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Nigel Evans

(2 Posts)
Nennypops Mon 14-Apr-14 08:54:30

Not so much about the prosecution, but his claim to get his costs back. Criminal lawyers may be able to tell me - am I right in thinking that, even if he did, it would only be at legal aid rates? Which I think would still leave him around �100K light. Given that that's a provision brought in by the Conservatives, it would be highly ironic.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Mon 14-Apr-14 09:49:55

I'm not sure he can even claim back the legal aid rates. It's due to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and some other changes.

Evans chose to be represented privately (as he was up against a QC), so it depends on when proceedings commenced.

It used to be that if you were being tried in the Crown Court you were entitled to legal aid as you were facing charges that could put you in prison for years. Since January 2014 a financial eligibility threshold has been introduced. If you earn over £37k you're not entitled to legal aid at all and have to pay privately. If you are cleared you can only claim back costs at the legal aid rate, so you will be massively out of pocket. Evans may be in a worse position if he was charged at a point when he could have taken a legal aid lawyer, but didn't. There were some transitional arrangements in place I think which may mean he can't get anything.

So yes it was the Conservatives who introduced this and it's bitten one of their own on the backside. And it's going to bite an awful lot of other people who have been charged and who don't have an MP's salary to draw upon. To be fair to Evans as a Deputy Speaker I don't think he votes so he didn't personally help this Bill through, but he never rebelled when he was a normal MP.

(I am not a lawyer).

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