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Dodgy dealings with the CPS / blatant blackmail ?
whittr01
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 09:29
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In a letter I have just received from the CPS, they have offered to drop the speeding offence and only ask for £35 costs if I plead guilty to S172.

They go on to point out that if I insist on pleading not guilty and am found guilty, they will seek to claim £145 + advocacy costs + 'aggravating factor actions consideration' by the court (more than 3 points?).

Can they be this blatant about it ?

The background is that I identified my husband on the NIP but failed to sign the form. They failed to follow up with an NIP to him and decided to pursue me instead. As I was not the keeper at the time of the offence, I am hoping Mohindra will help me.
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post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 09:29
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cjm99
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 09:57
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You are in a very very strong position.

On the speeding :-
You have neither given a sec 12 compliant statement nor a 'voluntary confession'. There can therefore be no evidence other than a photograph or policemans identification of you. I take it that you identified your husband as driver. no lies! here I trust.. So no evidence.

On sec 172 :-
Various case law clarifies, that the CoP is entitled to a statement under his powers of s172, which inherantly fulfill the requirements of sec 12. viz. a statement signed or porporting to be signed by the driver at the time of the alleged offence. This, acceptable as evidence that the signatory was the driver at the time. It is not possible for you to comply with this, as you were not the driver at the time.
Further, Mohindra, Browne case, clarifies that as reg. keeper, a court may not assume that you would have in your power to give the identity of the driver or keeper (if there is a difference?) at the time of the alledged offence. The CPS will need to proove evidencially, that you did have 'in your power to give'. Surely an impossibility.

Chris


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OU812
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:01
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I think this is referred to as 'plea bargaining' but I thought that only happened at the court but just prior to the hearing.

I dont however know if its the 'last ditch' B&B attempt because they know they dont have much of a case? Or if they are giving you the option of 'getting off lightly' because of the recent Idris result?
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jeffreyarcher
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:05
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I am confused. Why are they charging you with speeding.
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cjm99
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:08
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I wouldn't be surprised if they looked at the surname only, and have not realised that it is a husband and wife. Not just one person.

Chris


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whittr01
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:20
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They are charging me with speeding because I think originally they didn't realise I had named my husband. They are now leaving it on file 'in case I change my position and wish to admit that I was the driver'
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whittr01
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:26
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I think I am safe on the speeding charge but on the S172 they are claiming that

1. I should have signed the form

2. If I wasn't the keeper, I should have filled in the 'If you were not the keeper NOR owner'

I think signing the form could have left me open to perjury because I had no way of knowing who was driving at the time ( I was separated from my hsuband at the time and he had the car).

I think filling in the 'not keeper NOR owner' would also be untrue because I retained ownership of the car and remained the RK.
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cjm99
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:31
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Don't forget to ask for costs from central funds. biggrin.gif

Chris


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whittr01
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 10:58
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they are saying I should have signed for two reasons:

'Firstly it enables the police and us to have some confidence (and to be able to verify if necessary) that the person to whom the form has been sent is actually the person who has completed and returned it, rather than another party playing a malicious trick. Secondly it would enable us to look at a prosection for perjury or a lesser charge if the person completing the form had uttered a lie within it.'
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cjm99
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 11:40
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You will have read many times that sec 172 does not state that a signature is required. The High Court judgements to clarify this, Francis and Broomfield both draw an implied link between sec 172 RTA 1988 and sec 12 RTOA 1988. Sec 12 refers specifically to sec 172, and it is this that has been used to justify the requirement to provide a signed witness statement identifying the driver at the time of the offence. In your case, you were not the driver, and any reference you might make to who was the keeper at the time could not satisfy sec. 12.. and could not be used in court to prosecute the driver, whoever that may be.
The link between sec 172 and sec 12 is therefore broken. It has never been sugested in the High Court, nor in statute that the CoP may request information to make the CPS feel "confident".

QUOTE
that the person to whom the form has been sent is actually the person who has completed and returned it,


Read Hon. Mr. Justice Owen Yorke & Mawdesley. He is so certain that the court can be assured that the respondent to a s172 is indeed the person who completed it, that a court may take the unsigned form as a 'voluntary confession' within sec 84 PACE

Chris


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whittr01
post Mon, 10 May 2004 - 14:32
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Regarding the 'plea bargaining' do I have any grounds for complaint ?

While we all know it goes on, isn't it usually done verbally ?

I have a letter from the CPS with all of this in writing!

It comes across to me as distinctly threatening surely they are not allowed to do this.
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Odd Job
post Tue, 11 May 2004 - 20:44
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QUOTE (whittr01)
they are saying I should have signed for two reasons:

'Firstly it enables the police and us to have some confidence (and to be able to verify if necessary) that the person to whom the form has been sent is actually the person who has completed and returned it, rather than another party playing a malicious trick. Secondly it would enable us to look at a prosection for perjury or a lesser charge if the person completing the form had uttered a lie within it.'


What complete and utter total BULLSH1T. They know that they are onto a complete loser and are trying there hardest to try and make you cave in and cop a few quid via fines.

They have screwed up big time, and they know it, hence the "plea bargain". How the hell would they know if it was YOUR signature on the bloody form anyway - even if it had been a "malicious trick".

I would be tempted to write back to them and outline YOUR costs if they attempt to prosecute. I would also send a copy of the letter you received from them to the national press, and at the same time outline the details of your case. This is the only way that you will gat anywhere with these thieving scum. It is pointless complaining because everyone is in on the scam. The press however would have a field day icon_twisted.gif
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