Dieter Kehler’s letter gives a telling example of the unintended consequences of scrapping the legal advice and assistance scheme, about which this government was warned by so many.

His client’s inability to obtain legal advice has resulted in tragedy for himself and massive costs for the public purse, set aside which the cost of legal advice and assistance would have been minuscule.

This policy, pursued in the face of such universal opposition from those who actually knew anything about working of the legal system, must be one of the most stupid and damaging decisions taken by government in recent years.

Stephen Trahair, Foot Anstey, Plymouth