Criminal Law Update – Prisoners Abroad – Help is Available

News Posted: January 8, 2020


The plight of a 19-year-old British lady hit the news last week, culminating in reports of her being sentenced by a Cypriot court for making what was said to be a false rape allegation. There are many features of this particular case that have caused alarm, and it brings into sharp focus the different legal systems that operate in other parts of the world.

Relatives back in the UK often need to react quickly to assist relatives and friends, and this is something that we can help you with.

The first step is to ensure that consular assistance is provided – the speed of response will very much depend on the location of arrest and detention, as well as local custom. There may also be sensitive political considerations that need to be delicately balanced.

We can ensure that the local consulate has been appropriately notified and liaise with them as to the next steps.

It is important to note that consular assistance does not extend to providing funds for legal advice, so an arrested person will be dependent on any local equivalent to our legal aid scheme unless family and friends can help. In some cases, a person may need to resort to charitable ventures.

The quality of legal advice and assistance abroad is somewhat variable. We can use our contacts to ensure that a competent lawyer is in place to represent your loved one.

The legal system in other countries can be very different from that in the UK, and the process is often prolonged. The primary consideration will be trying to secure bail, although as for foreign nationals charged in the UK, this is not always a certainty.

If you are outside the UK and have a friend or relative detained here pending trial on criminal charges, we can offer considerable expertise.

Securing bail can be difficult, depending on the allegation brought, but it is by no means impossible. We can discuss all available options with you. If being granted bail is not an option, we can assist with prison visits and arrangements for sending items to a person detained in a UK prison.

No matter what the charge is, our dedicated and experienced team will ensure all is done to secure the very best outcome.

With the consent of our client, we can liaise closely with you during the process, providing reassurance to those back home at a most challenging time. It is often not knowing what is going to happen, that is the most difficult for people to deal with.

So, if you have any concerns about a friend or relative, do not suffer in silence, please contact us.

Get in touch

If you need specialist advice in relation to any criminal investigation or prosecution, Andrew Holland (01743 237731 or or Kate Cooper (01743 237734 or and let us help. We can advise on all aspects of your case.

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