We provide high quality independent legal advice in police stations, magistrates’ and Crown Courts for those facing investigation and prosecution in criminal cases.
We cover Darlington, County Durham, North Yorkshire and the North East
The Darlington Office of the Public Defender Service (PDS) opened in 2003. We have a very experienced and highly competent team of criminal defence solicitors who deal with the full range of criminal cases and pride themselves on delivering the highest standards of client care.
We deal mainly with cases in County Durham and North Yorkshire, but we may be able to help you if you find yourself subject to a criminal investigation or proceedings in another area. We also provide police station advice and representation 7 days a week, irrespective of the time of day or night.
We are aware that it may not be easy for all our clients to attend our office in Darlington and can also make arrangements to see you away from the office at a local Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) office. In exceptional cases, we may also be able to arrange home visits.
Specialists in military law
Our criminal defence lawyers are very experienced in advising and representing service personnel who find themselves subject to investigation by service police or prosecution in the Court Martial.
Our contact details
The Darlington office is open from 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. We can also be contacted on our office number out of those hours to provide a service to clients arrested and held in police custody.
Alderman Best Way
Morton Palms Business Park
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.
Meet your local Darlington solicitors
James Fenny, Head of Office
James qualified as a Solicitor in 1995 and has worked in Criminal Defence ever since. A Duty Solicitor who attends at the Police station, Magistrates Court and after qualifying in 2005 as a Solicitor Advocate in the Crown and Higher courts too. James regularly appears and represents Army personnel in the Military Courts Martial Centre and has appeared at the Court of Appeal.
James has been with the Public Defender Service since 2001. Since January 2015 he has taken up the position as Head of the Darlington Office.
James deals with all cases from simple theft and damage to very serious cases involving Rape, Robbery, offences of dishonesty, Fraud, violence and Murder.
Peter qualified as a Solicitor in 1986 and has worked exclusively in Criminal Defence since 1989, working as a partner in private practice before joining PDS in 2001.
He qualified as a Duty Solicitor in 1989 and continues to act in that capacity at Police Stations and Magistrates’ Courts as well as receiving own client instructions. During that time Peter has acted for clients in the full range of Police investigations and criminal proceedings including murder, cases involving conspiracy to supply drugs and serious sexual offences.
Peter also has extensive experience of representing clients in investigations by Military and Service Police both in the UK and overseas (Kosovo, Cyprus and Germany), including investigations into serious allegations of the abuse of prisoners.
Peter was Head of our Darlington office until January 2022 when he moved to a new role as Regulatory and Compliance Lead for PDS. He is also a member of the LAA’s panel of Independent Crime Peer Reviewers.
Darren qualified as a solicitor in February 2012. He was a partner in a local private practice as a Criminal Duty solicitor as well as gaining experience in other areas of law such as Personal Injury and Wills and Probate before joining the Public Defender Service in February 2018.
As a Duty Solicitor and fully accredited Police Station representative, Darren specialises in advising and representing people in the police station and Magistrates court. He has dealt with a range of offences at all levels of seriousness including road traffic, shoplifting, drugs, serious violence, frauds, sexual offences and attempted murders.
Darren qualified as a Solicitor Advocate in January 2023 and represents people in the Higher Courts, at the Crown Court and Court Martial.
Pippa qualified as a solicitor in 2008 after completing her training in a London firm specialising in criminal defence and civil litigation. She became police station accredited in 2006 and has been regularly attending police stations to provide advice since then
Pippa has been a Duty Solicitor since 2011 and appears regularly in the Magistrates Court. She has represented defendants in all types of criminal cases from those involving road traffic offences to those involving allegations of serious violence or sexual crime. Pippa has a particular interest in representing youths who are engaged in the criminal justice system.
In 2008 Pippa began to specialise in Prison Law and since then she has represented individuals across the country in prison disciplinary proceedings and in parole reviews.
Lisa started her career in private practice as a secretary in 2003. In 2005 she became a fee earner in Prison Law and embarked on the legal executive course which enabled her to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2012 and Chartered Legal Executive Advocate in 2015. In 2016 she qualified as a Duty Solicitor. Lisa also qualified as a police station representative in 2008.
Lisa offers huge experience in all types of criminal cases, including road traffic offences, benefit agency investigations and large-scale conspiracies.
Lisa has substantial experience in prison law, representing prisoners since 2003 with a variety of issues including, adjudications and parole board hearings. Lisa has been a prison law supervisor for a number of years and will be offering prison law from our Darlington office.
Rob started his career in the private sector as an accredited legal representative in 1996, he qualified as a Solicitor with the PDS in 2003.
Rob appears regularly at the Magistrates Court advising own clients on a whole range of offences as well as acting as Court Duty Solicitor.
Recent casework has included acting for client’s charged with offences of Murder, Robbery and Serious sexual offences. Rob still spends a lot of time advising and assisting people arrested and interviewed at Police Stations throughout the North East.
Rory qualified as a Solicitor in 1999, and has worked exclusively in criminal defence since then. He is an experienced Duty Solicitor and specialises in representing clients in Magistrates’ Court proceedings. He is also a fully accredited Police Station Representative, advising and representing clients in the Police Station. His experience also extends to preparation of Crown Court proceedings, and representation in Military hearings.
Rory has been with the Public Defender Service since 2003 and, during his career, he has acted in a wide variety of cases, with varying levels of seriousness. He is a popular member of staff, with clients and colleagues alike, and takes a robust and professional approach to Criminal Defence work.
Crown Court Case Progression Officer and Accredited Police Station Representative
Blair first graduated with a bachelor’s degree (with honours) in 1993, before subsequently successfully completing a master’s degree.
Blair has over fifteen years’ experience in Criminal law. Blair graduated from Northumbria University in 2006, when he undertook the law conversion course.
Blair qualified as an Accredited Police Station Representative in 2017 and has robustly represented detainees at police stations in the full range of allegations, including attempted murder, serious sexual matters and complex fraud and drugs conspiracies.
We cover all of the following police stations and courts around the North East:
- Darlington Police Station, Gladstone Street, Darlington, DL3 6TW
- Bishop Auckland Police Station, Woodhouse Lane, Bishop Auckland, DL14 6LB
- Peterlee Police Station, 37 Glebe Terrace, Peterlee, SR8 3DH
- Newton Aycliffe Police Station, Parson Court, Aycliffe Industrial Park, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 6ZE
- Northallerton Police Station, 72 High Street, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8ES
- Durham Police Station, Durham Constabulary, Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads, Durham, DH1 5TT
- Harrogate Police Station, Craven Lodge, 37 Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5PX
- Catterick Police Station, Richmond Road, Catterick Garrison, DL9 3JG
- Peterlee Magistrates Court, St Aidans Way, Peterlee, SR8 1QR
- Darlington Magistrates Court, Parkgate, Darlington, DL1 1ZD
- Northallerton Magistrates Court, Racecourse Lane, Northallerton, DL7 8QZ
- Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court, Central Ave, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 5RT
- York Magistrates Court, Clifford St, York, YO1 9RE
- Harrogate Magistrates Court, The Court House, Victoria Avenue, Harrogate, HG1 1LS
- Durham Crown Court, Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HW
- Teesside Crown Court, Russell Street, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS1 2AE
- York Crown Court, The Castle, York, YO1 9WZ
- Leeds Crown Court, The Courthouse, 1 Oxford Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3BG
- Newcastle Crown Court, The Law Courts, Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3LA
We also cover courts and police stations outside of the North East.
Please contact us to see if we can help you.