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  1. #1
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    BBC News Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    MP Nigel Evans, who was cleared of rape and sexual assault on Thursday, has said the Crown Prosecution Service should pay his £130,000 legal bill.

    The former deputy speaker of the House of Commons told the Mail on Sunday the case had cost him his life savings.

    He called the case a "very public execut1on attempt", and said rules granting anonymity to alleged victims of sex crimes were unbalanced.

    The CPS has said taking Mr Evans to court was the "right decision".

    Mr Evans told the newspaper he had considered suicide in the "darkest moments" since allegations against him were made.



    The MP for Ribble Valley said his £130,000 legal bill had taken up his entire life savings, adding: "Every penny is gone."

    The case also cost him the £30,000-a-year extra salary he had received as deputy speaker.

    People who were "dragged through the courts through no fault of their own" and then found not guilty should "get their legal fees back from the CPS budget", Mr Evans said.

    "Maybe that will make them focus on whether a case is worth pursuing."

    Defendants acquitted in England and Wales can apply for their legal costs to be reimbursed from "central funds" - the taxpayer rather than the CPS - up to the amount of legal aid that would have been provided.

    Mr Evans also hit out at the police, saying he had been "shocked" by their "zealotry" in pursuing the investigation.

    And he questioned the way prosecutors handled high-profile sex offence cases that dated back many years - also criticising the use of "bundling" - where police build a case against an accused using a number of weaker allegations.

    "We need to consider the issue of a statute of limitations and look at how other countries deal with this," he added.

    The MP questioned the current system of anonymity for alleged victims of sexual offences, saying he felt "cheated" that his accusers would not be recognised in the street while he would - even though he had been cleared.

    He said the system created a "new set of victims" when those accused were acquitted.

    "This imbalance needs to addressed urgently," he said.

    'Cheated'

    And in a separate interview with the Sunday Mirror he said he would not seek to return to his deputy speaker role, focusing instead on being a constituency MP.

    He says the plan had been for Eleanor Laing, the new deputy speaker, to step aside when he was cleared so he could be re-elected.

    "But I don't want another contest," he told the newspaper.

    "I enjoyed the role for three years but Eleanor is making a great fist of doing the job.

    "For the rest of this Parliament I am going to return to the back benches and carry on what I did when I was elected."

    On Friday, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders defended the decision to prosecute Mr Evans and said the CPS applied the "same test no matter who the offender or the victim is".

    "We looked at all the evidence and decided there was a realistic prospect of conviction," she said.

    And Lancashire Police has defended its "fair, professional and proportionate" handling of the case.

    Det Supt Ian Critchley said the force had pursued Mr Evans in the same way it would anyone else.

    Speaking on Sky News, deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman said Mr Evans had been through a "harrowing" experience but added that there should not be anonymity for those accused of sexual offences.

    She added that the CPS acted "independently", saying: "People say they should never have taken this case in the first place. Our system is that the jury decides."

    But Conservative MP Nadine Dorries said: "It's an absolute travesty what's happened to Nigel Evans."

    She added that the CPS had been on a "fishing expedition" and that Mr Evans was "a good bloke".

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    What's others opinions on this? the picking up the legal bill bit as I think the anonymity and witch hunt arguments have been discussed quite a few times before.

  2. #2
    DF PwNagE GTI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    At the time the allegations were said to have taken place, he was a highly functioning alcoholic who was known for chatting up, groping and kissing young men in the pubs in and around Westminister. That extremely poor judgement, disregard for office and the fact he is a Tory means I have little to no sympathy for his plight. His 130k bought him the best legal defence, which I'm sure had a major part to pay in his acquittal.

  3. #3
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Quote Originally Posted by GTI View Post
    At the time the allegations were said to have taken place, he was a highly functioning alcoholic who was known for chatting up, groping and kissing young men in the pubs in and around Westminister. That extremely poor judgement, disregard for office and the fact he is a Tory means I have little to no sympathy for his plight. His 130k bought him the best legal defence, which I'm sure had a major part to pay in his acquittal.
    Can't really argue with that but was thinking more of the bigger argument of if someone is found not guilty should they be able to claim back legal fee's above the legal aid limits and should the payment come from CPS budget rather than central funds?

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    DF PwNagE GTI's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Bouncer View Post
    Can't really argue with that but was thinking more of the bigger argument of if someone is found not guilty should they be able to claim back legal fee's above the legal aid limits and should the payment come from CPS budget rather than central funds?
    No I don't believe they should, if people want to get better legal representation than their legal aid funds will allow then they have made a conscious choice to pay out from their own pockets. Of course the delicious irony in this case is that the Tories have done everything within their power to destroy legal aid, farming it out to the lowest bidder i.e.[Only registered and activated users can see links. ].

    So cheap Noddy barristers are OK for the rest of us, but politicians should have only the best?

    Thanks to GTI

    Bald Bouncer (13th April 2014) 


  5. #5
    DF Super Moderator BertRoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Yes it could come from CPS budget but where does that come from? Sure they are effectively civil servants so essentially will be centrally funded so either way we will pay.

    Thanks to BertRoot

    Bald Bouncer (13th April 2014) 


  6. #6
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Not sure on this one really as you have strong arguments on both sides but I think it should remain as it is even though it does result in some totally innocent people losing what could amount to be most of what they own and have in the bank to defend themselves.

  7. #7
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    If it doesn't come from the CPS, he'll only claim it on expenses anyway.

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    DF Jedi BigBird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Well if I was wrongly accused of something I would want legal representation having the same level of experience/competence as the prosecuting solicitor/barrister. If found not guilty I would expect to be fully compensated. If all they will allow me is the cost of basic legal cover then they should be happy to have a basic prosecuting solicitor. (">

    Thanks to BigBird

    super mike (14th April 2014) 


  9. #9
    DF PwNagE liveseytowers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    I'm amazed that you don't automatically get your fees paid if you are found not guilty! If you are accused of something that you didn't do it could ruin your life, how is that fair?

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBird View Post
    Well if I was wrongly accused of something I would want legal representation having the same level of experience/competence as the prosecuting solicitor/barrister. If found not guilty I would expect to be fully compensated. If all they will allow me is the cost of basic legal cover then they should be happy to have a basic prosecuting solicitor. (">
    Not the case though, if you need expert witness testimony they will often refuse, you will get the basics but on legal aid you will be just one of hundreds of cases they are juggling and they get paid a pittance for the work so as they say you get what you pay for.

    The issue I have as well is not you buy justice as such but you certainly buy better representation, investigation and research which results in a better chance of being found not guilty so you are then left with the questions do we all get equal justice? if you could afford to pay would you? would you pay knowing that even if you are found guilty the money is lost? if the answer is yes to the last two then if it's a choice should the public purse pay with the majority of the money contributed to it by people who could not afford to pay.

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    BigBird (13th April 2014) 


  11. #11
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    I would say the real problem is the extortionate prices legal firms charge. From what a mate inside has told me, often even spending money doesn't ensure a decent amount of work goes into a case.

  12. #12
    DF VIP Member Bald Bouncer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Does not really do himself any favours in getting people to warm to his plight
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    3 Thanks given to Bald Bouncer

    BigBird (14th April 2014), GTI (14th April 2014), Over Carl (14th April 2014) 


  13. #13
    DF Super Moderator JonEp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Nigel Evans says CPS should pick up £130,000 legal bill

    Well I was was a lawyer for a few years of my life joining the family practice. In those days of Legal Aid you could invite people off the street to ask you a a wide scope of legal questions and as long as they were in receipt of benefits or on a low income have them sign a Green Form GF1 and charge the legal aid area office 42 quid an hour per question, Max 2 hours per question but unlimited questions and you could seek an extension if the matter was complicated. That's why solicitors offices opened all hours at the time as you could make a fortune just advising people on things like how to get the local authority to fix their house or poll tax bailiff advice.

    Many firms milked the process, many single partner practice's claimed in excess of million a year from the Legal Aid Board in that era.

    Once that system was stopped, a new body introduced and rules changed so insurance companies started to underwrite civil claims, it had a massive effect on the profession with many small firms sent to the wall in favour of legal farms on industrial estates staffed by unqualified kids on minimum wage and this horrid culture of blame and claim.

    Law is a rich mans game now, in some regards such as libel it always was, and in a criminal trial all about the qualities of the barrister and the prep done before hand by the instructing solicitor.

    It has always been the case that the loser in both criminal and civil cases pays both parties costs subject to the courts agreement and to my mind its unfair that a successful defendant in a criminal trial no longer has the costs of their defence met. Because if found guilty they are often still lumbered with the prosecutions costs or a portion off on top of sentence if the court feels there able to afford it.



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    GTI (15th April 2014) 


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