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M606 speed camera - Wife was driving court case due, Error on the police paperwork
Hugh Walker
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:16
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Last November 23rd 2017 my wife was driving back from North Yorkshire to home in Shropshire and her sat nav took her via Bradford the M606. She tripped the camera on the 50 mph limit before the bend to join the M62. She genuinely thought it was a 70 mph as it was the M606 motorway, it was dark cold and she is not a great traveller of distance, single female lost in Bradford and got to the relative safety and familiarity of the Motorway network. She also has an impeccable driving record with no offences for the last 25 years. I got the letter asking for driver details as I am the registered keeper and we filled in the paper work stating that wifey was driving. We heard nothing back and thought that she may have got away with it. I checked the forum and know that West Yorkshire Police have 6 months to take the case to court. We had a letter confirming this was the case on the 21st May and paperwork came through on the 26th May with the posting date of the 25th May 2018.

I will be checking with Bradford Magistrates Court to see if they actually sent the paperwork in to court before the 23rd May within the 6 month period. or wether it has timed out.

My wife is not the sort of person to want to appear in court, shy and probably say she is disgusted by the tactics of a 50mph speed limit on a motorway.

We were in the process of pleading guilty by post and filling the mitigating circumstances, of good driving record, worried single female far from home, late night and dubious speed camera location, ie she said she genuinely did not see it the speed restrictions or camera.

Then I noticed in the paperwork that in the Certificate use of a prescribed device, the Authorised person compiling the information , CIV XXXX from West Yorkshire Police Casualty reduction Partnership has made a mistake. They state in their witness statement that that the device was installed at the M606 south bound near slip, near market post 1.0 Bradford UK. The section of the road being monitored is subject to a 76 mph limit. ( not 50 mph it is typed 76 mph) it states that the speed the device recorded was 76 mph later in the document

The speed wifey is being prosecuted for is 73 mph. in a 50mph limit Yes .... their paperwork they are relying on in court states that the road in questions was restricted to 76 mph So there is an error in their paperwork which puts doubt into the documentation and their reason for prosecution.

My question to the forum is would this be sound grounds to plead not guilty and state their error and conflict of information and would it be best to attend court to do so.

What would be the best way to make the most of this error to mitigate the offence. It seems that 73 mph in a zone subject to a 76 mph limit is not an offence.

I will first be checking to see if WYP have submitted the court papers within the prescribed time too

This post has been edited by Hugh Walker: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:29
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post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:16
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peterguk
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:26
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An error in the statement will simply be corrected in court and presents no defence to the charge.

Your wife says she is "disgusted" at the 50mph limit on the motorway. Did she not notice the sharp bend immediately after the 50mph limit signs?

This post has been edited by peterguk: Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:47


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notmeatloaf
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:32
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In court the prosecutor will simply ask the court to correct the paperwork under the slip rule which (briefly) allows them to correct clerical errors.

None of the other mitigation is relevant.

Can you confirm exactly what paperwork you have received - most cases are now requisitioned directly by the police so if it arrived with the court after the six months it will not help.

Absent of an out of time probably the best bet is to ask if your wife can be sentenced at the fixed penalty rate of £100 and 3 points. Magistrates have discretion to offer this if the FPN isn't taken up due to reasons unconnected to the offence - although whether feeling it is all a bit unfair would count is anyone's guess.

Otherwise she is in magistrates sentencing - fine + points + £85 costs + 10% victim surcharge (minimum £30).

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Jlc
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:33
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73 in a 50 would normally result in a 3 points £100 fixed penalty. Or is the allegation 76? (As this would result in court)

That excess may well require a court attendance to consider a ban - unless they use the new process where they can ban via SJP.


--------------------
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

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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southpaw82
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:51
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:32) *
In court the prosecutor will simply ask the court to correct the paperwork under the slip rule which (briefly) allows them to correct clerical errors.

Where is the power to allow the court to correct an error in a certificate generated by the police?


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peterguk
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 21:54
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:51) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:32) *
In court the prosecutor will simply ask the court to correct the paperwork under the slip rule which (briefly) allows them to correct clerical errors.

Where is the power to allow the court to correct an error in a certificate generated by the police?


I may have misunderstood, but read:

QUOTE (Hugh Walker @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:16) *
They state in their witness statement


so assumed it could be corrected.


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southpaw82
post Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:03
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:54) *
QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:51) *
QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:32) *
In court the prosecutor will simply ask the court to correct the paperwork under the slip rule which (briefly) allows them to correct clerical errors.

Where is the power to allow the court to correct an error in a certificate generated by the police?


I may have misunderstood, but read:

QUOTE (Hugh Walker @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:16) *
They state in their witness statement


so assumed it could be corrected.

I thought it was in a certificate but either way, same question: where's the power to correct it?


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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 00:52
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There are lots of motorways with 50mph limits.........and if she thought it was a 70 why do 76?

This won’t require an appearance anyway, a guilty plea by post will suffice (given that I can’t see any grounds for a defence which would need an appearance).


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Logician
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 00:55
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So how to proceed, plead not guilty, when asked the reason for the plea say that the stated limit was not exceeded, go to court and require the prosecution to prove the speed limit in question? This is going to take a certain amount of resilience and the OP says his wife is shy and does not want to appear in court, so she is either going to need the support of a solicitor, or could indeed send a solicitor to represent her.


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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 01:32
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Except at 76 she is guilty anyway?


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gilan02
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 07:25
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QUOTE (Hugh Walker @ Tue, 5 Jun 2018 - 22:16) *
I got the letter asking for driver details as I am the registered keeper and we filled in the paper work stating that wifey was driving. We heard nothing back and thought that she may have got away with it.


Did she ever receive a request to name the driver?
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Hugh Walker
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 09:08
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Thanks for the feedback, generally saying that the error on their statement will simply be corrected...

The WYP laid down the information with the court on the 22nd May just before the deadline/time out for court proceedings.

I think it will be best to plead guilty by post and send in the information and point out in the mitigation that the statement presented to the court by one of the Police's witnesses is incorrect and ask if they feel this would be a sound conviction given the circumstances
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Jlc
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 09:16
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QUOTE (Hugh Walker @ Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 10:08) *
...ask if they feel this would be a sound conviction given the circumstances

Sounds like they could adjourn and request presence at a normal hearing to discuss...

I would simply plead guilty and ask them to consider the guidance: (p453 Mag's sentencing guidance)

QUOTE
where a penalty notice could not be offered or taken up for reasons unconnected with the offence
itself, such as administrative difficulties outside the control of the offender, the starting point
should be a fine equivalent to the amount of the penalty and no order of costs should be
imposed. The offender should not be disadvantaged by the unavailability of the penalty notice in
these circumstances.


But the question about your Wife providing her own s172 is important. (We are presuming there is only a single charge of the speeding)


--------------------
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

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 13:50
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Except that at 76 in a 50 she wouldn’t ever be offered a fixed penalty, so strongly suggest the not taken up was nothing to do with administrative difficulties and is a reason connected to the offence?


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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
Rookies 1-0 Kent

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

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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Jlc
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 14:03
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But I think it was 73, may be.


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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

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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The Rookie
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 14:27
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It says both apparently.....


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

S172's
Rookies 1-0 Kent

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

PPC PCN's
Rookies 8-0 PPC's
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AntonyMMM
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 14:53
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QUOTE (Hugh Walker @ Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 10:08) *
I think it will be best to plead guilty by post and send in the information and point out in the mitigation that the statement presented to the court by one of the Police's witnesses is incorrect and ask if they feel this would be a sound conviction given the circumstances


You can't plead guilty and then invite the magistrates to consider whether it is a sound conviction - if you do that, you are putting a potential defence (however weak) into the mitigation and they will probably just enter a Not Guilty plea on her behalf and adjourn for a full trial at which your wife (not you) will have to appear and either present her own defence or employ a solicitor to do it for her.

This post has been edited by AntonyMMM: Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 14:54
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Logician
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 15:22
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QUOTE (Hugh Walker @ Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 10:08) *
Thanks for the feedback, generally saying that the error on their statement will simply be corrected... The WYP laid down the information with the court on the 22nd May just before the deadline/time out for court proceedings. I think it will be best to plead guilty by post and send in the information and point out in the mitigation that the statement presented to the court by one of the Police's witnesses is incorrect and ask if they feel this would be a sound conviction given the circumstances


No, if you plead guilty then you are guilty, any mitigation goes towards sentence, and an error in the paperwork after the event is not mitigation. If she wants to try to take advantage of the error she will need to plead not guilty. The prosecution then have to prove their case, an essential element of that being the speed limit. If the only evidence they have available is a certificate showing it to be 76mph, they cannot prove their case. They may ask for an adjournment, which the OP should resist. The prosecution should not have the opportunity to adjourn while they gather more evidence, any more than the defence would be allowed to.



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notmeatloaf
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 17:36
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Except the OPs wife will have to disclose her defence before the trial, and it is very very likely they will obtain an extra statement.

If they rock up on the day and ambush the prosecution it is likely they will adjourn.
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Logician
post Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 22:47
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QUOTE (notmeatloaf @ Wed, 6 Jun 2018 - 18:36) *
Except the OPs wife will have to disclose her defence before the trial, and it is very very likely they will obtain an extra statement. If they rock up on the day and ambush the prosecution it is likely they will adjourn.


That is why I suggested in my earlier post that when asked she should say that her defence was that the stated limit was not exceeded, they may or may not realise that the stated limit is 76mph. Ambushing the prosecution is introducing something unexpected and new, not revealing a weakness in the prosecution case that was clear to anyone reading the papers, in my opinion. The defence has no obligation to point out weaknesses in the prosecution case so that they can be corrected. I think this could make a successful half-time submission of no case to answer.



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