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William Roache, the actor famous for playing Ken Barlow in Coronation Street was yesterday acquitted of two allegations of rape and four allegations of indecent assault before Preston Crown Court.
One would imagine that Mr Roache paid privately for his defence. It would therefore make sense, would it not, to assume that he would be entitled to be reimbursed the cost of his defence?
Unfortunately, those making this assumption are wrong.
As of 1st October 2012 a privately paying Defendant acquitted of charges before a Crown Court is prohibited from recovering their legal fees. The only costs recoverable by Mr Roache will be his out of pocket expenses, i.e. travel costs.
The reasoning behind this absurd rule is that Mr Roache was entitled to Legal Aid and should have accepted that offer. You may think that sounds fair enough unless you believe in freedom of choice. This situation has improved somewhat of late. Should Mr Roache’s legal team have submitted an application for Legal Aid, which would have undoubtedly been refused due to his earnings, he would have been able to recover some of his legal costs but at Legal Aid rates.
The typical hourly rate for private representation is £250 per hour compared with £50 an hour at Legal Aid rates.
How about that for justice!!
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