I need urgent advice please,
My girlfriend was silly enough to be caught up in the middle of an aggravated theft of an auto mobile back in April 2015.
She was merely with the wrong person at the wrong time and She has never committed any crime or done anything of this nature before. She has a clean record with the police up until this day.
However she was handed down a 22 month jail sentence, in which I feel for an 18yr old young mother with a clean history is way over the top. (Maybe I'm wrong). She has since that incident been diagnosed as bipolar and is now on meds for it.
She has got Legal Aid currently appealing the 22 months that was handed down to her as she was basically only an accessory to the crime as it took place. She had no idea the co-accused was going to do such a thing, but when he did she hoped in the passenger seat of the stolen car and off they went driving, only to be caught about an hour later by the police.
There has been 4 hearings since the offence took place and her co-accused has been deported back to New Zealand for his criminal history as well as his involvement in the April Agg theft. Her legal aid representative has failed to turn up to 2 of her earlier hearings, nor submit any paperwork to the court.
My GF wanted to with draw her appeal after the second no show by legal aid, but the magistrate said that he felt that the jail time she has been issued is only going to do her more harm than good, and that her 18mth old daughter would suffer immensely also without her mum, so she decided to continue with the appeal and it was adjourned until 14th Jan 2016.
But again yesterday her lawyer didn't show up to court for the mentioned matter to be relisted for another final sentencing date.
Is there anything my GF can do herself to continue her appeal without legal aid.
Can she write a letter to the magistrate herself explaining that she's got no control or idea why her Legal Rep has not shown up on 3 occasions in the past. I have no doubt that these no shows have only aggravated the magistrate for the worst.
Can anyone please help out with some advice as to which direction she should take from here.