The UK lockdown showed a decline in mental health, which continues to be reported. Steve Gelsthorpe, Director and Crime Solicitor at Cartwright King explains how the Criminal Justice System manages these most vulnerable members of our society.
Whether an essential worker, key worker, a plain simple ordinary worker, or even if not working at all, the lockdown enforced in the UK has brought many personal challenges.
Consider then adding into the mix those with mild to middling mental health disorders – either pre-existing or brought about by having to endure weeks and months being stuck indoors, sometimes sharing small spaces, unable to leave unless for brief periods of exercise.
Sadly, the pressures bearing down on those unfortunate enough to be suffering with inherent mental health conditions even if temporarily, triggered by external forces, the risk of crossing the line in terms of behaviours expected of society is hugely increased. The history of criminal law is littered with examples.
Happily we have arrived at a point where there is more understanding in how sufferers can be affected so adjust accordingly. Cartwright King is a firm, whose priority is the protection of citizen’s rights, ensuring that they receive a fair trial and that they are not disadvantaged due to their condition. As a firm it seeks to divert those suffering with mental health conditions away from the criminal justice system.
We will always aim to ensure that either no prosecution takes place or, if there has to be one, that any order or restriction imposed upon an individual by the court is aimed at helping the person to get better and to rehabilitate rather than to punish.
Those charged with investigating and prosecuting crime have also come to understand this and both the Crown Prosecution Service and the police have published guidelines on how to approach such cases. If you want to read these in detail go to:
Often though there’s a fine judgement call to be made and this is where the defence lawyer can step in to help. As with all guidelines it is often down to an individual’s own interpretation, and where one police officer or crown prosecutor may take the decision not to charge or prosecute another may take a quite opposite view.
In these cases having an expert on your side can make a huge difference. Whether a case is in the investigation or prosecution stage our experienced criminal law specialists will make strong sensible representations so as to ensure the right result is achieved. Cartwright King has a nationally renowned Mental Health law department who protect their client’s civil rights.
Cartwright King has lawyers in most areas of law, and the current information we are sharing is written by Director and Criminal Defence lawyer Steve Gelsthorpe of Cartwright King.
If you have any further queries around the above topic or otherwise, contact the firm here.