Harriet Heard

Testimonials

““I just felt I should thank you for all your help during my hearing and the events leading up to it. This would have been a far more intimidating and stressful experience without your aid and you are quite a lovely person. Shame we had to meet under such circumstances...  I wish all the best for you in the future and please don't stop doing what you are doing.” 24/9/16
“ ‘You are the first solicitor who I really felt believed what they were saying….I was very lucky to chance upon someone who understood about mental illness. I think you appreciated straight away how hard it has been for me to keep up with all the paperwork and yet do the best job that I could. We need far more people in the system like you.’ 21/3/11
“”

Areas of law:

Magistrates’ Court, Police Station, Youth Court, Crime and Investigation

Harriet is a solicitor in our Magistrates Court team and is based at our Melksham Office, covering Swindon, Chippenham, Salisbury and Bath.  She has spent over 15 years specialising in criminal defence work attending the Police station and the Magistrates Court regularly as a highly effective and experienced duty solicitor.

Prior to her work in criminal defence, Harriet spent 5 years as an accredited Mental Health Panel Solicitor, meaning that she had demonstrated the competence required by the Law Society to be able to represent clients who had been sectioned or detained under the Mental Health Act at Tribunals.  The knowledge and experience she gained from this has proved invaluable in enabling her to provide support and representation to vulnerable clients appearing in the criminal justice system who suffer from mental health difficulties or learning difficulties.  Harriet is gifted at quickly identifying issues relating to fitness to plead, and proactively liaising with mental health professionals to ensure her client’s interests are always protected.

Harriet is a very able trial advocate and is highly persuasive in presenting client’s cases to the Court in a variety of hearings including bail applications, and in mitigation. She is valued as a patient and compassionate listener, and as a solicitor who is truly passionate about fully and robustly defending her client’s interests, and obtaining the best possible outcome in all cases.

She is also accredited with the National Autistic Society and has a particular awareness of the different communication needs of clients with an ASD diagnosis and the extra support that might be required within court and police station settings.

Notable Cases

R v A [2016] - acquittal after trial of defendant accused of sexual assault, avoiding registration as sex offender for man of good character.

2016 Advising highly vulnerable mental health client accused of assisted suicide under police investigation

R v S [2016] Application to exclude res gestae evidence of 999 call in domestic violence case resulting in prosecution case being discontinued.

2015 Representing client accused of murder over 3 days of high pressure police station interviews.

2001 R v S Avoiding custody for Bath man accused of anthrax scare in wake of 9/11 terrorist attacks