A Colchester solicitor gives us a behind-the-scenes take on the legal 

YOU have probably read of the tragic killing of Suzanne Brown, who was stabbed 173 times at the home she shared with Jake Neate in Braintree.

Neate was found to be unfit to plead owing to paranoid schizophrenia.

A trial of the facts took place, to determine whether Neate was responsible for the physical act of stabbing.

His mother described him as having no violent tendencies.

He attended university but had to withdraw owing to his condition.

He was prescribed anti-psychotic medication but this was stopped abruptly when it was found that it adversely impacted his blood cells.

So concerned at her son’s deterioration, she contacted his mental health worker twice and in desperation a local MP in the lead up to Suzanne’s death.

In my role I have seen a rapid decline in mental health services since I qualified.

This case has to be one of the most savage knock-on effects of that mentality and the sooner central government wakes up to that, the better.


Someone close to me is a serving Essex Police Officer.

When she joined 17 years ago, she trained for 10 weeks at Ashford Training School in Kent.

That training school, along with many others, has since been sold. New recruits do not train residentially but as “day students” at Essex Police Headquarters in Springfield.

As I write she’s on a training course at Headquarters.

So are the new recruits. The new recruits are training in a modern building.

She has been placed in an old dingy cabin where the heating is sporadic at best.

Disillusionment is rife among experienced police officers.

When you hear stories like this, it is understandable why.

My sources tell me a large part of the headquarters estate either has or is about to be sold off.

I wondered if training would be moved to local libraries.

Then I remembered that they are being sold off too.

Sex toy shocker

Us criminal lawyers see a range of cases in the police station, ranging from shop theft to murder.

It is an unfortunate reality that domestic abuse cases arise fairly frequently.

I could not have been prepared for one I had recently, however.

Following the bitter end of my male client’s relationship, he sought revenge by stealing a number of items he had bought for his ex which included a, ahem, “marital aid”.

He flounced off and drove his vehicle at speed over a well-known Essex flyover.

At the top of said flyover, he threw said “marital aid” out of the window.

Fortunately no passing motorists below were affected. One can only imagine the shock of having your window half open and seeing one of those fly onto your dashboard.

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