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Covering Letter, Defence Statement, Request for Disclosure, Maybe useful as a template...
post Wed, 3 Dec 2008 - 21:36
Post #1


Group: Members
Posts: 270
Joined: 16 Oct 2008
From: Suffolk
Member No.: 23,289

I'm posting these in case they help anyone else and also as discussions documents. If people want to suggest how they can be improved - I'm sure they can. At the end of the day, they did the trick for me. THanks in particular to Desktop Demon who critiqued and improved them from their 'rood' initial format.

Arthur C

November 2008

Clerk to the Courts

cc: Cambridgeshire CPS

Court code – XX6X (31) - CPS Reference No XXSU\XXXXX\08 Date of hearing TBC

Dear Sir/Madam,

I understand that a date has been set of XXth December 2008 at XX.00am at the Xxxy Magistrates Court for a Pre-Trial review and I look forward to attending in order to discuss the merits of the case for the alleged offence.

As a layman I am trying to understand the processes and procedures for the courts as my experience in the past has been as an observer. I hope any shortcomings in my efforts do not increase the burden on the courts time.

In order that everyone is clear what my objections to the case are, I have attached a copy of my preliminary Defence Statement. I appreciate this is earlier than I need to make the submission but I felt it would be in the best interests of all parties so that an assessment of my position can be made. I reserve the right to add to, or amend this statement should it prove necessary in the light of further information.

With regard to further information, I have also attached a list of the items I should like to have disclosed so that I can make an examination of the information so that my defence can be properly prepared. I am sure it is understood that failure to examine these items could affect my right to a fair trial in accordance with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Yours Sincerely


"DEFENCE STATEMENT under s.6, CPIA 1996 as amended by CJA 2003"

Nature of the Defence
1. It is alleged that I rode a motorcycle (XXXXXXX) along the AXX carriageway at an average speed of XXX.95 mph in breach of the authorised speed limit. I understand that the police officer formed an opinion that I was exceeding the speed limit and then used a Provida device to corroborate his opinion by recording my time between two points along the carriageway.

I refute the suggestion that I was riding at the alleged speed.

Matters of fact on which I take issue with the Prosecution
2. The Provida system is not Type Approved and as a prescribed device any record or measurement so produced cannot be used in proceedings. Therefore I believe that the prosecution does not have any reliable evidence to support the allegation.

3. I take issue with the various versions of the officer’s actions observed at the time and subsequently given in the witness statement. I find it difficult to accept that the officer was able to accurately identify my passing the identified points of travel when there were several vehicles between his car and my motorcycle during the recording. The defence takes issue with the allegation that the officer accurately measured the distance moved by the motorcycle and refutes the suggestion that the speed measurement provided by the Provida system was accurate.

4. The defence takes issue with and refutes the suggestion made by Officer XxXxX that he accurately measured the alleged distance travelled during the alleged offence using a theolodite.

5. The defence takes issue with and refutes the suggestion that I signed the officer’s pocket book to confirm I was riding at excess speed.

6. The defence contends that the calibration of the Provida system was not carried out according to the correct procedures and this further made the measurement of speed and distance by the Provida system unreliable

Disclosure Request

Points of law – disclosure

The CPS > Legal Guidance > Video Recorded Evidence:
“The video film, on which evidence is recorded of an incident, is a document for the purposes of the Magistrates Court (Advance Information) Rules 1985. The Divisional Court in the case of R v Calderdale Magistrates Court ex parte Donahue and Cutler 2001 Crim L.R. 141 held that there is a duty on the Prosecution to disclose on request by the Defence a copy of any video recording forming part of the prosecution case prior to plea before venue being considered.”
“Similar considerations apply where the video recording is not part of the prosecution case and the video recording is treated as unused material under the procedures set out in the Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996.”

Following CJA 2003, the requirement for disclosure under both s.3 and s.7 relates to “prosecution material which might reasonably be considered capable of undermining the case for the prosecution against the accused or of assisting the case for the accused”.

The Attorney General’s Guidelines on Disclosure:
“ In deciding what material should be disclosed (at any stage of the proceedings) prosecutors should resolve any doubt they may have in favour of disclosure, unless the material is on the sensitive schedule….”

s.35(2) of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998:
“Personal data are exempt from the non-disclosure provisions where the disclosure is necessary-
(a) for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), or
(B) for the purpose of obtaining legal advice,
or is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights.”

This is an application under s8 CPIA 1996 that the court should order the prosecution in this case to disclose to me the following items :

A copy of the ‘Full Session’ video recording (including any audio track) for the period of duty of Officer XxXxXxX from the Provida Video Recording device installed in the police car.

Expert analysis of the full tape will enable confirmation that ;

· The officer correctly operated the complex sequence of button presses to obtain an accurate recording.

· The speed measured was, in fact, the speed of my vehicle and not the speed of the officer’s vehicle.

· Confirmation of which two points were used as the measured distance.

· That the officer had continuous clear view of my motorcycle during the period of the recording for the specified distance.

· Any calibration checks were carried out correctly

· In accordance with the ACPO Instructions, the camera was in a fixed position for the duration of the tour of duty

· Other responsibilities related to this equipment were complied with during the officer’s tour of duty.

The pocketbook of Constable XxXxXxX

· In order to identify what information has been recorded there to cause the witness statement to include comments which are purported to come from myself, which I do not support.

· Additionally, to identify any notes or records related to measurements or reminders of any points on the AXX which have been used as recorded distance markers.

Training records and certificates of competency related to operation of speed measuring equipment and training for Road Policing duties so that the defence can confirm the competency and suitability of Constable Xxxxx’s operational procedures related to the alleged offence.

Calibration certificates for any equipment referred to in the prosecution case to ensure that all items were operationally fit for purpose.

Copies of equipment manuals, operating procedures and installation instructions for any equipment referred to or used as part of the prosecution case so that the defence can be assured that all necessary precautions for correct operation have been met.

A ‘True Copy’ of the ACPO Code of Practice for Operational Use of Enforcement Equipment so that the instructions to police officers can be verified as having been met.

A ‘True Copy’ of the joint ACPO NPIA Professional Practice Document on the Policing of Roads, which further defines operational considerations for use of enforcement equipment.

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