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Wockerman
Posted on: Sun, 27 Jan 2013 - 10:06


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Only because the council were provided with my name by my employers; the council have no identification of the driver at the time of the offence, beyond the photograph I uploaded. The vehicle was a company car and could have been driven by any member of staff at any time.
  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #778320 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590

Wockerman
Posted on: Sat, 26 Jan 2013 - 16:22


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Well, since I have no job, can't afford a solicitor, and appearing in court would only open myself up to awkward questions, it seems this will only go one way. mad.gif

Other than a written plea to the court regarding mis-identification, I don't see a way forward.

I hope Kettering Council are proud of themselves.
  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #778160 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590

Wockerman
Posted on: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 - 11:48


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So plead guilty and be done with it? Not being facetious, a genuine question.
  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #773814 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590

Wockerman
Posted on: Mon, 14 Jan 2013 - 12:35


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Ok, Ive uploaded some pics. I'm afraid I havent got the original FPN or letter, or not that I can find.

The covering letter. Note it is addressed to a Mr Bonham, which is not me. No idea who it is.



First page of the summons. I've redacted some things, but you will note the postcode on the summons has the wrong postcode, it has been scrubbed out in pencil and my (correct) postcode handwritten underneath. You will also note the statement that "the Accused committed the offence" at the bottom.



Second page of the summons:



Statement of facts from the council. Note that there is a reference to an "ECN" in the last paragraph as opposed to a FPN, which is what is referred to elsewhere; Note also that my employers were asked who was "in charge" of the vehicle on the day in question but that in this statement that has turned into "driven on the day in question by". My employers were not asked who was driving at the time, and the vehicle was a company car and could have been driven by any employee at any time?



Statement by the witness:



"Evidential photograph" taken by the witness at the time of the alleged offence. No identification is possible of the driver, and no litter is visible:



Anything else I may have that would be useful?
  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #773334 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590

Wockerman
Posted on: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 - 19:01


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Thanks for your replies all. If we can leave aside the smoking in the car thing (since my employers kindly made me redundant a month after this alleged littering offence), can I clarify the advice so far?

As I understand what I have read:
  • Since the Council failed to positively identify the offender at the time of the offence, against DEFRA guidelines, the littering allegation can be defended?
  • That it is unlikely that a cigarette end could be considered as controlled waste, making the second possible offence similarly defendable?


I haven't yet pointed out to the council that for their employee to have taken a picture of the alleged offence, whilst in control of a vehicle, he would have had to break the law (probably). And I CAN prove that, as I have a signed admission to the effect that he did it.... happy.gif

What docs do you need and I'll sort them tomorrow....

Thanks again.

S
  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #772269 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590

Wockerman
Posted on: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 - 13:49


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According to the stamped "summons" the information was laid 2 days before the end of the 6 months; I presume from your question there is a time limit?

The FPN arrived addressed to me after the leasing company and my employers had helpfully handed on the necessary information.

  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #772102 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590

Wockerman
Posted on: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 - 07:09


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Hi Everybody this is my first post so don't know if this is the correct place but I am sure it will be moved if necessary...

In June of last year I received a FPN from Kettering Borough Council alleging that I had thrown a cigarette out of the window of my company car and it had been been witnessed by an Environment & Parking Warden, who had taken a photograph to "prove" the offence. I have to be honest and say that I may well have done so, though it is unusual (that's what ashtrays are for) but I could not remember in June and I certainly can't remember now! The FPN was issued under the EPA 1990 S33, 87 and 88. The FPN had reached me via the leasing company (the Registered Keeper), my Employers (The Hirer) and then me (being the person controlling or in a position to control the use of the vehicle). It was the first time I was aware that an offence may have been committed, no-one had spoken to me at the time, or approached me or anything.
At the time, I emailed the council to ask to see their "evidence" and by return received a grainy photograph of my company car at the place in question - there was no way that the driver of the vehicle could be seen through the rear window, and there was no evidence that anything had been thrown from the vehicle. Since no positive identification was made by the council employee at the time, no positive identification could be made of the driver or the offence from the picture, and they had no "proof" beyond the statement of the council employee, I (perhaps foolishly) ignored it, thinking at the the time that it would be impossible to enforce.

Well its now January, and the council budget must be getting low, because they are now threatening to take me to magistrates court for the offence - I received yesterday enough paperwork to account for a small forest from the council's in-house lawyers.

I have to say that I am concerned on several levels with the paperwork that I have received. Most of it is on plain paper, (some has the Council's letterhead), none of it looks official at all - I could have produced the same in Word in about ten minutes. None of it seems to be official court paperwork, and the only semi-official mark I can see is a stamp that says "Private Prosecutions Information Laid" and the date. There are lots of "witness" statements, including from the head of "Democratic and Legal Services" (seriously) "who states that the accused committed the offence detailed above". Nice that I am innocent until proven guilty.

The paperwork is full of errors and inconsistencies (the "summons" has an incorrect postcode, erased by hand and the correct one inserted), the FPN is referred to as an FPN in some places and and an ECN in at least one place, the letter is addressed to me but then says "Dear Mr Bonham" (whoever he is). The summons alleges an offence committed under the EPA 1990 s87 and 33, but then says that they may prosecute for depositing controlled waste under s33. It concerns me that they cannot decide exactly what they are going to prosecute for, and as far as I can tell, a cigarette end isn't classified as controlled waste. I presume that if they feel they cant prosecute for dropping litter they can prosecute me for being the "person controlling or in a position to control the use of the vehicle" but then that demands that I was leaving controlled waste, which I wasn't.

I am not trying to defend my position as someone who has littered - litter annoys me as much as anybody. It does however make my blood boil that these people have nothing better to do than send out reams of paperwork like this, just to get £75. There was a time when the job of a council was to provide services, not hound motorists. On top of which, I am now unemployed and am in no position to pay a fine... dry.gif

I really would appreciate any advice I can get on this. I have not uploaded any images of the paperwork, but I am happy to do so if requested.

Thanks in advance

S
  Forum: Speeding and other Criminal Offences · Post Preview: #771960 · Replies: 32 · Views: 4,590


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