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Common law

My client is a repeat offender who stole to fund his crack habit. But he's willing to confess to 50 burglaries. Can I keep him out of prison and get him counselling instead?

By Alex McBride   July 2008

My client has just agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, which, mercifully, is acceptable to the prosecution. There will be no trial. No embarrassment of trying to sell his hopeless defence to the jury. What happiness! It’s 10.30am and the day is mine. Unless I make the mistake of going back to chambers and putting myself at risk of the dreaded late return.

The late return is a brief that no one at the English bar wants to touch. It has bounced up and down Middle Temple Lane without finding anyone dumb or desperate enough to accept it.…

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