Preparation for guilty plea in the magistrates court

1. If a defendant pleads guilty in a magistrates' court you may conduct the case. At the hearing the court may need to be satisfied that you have the right to conduct the case (s39 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974) and that you have served both the summons and Initial details of the prosecution case.

2. You will need to prepare:

  • copies of papers required for the court hearing, outlined below;
  • make notes for the conduct of the case; and
  • calculate the costs, details are given in the section on costs.

3. You will need the following papers at the court hearing:

  • Your warrant.
  • The information and copy summons together with the certificate of service.
  • Initial details of the prosecution case and covering letter including information to assist the sentencing court - see the preceding section on sentencing information.
  • The file containing the original and copy statements and documentary exhibits.
  • Any 'real' exhibits which the inspector wishes the court to see and which can safely be brought to court.
  • Sufficient copies of any photographs or other material which the prosecutor wishes to place before the court. (6 copies will normally suffice - 3 Magistrates; Clerk; witness; defence. Note that the defence must also be provided with copies of any material which is placed before the court).
  • Relevant law - marked copies of Acts, Regulations and legal authorities. You should also include authorities which may assist the court when sentencing, namely the Definitive Guideline for the sentencing of health and safety cases- see the section on the sentencing hearing for further guidance.
  • Sufficient copies of any letters giving previous advice, enforcement notices and evidence of previous convictions or cautions.
  • Details of costs and two copies of your bill of costs, one for the Court and one for the defence.

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Updated 2020-09-07