Natalie has worked with Swain & Co for 9 years and is a Legal Executive in the Prison & Public law department at our Havant office.
Natalie is passionate about miscarriages of justice and Prisoners rights and their progression through the Prison system, especially indeterminate prisoners.
Natalie is experienced in all aspects of Prison Law including parole reviews, Category A reviews, Sentence Progression and regularly represents client's for their Parole oral hearings all over the country.
Natalie enjoys spending time with her family and friends in her spare time as well as travelling.
What Natalie's clients say:
To Mrs Natalie Shotter,
I would like to Say a 'BIG' thank you for all of your help in my recent 'potential Judicial Review Matter'.
I am especially grateful for the manner in which you reassured me from the point of first prison visit. Your punctuality didn't go unnoticed, right up till the successful outcome.
Your diligent performance has been most comforting and helpful and I would continue to recommend inmates to your firm.
Thank you Natalie.
Natalie's recent success cases:
Natalie Shotter of Swain & Co Solicitors represented her client at his recall oral hearing.
The client had been recalled for a further offence and for failure to comply with his licence conditions and SOPO.
Going into the hearing there was no recommendation for re-release and all witness were recommending TSP, they were all of agreement that this was essential risk reduction work that needed to be completed in custody.
Prior to going into the hearing Natalie Shotter investigated the availability of the TSP in both custody and in the community.
During the hearing the argument was placed that it was likely to take in the region of 12-18 months for the client to gain access to this course in custody whereas on release he could commence this within a couple of weeks. Therefore the client would effectively be treading water whilst awaiting access to this course.
It was further argued that the risk the Offender Manager and Offender Supervisor were concerned about was more of the risk to the client himself in that he would be again be recalled however they were not concerned about his risk to the Public. Natalie Shotter reminded all witnesses of the release test of the panel which of course is “whether their risk to the public has been reduced enough to be manageable in the community”
By the end of the hearing all witnesses had changed their recommendation to release with a condition that he completes the TSP in the community.
The Parole Board agreed with these recommendations and release was granted.
Mrs Shotter represented a post tariff life sentenced prisoner for his oral hearing. Our application was for release.
This client had previously failed in open due to trying to conceal tablets following a home leave. Since his return to closed conditions he had also been found in possession of a mobile phone.
The Offender Supervisor and Offender Manager were concerned by his risk-taking behaviour and his lack of compliance and therefore recommended that he be returned to open conditions and have a further period of testing to ensure he can comply with his licence.
Mrs Shotter extensively questioned the witnesses as to what they would be concerned about going wrong if he were to be released and what could be gained from a further period in open conditions. When questioned both the OM and OS agreed that they were not concerned about him being a serious risk and in fact it was unlikely that he would cause anyone serious harm on release they were purely concerned about his compliance, Mrs Shotter argued that this was not the consideration of the Parole Board and if the release test has been met then release should be granted. Mrs Shotter further argued that these rule breaking incidents did not go towards his risk and the risk management plan is sufficient enough to manage his risk in the community.
The client had already made preparations for his release in terms of employment however the OM stated a further period of time in open would allow him to have firm move on plans following his stay in an AP, It was argued as to how many prisoners were released with firm move on plans and in fact these plans could be facilitated more easily whilst in an AP.
The Parole Board agreed with the submissions made that the client’s risk had been reduced and there was no concern that he would commit a further serious offence. They therefore directed his release.
Potential challenge against Chichester District Council and West Sussex Council
Natalie Shotter was instructed to look into a potential challenge against Chichester District Council and West Sussex Council in their failure to appropriately allocate an overnight carer for respite care and for refusing them to allow to bid for a three bedroom property to allow the carer to sleep in the room next to their child and for his medical equipment to be kept.
The Housing Benefit and Universal Credit (Size Criteria) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2017 provide that an additional bedroom is permitted if a child or non-dependant adult requires overnight care from a non-resident carer.
The Housing Benefit Regulations 2006 state that to require overnight care, the person needs to be regularly receiving overnight care from a carer who does not live with them, during which use of an additional bedroom is necessary.
The Regulations provide no specification as to whether the non-resident carer must be a paid care worker or a carer, and it is therefore reasonable that the term applies to both.
Mrs Shotter issued a letter before action to Chichester and West Sussex indicating that the original overnight respite care allocated was not sufficient and that the parents should be allowed to bid for a three bedroom property to allow for the carer to stay in an adjacent room so as to cause minimal disruption to the child and his parents.
Initially Chichester agreed to increase the allocated respite care and subsequently West Sussex reviewed their originally decision and agreed that the client’s should be able to bid for the three bedroom property.
Court proceedings were avoided by way of pre-action protocol in this case meaning a quick resolution for the client’s.