PDS Advocacy Unit

Public Defender Service Achieve Lexcel Accreditation

The Public Defender Service are delighted to have been awarded Lexcel accreditation. Lexcel is the Law Society’s legal practice quality mark and is only awarded to those in the legal profession who are able to demonstrate the highest standards of practice management and client care. The Lexcel accreditation is an important award for us as… Read more

Modern Slavery Act

It is estimated that approximately 45,800,000 are held in Modern Slavery across the world. In 2015, the Home Office estimated that there was between 10,000 to 13,000 victims of Modern Slavery in the UK. In 2015, the Modern Slavery Act was introduced which gives greater powers to crime enforcement to deal with modern slavery. There… Read more

Welcoming new solicitors to PDS Cheltenham

We are very pleased to announce that Ryan O’Donnell, Helen Smith and Lisa Madigan recently joined the PDS Solicitors office in Cheltenham. Full profiles of the skills and experience that Ryan, Helen and Lisa will bring to the PDS will be added to the website shortly.

Defendants Required to Provide Nationality

From Monday 13 November 2017 the Criminal Procedure (Amendment No. 4) Rules 2017 come into force. The amendment to rule 3.13 inserts a new paragraph thus: (5) The court – (a) At the first hearing in the Crown Court must require a defendant who is present- (i) to provide, in writing or orally, his or… Read more

Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67

This case concerns a professional gambler, Mr Ivey, who employed the ‘edge-sorting’ technique in order to win a total of £7.7m playing Punto Banco Baccarat. The casino declined to pay him and argued that ‘edge-sorting’ amounted to cheating. His case was that it was not cheating but the deployment of a legitimate advantage. In the… Read more

John M. Burton QC appears in landmark Court of Appeal decision.

John represented Dr Yilkes Bala at his trial which concluded in December 2013. Dr Bala had entered into a polygamous marriage with his second wife in Nigeria. They were both charged with the offence of conspiracy to breach certain immigration rules. John argued that section 2(2)(a) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 should apply to… Read more

Active defence: Use of Defence statements as a weapon

rather than a shield reaps rewards as Crown offers no evidence in three separate indictable only matters upon receipt of Defence Statements drafted by Emma Nott. R v SW, JUNE 2015 MANCHESTER MINSHULL STREET CC The defendant was charged with several counts of violent rape, assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent and penetration of… Read more


In R v BC, SEPTEMBER 2015, WORCESTER CC Emma defended a man accused of a series of historic rapes and sexual assaults upon his step-son and step-grandchildren over a period of 25 years. After a two week trial, the jury acquitted the defendant of all 14 counts on the indictment.   In R v ES,… Read more

John Burton QC Court of Criminal Appeal success

JOHN M. BURTON QC PERSUADES THE COURT OF APPEAL IN A CASE OF MURDER, TO REDUCE THE MINIMUM TERM OF A LIFE SENTENCE FROM TWENTY YEARS TO EIGHTEEN YEARS. R v SCOTT JEFFERSON, 2015 CA The applicant was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.… Read more