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s172 and speeding - identity theft, Absolutely nothing to do with me. Still have to attend Court?
betterthingstodo
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 14:33
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Firstly, I have completed the Statutory Declaration process and now have notification that a new hearing is to be held. Secondly, this was not my car, I was not driving nor can I have any idea who was.

So, somebody managed to insure a vehicle in my name but at my previous address - somewhere I have not lived for 4 years. The day after it was fraudulently insured, it was caught speeding. The DVLA showed someone else as the registered keeper but the Police could not find them. They found my name attached to the insurance policy for the car so, suddenly, I am in the crosshairs.

I would appreciate any advice on the next steps, as (following the Statutory Declaration) the case has been reset and I must now defend myself in Court, as I would have needed to do if I had known there was a Court case in the first place.

The "Notice of date of new hearing" talks about an adjournment to a future date (9th September) but also states that the reason is for a case management hearing. Given the circumstances, do I really have to attend in person (it's miles away) or can I write to the Court with an explanation of the facts?
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post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 14:33
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Logician
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 14:59
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You are starting in the middle of the story which is never a good place to start, please tell us what happened from the beginning. Presumably you told the police that you had no knowledge of the vehicle?


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The Rookie
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 15:12
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If you attend the case management hearing with enough information they may well drop the case when they hear the basis of your defence. For the CMH you need to present the basis of your defence (in person or at least in writing) as the court will be setting the time required for the trial based partly on that information.

I trust this 'fraud' (which may or may not be, but seams likely) has been reported to the Police once you were aware of it?


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betterthingstodo
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 15:50
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I wanted to start in the middle and then add background, so as to not bore you guys with matters that are no longer relevant or I am not looking for advice on. Apologies if that was the wrong approach.

Full story then:

I received a "Further Steps Notice" on 3rd April (2022) demanding payment of a fine. I had no idea what this was, so contacted the number on the letter. They said they were only in the collections dept. and I needed to speak to another dept. That other dept. told me the fine was for speeding in (in a vehicle that I did not recognise) and for failing to notify and that, since I knew nothing about the Court case, I could make a Statutory Declaration.

Whilst waiting for the date to make the declaration, I tried to obtain as much information as possible about the offences. I contacted the Police Camera Unit who informed me that a vehicle (not mine) had been caught by a speed camera in North Wales at 2am in June 2021. I live over a hundred miles away, in North Yorkshire.

I later received a pack of Court papers in the post, with options to plead. I pleaded not guilty and explained that this incident had nothing to do with me. In the papers was a witness statement from the evidence assessor and that included, amongst other things, a statetment that the registered keeper (someone with an exotic name that I have never heard of) could not be traced. Unable to find the registered keeper, the Police did a search on their database and found that the vehicle had been insured (the day before the offence) using my name, at an address I have not lived at for 4 years.

I have contacted the insurance company to advise them of the fraud. I contacted my local Police about it but they just said it was for DVLA to take up the case not them. I contacted DVLA to request details of my details for any and all records they hold but have not had a response.

Eventually, I had my Statutory Declaration date, made it and was informed that the 6 penalty points and £816 fine would be quashed, pending a new trial.

The most recent development is that I have received "Notice of a new hearing" letter, with a copy of the Statutory Declaration, and reasons for an adjournment to 9th September, stated as "for a case management hearing to discuss and identify the issues in the case and then fix a trial date".

This letter confuses me: how can there be an adjournment to a trial if a trial date has not previously been set? Is the hearing on the 9th the case management meeting? Do I really need to spend all day at Mold Magistrates Court (a long way away) just to confirm what I have already told the Court? Does nobody in the system appreciate that this is a criminal (pardon the pun) waste of my time and taxpayer money?

To conclude, what (I think) I need guidance on at this point is: should I attend this hearing on the 9th September in person?

Please let me know if you need further information.
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Logician
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 16:57
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Thank you, the issue is clearer now. The effect of the statutary declaration is to put matters back to where they were before the hearing you knew nothing about, so the Court are talking about an adjournment of that hearing to 9th September, when there will be a case management hearing. I am afraid that you will have to attend that hearing unless you can persuade the prosecution to drop the case against you beforehand, but once the police have started court proceedings they tend to let them proceed for the court to sort out.

I would see if you can get any more information out of the insurance company. I imagine that the probable fraudster will not have parted with real money for the premium, so it may be that they have now cancelled the inurance ab initio, hopefully they will let you know about this and confirm that your name has been removed from the MID insurance database.

You could ask Mold Magistrates Court to transfer the case to a court local to you, since there will be not witnesses attending from their area there seems no reason why they should not, but if they will not, you could ask a local solicitor to attend and represent you, but of course that would involve fees.

Thank you, the issue is clearer now. The effect of the statutary declaration is to put matters back to where they were before the hearing you knew nothing about, so the Court are talking about an adjournment of that hearing to 9th September, when there will be a case management hearing. I am afraid that you will have to attend that hearing unless you can persuade the prosecution to drop the case against you beforehand, but once the police have started court proceedings they tend to let them proceed for the court to sort out.

I would see if you can get any more information out of the insurance company. I imagine that the probable fraudster will not have parted with real money for the premium, so it may be that they have now cancelled the inurance ab initio, hopefully they will let you know about this and confirm that your name has been removed from the MID insurance database.

You could ask Mold Magistrates Court to transfer the case to a court local to you, since there will be not witnesses attending from their area there seems no reason why they should not, but if they will not, you could ask a local solicitor to attend and represent you, but of course that would involve fees.


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The Rookie
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 17:06
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It is perfectly normal to have a case management hearing and delay the actual trial, as it says it’s to establish the issues between each decide and make an estimate of the time required.

So have you reported the likely fraud to the Police?

You won’t have been found guilty for speeding as they have no evidence you were driving, but of failing to furnish.


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betterthingstodo
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 17:31
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Yes I have reported the fraud to the Police. They replied that is for the DVLA to report the case not me, which is odd, since it was insurance fraud.

I am no longer convicted of either charge but can be at a future date, is my understanding. I'm looking for advice on whether I need to attend the case management hearing or just turn up at Court if it proceeds to trial.

Not being the keeper, I believe (having now read some more) that I have been asked to provide information in my capacity of "any other person" and that I could have satisfied the requirements by replying that I know nothing of this vehicle and therefore do not know who was driving.

The problem is that I did not have the opportunity to satisfy the request as all of the correspondence went to an old address.
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cp8759
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 17:46
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QUOTE (betterthingstodo @ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 18:31) *
Yes I have reported the fraud to the Police. They replied that is for the DVLA to report the case not me, which is odd, since it was insurance fraud.

You need to press the police on this, it's a police matter.

QUOTE (betterthingstodo @ Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 18:31) *
I am no longer convicted of either charge but can be at a future date, is my understanding. I'm looking for advice on whether I need to attend the case management hearing or just turn up at Court if it proceeds to trial.

I would definitely want to go to the CMC hearing if I were you.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law. Section 6 of the Interpretation Act 1978 applies to everything I post as it would apply to an Act of Parliament. I am a Conservative party member, this means some people think I am "scum". No, I am not a lawyer. I do not charge any fees, please stop asking me what my fees are. If I represent you at a hearing and you want to send me a donation that is fine, but this is not required and would be purely voluntary. I do not charge any fees.
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The Rookie
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 18:26
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Either the officer/staff was an idiot or confused, this is very much a police matter.

It’s possible they thought the car was miss registered (a DVLA MATTER) not understood the miss insurance.


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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Council PCN's
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Rookies 1-0 Birmingham

PPC PCN's
Rookies 10-0 PPC's
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betterthingstodo
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 20:07
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Thanks for the information folks.

I asked the Insurance company for more details, after they agreed to flag the policy as fraudulent. Unfortunately, they wouldn't release any information to me, citing GDPR: since I told them the policy was nothing to do with me, their records could not be my personal data, so they were not able to release it! Madness.

Thanks for the advice regarding the Police, I will chase this up. These fraudsters should not get away with it. Do I re-report the crime to my local force, or the force area where the speeding offence occurred?

This post has been edited by betterthingstodo: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 20:07
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Jlc
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 20:13
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The DPA is quite specific on personal data but the Police would have the ability to have the information for the purposes of crime detection.

This post has been edited by Jlc: Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 20:14


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RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information, SAR=Subject Access Request

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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andy_foster
post Mon, 27 Jun 2022 - 21:04
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You have been charged with a criminal offence. Whether or not you actually committed the offence has no bearing on whether or not you need to attend court on any given occasion.

Without reading the whole thread, I am confident that the facts can be summarised thusly-
NIP/s. 172 requirement sent to your previous address in relation to an alleged motoring offence that was nothing to do with you in a vehicle that has never been anything to do with you beyond some form of identity fraud.
Convicted in you absence after court papers sent to your previous address, and stat dec. performed.
Technically...
The s. 172 requirement would be deemed to have been lawfully served if it was delivered to your "last known address" (which is determined based on whether the police ought to have known that you no longer lived there).
As has been stated, your obligation as "any other person" would have been to provide "any information that was in your power to give and that might have lead to the identification of the driver" - which would have included (or consisted of) "absolutely nothing to do with me guv, wasn't there, never drove that vehicle, etc.".
You did not - which would constitute an offence subject to any applicable statutory defences.
The applicable statutory defence is s. 172(7)(b) Road Traffic Act 1988 - "the person on whom the notice is served shall not be guilty of an offence under this section if he shows either that he gave the information as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of that period or that it has not been reasonably practicable for him to give it."
Not receiving the notice is not automatically a defence if it would have been reasonably practicable for you to ensure that any such notices were brought to your attention - e.g. if it was your car and you had simply forgotten to update the V5C, not receiving the notice would not be a defence because you would be expected to comply with the law and update your V5C. Similarly, if you were working abroad for an extended period of time and had staff looking after your home, you might be expected to ensure that your staff contacted you if any such notices arrived. However, you would not be expected to put measures in place to ensure that if somebody happened to fraudulently register a car at your old address that was absolutely nothing to do with you that you would receive that notice.

As regards attending the CMH. The courts can require you to attend hearings, and some hearings are important or useful to attend, others not so much. In the past I have "asked to be excused" from attending CMHs where all that was needed was a brief letter identifying the issues. CMHs are primarily about making best use of the court's time, often with little regard to your time.


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Andy

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betterthingstodo
post Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 07:02
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Andy, thanks. I concur with your summary.

Specifically as regards the defence provided at s172(7)(b), I have given the information as soon as reasonably practical (i.e. as soon as I became aware of this situation). Does it matter that I corresponded with various adminstrative departments in the Courts system and the relevant Camera Safety Unit, but not the Police (sender of the requirement) themselves?

I also have a problem with the assertion that the "requirement would be deemed to have been lawfully served if it was delivered to your "last known address". I accept the default legal interpretation but, surely, this envisages service to the correct person? That is to say, in this case, the person who insured the vehicle. I was not that person. Just because a person decides to use the same name as me, and a previous address of mine, to undertake an act does not make that person me.

This post has been edited by betterthingstodo: Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 07:11
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The Rookie
post Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 07:36
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QUOTE (betterthingstodo @ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 08:02) *
I also have a problem with the assertion that the "requirement would be deemed to have been lawfully served if it was delivered to your "last known address". I accept the default legal interpretation but, surely, this envisages service to the correct person?

I concur and that was my thought, you have two sides to this
1/ That you are not actually the person who insured the vehicle and as such are you actually the person to whom the S172 is a addressed (even though it's your name - as a simple example there are more than 1 John Smith, can you summon every John Smith when one doesn't reply? - Clearly not). The person the S172 was intended for was the person who insured the car who happened to be using the same name as you.
2/ Even if they aren't convinced by that then you have the line of defence Andy referred to in that no amount of 'reasonable diligence' would have allowed you to reply as you had no way of reasonably knowing an S172 request would be served in your name on a property you've had no connection to for some time.

However I do think this is overthinking it, if the court accept your version of events then I don't think any court would convict you.

This post has been edited by The Rookie: Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 07:37


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There is no such thing as a law abiding motorist, just those who have been scammed and those yet to be scammed!

S172's
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IanJohnsonWS14
post Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 09:35
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OP - Do you have any records of when you updated your V5, driving licence, insurance etc. when you moved out of the address four years ago, would help to show the court why you would not expect anything connected with you to be sent to that address.



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andy_foster
post Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 17:36
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 08:36) *
1/ That you are not actually the person who insured the vehicle and as such are you actually the person to whom the S172 is a addressed (even though it's your name - as a simple example there are more than 1 John Smith, can you summon every John Smith when one doesn't reply? - Clearly not). The person the S172 was intended for was the person who insured the car who happened to be using the same name as you.


That is one step away from the duck egg blue distinction between the legal person and natural person (or whatever terminology is trending in the asylums these days). If somebody fraudulently insured a vehicle under the OP's name at the OP' s previous address, that is identity theft/fraud, not a mere coincidence.

@OP - s. 172 was clearly drafted with a situation where the notice was served at a "last known address" but not received by the addressee in mind. Hence the defence I quoted. If you don't like the way that the law is drafted, I suggest that you buy some bricks, build a bridge and get over it.


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betterthingstodo
post Wed, 29 Jun 2022 - 09:43
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QUOTE (IanJohnsonWS14 @ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 10:35) *
OP - Do you have any records of when you updated your V5, driving licence, insurance etc. when you moved out of the address four years ago, would help to show the court why you would not expect anything connected with you to be sent to that address.


I have a copy of my driving licence, showing my new address, with an issue date in December 2018. I didn't need to update a V5 as a didn't actually own a car for a number of years from 2013 to 2020.

This post has been edited by betterthingstodo: Wed, 29 Jun 2022 - 09:45
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disgrunt
post Wed, 29 Jun 2022 - 19:50
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QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 18:36) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Tue, 28 Jun 2022 - 08:36) *
1/ That you are not actually the person who insured the vehicle and as such are you actually the person to whom the S172 is a addressed (even though it's your name - as a simple example there are more than 1 John Smith, can you summon every John Smith when one doesn't reply? - Clearly not). The person the S172 was intended for was the person who insured the car who happened to be using the same name as you.


That is one step away from the duck egg blue distinction between the legal person and natural person (or whatever terminology is trending in the asylums these days). If somebody fraudulently insured a vehicle under the OP's name at the OP' s previous address, that is identity theft/fraud, not a mere coincidence.

@OP - s. 172 was clearly drafted with a situation where the notice was served at a "last known address" but not received by the addressee in mind. Hence the defence I quoted. If you don't like the way that the law is drafted, I suggest that you buy some bricks, build a bridge and get over it.


Whilst I feel an argument could be made with the Rookie’s suggestion, why bother with not much is at stake, and it would hurt your credibility with their defence of identity theft and not reasonably practical to reply (namely served at an address the OP hadn’t lived at for 4 years and never provided by the OP)

Arguing technicalities should be when the impact of a guilty verdict (however unlikely) are significant or you are actually guilty of the underlying offence and getting off makes it worthwhile running such a defence (eg already on 9 points and getting band would be so inconvenient it’s worth a shot)

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