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Cheltenham criminal defence solicitors

We offer a completely independent criminal defence service covering the full range of criminal legally aided work from investigation to proceedings, including appeals.

We cover the Cheltenham and Gloucestershire area

We provide high quality, independent legal advice in respect of criminal defence matters, if you are interviewed by the police, either under arrest or as a volunteer, interviewed for a non-police prosecution or if you are being prosecuted through the criminal courts across Gloucestershire.

The Cheltenham Office of the Public Defender Service (PDS) opened in 2002. We have a very experienced and competent team of criminal defence solicitors who deal with the full range of criminal cases across the Gloucestershire region.

Our contact details

Lower Ground Floor
65 Regent House
Rodney Road
Cheltenham
Gloucestershire
GL50 1HX

DX: 7444 Cheltenham
Telephone: 01242 548 270
Email: PDSCheltenham@justice.gov.uk

Suspected of committing a crime?

Events at the police station are critical. The earlier you receive good advice, the better. It might even mean you avoid prosecution.

If you’re arrested or asked to attend a police station for questioning, our police station representatives and criminal defence solicitors are here to help you, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Alternatively, if the police want to interview you as a volunteer or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) want to interview you about a suspected crime, please call us for assistance.

Call us now

Meet your local Cheltenham solicitors

Helen Smith, Head of Solicitors

Helen Smith, Head of Solicitors, PDS Cheltenham
Helen Smith, Head of Solicitors

Helen qualified as a solicitor in 1985 and has been a criminal law specialist since 1990. She first practised in Birmingham but has worked in Gloucestershire for the last 22 years.

Helen has been a partner in private practice, and a sole practitioner, prior to joining the PDS in 2017. Helen is very experienced in representing youth and adult clients at police stations and in the Courts.

She is particularly interested in assisting clients with mental health issues.

See Helen’s profile on LinkedIn

Helen Smith CV
(PDF, 426 KB)

Lisa Madigan, Head of Office

Lisa qualified as a solicitor in 2003, initially practising in Herefordshire and Worcestershire before moving on to a firm in Gloucestershire where she remained for over 10 years before joining the PDS.

Lisa is an experienced duty solicitor representing adult and youth clients in Police Stations, Magistrates and Youth courts. Lisa has developed a particular interest and expertise in representing youth clients, making sure that young people are treated fairly and have someone fighting their corner.

Lisa also has experience in County Court cases representing clients at risk of losing their liberty for alleged breaches of Anti Social Behaviour Injunctions and other quasi-criminal proceedings.

Lisa Madigan CV
(PDF, 490 KB)

Duty Solicitors

Miguel Blanco

Miguel qualified as a Solicitor in 2003 when practising in South London. In 2009 he moved to Birmingham employed as a defence solicitor dealing with matters at the police station through to Crown Court. In 2012 Miguel moved to practice criminal defence in Cheltenham and Gloucester where he became a partner of a private criminal law firm prior to joining the PDS.

Miguel has practised in a wide range of criminal defence work and has dealt with matters at every stage. He has undertaken defence work from first time offences to serious offences. Miguel prides himself on providing the best defence possible for clients balanced with practical and comprehensive advice so the best results can be achieved.

Miguel Blanco CV
(PDF, 489 KB)

Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman, PDS solicitor Cheltenham
Chris Coleman, Duty Solicitor

Chris is a Solicitor Advocate based within our Magistrates Court team.

As a qualified Duty Solicitor, he deals with the full spectrum of criminal offences up to and including serious sexual offences and murder, and represents clients at the Police Station, Magistrates Court and Youth Court. Prior to joining the Public Defender Service, Chris also amassed significant experience in representing clients in the Crown Court.

Chris also has extensive experience of Prison Law having frequently attended prisons throughout the UK to take instructions from clients and represent them in respect of recall, adjudications and parole. He is a member of the Prison Law team here at the Public Defender Service.

See Chris’ profile on LinkedIn

Chris Coleman CV
(PDF, 488 KB)

Charlotte Robinson

Charlotte Robinson, Duty Solicitor, PDS Cheltenham
Charlotte Robinson, Duty Solicitor

Charlotte qualified as a solicitor in 2009, initially practising corporate law in London. Between 2015 and 2018, Charlotte attended Harvard Law School where she focussed primarily on child and youth advocacy and criminal litigation. While studying, she worked in public defender offices in Boston and Washington D.C. and with children involved in abuse and neglect proceedings in the Public Guardian’s office in Chicago.

After graduating, Charlotte worked at the New Hampshire Public Defender for two years where she represented adult and youth clients charged with a range of offences including road traffic, shoplifting, serious assaults, sexual offences, drug possession and sales, fraud, armed robbery, and encouraging or assisting suicide. As a trial attorney in the United States, Charlotte advocated for clients in bench and jury trials and in both the youth and adult courts. She also spent time working with the Mental Health and Drug Courts.

See Charlotte’s profile on LinkedIn

Charlotte Robinson CV
(PDF, 494 KB)

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams, Solicitor and Higher Courts Advocate, PDS Cheltenham
Caroline Williams, Solicitor and Higher Courts Advocate

Caroline qualified as a Solicitor and Higher Courts Advocate in 2013. She has been a qualified Police Station Representative since 2010. Caroline has managed offices in private practice before joining the PDS including Crown Court and Magistrates Court teams.

Caroline has a particular interest in Youth Justice and Modern Slavery. She has experience presenting technical legal arguments in both the Crown Court and Magistrates Court. Examples of this include decisions about what should constitute a disguised firearm and whether police actions amount to an abuse of process.

Caroline also sits on the Education Admission Appeals Panel, chairs the local PTFA and is an active member of Gloucestershire Girlguiding.

Crown Court Caseworker and Accredited Police Station Representative

Dean Graham

Dean Graham, Crown Court Caseworker and Accredited Police Station Representative, PDS Cheltenham
Dean Graham, Crown Court Caseworker and Accredited Police Station Representative

Dean is an experienced and fully Accredited Police Station Representative who has represented clients all over the South West for the past twenty years. He has represented clients detained on suspicion of having committed all manner of offences from Murder, Serious Assault and Rape, to Fraud, Burglary, Theft and Serious Drugs Offences.

He looks after the interests of client’s who find themselves in police custody and does his best to ensure that they feel supported throughout their time in custody and that they are given careful and considered advice so that they present their case in its best possible light.

See Deans’ profile on LinkedIn

Dean Graham CV
(PDF, 224 KB)

Accredited Police Station Representative

Sue Simpkins

Sue Simpkins, Accredited Police Station Representative, PDS Cheltenham
Sue Simpkins, Accredited Police Station Representative

Sue is a fully qualified Accredited Police Station representative working in the Cheltenham Office. Sue has worked for the Public Defender Service since 2005 and previously in private practice. Prior to that Sue worked for the HMCTS for 10 years.

Sue represents the interests of client’s unfortunate enough to find themselves in police custody in Gloucestershire, regularly travelling to Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset areas.

Representing the interests of clients in respect of all manner of offences from Murder, Serious Assault, Rape, Fraud to Theft, Minor Assault and Harassment.

Sue Simpkins CV
(PDF, 421 KB)

Get further support in the Cheltenham area

You can get further advice and support from:

See our latest job vacancies in Cheltenham

We have the following job vacancies in our Cheltenham office:

Accredited Police Station Representative (£30,451 – £34,105 a year)

Solicitor (£36,049 – £41,095 a year)

Careers at the PDS

Useful information

Directions to Cheltenham Magistrates' Court

By car

From M5 junction 11:

Exit at junction 11 and follow signs for A40 Cheltenham.

At 1st roundabout, take 3rd exit onto A40, Gloucester Road, following signs for Cheltenham.

At 2nd roundabout, take 2nd exit onto A40, Gloucester Road, following signs for Cheltenham

At the Shell garage, continue straight onto A40, following signs for Cheltenham town centre

At roundabout, keep left, onto Lansdown Road, following signs for Cheltenham town centre.

At junction, take 2nd left onto Parabola Road

At roundabout, take 2nd exit onto Bayshill Road

Turn left into St Georges Road.

The court is on your left.

Parking

There is a pay and display car park next to the court.

By train

Cheltenham Spa is the nearest railway station.

Please contact us if further directions are required.

By bus

Local buses from Gloucester, Stroud, Cirencester or the Forest of Dean drop off passengers on the Promenade in Cheltenham, a short walk away from our office. Please contact us if further directions are required.

Directions to Cheltenham Office

By car

From M5 junction 11:

Exit at junction 11 and follow signs for A40 Cheltenham.

At 1st roundabout, take 3rd exit onto A40, Gloucester Road, following signs for Cheltenham.

At 2nd roundabout, take 2nd exit onto A40, Gloucester Road, following signs for Cheltenham

At the Shell garage, continue straight onto A40, following signs for Cheltenham town centre

At roundabout, keep left, onto Lansdown Road, following signs for Cheltenham town centre.

At junction, head straight on towards Cheltenham town centre on A4015 passing Montpellier Gardens  and the Imperial Gardens on your right  , travelling in the right and lane at the traffic lights onto A46

Turn right at the lights onto A 46, passing the town hall on your right, turn immediately left and then first right onto Rodney Road.

There is no public parking at the office but there is very limited street parking in Rodney Road. See below for alternative parking.

Parking

Almost opposite is a small flat car park on Rodney Road. Alternatively instead of turning right into Rodney road, follow the bend left and immediately on your right is the entry to the multi storey Regent Street car park

By train

Cheltenham Spa is the nearest railway station.

Please contact us if further directions are required.

By bus

Local buses from Gloucester, Stroud, Cirencester or the Forest of Dean drop off passengers on the Promenade in Cheltenham, a short walk away from our office. Please contact us if further directions are required.

Please Note – Access to lower ground floor is down the stairs by the metal railing.

Directions to Compass House Custody Suite

By car

From M5 junction 12:

Exit at junction and follow signs for A38 Gloucester. Continue onto B4008.

At McDonalds, take 3rd exit off roundabout onto A38.

At roundabout, take 2nd exit onto Waterwells Drive.

At roundabout, take 1st exit onto Telford Way

Take the first right onto Edison Close and the police station custody suite is on your right.

Parking

There are car parking spaces outside Compass House. Parking is free of charge

By train

Gloucester is the nearest railway station.

Please contact us if further directions are required.

By bus

Local Buses from Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester or the Forest of Dean drop off passengers on Clarence Street or Market Parade in Gloucester.

Please contact us if further directions are required.

To answer bail

Simply press the buzzer on the unit to the left of the glass doors, give your name and bail time and then sit in the foyer once you have been let in. An officer will then arrive to escort you into the custody suite.

Directions to Gloucester Crown Court

By car

From M5 junction 12:

  • Exit at junction 12 and follow signs for A38 Gloucester. Continue onto B4008.
  • At McDonalds, take 3rd exit off roundabout onto A38.
  • At roundabout, take 1st exit onto A38.
  • Continue along A38. Follow signs for A430. Continue along A430, Secunda Way.
  • At roundabout, follow A430. Continue straight onto Llanthony Road.
  • At traffic lights next to Gloucester College (GC), turn right onto Llanthony Road.
  • Turn left onto Severn Road.
  • Turn right onto Commercial Road, A4301.
  • Turn left onto Ladybellgate Street
  • Turn left onto Longsmith Street. The Crown Court is on your right hand side.

Parking

There are pay and display car parks on Ladybellgate Street and Longsmith Street.

By train

Gloucester is the nearest railway station.

Please contact us if further directions are required.

By bus

Local Buses from Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester or the Forest of Dean drop off passengers on Clarence Street or Market Parade in Gloucester.

Please contact us if further directions are required.

Police stations and courts we cover in Gloucestershire

  • Compass House custody suite, Waterwells, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 2AN
  • Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court, St Georges Road, Cheltenham, GL50 3PF
  • Gloucester Crown Court, Longsmith Street, Gloucester, GL1 2TS
  • Cheltenham Police Station (Holland House), 59 Lansdown Road, Cheltenham, GL51 6QH
  • Cirencester Police Station, North Way, Cirencester, GL7 2PH
  • Coleford Police Station, 5 Gloucester Road, Coleford, GL16 8BH
  • Dursley Police Station, Sandpits, Norman’s Hill, Kingshill, Dursley, GL11 5QE
  • Gloucester Police Station, Longsmith Street, Gloucester, GL1 2TJ
  • Stroud Police Station, Parliament Street, Stroud, GL5 1QQ
  • Quedgeley Police Station, St James, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 4WD

We also cover courts and police stations outside of Gloucestershire.

Please contact us to see if we can help you.

Directions to Cheltenham Borough Council Municipal offices

If you are asked to attend an interview by the DWP.

By bus

Bus routes: 10, N10, 46, 97, 98, 94 and 94x all stop on the Promenade, Municipal Offices opposite the bus stops.

Bus routes: A, D, 41, 42, F, G, H, P, Q all stop on North Street

  • Turn right onto High Street
  • Turn left onto Promenade Follow
  • Promenade down Municipal Offices on the right

Bus routes: C, A, H, and D all stop on the High Street

  • Turn left onto the Promenade
  • Follow Promenade down Municipal Offices on the right.

By car

From the north – M5 junction 10:

  • Leave the M5 at junction 10, then merge onto the A4019 (signposted Cheltenham)
  • At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A4019 (signposted Cheltenham)
  • Bear right onto High Street High Street
  • Turn right onto Ambrose Street Ambrose Street
  • Turn left onto Clarence Street Clarence Street
  • Turn right onto Crescent Place Crescent Place
  • Turn left onto Crescent Terrace Crescent Terrace
  • Turn right onto Promenade Arrive at GL50 9SA, Municipal Offices

From the south – M5 junction 11:

  • Leave the M5 at junction 11, then at roundabout take the 3rd exit (signposted Cheltenham, Gloucestershire Airport)
  • Continue forward, then merge onto the A40
  • At Arle Court Roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A40 (signposted Cheltenham)
  • At Benhall roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A40 (signposted Town Centre, Oxford)
  • At Westal Green keep left (signposted Town Centre, Oxford) A40
  • At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A4015 (signposted Town Centre)
  • Continue forward onto the A46 Keep in right hand lane then bear right onto Clarence Parade – A46 (signposted Inner Ring)
  • Turn right onto Crescent Terrace Crescent Terrace
  • Turn right onto Promenade Arrive at GL50 9SA, Municipal Offices, Cheltenham

From the south east – A40:

  • A40 (signposted Cheltenham)
  • At roundabout take the 2nd exit onto the A40 (signposted Cheltenham)
  • At traffic signals bear right A40 At traffic signals continue forward onto the A435 (signposted Town Centre)
  • At traffic signals continue forward onto the A46 (signposted Evesham A435)
  • Keep in left hand lane then continue forward (signposted Gloucester, Stroud) A46
  • Keep in right hand lane then turn right onto Oriel Road (signposted Other Routes) 0.21
  • Keep in right hand lane then turn right onto Promenade (signposted Tewkesbury A4019)
  • Keep in right hand lane then bear right onto Clarence Parade – A46 (signposted Inner Ring)
  • Turn right onto Crescent Terrace
  • Turn right onto Promenade Arrive at GL50 9SA, Municipal Offices, Cheltenham

By train

Cheltenham Spa train station:

The Cheltenham Spa Train Station is located 1.7 miles south of the town centre, a 10 or 15 minutes bus rid on Stagecoach Service D. It is a very well served train station with direct trains to London Paddington operated by First Great Western, direct trains to Birmingham, Leeds, York, Edinburgh and Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol, and Plymouth operated by Virgin, and the towns and cities between Cardiff and Nottingham with Central Trains.

Directions from the train station:

  • Turn right onto Glencairn Park Road Turn left onto the A40
  • At Westal Green keep left (signposted Town Centre, Oxford)
  • At roundabout take the 1st exit onto the A4015 (signposted Town Centre)
  • Continue forward onto the A46 Keep in right hand lane then bear right onto Clarence Parade – A46 (signposted Inner Ring)
  • Turn right onto Crescent Terrace
  • Turn right onto Promenade Arrive at GL50 9SA, Municipal Offices, Cheltenham

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