Jemma joined Swain & Co in 2008 and specialises in advocacy, prison law, independent adjudications and Parole hearings.
Her work includes sentence progression, parole, recall, adjudications and criminal appeals.
Jemma has a degree in Law (LLB) and qualified as a Solicitor in 2011.
Jemma is a Prison Law Category Supervisor.
Her personal interests include cake baking and decoration.
What Jemma’s clients say:
Dear Dean Kingham, Sarah Grundy (Blake) and Jemma Atkinson, I am just writing to say thank you all, for the help you have gave me. The time you have spent looking into my case must of been a burden on all of you, so I would like to say a massive Thank you once again. Thank you all!
Some success cases Jemma has handled:
Parole Success Yet again.
A client of ours, sentenced in 2008 to an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection, and with a history of offences related to violence and criminal damage plus an account of failing to surrender to custody, has now been directed for release. His representative, Jemma Atkinson of this firm, put forward an outstanding application for release against all odds.
This particular client had already been released from custody in 2012. Unfortunately, he committed two assaults whilst on licence, resulting in his recall back to custody shortly after his release. At the parole hearing in December 2015, Jemma Atkinson asked the panel to direct the clients’ release, or in the alternative recommend a transfer to open conditions.
Our clients’ last parole hearing was on February 2014 which was denied due to the previous panels concerns about the clients’ deceitfulness. However, following the impeccable case delivered by Jemma Atkinson, and the fact that our client had attended a variety of offence focused work, as well as counselling and CBT showing a great development in his ability to control his anger, the panel decided to direct his release.
Jemma was able to put forward a highly persuasive argument for release highlighting to the panel the various courses our client had attended and the positive participation he had shown during these courses. Jemma also devised a detailed release management plan leaving the panel with no choice but to agree with the representations delivered by Jemma Atkinson, that there is no longer a need for our client to be detained in custody. Accordingly, the panel directed his release.
Released from closed conditions, despite not admitting guilt
Our client was an IPP prisoner and did not admit guilt to his index offence. This posed challenges as Jemma needed to prove that our client was not a risk to the public.
Our client's tariff expired in January 2011 and due to security issues, his oral hearing was deferred 2/3 times. In December 2012, Jemma successfully argued for our client's release from closed prison amid unsubstantiated security issues.
Jemma secures client release direct from closed prison
Jemma secured our client, who is serving an indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP sentence), release from prison.
This is a great achievement as our client has been granted release direct from closed prison conditions.
Through Jemma’s assistance, representation and instruction of the relevant medical professionals, it was possible to persuade the Parole Board that our client was fit for release and had carried out all the necessary rehabilitation work, and more, whilst in a closed prison. T
The extensive work our client had done and the work Jemma put into preparing for the client’s Parole hearing, allowed the Parole Board to conclude that our client was safe to be released directly from a closed prison.
Jemma secures successful appeal against excessive sentence
Our client committed offences for which he was imprisoned in 2007. He had pleaded guilty to all charges.
On sentencing the Judge ordered 10 years imprisonment with a consecutive 4 years for another offence, a total of 14 years imprisonment. The Judge also imposed the maximum extension period of 10 years.
Jemma saw that there were grounds to appeal the extension period of 10 years on the basis that it was manifestly excessive and/or disproportionate. The point of extension periods is to prevent reoffending and to secure rehabilitation of an offender.
However, drawing on a precedent case with similar circumstances to her client, Jemma instructed a barrister to represent her client in the Court of Appeal to argue that the 14 years her client had received for the offences and the 3 year licence period he was also to be subjected to whilst in the community, would achieve the objective of the extension period.
The Court of Appeal agreed, commenting that the Judge that imposed the extension period had not considered this point when imposing the 10 year extension period. They saw that the substantial determinate sentence of 14 years and the 3 year licence period was sufficient to fulfil the objective of preventing reoffending and securing rehabilitation of our client.Therefore, the extension period was not necessary in this case.
Therefore in the Court of Appeals view, if the court did not correct this it would result in injustice. So, the appeal was granted and the Court quashed the 10 year extension period.
This positive outcome was a result of Jemma’s hard work and attention to detail.