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Richard Nelson LLP avoid prosecution for junior soldier

25 Mar 2020

Richard Etherington’s client, a soldier in the middle of basic training, was arrested on the night of his 18th birthday for being in possession of a bladed article.

The Junior Soldier was queuing outside a night club when door staff began inspecting the wallets and bags of those entering the venue. On seeing this he remembered that he had a small multitool with a serrated edge in his wallet behind a bank card. Richard’s client handed the wallet to the doormen and explained that he had forgotten it was in there and suggested that the door staff confiscate it.

After some deliberation the police were called and the young man was arrested and detained overnight.

On the morning of his 18th birthday he was interviewed by the police where he made full and frank admissions to the offence of possession of a bladed article. The police charged him with being in possession of an offensive weapon, a more serious offence, and bailed him to attend Court.

While on bail the Defendant’s mother approached Richard Etherington for assistance. Richard was able to obtain character references from his client’s Officer Commanding and other senior figures in the regiment.

In writing to the CPS Richard drew attention to CPS charging policy and National Police Chiefs Council guidelines. After considering Richard’s representations the Senior Prosecutor responsible for the case was satisfied that a caution for a lesser offence could be issued instead.

Speaking about the excellent outcome Richard said,

“A conviction for such a serious offence would have been curtains for this young man’s career to which he had aspired since early childhood. After the Police have made a charging decision there is still an opportunity for these decisions to be reviewed. Instructing a Solicitor early made a real difference to this soldier’s case; a caution means he can continue his training unencumbered and I wish him well.”


Richard Nelson LLP’s team of criminal defence lawyers can assist in cases at all stages of the Criminal Justice System including Military Court Martial and Military Police investigations.

Written by Richard Etherington

Before joining Richard Nelson LLP in 2017, Richard Etherington worked for five years in a large Criminal Defence department in a variety of roles such as a Police Station Representative, Crown Court caseworker and Magistrates’ Court advocate. Richard was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors in February 2017.

Read more about Richard Etherington

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