Police release road-rage solicitor on fraud charge

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The Independent Online
Tim Robinson, the solicitor who represented "road-rage" killer Tracie Andrews was yesterday being quizzed by fraud investigators after spending a night in police cells.

Gloucester magistrates ruled at a special sitting yesterday that he could be detained for up to 36 hours for questioning over alleged misuse of public funds.

They granted a Serious Fraud Office application for the detention after a three-hour hearing.

Brian Head, solicitor for the defence, successfully applied for an order preventing publication of case details which could be prejudicial to his client. Mr Robinson is under arrest for the alleged aiding and abetting of false accounting in his firm and for conspiracy to defraud.

Gloucestershire police declined to give any details of his detention, but it was understood that Mr Robinson was likely to be released well in advance of the 4am detention limit today.

He was first arrested by police last month over allegations of Legal Aid fraud. He voluntarily attended Stroud police station for interview.

At the special court hearing, Jean Austin of the Serious Fraud Office made the detention application which was contested by Mr Head. The police investigation centres on a three-year period when Mr Robinson's criminal law firm ran offices in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Swindon and Bristol.

In January 1995, the offices were raided in a co-ordinated police operation. They also visited Mr Robinson's home at Badgeworth, near Cheltenham, and the homes of staff members.

His client Tracie Andrews was jailed for life in July for the murder of her lover Lee Harvey. As she began her life sentence Mr Robinson said he would be appealing against her conviction.