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Failure to provide blood specimen without reasonable excuse.
Mrblue123
post Thu, 21 Oct 2021 - 18:30
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Hello I have a court appearance in the up coming weeks, charged with failure to provide and I am looking for some help/advice thanks.

A few months ago I drove to get a takeaway when I was stopped by police on foot patrol for driving on a access only zone. (I'm not from the town, I visit every so often and at a certain time the gates are opened and a lot of people drive through the town and a lot did while I was stopped)

The police stopped me, asked for license and gave me a penalty ticket, they then did some checks on the car and registration, then one officer asked me when was the last time I smoked cannabis? which I replied "about 3 or 4 days ago" because I was asked on the spot when I thought about it, it was actually 5-7 days.

The officer then radioed for a officer in a vehicle with a drug swab test. when he arrived he didn't introduce himself and did not explain the swab test was in a sealed packet and not tampered with but he did open it out if a packet, he just told me to stick my tongue out and wiped it on my tongue. (all of this I recorded on phone) after 8 minutes he said it was positive for cannabis, I asked him to show me the test because I found it hard to believe as I smoked it many days before, he didn't show me (recorded on video) the first officer arrested me and the officer who did the test took me to station.

at the station I seen a nurse who asked me some questions, one of them was have you ever had blood taken which I told her no because I am afraid of needles and don't ever have them. (no tattoos or vaccine)
the officer then turned his body cam on and went through the MGDD booklet and he requested a blood sample which I refused due to the needle phobia which I explained to the nurse before the officer even asked me, I offered a urine sample or hair just not a needle. He said "in that case there will be no further action" but the nurse interfered and told him not to do that before speaking to the sergeant..
when he came back he asked the nurse to view my medical records to see if I have had needles in the past, she said she wasn't aloud to do that and told him to charge me and I have to bring my medical history to court.
after id been charged the sergeant basically blackmailed me saying if I go and give a blood sample and it comes back under the limited I can go home if not I have to go into a cell (I now know it takes 4-6 weeks for a blood result so that was a complete lie) I went in the cell for about an hour then got realised.

since then I have contacted my doctor and told them about the phobia and they say its not something that is diagnosed by your GP but she has documented it and referred me to psychological therapy, which I'm still waiting for.

at the first hearing I used the on duty solicitor and plea not guilty but I have not been accepted for legal aid due to working full time and I don't have enough money for a private solicitor. please can anyone give me some advice I am very worried iv only been court once before (not driving related) and pleaded guilty and took my punishment but this time I felt like I had a reasonable excuse so I went not guilty. I am considering changing plea before trail.

lastly on the key evidence on the police report the arresting officer says I admitted to smoking cannabis in the last 24 hours which is a lie and should be on his body cam. but in his witness statement he changed it to a few days before. I'm not sure if that can make a difference?



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post Thu, 21 Oct 2021 - 18:30
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Logician
post Thu, 21 Oct 2021 - 23:18
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So the arresting officer's witness statement is now correct? However badly you feel that the police dealt with the case is not really relevant to your case, you can make a complaint to the police after it is over. As you accept that you refused to provide a sample of blood, so the only question for the court to decide is whather you had a reasonable excuse for doing so. It may not be easy to get a copy of your medical records from your GP, it might be easier to get a statement that your records do not show that you have ever received any treatment that would have required you to accept having a needle inserted. How about your dentist, have you ever refused a local anaesthetic? Anyway that is not conclusive if you have received a needle in the past that is evidence for the prosecution to bring up if they can to counteract your evidence that you have a needle phobia. It come down to you convincing the court that you have.


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TMC Towcester
post Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 07:28
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It seems a tall order to be able to persuade a Magistrate that you had an undocumented phobia until called out for a blood test. As a driver you must be at least 17 and although possible, it'll be a big ask to explain how you've never had this situation before (had you done so it would be on your medical records - is it?).

I can't comment on the procedural aspects, but nothing you've posted suggests any meaningful issue that would affect the outcome.

I wonder why the arresting officer asked you about smoking weed? There must have been something in your demeanour (or pupils of the eyes?) to make him/her jump to that aspect (vs alcohol, inattention, eyesight etc)? gain, I'm no expert but understood police are trained to spot the signs which suggest they were evident and presumably cannot be if the individual had not used?

Nothing you've posted suggests much hope for a defence, whether represented or not. The use of a solicitor may come down to how much your licence means to you, the cost of insurance with a conviction on your record, your attitude to risk and of course the spectre of a costs award against you if unsuccessful...............
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southpaw82
post Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 08:23
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A mere assertion of a needle phobia is not sufficient to found a reasonable excuse. There has to be some evidence before the court to set up the reasonable excuse defence before the prosecution are required to disprove it. R (Cuns) v Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court.


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Rakesh_Qor
post Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 14:22
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QUOTE (TMC Towcester @ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 08:28) *
I wonder why the arresting officer asked you about smoking weed? There must have been something in your demeanour (or pupils of the eyes?) to make him/her jump to that aspect (vs alcohol, inattention, eyesight etc)?


Smell for sure.

It's very distinctive, I can smell it on a person a mile off.

If the OP (and I'm not judging here) had been indulging days before and hadn't changed his / her clothes since, that would be a giveaway.
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TMC Towcester
post Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 15:02
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QUOTE (Rakesh_Qor @ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 15:22) *
QUOTE (TMC Towcester @ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 08:28) *
I wonder why the arresting officer asked you about smoking weed? There must have been something in your demeanour (or pupils of the eyes?) to make him/her jump to that aspect (vs alcohol, inattention, eyesight etc)?


Smell for sure.

It's very distinctive, I can smell it on a person a mile off.

If the OP (and I'm not judging here) had been indulging days before and hadn't changed his / her clothes since, that would be a giveaway.


I assumed the same, although if experienced s/he would differentiate between recent use and 'stale' odour from a few days prior (with 'other' odours present too!). However if the inside of the car smelt, it would tend to point towards more regular drug/driving?.........
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cp8759
post Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 15:03
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QUOTE (TMC Towcester @ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 16:02) *
I assumed the same, although if experienced s/he would differentiate between recent use and 'stale' odour from a few days prior (with 'other' odours present too!). However if the inside of the car smelt, it would tend to point towards more regular drug/driving?.........

To be honest from the officer's perspective, once they can smell it they might as well do a test. The threshold for suspicion is quite low.


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Hooli744
post Mon, 25 Oct 2021 - 10:10
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 22 Oct 2021 - 09:23) *
A mere assertion of a needle phobia is not sufficient to found a reasonable excuse. There has to be some evidence before the court to set up the reasonable excuse defence before the prosecution are required to disprove it. R (Cuns) v Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court.



I may look into that as I've developed the same phobia over the years. I'm sure my records would show I've left blood tests without allowing them to do them before.
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The Rookie
post Mon, 25 Oct 2021 - 10:54
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Dental procedures? Vaccinations?


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Hooli744
post Mon, 25 Oct 2021 - 13:52
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 25 Oct 2021 - 11:54) *
Dental procedures? Vaccinations?


In my case they used to be ok, but not for the last decade or so.

I'm just musing really & think it might be handy to know on the off chance anything occurred where plod wanted a blood test.
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