental health problem.
It feels like you are an easy target if you have mental health, it’s easy to fire people, attack them, un-friend them and criminalise them!
Have you or someone you know ever had an unsupportive solicitor when it comes to mental health and crime? Comment below or start a discussion on our social media channels. Any names given will remain anonymous unless permission is given to use real names.