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HELP Witness Statement - Impending Court Date, Help with making witness statement more robust please
Deedee27
post Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 10:56
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Hello
I am hoping it is not too late for this forum to help me as I am in a bit of a mess with my case. I am aware that this is a long post but I want to give as much information as possible in order to get all the help I can.

Background
My car broke down and was towed to a road near my mechanics (30th Jan 2017). Whilst it was there I eventually decided to have it scrapped as not worth fixing. Some weeks late I received at formal demand letter from UKCPM dated 6th April 2017 that I had received a ticket 4th March 2017. Unfortunately for me I had trusteed my mechanic to get the car scrapped. I called him and he directed me to the scrapping company who had no record of the car being scrapped. Eventually I called DVLA who said I was still the registered keeper. Subsequently I wrote to DVAL that I was no longer the registered keeper and do not have access to the car. They took my name off the car and needless to say I no longer use that mechanic.

I was then introduced to a company by a friend who help to fight parking tickets. They have been helping with communicating with UKCPM, have written my defence and I now at the stage of putting in my witness statement. It was at the point of the defence being written that I stumbled across MSE and Pepipoo. Had I known beforehand that they existed I would have used the advice here rather than the company. But all that is now water under the bridge. I am hoping this community can help me with my witness (already written by the company but I believe could use a second eye to make it more robust).

My court date is 11 Jan 2018 at 10am. I have to get my witness statement in by Thursday 27th December latest.

My defence was as follows:
I denied that
• a contract was formed,
• there was an agreement to pay a parking charge,
• there were terms and conditions prominently displayed around the site,
• there was an agreement to pay additional unspecified sums,
• the claimant adhered to schedule 4 of the protections of freedoms act 2012,
• the claimant complied with IPC and BPA code of practice, the I owe any debt

I have received back the witness statement sent by Gladstone Solicitors which is quite long and daunting, with pictures of my car (no signs nearby in their own picture), a lone picture of a parking sign surrounded by leaves and bushes (which is not and has never been on this road. The only signs they have up is on the opposite side of the road that I parked on and is a mostly faded no parking sign, also not present in the picture they took of my car and are presenting as evidence). They also have a map of the area and dots of alleged places where parking signs were (again not factual, I have even recently returned to the site and these so called signs are not there. Also if the signs were where they alleged them to be it would be visible in the picture they took of my car)

I want to include as evidence in my witness statement pictures of the area that I have taken showing the signs that are faded and on the opposite side of the road which I parked. Even google maps doesn’t have this so called sign that they are putting in as evidence. The company I am using is advising against it stating that it is the claimants’ job to prove those signs were there not mine. But I am trying to prove their lies. What is the advice here? Include my own pictures (which are taken a year late unfortunately, there is dated) or leave my pictures out and just try to combat it at the court as the sign is nowhere near my car in their own picture?

I will post my witness statement in a second post as I am very aware this post is getting long

I will be eternally grateful for any help or advice that can be offered

Thank you in advance
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post Thu, 20 Dec 2018 - 10:56
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Deedee27
post Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 15:29
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QUOTE (Trixie2 @ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 12:38) *
I'm really sorry to hear this. Ultimately though you left the car for them to scrap but did not alert the DVLA that you no longer owned the car. I think that was the mistake as the onus was on you to immediately fill out that part of the form and sed to the DVLA, but you know what, we're all human, and we all make mistakes, but we can learn from them. If anything like this ever happens again nominate the mechanic as the driver at the time and let them deal with it.

Really sorry.


Thank you

Unfortunately for me I was extremely naive to the process of car scrappage and informing DVLA. It was my first car and I didn't know I had to do that.

I naively trusted my mechanic to do all the things necessary I gave him the V5 and he gave me money saying the car was scrapped

Fast forward 3 months when I'm getting letters through the post and I call the scrappage, no record of the car on their system. Call the mechanic and what do you know he insists he had the car scrapped yet somehow still had my V5 all sections intact. It was at this point I called DVLA and they told me to send a letter which I did and finally had my name removed from the vehicle. Too little too late. Thanks Mr mechanic

Needless to say he is no longer my mechanic and ignorance is most certainly not bliss

If I knew about all the necessary things such as informing DVLA then I wouldn't have been in this situation. My fault for believing my mechanic was actually a human being.

I just want to say for any one with upcoming cases do not be discouraged by my result. I was still pleased I went and they didn't get as much as they wanted and each case is different.

Had I more evidence like a decent mechanic willing to sign a statement of truth then the issue may have gone better

Good luck and make use of researching the forum extensively and get advice.

Thanks again everyone

QUOTE (Trixie2 @ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 12:42) *
That's true but it depends if the OP responded to the first NtK and told them who was driving, and pointed out to the judge that the NtK was non compliant with PoFA, therefore absolving her of responsibility.


No I didn't respond to them till I started getting DRP letters
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cabbyman
post Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 16:04
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Who was the judge and which court?

Tough luck, Deedee. You drew a not very switched on judge, it would appear.


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SchoolRunMum
post Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 18:02
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QUOTE
My car broke down and was towed to a road near my mechanics (30th Jan 2017). Whilst it was there I eventually decided to have it scrapped as not worth fixing. Some weeks late I received at formal demand letter from UKCPM dated 6th April 2017 that I had received a ticket 4th March 2017


So you decided at the end of January to have the car scrapped and the keeper was clearly the mechanic from then on, and yet the Judge decided YOU were the 'keeper' in March?

I am not talking about registered keeper, we are talking about the POFA definition of keeper as I said in post #31:

QUOTE
Most importantly, your evidence of proof of the breakdown and towing of the car, to show you not only did not park it there, but also were not 'in control/charge of' the vehicle, as the keeper that day/week, either.

You cannot be held liable under any applicable law, as driver or as keeper but this is for you to convince the Judge.

Make sure you highlight the section of Schedule 4 where it says the 'keeper' as the liable party is 'assumed to be the registered keeper unless proved to the contrary' (or whatever the exact words are in the Act!) they are VITAL because the PPC will argue that the rk is liable, when in fact you are correct, in law the KEEPER is liable and UKCPM know that was not you.

The Judge needs to be led to the truth as stated in the POFA, and he/she won't know it unless you/your lay rep OH talk them through it.


So sorry to hear your Judge didn't see the difference, this is nothing to do with who was the REGISTERED keeper, in your case. You were not liable for someone else's PCN after the mechanic became the keeper.

Which court, have I missed you saying that?
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southpaw82
post Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 18:09
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If the judge found that the OP was the keeper only on the basis that she was the registered keeper, and despite evidence to the contrary, that decision is potentially open to appeal.

If the judge was not persuaded by the evidence that the presumption that the RK (the OP) was the keeper hadn’t been displaced that’s a different matter and much harder to challenge.


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henrik777
post Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 20:50
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QUOTE
So it all down to me being still being the registered keeper at the time and in his conclusion liable


Why were you liable ?

POFA or just because ? I understood the NTK was out of time ??
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Deedee27
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:14
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Sorry for late response guys it was a long day for me yesterday

QUOTE (cabbyman @ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 16:04) *
Who was the judge and which court?

Tough luck, Deedee. You drew a not very switched on judge, it would appear.


I think his name was Judge Wright but I'm not certain I remember correctly.
It was at Romford County in Essex

He was very friendly but seemed quite pally with the lady (Nathalia Cross) and moved through things so fast. I had to stop him during his summary a few times to get my point or question across. And ask him to consider some other things in my defence before summarising.
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Deedee27
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:41
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QUOTE (SchoolRunMum @ Fri, 11 Jan 2019 - 18:02) *
QUOTE
My car broke down and was towed to a road near my mechanics (30th Jan 2017). Whilst it was there I eventually decided to have it scrapped as not worth fixing. Some weeks late I received at formal demand letter from UKCPM dated 6th April 2017 that I had received a ticket 4th March 2017


QUOTE
So you decided at the end of January to have the car scrapped and the keeper was clearly the mechanic from then on, and yet the Judge decided YOU were the 'keeper' in March
?

I mentioned difference between registered keeper and keeper and he said there was no distinction as the car was still in my name it was still my responsibility then moved through quickly.
It was very hard to gather my thoughts and there was no time to look through my skeleton statement sometimes.


I am not talking about registered keeper, we are talking about the POFA definition of keeper as I said in post #31:

QUOTE
Most importantly, your evidence of proof of the breakdown and towing of the car, to show you not only did not park it there, but also were not 'in control/charge of' the vehicle, as the keeper that day/week, either.

You cannot be held liable under any applicable law, as driver or as keeper but this is for you to convince the Judge.

Make sure you highlight the section of Schedule 4 where it says the 'keeper' as the liable party is 'assumed to be the registered keeper unless proved to the contrary' (or whatever the exact words are in the Act!) they are VITAL because the PPC will argue that the rk is liable, when in fact you are correct, in law the KEEPER is liable and UKCPM know that was not you.

The Judge needs to be led to the truth as stated in the POFA, and he/she won't know it unless you/your lay rep OH talk them through it.


So sorry to hear your Judge didn't see the difference, this is nothing to do with who was the REGISTERED keeper, in your case. You were not liable for someone else's PCN after the mechanic became the keeper.

Which court, have I missed you saying that?


Romford county court

He moved so fast it was pretty hard to gather my thoughts. I didn't get a chance to rebut the whole no difference thing.

This post has been edited by Deedee27: Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 10:43
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Ollyfrog
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 12:29
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Sounds like Judge Wrong, not Wright angry.gif

Once you gave the mechanic the keys, he was the keeper. It would be perfectly reasonable to expect that some time between January and March he would have moved the vehicle, (maybe into the workshop to inspect it?), or at the very least he would have gone to the vehicle where it was parked to look at it before declaring it beyond repair. If the vehicle was then left/replaced in a place that it shouldn't have been parked, that was his responsibility.
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Deedee27
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:28
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QUOTE (Ollyfrog @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 12:29) *
Sounds like Judge Wrong, not Wright angry.gif

Once you gave the mechanic the keys, he was the keeper. It would be perfectly reasonable to expect that some time between January and March he would have moved the vehicle, (maybe into the workshop to inspect it?), or at the very least he would have gone to the vehicle where it was parked to look at it before declaring it beyond repair. If the vehicle was then left/replaced in a place that it shouldn't have been parked, that was his responsibility.


That's what I wanted to get across. He was halfway through summarising when I brought up the fact that keeper and registered keeper are separate. He was just focussed on his interpretation that the towing company was "under my instructions" as he put it. And the claimants representative mentioning I didn't nominate anyone and there was no witness present from mechanics or towing company. Then judge moved on quickly before I could gather my thoughts.

I suppose I should have been more forceful in my responses but the whole thing was a little overwhelming.

It was a proper court setting with the judge sitting high on the podium us sitting in front of him.
My mind was hoping for a table kind of thing as I've read on other posts.

As I said he was friendly but seemed pally towards the representative

I asked for an appeal immediately on grounds of signage, no liability and time to get more witnesses

He refused
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southpaw82
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:59
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QUOTE (Deedee27 @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:28) *
I asked for an appeal immediately on grounds of signage, no liability and time to get more witnesses

He refused

I’m not surprised he refused the first and last. The first is a matter of fact, which is almost impossible to appeal. The last is your own tough luck, it’s up to you to bring your best case to court. The only possible route of appeal is that he made an error of law re keeper/registered keeper.


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henrik777
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 14:46
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:59) *
QUOTE (Deedee27 @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:28) *
I asked for an appeal immediately on grounds of signage, no liability and time to get more witnesses

He refused

I’m not surprised he refused the first and last. The first is a matter of fact, which is almost impossible to appeal. The last is your own tough luck, it’s up to you to bring your best case to court. The only possible route of appeal is that he made an error of law re keeper/registered keeper.


Or that POFA was engaged due to the lateness of the notice ?
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southpaw82
post Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 17:49
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QUOTE (henrik777 @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 14:46) *
Or that POFA was engaged due to the lateness of the notice ?

If that was argued. I’ve no idea what was said by anyone about that.


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southpaw82
post Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 17:26
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 10 Jan 2019 - 22:55) *
Whenever I ask for costs to be summarily assessed I hand up a schedule there and then. I don’t submit it in advance.

I will admit to an error here due to differing rules where I am. It doesn’t appear to have been material. Practice Direction 44 says at para 9.5(4) that any costs schedule is to be served at least 24 hours in advance of any hearing.


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anon45
post Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 21:12
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:59) *
QUOTE (Deedee27 @ Sat, 12 Jan 2019 - 13:28) *
I asked for an appeal immediately on grounds of signage, no liability and time to get more witnesses

He refused

I’m not surprised he refused the first and last. The first is a matter of fact, which is almost impossible to appeal. The last is your own tough luck, it’s up to you to bring your best case to court. The only possible route of appeal is that he made an error of law re keeper/registered keeper.

Surely the ground of appeal against the signage would be that the judge erred in law in:
1) holding that only the driver (in this case, the mechanic), could challenge the validity of the signage (if the signage was invalid, then there can be no contractual liability, and therefore no RK liability under contract even if the RK was liable under PoFA), furthermore;
2) did not actually make a substantive finding of fact on the question of signage following proper consideration of argument (which would indeed be difficult to appeal), but rather erred in refusing to consider the arguments on signage at all, and;
3) had the judge applied the correct test in assessing the validity of the signage, he would've found it to be invalid.

Although it sounds like this OP will not be appealing, it seems that there could be a further error of law concerning the apparent finding that the mechanic, in parking the car, was acting as the OP's agent, and this, rather than PoFA, seems to be the basis on which the OP was held to be liable.

This post has been edited by anon45: Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 21:13
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southpaw82
post Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 22:38
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QUOTE (anon45 @ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 21:12) *
Surely the ground of appeal against the signage would be that the judge erred in law in:
1) holding that only the driver (in this case, the mechanic), could challenge the validity of the signage (if the signage was invalid, then there can be no contractual liability, and therefore no RK liability under contract even if the RK was liable under PoFA), furthermore;
2) did not actually make a substantive finding of fact on the question of signage following proper consideration of argument (which would indeed be difficult to appeal), but rather erred in refusing to consider the arguments on signage at all, and;
3) had the judge applied the correct test in assessing the validity of the signage, he would've found it to be invalid.

Although it sounds like this OP will not be appealing, it seems that there could be a further error of law concerning the apparent finding that the mechanic, in parking the car, was acting as the OP's agent, and this, rather than PoFA, seems to be the basis on which the OP was held to be liable.

Surely you’re just speculating without a transcript. Thanks for playing.


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anon45
post Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 22:47
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 22:38) *
QUOTE (anon45 @ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 21:12) *
Surely the ground of appeal against the signage would be that the judge erred in law in:
1) holding that only the driver (in this case, the mechanic), could challenge the validity of the signage (if the signage was invalid, then there can be no contractual liability, and therefore no RK liability under contract even if the RK was liable under PoFA), furthermore;
2) did not actually make a substantive finding of fact on the question of signage following proper consideration of argument (which would indeed be difficult to appeal), but rather erred in refusing to consider the arguments on signage at all, and;
3) had the judge applied the correct test in assessing the validity of the signage, he would've found it to be invalid.

Although it sounds like this OP will not be appealing, it seems that there could be a further error of law concerning the apparent finding that the mechanic, in parking the car, was acting as the OP's agent, and this, rather than PoFA, seems to be the basis on which the OP was held to be liable.

Surely you’re just speculating without a transcript. Thanks for playing.

Aren't we all?
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southpaw82
post Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 22:59
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QUOTE (anon45 @ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 - 22:47) *
Aren't we all?

In so far as what happened in that court, yes. The use of qualifiers such as “if” tends to be useful in such situations.


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